Chatterbox: Didn’t Like the Book? We Won’t Flame You.

October 24, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Books, Chatterbox, Features

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How often do you encounter a fandom which spends their time flaming others who don’t agree with their overall opinion, or a crazy group of fans who won’t take “I didn’t like it” as an opinion? (such as Nerdfighters or Beliebers) This actually happens a LOT in the gaming world, where if you say you actually ENJOY The Sims you’ll probably get laughed at, ridiculed or shot down in flames (I’m exaggerating, but you get the point. You can actually like The Sims in some gaming communities).

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For a hobby we spend our time critiquing books that others may LOVE and you may be potentially insulting them with your dislike of the book, or when that happens to you where someone shreds your favourite book to smithereens, there’s one thing I realised – We’re actually a pretty respectful bunch of fanpeople. I don’t think I’ve ever seen people get offended or insulted by a negative review of a book they liked, and I haven’t felt that as well.

Whether it’s because most of us have to be respectful reviewers, in order to avoid insulting authors/publishers of the books that we are working with, or whether we just accept different and opposing opinions as a thing. There’s plenty of reasons why that is, and it just makes me so happy that we’re a welcoming bunch to different opinions. After all, if everyone loved the same book ALL OF THE TIME then there would be no book review blogs.

This makes the community more friendly and welcoming to newbies and discussion, because we love seeing others’ opinions on books. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care whether another reviewer’s opinion of a book is negative or positive, as long as it’s one that is thought provoking and inspires discussion. Of course you might get that whole “awww, too bad you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did”, but that’s pretty tame in comparison to flaming. Or maybe you’re just stabbing them in your mind.

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We’re usually open to others’ opinions, even on perennial favourites such as the Throne of Glass series, or Daughter of Smoke and Bone, or The Lunar Chronicles series. People are confident in coming out and saying they were the black sheep and they didn’t like it as much as everyone else, because you’re entitled to your own opinion. We understand.

What do you think – are book people more respectful in comparison to other fandoms? Do you get insulted when someone rants about your favourite book?

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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54 responses to “Chatterbox: Didn’t Like the Book? We Won’t Flame You.

  1. I think the blogging community is great when it comes to fandoms. Of course, there are always people who will judge you, but I think the overall sphere is awesome. I never have the idea I have to lie about my opinion just because there are a lot of lovers from that fandom.

    Sometimes it's hard when someone doesn't love a book as much as you do, but you move on – it's important to realize we can't all like the same things.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 298. Robin LaFevers – Mortal heart.My Profile

  2. Oh I totally know what you mean, The Sims was all the rage back then! I totally agree with you, it's based on the individual reviewer on whether they want to snark and be rude. Thankfully I don't follow any of these people because I'm not a fan of that sort of book bashing. I do think everyone should be more respectful of each other!! I mean that would solve most of the drama wouldn't it?

  3. Yeah, I'm not a fan of the rude and snarky opinion because that's where the drama starts you know? Even though it is entertaining, it just feels uncomfortable for me. Hahaha yes, come on gaming snobs! It's because many Sims players only play that game and don't play any "serious hardcore gaming" games. It's all okay though!

  4. Thank you so much Jess, I totally know what you mean about those extreme fandoms! I mean as respectful as you try and prevent your differing opinion, people are always going to go on the offensive, and it's just tiring. I do love reading different reviews too, even for books that I enjoy! YAY! Glad you loved it <3

  5. Haha oh man, no one jumped in to my buddy read proposal for The Raven Boys! I really do need to read it soon so you will stop bugging me about it 😉 at least Blue Lily Blue is out as well!

    I'm so glad our community is respectful of opinions because that's what makes us more confident to post our own opinions and stuff. It took me ages to have the confidence to write discussion posts but it has been the best thing ever!

    YES YES I AM A LOSER THAT NEEDS TO READ RAVEN BOYS NOW

  6. Oh I am so glad that us book bloggers seem to be more respectable (at least the ones we hang around). A shame Nerdfighters do have that sort of attitude because they seem like they're a lot of fun (when you love John Green). YES No one gets to insult YA!

  7. That's totally right, and we know everyone can't have the same opinion so that's okay. Id o like hearing differing opinions on books I've read too, and then read the book to gather my own thoughts about it. Thank you Emma!

