Book Reviews- Honest or Mean? Nice or Fake?

So… Recently I joined a Book Tour, my FIRST ever, and I was SUPER excited.
But then something happened. The book was pretty disappointing! Now, if you come here and ever see my reviews, you would notice that I RARELY rate something low. I mean, c’mon, I haven’t posted even ONE 1 Star review, and only ONE 2 star review.
Any book that is good- gets a 3 Star review. If it’s GREAT it’s 4, and if its Absolutely AMAZING in every way and I will read it more than once, its 5.
But this book was NOT good. It read like a rough draft. There were SO many problems with it that I felt bad writing the review. And I kept thinking, what I would I do if I got a review like this on my book?
It was honest, and not mean, but… probably hurt the author’s feelings, HARD Core.

I opted out of the Book Tour.
Now, I still plan on posting my review at some point, but it made me think,
How honest is too honest? How mean is too mean? How nice is too fake?
I would have been more upset had I bought the book. I would have felt cheated. I wouldn’t have even finished the book if it hadn’t been for this tour I was a part of.
On the bright side (I think) the author emailed me, and thanked me for reading her book and opting out of the tour. She explained that this was her first book (which I knew) and she appreciated my honesty and wanted to know my thoughts about what was wrong with her book. (I thought very highly of her for this, this was very professional and made me think more of her as an author!)

So I replied with ALL my Constructive Criticism, all 3 pages worth.
I only hope she doesn’t hate me now.

 So what about you?
Have you ever written a book review that you felt was too harsh?

And this cartoon, because it reminds me of... ME... :)


  1. Yesterday, I have a two-star review and a four-star review to the same author for two different works. I was a little worried that the whiplash would come off fake.

    But at a certain point, a negative review can be considered a service to potential readers, if written right.

    1. Wow... a two-star review and four-star review for the same author, thats surprising.
      But a good point

  2. I am of the camp of reviewers/readers who values honesty and negative reviews very highly. I'm very proud that, in any given review I write, I'm 100% truthful, no matter what. Statistically speaking, I'm very hard to please, and I have scores of 1 and 2 star reviews. I am, personally, completely fine with that, as it seems to make my positive reviews that much more positive.

    Yes, I have had a few authors and fans freak out and try to bully me into retracting my thoughts, because I always say it straight and I don't apologize for it. But I don't think there's such a thing as being "too honest" with one's opinion, especially not if I, as a consumer, purchased the book; or, as a reviewer, received an ARC with the author's understanding that I will be honest.

    It's far worse to sugarcoat your opinion (for whatever reason) than to give an unpopular yet truthful review.

    1. Thank you! This made me feel better!
      I feel like my reviews are honest and not mean, and usually nicer than they often should be... But because the author contacted me directly... I felt kinda bad teling her that I thought her book sucked. :(

  3. Good for you. I think honesty (nice honesty--not brutal or mean) is the best policy, and it IS impressive how professional the author was. I hate giving low reviews, but something really has to "wow" me before I give it 5 stars. :)

    1. Well... I was not impressed by it at all. Several minor mistakes that could (and should) be easily caught. Several bigger mistakes.
      There wasnt even a Climax at the end. It just ended.

      BUT- I cannot imagine getting a 1 or 2 star review on MY book... I would be devasted! :(
      so its hard to do that to an author on her first book!

  4. I only write honest unbiased reviews.


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