I just wrote a bad review. I haven’t done a lot of them.
I know the key to a good “bad” review is constructive criticism, but what if sometimes you just want to rant?
Ranting can be so freeing. However if you aren’t mindful it has the potential to alienate people, which of course I don’t want to do.
So here is my solution: I keep the review fairly constructive, but if I feel a little rant coming on, I throw in just a hint to satisfy my need for others to know just what I think. And, if the book truly grated on my nerves, I might even slide over to a questioning, “what were they thinking?” type approach to a paragraph or two.
Not so secretly, but a little bit tentatively, I want people to be aware that I thought what they are considering reading is total crap if that is the truth.
Conversely, I love to shout from the rooftops when there are great books to be read: Boy, Snow, Bird; Frog Music; How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane, The Bees; A Few Seconds of Filmstrip; just to name a few recent good ones.
Sometimes when I don’t enjoy the book, I am convinced the problem is me. Wrong girl at the wrong time trying to sink my teeth into the wrong book. In this case, I try to be much more forgiving.
In fact, I recently read a book that I did not enjoy. It was well written and very meticulously researched, but it just wasn’t something that I should have been reading. Currently, I am sitting on doing a negative review. I’m toying with the idea of coupling it with another book on a similar subject that I think I could relate to more easily and reflecting on the subject matter rather than throwing out a review.
All this to say, if it’s crap, you’ll know.