  8. Thank you so much Tanja, I just love this community so much. That sort of one that respects each others' opinions without getting offended is rare. (Even though sometimes you still get that, it seems to be a lot less).

  9. Yeah, I think it comes down to the maturity of the person behind it. I mean it's okay to have your own opinion, and we're not all going to like the same things. Thank you Cristina!

  10. Thank you so much Natalie! I'm actually kind of glad I never really went into the whole nerdfighter thing, I can see what it would be like to really like something though and have someone trample that. It's just a shame that it's a bit TOO rabid if you know what I mean.

  11. I do think we have a lovely Aussie book blogger community in Australia which I'm glad to be a proud of! I love how you describe it Rochelle, you wouldn't want anyone to have a reading experience they didn't enjoy. It's perfectly okay to express that 🙂

  12. I know, there just wouldn't be a point attacking people for their own opinions, because we are all different and it's kind of nice to be respected for your own opinion you know? Oh I loved These Broken Stars, but I'm glad you weren't afraid of being the black sheep. I've gotten confidence to post those sorts of reviews and just come out and say it too. Wow, that must have been really shocking and disturbing! Thanks Olivia!

  13. Yeah, I think so too. I mean just look at movies like The Giver, definitely wipes out creativity and imagination. I don't mind people saying that it's too bad lol, I definitely say it too, because no one would like to read a book they didn't enjoy. Oh yes, I do love both of those as well! Definitely ones that I can relate to.

  14. Oh wow, that sounds really intense Bec! I guess there is some of that behaviour still, but I'm glad it's still more respectful than other fandoms. It's quite frustrating, but sometimes people are going to be relentless about their own opinions and it's not worth fighting lol.

  15. Thank you Lily! It really does depend on the person or the people in the fandom doesn't it? I think this is what we do, review books and describe what we liked and didn't like, and people respect that which is great. Definitely hardcore fandoms are scary though and they stick together based on common opinions, so I can see why they wouldn't be as tolerant. Not ones that I enjoy though. The world would be better if there was less hate!

  16. Fantastic topic to discuss, Jeann! Personally, I think bookish people are both more respectful and just as bad as some other groups. It just depends on the person, really. I've known people that won't accept that you didn't like a book they love, but then there are plenty that are respectful of your opinion and are curious as to why you feel differently. I think the book blogging community is getting a lot better at being more respectful this past year or so, but other communities, such as bookstagram still haven't figured that out yet. And of course, I'm only speaking generally here.
    Ebony @ Daring Damse recently posted…The Harry Potter Book TagMy Profile

    • Yeah, perhaps we're just biased cos we ARE Bookish people hehe. It really does depend on the person, there are many out there that don't mind bashing a book but I'm really glad for our Aussie community. It definitely does seem like it's a lot more respectable, especially in contrast with the gaming one that I am in.

  17. TBH, I don't get the whole fandom thing. Maybe it's because I'm older. There are some books I've absolutely loved, like the Shatter Me series, but there's loving a book and then there's obsession, and that's the part I don't quite get. I can't imagine me not liking something and being abused for it, if that upsets someone then I'm afraid they're going to really struggle through life. We all love books, or we wouldn't be blogging, but you read them and move on. Life is too short to get your knickers in a knot over something so trivial.

    Great discussion Jeann <3
    Kelly recently posted…Raging Star by Moira YoungMy Profile

    • Oh I just LOVE Fandoms they are really a lot of fun, but yeah there is a negative side to it with the bullying and opposing opinions or whatnot. That's really a sign of maturity when you can't be bothered getting worked up with things like opposing opinions. That's so true Kelly! I love your wisdom <3

  18. I quit a few series because of the fandom. I'd do a review and get antagonizing comments so I quit coz it's not worth the drama. There are a lot of books out there with friendlier or more tolerant fandom.

    I also stop following blogs who are cliquey or even bullies, especially the ones who have a false sense of importance like it ends with their word? I call BS on that.

    Great discussion, have a great weekend!
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Suped Up: Last Light by M. PierceMy Profile

    • Oh, I know what you mean! At least that hasn't happened to me yet, I think that would make me quite upset. Glad to hear you moved on and didn't affect you too much Braine. Oh yes, I don't like bullies or blogs where all the drama happens, it's just not worth it you know? Thank you, I hope you had a lovely one too!

