Should I Only Post Positive Reviews?

Image by Caroline Feelgood

I've had this thought quite a few times. Should I only post positive reviews? Since I'm becoming more consistent at actually reviewing books on my blog this question has been popping in my head from time to time. There are a few reasons for and against this question I wanted to go over before making a decision.

Writing negative or meh reviews doesn't make you feel great after reading it.

If a book is 3 stars then it's a meh book. Do I want to feel bad when writing the review? Do I want the reader to feel meh after reading the review? Not really.

Now negative ranty reviews at least have some energy to them. They are easy to write because it's a rant on the book but are they worth posting on the blog? Unless the book has obvious harmful content, is it right to make a rant review? I wouldn't want to be the author who reads that review. The thing is I always write a small review on Goodreads and the StoryGraph. Does that negative energy need to be on my blog as well?

Reading a range of reviews helps a reader decide if they want to pick up a book.

If all the reviews say a book is amazing or terrible and I give it three stars then you can actually see the good and the flaws a book has. If everyone rates something positive and I rate it negatively then you can see all the negatives. You see where I'm going right? It's great to have multiple perspectives.

Negative reviews can get negative feedback.

Goodreads and its comment section... I wrote a rant review on a book I hated and everyone loved and someone else had to tell me my opinion was wrong. Not, I disagree. But, you are wrong and this is why in a not-so-friendly way. I don't care to bring that into my blog atmosphere.

Positive reviews make readers want to take a look at or even read a book themselves.

I love when a fellow reader or blogger can convince me to read a book. It makes you feel good to write and read a positive review. It gets you excited about reading.

Positive reviews might not consider the flaws in a book.

Sometimes an overly positive review will not consider any of the flaws and sometimes it'll note something small that you find fault with. I'm not exactly saying that I should only write reviews on five star reads, but books with a 3.5 rating and above that I feel mostly good about might be a good focus on the blog only. And any others will stay on Goodreads and the StoryGraph.

What about ARCs?

Sometimes ARCs suck. I've posted negative reviews for an ARC book on my blog in the past but maybe I should change that. Maybe it should just be on reading social media sites and that's it.

What do you think? Should I review everything or should I just focus on books I have a positive thing to say about? What do you do on your blog?


  1. This is a hard question! I do occasionally post negative reviews on my blog and Goodreads. I think it's important to be honest and let other readers know of issues you found in a book, because they may be the same types of things that are issues for them, too, and maybe they can just avoid the book. I always try to be respectful of the author, though, and point out at least one thing that I did like about the book.

    1. I try to post reviews of all my books on Goodreads and now StoryGraph. I agree that it's important to let readers know the good and the bad. I think I generally find books that I didn't like or found just okay to be boring reviews but maybe not.

  2. I've just started putting up "non-reviews" of books I haven't finished, because my reasons for not finishing the book might not bother others. I have to say that 3 stars isn't "meh" in my book, it is just good. I'd say 2.5 stars is "meh," and 2 stars or less are usually books I can't finish. But if we're constructive, I don't see why we can't put up reviews that explain why we didn't enjoy a book. Although there are authors who would disagree, and I won't tag an author if I put up a negative review of their book.

    1. I think I need to reevaluate my three start rankings actually. I think I rate books too highly. That's an interesting idea of non-reviews. I'll have to look at yours to get an example. I think that might be it. If I dislike a book so much I don't find any place to be constructive. I would have to really think about my phrasing.

  3. I think you bring up some great points here. It really is a personal decision and you have to do what feels right to you.

    I like to read positive and negative reviews of books, especially ones I am on the fence about reading. Books with all glowing reviews can make me nervous while on the other hand, sometimes a negative review makes me want to read a book even more. No book is perfect and will be loved by everyone. And sometimes what one person dislikes about a book is something another person will like. So, as a reader, I enjoy reading all types of reviews.

    I like to think my reviews are fair. I don't always write positive reviews, but the reality is that I like most of what I read. I don't finish books I am not enjoying to some extent, and I don't write reviews on books I don't finish. I probably come across as more positive because I like to focus on the good, but I also try to point out what I view as weaknesses--but even that's so subjective.

    I think there is a stigma that those who only write positive reviews are not being honest, which I think is unfair. There are a lot of reasons people choose only to write positive reviews. Not wanting to hurt the author's feelings. Being a up and coming author oneself and not wanting to get blacklisted right out of the gate. Readers who only want to put energy into sharing about books they like because why waste time on books they don't? I'm sure there are other reasons as well.

    As an aside, it's funny that you say a 3 rating is meh for you. For me, a 3 rating means I liked the book, but didn't love it. I think if it in terms of being good, as opposed to very good/great (4) or amazing (5). Two for me is meh. Goes to show how arbitrary ratings can be.

    I'm sorry you had that experience on Goodreads with your negative review. People can be so mean. :-(

    I really enjoyed your discussion post. I am happy to read your reviews whether they are positive, negative or in between.

    1. Hmm... It's been really interesting to read all these perspectives on positive and negative reviews. I think I would just have to bring in more conversation as to why I didn't like a book and who may like it instead. Sometimes I think I only see the negative but that's not true with my positive reviews. I always point out some weaknesses unless maybe it was five stars and I saw nothing wrong with it.

      I have felt the same way about someone writing only positive reviews. Everything is four or five stars so it does make me not trust them as much but then if I do the same then what's the difference? So I do agree that writing only positive reviews just means that we only want to have good energy out there.

      You are the second person who has said that. I think in most cases I initially think a book is 3 stars but when I look back I should probably rate them lower. I just need to find a true 3 star book to be able to compare my other books too.

      Thank you! I really enjoyed reading your response.

  4. I personally write something for any book I finish. I do tend to save my blog posts for books I love, because I would rather spend my time and energy promoting something I loved, but I post reviews on Goodreads for all books I have read, good or bad.

    1. Same! I've got to get back on Goodreads. I've only been on StoryGraph the last month or so but I've been trying to only write positive reviews here and everything on Goodreads/StoryGraph.


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