How do you handle comments that strongly’ disagree agree with your book review?


Bookish Verbosity is a non-regular feature at AEROPAPERS where I talk about topics that are related to books, blogging, and the book community.

Sometimes I take criticism of my work too much than what it supposed to, I admit that (but I deal it inwardly). And because I knew the feeling, I try to be very careful on what I write. That said, I’m not withholding my opinion or am I sugar -coating things; I’m just careful on what I’m going to say. I mostly do pro-con thing when it comes to reviews. I state what I like and laid out what I don’t. I might hate the book but I don’t tear it apart for other readers.

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But even though I have this mindset there is someone who will take my words more than what they are. Reading and reviewing for me is subjective. I write negative reviews. And it’s inevitable not to because even though I want to love or like all the books I read, it just impossible. It is not going to happen despite my utmost enthusiasm. But there were times (which is really, really rare—like ‘once-in-a-blue-moon’ rare) I received comments telling me that they don’t agree with me (and was even challenged to write my own book because of it *sighs*).

Respect begets respect, right? Your passion should not rule you to disregard respect. I always believe that. It is why I don’t comment on reviews that I don’t agree with (but that’s just me). However there’s nothing wrong leaving comments as long you stated it in an objective (polite) way. You’re not there to goad the writer; you just want a healthy discussion. And I love discussion! (Reading it mostly since I’m not really loquacious.) But I wouldn’t go that far asking the person to retract what he/she said because I don’t agree with him/her. It’s counterproductive for me, futile even. I won’t go to a negative review of Ignite Me and tell that person she was wrong. Because she isn’t. Because that’s her opinion and I respect that.

I find it disrespectful if you press hard your opinion on me. I value everyone’s opinion and I think we all should. I read negative reviews and highly value them; it balances out my perception of the book. While it factor in on my decision, it will not deter me from loving the book. Me loving or hating a book is mine alone. Like it is yours, too. We just need to accept that we interpret books in different and various ways, hence our different opinions.

ETA: I’m referring to comments that strongly disagree with you. Ones the pressing their opinion on you (as in trying to provoke you). It’s natural to not agree on something and it’s ok to voice out your opinion on it without disrespecting others.

So it’s your turn bookish peeps, what can you say about people who disagree with your book review? How do you handle it? Care to share it with me?


22 Responses to Bookish Verbosity: When they don’t agree with you.

  1. I always like to believe (and I truly hope I’m right) that I know how to handle my comments on reviews I don’t agree with. I always like to try to point out why I did like that or didn’t like that, without forcing my thoughts. I’d never want to make the reviewer feel that my opinion is right and that they should change the way they look at the book. I just like having discussions and I love comparing thoughts, which is why I love getting comments that disagree with me 😀 as long as they don’t push their opinion on me.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Exactly, sharing your opinion even if it’s different is ok. It gives birth to discussion but press hard your opinion on other making it like they were wrong and you are right is just plain disrespectful. Thanks Mel!

  2. Shannelle C. says:

    I don’t like pushing my opinion on people, and just for the sake of leaving a comment on a blog, I’ll try to phrase my different opinion as nicely as I can. I try to include things like, “In my opinion,” and a lot of “for me” scattered throughtout my comment. I always try to make sure that it can be gathered that it’s my opinion, not a fact.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I always use that tactic so that person knows that I merely stating my opinion and not making it sound that he/she was wrong.

  3. I haven’t received any comment that disagrees with mine(referring to my reviews, but on discussions I already had but that’s okay since it was written with no intention of hurting my feelings), but when that moment comes I think I’ll just stare at the comment for a whole minute cause I think I’ll be shell shocked. Anyway, once I saw that someone rated one of my fave books a low one, I try to avoid it and actually read just the first paragraph of their review. It sort of sadden me sometimes (clings to my fave books jk) but I really don’t push my opinion to people. It’s one thing I’ll avoid ((((forever)))) Express opinion is what we do but try to provoke them to the point of disrespecting or change someone’s belief, I think I won’t go there. (i need to mark this on a stone)

    PS: I am always looking forward to your Bookish Verbosity! 😀

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I think different opinion helped us see a different perspective. They are for me highly valuable but to aggressively point it out is wrong. There are ways to share your opinion politely. In the case of book reviews, i tend to leave review on books I share the same feeling. Aw thank you Abby! <3

  4. Exactly! Sometimes I wrote a huge rant about a book I hate, and then someone will comment a short story about why the novel worked for them. I mean, it’s great that they loved it, but that doesn’t mean I’ll find the good things that they found, either. I always try to recommend a book to a certain type of reader, no matter how much I myself hated it. And I always state in reviews that it might work for other people, so I don’t get why some people like to hate how I hated a book. 🙁 Awesome post as always, Mitchii! <3

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I really find that counterproductive. I don’t expect that all readers share the same opinion on the same book. It never gonna happen. We are composed of different personalities, morale, cultures, and other variables that influence our perception and opinion. It’s better to just respect each other, it’s easier that way. Thanks Aimee!