  19. I have a confession. When I first started reading and using Goodreads, I would get so mad whenever people bashed the Mortal Instruments. I was belligerent!! I went on attack-mode… Now I've learned from the error of my ways. I welcome diverse opinions, and I find myself agreeing with some of the points that negative reviews bring out. Sometimes it brings to light things I might have missed. I think reading all differently rated reviews of a book helps give you the best perception of the book and what it's truly like. Lovely post, Jeann <3 How are you?? We haven't talked in forever 🙁
    Rachel @ A Perfectio recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (9) ~ The Haul to End All HaulsMy Profile

    • Awwww Rachel, I guess we all learn I guess that it's not worth the drama in the end lol. It's good you learnt to appreciate different opinions. I do love reading them, but there are some who can't read negative opinions about books we love because it's too close to our heart. No matter what, I get both sides. Thank you lovely! I've been good, been taking it easy the past few weeks. Will visit your blog <3

  20. I love this post!! While I am part of some fandoms, I don't consider a hardcore fan like tweet about my favorite singer till I spam twitter sorta way. Like I'll express it but not over exaggerate it.

    I find the bookish community very friendly and down to earth. I used to do beauty videos and vlogs but over the years the viewers and comments got really rude or really annoying like 'hi i love your tutorial please check out mine yada yada blah" to a point i had to quit and switch to book blogging.

    To those people who leave attacking comment… if you don't have anything nice to say save your energy and don't say it.

    Also… I LOVE THE LUNAR CHRONICLES!!! need Winter in my life!
    Rou Min Tan recently posted…Book Review: The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2) by James DashnerMy Profile

    • Glad to hear Rou Min! Yeah, I don't spam Twitter with fandoms (much). I love the bookish community and I'm glad there isn't very much cattiness on the blogs at least! I mean sometimes there may be some on Goodreads and Twitter, but I try and stay out of it. Yeah, those sorts of comments you still get on book blogs, but you can pretty tell quickly if it's not genuine. I totally agree! Why bother leaving something negative when it can be positive?

  21. You made such a valid point Jeann! THIS POST <3

    I for one can get really passionate about certain books if I become invested in enough and while I don't particularly consider myself heavily part of any fandom I do notice how passionate some are as well. I think people who read more (like the blogging community) are more understanding of negative reviews or ratings. But people who are hardcore fans of only one book or series aren't as open (or gaming). It's sad and annoying and incredibly frustrating. There's the hate between readers amongst other readers (if they didn't like the book) and that hate between reader and author (if they felt the author messed up a book in the series)
    Lily recently posted…{Blog Tour} Addicted After All: The Addicted Characters Celebrity CrushesMy Profile

  22. Bec

    God yes. Book bloggers are so much more thoughtful than other fandoms. However! I did get into an argument with someone about how much I detest Alec Lightwood.

    I get really annoyed when people try and belittle my opinion in fandoms. I express myself and time and time again and people just cut me down for having an opinion that differs from theirs. And it annoys me. We all love the same thing, why do our differing opinions have to matter?
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  23. The book people I know are all very friendly, I think here in Australia particularly, we have a great community of book bloggers. Everyone has different opinions and have every right to not like a book you love. I've seen one star reviews on books that I have given 5 stars. And when other book bloggers I know don't like a book I liked and I say to them I'm sorry they didn't enjoy it, I mean it. I know how horrible it is to read a book you aren't enjoying and don't wish that on anybody.

    Great discussion, Jeann.
    Rochelle Sharpe recently posted…Review: The Realm Of Possibility.My Profile

  24. I totally agree with you – except for the very select few among us, we won't attack reviewers who give books we loved bad ratings. And I think that's really important because it's one of the things that makes our little community a nice thing to be a part of.

    For example, I really didn't love These Broken Stars and I've seen other book bloggers rave and rave about it. But I'm not worried about posting my review. However, with a couple of other fandoms like the Beliebers I wouldn't dare say something against them. I actually did a celebrity culture theme for one of my English assignments and some of the things I read about them are shocking.

    Great post Jeann 🙂
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  25. I think life would be pretty boring if everyone agreed on everything right!?

    I totally agree with you and I think saying "awww, too bad you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did" is perfectly respectable. Sometime people like stuff more than other people, haha.

