The Negative Reader

I noticed something the other day.

I was going to write a review of a favourite book for someone else’s blog, but because it had been a while since I read the book, I checked its reviews on Goodreads to refresh my memory on elements of the plot.

While pretty much everyone praised it, one reviewer didn’t. Okay. It’s their opinion. But a possible reader commented on the bad review, thanking them for their honesty.

Image by Edar, courtesy of Pixelbay

I wonder why.

She didn’t comment on any of the favourable reviews. Why would she think these weren’t worth taking notice of?

A while back a blogger wasn’t a fan of one of my novels. Their so-so review received a comment thanking them as they were considering reading my book. The blogger replied that they should still read it as they may form a different opinion.

I was a new author at that stage and wanted to join the conversation. I didn’t as it’s something an author shouldn’t do. The temptation was there, though.

Another blogger criticised my sex scenes in a different book.

People discussed how they hated bad sex scenes in the comments section. The blogger continued to reference me in her replies.

But the novel she reviewed doesn’t contain sex scenes. She noted explicit sex scenes are listed in the trigger warnings.

No. There are no trigger warnings for that novel. And there is no mention of sex.

“Friendship in a Box.”
Photo courtesy Tom Heinze (used via Creative Commons)

No one wants to read a book they’re not into.

There’s more commitment to a novel than there is to watching a movie. A reader wants to be sure they will be engaged from beginning to end. But, as in the case of the Goodreads review, surely a reader would consider all reviews, not just the singular negetive one.

I’m sure that reader would have been pleasantly surprised.

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