Giving Honest Reviews

I think this is probably the most important thing when it comes to reviewing books, movies, or whatever else you review: be honest.

There are some people out there who try to bribe the reviewer into giving a positive review for some sort of benefit in return. But really, it’s not worth it because you’re not giving your full, 100% honest review of said product.

I’ve never had this happen to me, but it does happen.

Whenever I review a book or movie I’m always giving my 100% honest review. I think it’s important to share your innermost thoughts and feelings because then it allows other readers/viewers to get a sense for what the book or movie is like and they may or may not want to take a chance with it.

Now does this mean that your opinion will coincide with someone else’s? No. Don’t worry if your review is different from someone else’s. If you liked a book and rated it 5/5 stars and thought it was fantastic, while someone else rated it 1/5 stars and absolutely hated it, that’s okay. Everyone has differing views and tastes.

It can get a bit more stressful when a book or movie is super hyped up, though. You almost feel like you have to give it a positive review or rating. I’ve had this happen to me on several occasions with books that were super hyped up and felt bad for not giving it a decent rating. But in all honesty, if you didn’t like it or it didn’t meet your expectations, then rate it and review it as such.

But let’s not forget that when it comes to reviewing there’s a difference between giving an honest or critical review, and just being plain mean. Examples of each:

  • Honest/critical: This book, though written well with lovely prose and a great character arc, seemed to be lacking in world building. The author presented the characters in a fashion that helped me to get to know them better, but I didn’t feel like they belonged in the world that was being described.
  • Mean: This book had no depth or vision to it at all. I could’ve written it better and put in more detail here and there so the reader wouldn’t be totally lost like I was. Frankly, this author sucks at what they do.

Okay, I’m not good at giving mean examples, but you get the picture. One talks about the positive aspects of the novel while giving an analysis about why the characters were good, but the world building wasn’t as much and this can potentially lead to an explanation as to why that was for the reviewer. The other boasts the self and doesn’t really give a reason (or potentially lead to a reason) as to why they thought what they did, shooting down the author as being less than the person he/she is.

So, yes, while it is important to give honest reviews that people can look to and say, “Oh, this book sounds interesting, I’ll check it out,” or “Well, this helped me to see why I don’t want to read this,” the way you go about executing it is important as well.

Plus, I think people will call you out if you’re being mean in a review. At least I’d hope they would. I’d want someone to do that with me if I ever did that.

Always give your 100% honest review in any situation. Don’t let anyone try to persuade you otherwise. It’s important for readership and it’s important for having that trust that you build over time with your own viewers as well as authors, publishing companies, and other bloggers.

Do you ever feel like you have to botch a review just to make someone else happy? Do you feel pressured to give good ratings and reviews just because of the hype surrounding a book? Reflecting back on your past reviews, were you ever mean in any of them? Let me know.

13 thoughts on “Giving Honest Reviews

  1. I think you are right, I also think most authors appreciate all the reviews too. If you don’t write truthfully what’s the point? I haven’t written any 1 star reviews, but that’s probably because I wouldn’t persevere with the book to finish it. I do love to write 5 star reviews though, they are certainly my favourite kind.
    Nice post.


  2. I’m always 100℅ honest with my reviews. If I don’t like a book, I’ll say it. But I still try to write it, knowing that it’s probably just me that didn’t like it and give an unbiased, overall view as well as my opinion 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said! Being an author myself I can tell you that a “mean” review can make your day, week, or even month terrible. So much love and effort goes into writing a book. It’s truly a piece of you. So it can be devastating to get a “mean” review. It really effects how you write a story. You start to second guess everything you write. The question lurks in the back of your mind, “What would someone think about this word, this sentence, this paragraph?” That’s no way to write a book.
    Authors really shouldn’t be reading their reviews anyways. The good ones make you feel too good and the bad ones hurt too much. Either way, they can effect how you write the sequel (if there is one). Personally, I try to avoid looking at my own reviews, but that can be difficult at times.

    Everyone has there own tastes. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach there ever was, but still you’ll find that someone doesn’t like peaches.” However, everyone should respect the author’s work and the opinions of the reviewer. Kindness goes a long way.


    • I agree! Even looking at other reviews affects how and what I want to read. I hate looking at reviews until after I’ve read a book, but sometimes it’s so tempting.
      I can understand that, not reading reviews on your own books. But sometimes it helps if you’re feeling down or doubting yourself to read those good ones to remind yourself that there are people out there who enjoy your material and style and tone.
      Kindness forever! But bluntness sometimes works, too. Not mean, just straight to the point.

      Liked by 1 person

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