    I do love the Lunar Chronicles, and Throne of Glass, but I haven't gotten to Daughter of Smoke and Bones yet :p

    Great post Jeann!
    Cyn @ Book Munchies recently posted…Really Really Short Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie PerkinsMy Profile

  26. I love this post! You worded it perfectly.

    Unfortunately I have to agree about Nerdfighters 🙁 When Vlog Brothers first started (seems like forever ago now), I really liked it and thought it was fun. Now it's become a bit much, I don't know, hahah. I also feel like I've outgrown John Green books, so that's part of it too. I didn't like The Fault in Our Stars! Eeeep *hides*
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  27. I'm not sure why people get so upset when you don't love what they love. Would it be great if we all loved the same things? I guess so but liking different things is what makes the world so uniquely special. Ugh…dunno…I like it when people like different books, movies or anything in general. I even learn about people because of those differences. And of course when someone loves the same things as me, like books…that's just icing on the cake. 😉 Great post my friend! ♥
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  28. Such an amazing post, Jeann! Honestly I couldn't agree more. That's one of the reasons why I love this community so much and I'm really proud to be part of the world where people actually respect each other's opinions. I don't see that often in real world. 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review: Get Happy by Mary AmatoMy Profile

  29. Great post! We all have different opinions and tastes so it makes sense that some of us would love a book another person hated. And that is ok. I'm glad the bookish community as a whole is more of a "to each his own" than a rabid "you must see things my way" kind of group 🙂
    Julie S. recently posted…Sharing the Bookish Love – Oct 24, 2014My Profile

  30. I totally agree, I think the phrase 'Each to their own' really captures what your saying. I know there are certain series that everyone loves, but I would think, 'that's ok'. At times, I really like seeing new books I haven't yet come across, or that I've missed before my blog ever existed. It's the little things in someones opinion of a book that sparks the conversation we all love throughout social media and our blogs. Great discussion post, Jeann!
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  31. I was kind of obsessed with playing The Sims when I first got it from my friend in high school, so there's that, lol. I'm not ashamed of it, actually I wouldn't mind playing it these days, too, if I had more free-time.

    To answer your question- are book fans more respectful in comparison to other, I would say yes for most of the readers, but I did read some reviews full of curses and rude remarks or gifs which were quite insulting to both the story and the author. At the same time I can't say I was ever insulted when I didn't like some book the mass adored, and the other way around.

    While I support freedom of speech for everybody, at the same time I feel that we all, both authors and reviewers, should try to be more respectful to each others, so that we don't end up stalking each other, lol. (Like f.e. instead of saying-this book was a fuc*ing nightmare, just say you didn't like it and the reasons why…)
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  32. Well I don't tend to follow people that are rude and snarky to their readers so I can't say I've encountered any bloggers that are overly rude when other opinions differ to theirs. I love this community for its openness/friendliness and how everyone accepts that others are entitled to their own opinions. Wow, never knew people looked down on The Sims. To that I say: "And how many games have YOU designed?" What is the point of being a snob anyway? What, does it make you feel better about yourself? Silly people!
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  33. I DEFINITELY think the bookish community are more accepting of different tastes / people who haven't read certain things. Other communities, like the gaming one as you mentioned, are more judgemental. If you play a certain game or, worse, DON'T play a certain game, you can get flammed third-degree burn style. Whereas bookish people are more like 'oh, you haven't read it? You totally should!' and focus more on telling you why the book is so awesome, rather than why you're such a loser for not reading it.

    By the way . . . HURRY UP AND READ THE RAVEN BOYS, YOU HUGE LOSER 😉

  34. A BIG YES TO THIS POST. YES YES YES.

    I've seen some very…extreme randoms. One's that believe that their answer is the only answer and I always steer clear of them because…it only spells trouble, you know? Not to mention, it's terribly disrespectful. I love the book community because most (no comment LOL) respect each other's opinion. I'm like you, Jeann. I love reading reviews that differ from mine because I get to see a whole different perspective. I love that everyone has their own opinion and totally respect that.