  5. Sorry I’ve not been around for so long Mitchii!! >< School and stuffs has been crushing 🙁
    But yes! I totally agree with you! Sometimes I write a post about my personal opinion; and I blatantly state that this is MY personal opinion, and yet I find some people to be so rude and condescending, and it's like they're shoving their opinion to me, no, more like trying to stuff it into me! D: And I think that's really rude and mean because it always dampens my spirits a little. But when I comment, on someone else's differing opinion, I just give a relatively short statement, but I try to be polite at the same time!! (I hope I am!) Like you said, I think it's disrespectful if someone tries to push their opinions into me, and it's as if they're sometimes trying to provoke me to attack them, and I don't like that 🙁
    Wonderful post, Mitchii!! 😀 <33

    • Mitchii G. says:

      It’s ok. I hope you’re doing well with school and other RL stuff.

      I hate when people shoved their opinion down my throat. It’s not the same as sharing your different opinion. It’s for me telling you’re right therefore pressing it hard on you than merely sharing. Sharing opinion even it’s different is ok. Provoking the other person not so much.

  6. AnahSpiers says:

    Yes! You would think with something as subjective as liking books or not, people would be okay with differing opinions, but I’m always surprised when I see comments on negative reviews like, “Wow, you completely missed the point!” or, “Why didn’t you just stop reading instead of wasting your time on writing a pointless review?” Discussion is good as long as you’re respectful, but if you’re not, then why bother reading things you disagree with?

    I always try to be respectful when I disagree, but sometimes it’s hard on the internet when people assume you’re being condescending and stuff.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Right! I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I do expect them respect mine. I review because I want to share my opinion, my experience not to dictate anything to readers.

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  9. Barefootmeds says:

    I don’t often comment on reviews because I honestly believe that reviews, no matter how articulate or otherwise, are your own opinion. So if it’s a review I agree with, why would I comment if the only thing I say is, “Awesome! I agree!” and why would I comment on something I don’t agree on, if it only risks upsetting someone?

    When I do disagree with a review, I always make sure to give good reasons. I have seen people attacking a reviewer’s character, or trying to push their opinions, and that is just not on. I think if someone is going to not agree, publicly, they need to have a damn good point.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I like reading discussion on reviews, they know how to expand their issues (good or bad) they found in the book. But I do get why it’s sorta useless to leave comments when you will only leave generic ones.

      Exactly! I really don’t get why people try so hard to argue; it’s their opinion, like what he/she is trying to push hard on that reviewer.

  10. Anya E. J. says:

    This is such an awkward situation! I struggle as a commenter to try to avoid it but still write a thoughtful comment and when I’m the reviewer, I frequently just respond with “glad you liked it!” or “sorry you didn’t like this one!” and ignore any pressuring, haha. What I wonder is if reviewers would prefer commenters who disagree to just not comment? Since that’s what I always worry about when I’m commenting >.>

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I really don’t mind commenters who didn’t agree with me. I wouldn’t even mind if she/he tell me why (as long as the comment is polite). It’s kinda interesting to know how people perceived the book different from mine. But at the back of my mind, it would be…easier if they agree with me. I think you shouldn’t hold back when commenting, as long you’re sincere on what you’re going to share, I believe the reviewer would love to receive your comment. Thanks Anya!

  11. Pretty Little Reader says:

    I don’t know that this has ever happened to me. If it has, it didn’t leave a big enough impression to be memorable! Haha

    If it were to happen, I’d probably either ignore it; why provoke someone who’s looking to provoke me?

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I’m glad that didn’t happen to you. It rarely happens here in my blog but I already received a few non-desirable comments over at GR. But like you, I just ignore it, I can read the objective of the commentor, definitely not worth the time.

  12. I’ve only had that happen twice (and both were from the same person on the same review =.=). And I completely ignored it because they were attacking me and my friends. “Mindless, petty YA bloggers” was one of the choice phrases they used.
    I admire differing opinions and welcome them on my reviews. I have received many comments where a person informs me that they loved said book and am disappointed that I didn’t love it, and then may touch on something I mentioned. That’s how it’s supposed to be done. We should never have to sit and be attacked because we didn’t like a book that someone else did. That’s awful D:
    And in regards to how I handled it, I deleted it. My blog is my sanctuary and no one can ruin that for me.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      That’s so harsh! But I’m glad you took the high road, we shouldn’t let others with obvious intent to pollute out space. The drama is not worth it.

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