Objectivity in book reviews: can you be honest AND objective?

So… read this! My appreciation for bloggers/readers/anyone who understands what book blogging and reviewing is really about, went sky high. I don’t always pay attention to not freely waste my time in getting involved with the bashers because they’re out there and they say what they say and fighting windmills and all that, but Fictionophile here pulled together a really really lovely response.


book-review-objectivityThese past few weeks I have read some rather unpleasant comments about book reviewers. Blogger ‘bashing’ seems popular just now.

An example of this blogger bashing:


When someone – anyone – calls me or my fellow book bloggers dishonest – then steam starts to come out of my ears.13420806205_766b819771When I give a book 5 stars it is because I love it. I’ve recently given a book 2 stars because it wasn’t to my taste. Everyone’s taste is different. I get most of my books from NetGalley, Edelweiss or directly from publishers. They do not cost me anything, yet I still rate them ALL as according to my enjoyment of them. Why would anyone post anything this hurtful. I do not lie when reviewing books! I do try to be kind, as I know authors invest a lot of emotion, time, and hard work writing. Just because I don’t care for it, there…

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    • Ah, yes… plenty of book blogger bashing to go around for everyone as of late it seems 😀 ha… it is sad, but at the same time, as a book blogger I won’t take it too seriously nor personal… 🙂


    • Ah, yes… every once in a while a ‘Messiah’ appears who says we’re doing it ALL wrong 😀 But Fictioniphile’s ‘response’ as such was just lovely by assuring everyone that we all review the way we review and there’s no wrong or right 🙂


  1. Love this post! I have seen way too much bashing in the blogosphere & on Twitter which has caused me many times to just turn my devices off. I can’t with the negativity & the assumptions. Just because a book is not to your taste does not mean it’s not to mine. I also get read a ton from Netgalley & Edelweiss but I choose my books wisely. I’m looking for those books that I know fit my book taste. When I review, I do so fairly & If I happen to dislike a book I don’t bash. There is a way to give an honest review w/out being hurtful towards another human being. I think people forget that there is a human behind the pen. Thank you for sharing Liz 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I’m well aware that some awful stuff circulates round social media though I have never encountered anything beyond mild criticism. I write (whether book reviews or anything else) because I enjoy doing it. I don’t review every book I read – not by any means; I do it only when i can be mostly positive about the story, the writer, the writing, or all three. The world is too small and there is too much hate around already to start ‘bashing’ people or their work because I dislike what they do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said!
      I don’t understand either why someone would just pick on nitty grittys as if they were the book review gods… but there you go… I just admire people who take the time and ‘fight back’ because it’s definitely not easy having ‘words’ with someone who very bluntly and from a very strong POV refuses to see all sides of the coin…


  3. Great post. Bringing awareness to this “drama” was nice. Definitely agree that a book reviewer seen as a God for all book reviewers is pretty much non-existent. Every person will have to trust their own set of reviewers and even among those reviewers, there will come a time where the thoughts/feelings about a certain book will not be the same/mutual.

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read this back when you posted it, but I didn’t comment… I wanted to take time and absorb it. I had no idea this was happening all over the internet, and it both saddened and scared me. I did some of my own research and found exactly what is illustrated above. But, sitting on this for a while, I realized that I don’t care. I don’t care what other people think about me as a book blogger, or how they interpret my life and ideals. Because I have a network of people I love and trust. The internet is filled with terrible people saying terrible things hiding behind anonymity. And I refuse to let them break me.

    My reviews will stay honest and they will still be a reflection of my personal opinion. Because I do this for me. Not for anyone else.

    …Thanks for letting me soapbox. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would agree with you on not caring what others think. Sadly, there will always be nay-sayers for everything and at the end of the day, my main point would be, who made them the book blogging god? You know? 🙂 I never put much time to ‘fight back’ myself, because you can’t fight ‘windmills’ but I am always glad to see there are people out there who do take the time to do so.
      You’re absolutely right- not every opinion always matters. Once you have the people around you that respect, trust and love what you do, who cares what someone else has to say? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The worst part of all this? I feel like I was waging this war five years ago when I first started blogging. I can be a rough reviewer but I fully understand that EVERYONE GETS TO BLOG THEIR OWN WAY. I know people who never give bad reviews simply because they give up on books that don’t catch their interest.

    I wish I could say I had no idea this was going around again but of course it is; blogging can be just as clicky as anything else at times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting comment… thanks for being open about it… i find that I have learned so much about bookblogging over tha ast 2-3 years and it’s always interesting to find out new point of views.
      I have also come to know some bloggers who only publish higher than 3 or 4 star reviews on their blogs.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂


  6. I really don’t know what to say about this because of the use of the word “taste”. I have seen too many reviews of strong, fabulously written books that have been bashed because there was not enough romance (when the book wasn’t a romance), or the reviewer didn’t like time travel, it had ghosts in it and they don’t like ghosts, or my huge pet peeve… the book made them think too much. If I get ahold of a book and it doesn’t turn out to be what I thought because of the cover, or the title, or sometimes the GR summary I certainly don’t give it two stars because it wasn’t my taste. I either stop reading and don’t even mention it, or read it and rate it based on its merits within its genre and sub-genre, not my personal “taste”. I have seen too many really great indie and self pubs get pummeled by one and two star ratings when they only had four or five ratings up. One was an indie author’s Dystopian and the reviewer said she didn’t like reading about despicable characters, so she dnfed it and gave it one star. Dystopians kind of need dispicable characters. See what I mean? I have many many stories like this one. These “taste” reviewers can still review their reads, but if the book was written well and stands strong in its genre, then don’t rate it. It isn’t fair to the author.

    If there was a music site set up like Goodreads and reviewers went around giving fabulous opera singers bad reviews because opera wasn’t their taste, or a metal band with ace musicians in it one star because heavy wasn’t their taste, or a great rock band with keyboards grief because they don’t like keyboards, there would be all sorts of blogger/reviewer “bashing” going on, but for some reason I think people would understand why. I always give the example that I hate bluegrass music, but if I got sent to review a bluegrass band (which I have), and they were all good musicians and they put on a great show I would have been fired from my paid job, or banned from my volunteer reviewers gig if I had rated them two stars because of my “personal taste”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make a really really REALLY good point!
      I find often times people garb onto an idea and don’t bother thinking things through and just spew some verbal diarrhea. I love this comment- everyone should read this comment because you make so many valid points and it’s full of food for thought for all reviewers out there, including myself!


  7. This is a wonderful and insightful posts. Very well stated and TOTALLY relevant today with more and more of this sort of bashing of book bloggers going on not only here but on Goodreads as well! I sometimes have a hard time stating my true opinion of a book I have just read out of fear that it will not fall within the norm of what others think or are saying about the book. As I write more and more book reviews however I’m coming to realize that no matter what others think of a book or how others may respond to my post, it’s so important to be totally honest and state our thoughts and feelings about what we read. It is, indeed, a big part of the reading experience and exactly what makes book blogging so much fun! HAPPY BOOK REVIEWING! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by and I completely understand what you’re saying… and it truly is important to stay honest no matter what! It is your credibility at the end of the day and maybe even conscience 😀 Happy reading and reviewing! 🙂


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