    FANTASTIC POST, JEANN. I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS <33
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  35. I think that just like any other community, if you are considered invisible, it can promote a tendency to be vicious without recourse. I used to be a gamer – and I stopped because of the influx of childesh taunts and bullying. I guess it was down to juveniles, but sadly, there are many of age who continue to defile because they are anonymous. Personally though, with regards to the literary community, there are more mature reactions, and for that I am glad 🙂
    Lorelle recently posted…Pitch this! My query researchMy Profile

    • Really interesting point Lorelle, I totally agree with the bullying in gaming (just look at Gamer Gate…although I think that's more about horribly disrespectful trolls more than gamers). YES! Whenever I heard someone being immature or calling people names or swearing a lot, I always guessed their age correctly because that's when they don't really think of the impact of their actions…I agree with more maturity in this community as well! Even though there are a lot of teens, we are all hear to discuss reading and the love of literature, so we're welcoming 🙂

  36. There is always that little bit of fear going into a new fandom. The large fanbase of Harry Potter and the slim chance that I won't like the books is what makes me hesitant to read such an iconic series…

    I haven't been in a lot of other fandoms, but from what I've seen book people are a lot more welcoming. And it's because when we dislike something we explain exactly why it didn't work for us. One thing I try and do in my negative reviews, beyond just listing what I didn't enjoy, is try to list some of the better aspects/what other people might like about the book.

    Saying that, I do get a little bit insulted when people just tear my favourite book apart. A lot of the elements they rant about are often the little bits of the story that I really liked. To avoid this feeling I just stay don't fully read negative reviews of my favourite books. I acknowledge the readers view and don't hold it against them, but I'm not going to make myself feel bad for loving something.
    Bec @ Readers in Won recently posted…TRCReadathon Wrap UpMy Profile

    • I totally agree, I'm always a bit scared about it myself but the communities that bring together like minded people are usually wonderful. I gotta say it was difficult being inducted into the gaming community as a noob and a girl though, but I'm glad that awkward stage has now passed. That's really true, I always find it interesting to see things from other people's point of view, and sometimes I may agree or disagree but that's okay.

      I'm not a fan of those ranting snarky reviews, because it always breaks my heart that an author put their heart and soul into it. That's a really great way to avoid those negative feelings Bec.

  37. I LIKE THIS POST. I do. I agree with you! I of course think it's just pointless and horrible to tell people their "opinion is wrong". I mean, that doesn't even make sense. I haven't had any bad encounters with any particular fandom burning another. I DO feel pained for how badly Allegiant got hit, though. Like, I physically felt sick when I saw how many reviews absolutely ripped it apart and hated it. :'( Sadness.

    I get super passionate about what I read, and sometimes, I get to the point where I can't handle reading other people's negative reviews. BUT I THINK THAT'S OKAY! I mean, I'm entitled to feel protective right? But, since I do feel that way, I don't go reading reviews. Like if it's a book I'm super uber passionate about, I check the reviewer's rating before I read the review. If it's a low rating, I just don't read the review! Saves me feeling sad.

    I refuse to ever leave an attacking comment. EVER. THAT'S JUST UNACCEPTABLE TO ATTACK PEOPLE'S OPINIONS.

    I do have a question though! I often say "aw, sorry you didn't like it"….but I didn't ever think about that being an annoying thing to say. Do you think it is?? I'll totally stop! I personally always am sorry I don't like a book! lol But I'm just realising it could sound passive-aggressive, you know? What do you think?
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    • I know, it doesn't make sense and I don't know why people do it because they just come across as close minded people with a superiority complex! I mean does no one realise that? Oh dear, I'm so sorry about Allegiant, I was one of those that hated it because of how it just didn't fit the story. I know what you mean, it's great that you're passionate and you feel protective and that's great! There's no reason why you shouldn't, I mean we love that about you, you're so passionate about your books and we can tell you love it. Whether it's because you just skip over the negative review, or whether you consider their points, it's perfectly okay. Because as you said, we all have our own opinions!

      I totally don't think "I'm sorry you didn't like it" is annoying at all. After all, it's kind of sad that people didn't enjoy it as much as you do, or you could also be sorry that they sat through a book they didn't enjoy. I say it definitely as well!

      All good Cait <3

  38. I've never really thought about this, actually, but it is SO TRUE. Oh my gosh, Nerdfighters are notorious for the holier-than-thou attitude (I guess 'cause they're all so dang smart they think everyone else is inferior to them). And I love the Nerdfighters, but the book bloggers will always be my favourite community because of all the things you said. We understand that not everyone can like a particular book.

    If someone insults YA, though, then that is a different story. YA bloggers banding together in all their glory 😛
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