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Friday, May 17, 2013
So, today let's talk a little but about hate, shall we?

I don't like this topic, but everything always seems to lead back to this topic. And again I feel myself needing to discuss it.

This post is kind of a rant, so if you don't want to read it, I totally understand.

I know it was a few days ago now, but I can't let it go.

It's not emails I'm discussing this time. No, I want to talk about a certain comment (two, actually) that appeared on one of my negative reviews. It was rude, patronizing, and way out of line. I'm not going to point this person out, but they know who they are. Some of you may, too, if you saw me on twitter earlier this week ranting.

I am okay with people not liking my reviews. I am okay with people telling me that they disagree with me and why. What I am not freaking okay with is when someone tells me that my review is "hateful," "cruel," and "a lot like bullying." This in addition with "asking" me to take it down.

(I normally try not to swear on my blog, but I'm going to here, so I apologize.)

If you don't like my reviews, then get the fuck off my blog. I don't need you, I don't need your hate, and I don't want to deal with it or you. If you're going to react that way to my negative reviews, then why are you even reading them?

I work hard on my reviews, and I never attack the author personally. But if I don't like a book, then I am going to tear it apart. That's how it is. I always promise complete honesty in my reviews. If you don't like it, leave. Negative reviews aren't everyone's thing. I like reading them for books I loved, personally. It helps me see things I might not have noticed before. But some people don't like seeing things they love insulted. Which is understandable.

I have written many a glowing review in my book blogging career, and I will write many more. In fact, I rarely write negative reviews because I prefer recommending books to saying why a certain book shouldn't be read. But if a book deserves a negative review, then that is exactly what it is going to get.

And honestly? Who likes every book? No one. In fact, I tend to doubt the credibility of bloggers who give out nothing but positive reviews, and I'm not the only one. Oh, sure, there probably are perfectly legitimate bloggers that only write positive reviews. But there are exceptions to every rule.

This person did make a second comment after some people (bless you, I love you all) who spoke up on my behalf, but it honestly wasn't much better than the first. It just came across the wrong way and perhaps some of that was residue from the first comment.

Because yes, I'm angry about it now. But my first reaction? Well, that was hurt. Hate hurts, people. So why do it?

The thing is, I feel like this commenter is a perfectly nice person too. I think sometimes we say things online that we maybe cannot take back. It doesn't excuse what they did, but if they're reading this, I just want them to know.

So please, next time you think about criticizing someone or their work, just take a few seconds to think. It is perfectly okay to criticize, but delivery is vital. Think of your words, because you can't take them back. This is the internet, people. Even if you delete a comment once it has been posted, it is already in their email. I don't want to sound like an annoying, walking cliché, but just think before you say anything. Please.

I wish hate didn't exist, but it does. Still, let's all try to be more aware.



  1. Great post, Annabelle!

    I'm sorry that someone left a hateful comment on your blog, and I totally agree with you, if they hate reading negative reviews, then why read them at all if they know they will hate it and leave a nasty comment!

    I also find it silly when people are against negative reviews, I think it's good that you, and other bloggers, write completely honest reviews, even if they are negative! Like you said, reading a negative review on a book you loved, you notice things that you hadn't noticed when reading a book. And it's fine to write a negative review, as long as you don't attack the author, and I know from knowing you and reading your reviews that you would never do that!

    I'm glad you wrote this post, as it's extremely important for us to think before we post something online, and to think about the consequences and what could ensue if leaving an unthoughtful comment on a blog etc! :)

    I hope that you won't have anyone leaving a nasty comment on your blog again, because you don't deserve it at all! :)

  2. So sorry to hear that people have been cyber attacking you like that. I guess it sometimes happens when you're big and popular. And not everyone will totally agree with everything you say or do but that's why there is such a thing as freedom of speech right!

    I love honesty. And look for it, be it in reviews or in people. So thanks for remaining honest despite the flamers.

    Maybe we should just let flamers be. And never stoop to their level.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Something went wrong with the picture, second try :p

    I'm sorry to hear this. You are so right: you can't like every book and you are entitled to your own opinion. As long as you don't attack the author, there is nothing wrong with pointing out your dislikes about a book. I always like negative reviews, because sometimes they point out things I actually like in a book :) And sometimes they make me curious, so they definitely have their own purpose too.


  5. I wish I had something jolly and inspirational to say, but I'm so incensed right now I can't think of anything. There are always HATERS. You are like, the best person, Annabelle, and I can't believe people would do that to you. NOT OKAY, PEOPLE, NOT OKAY. You know all those bullying talks we get in elementary school and middle school. This is bullying, too! Just STOP. Love you, Annabelle! You do so much for the blogging community, and as a person, and I know that will never stop because of some rude people saying awful things. *hugs*

    *more hugs*

  6. Wow, I think I would tear the person a new one if they criticized me that badly for daring to write a negative review. Sometimes books suck and when this happens why shouldn't we point it out?!? It can't always be 5 stars, rainbows and sunshine. I'm sorry that person hurt your feelings :(

  7. I have all sorts of names for people like this. I'm sorry this happened. Once an Indie author comment occasionally on my reviews and one time she actually tore my review apart. Then a couple weeks later she sent me a review request. I laughed and then politely declined. Then when she hired an agent, the agent contacted me again saying that this author really wanted me to review their book. I just didn't even respond. Sometimes I don't understand people.

    You have every right to your opinion and I respect that. I've had my share of a couple of negative reviews. I'm pretty sure I know who you are talking about and to be honest, I didn't like the first book in that series so I totally believe your review 100%. I hope you can get past this, I know that blogging drama is the worst kind of suck!

  8. I'm sure you're too young to remember the dust up between Al Capp and Joan Baez the folk singer with an agenda. Al portrayed her in his comic strip, Lil Abner, as Joanie Baloney and excoriated her (some would argue appropriately). When she complained, he responded, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen". Well, anyone who writes a blog as well as those who read them must expect a little heat now and then. Of course, I never suffer this fate inasmuch as I'm always reasonable and, more importantly, I'm always "right"...

    1. I'm sure you're too old to have heard of the Amanda Todd cyber bullying incident. She committed suicide because she was constantly targeted and accused of lying. If it's not true and obviously not done in good faith why should someone have to "take the heat"? And who's to say Annabelle didn't "expect a little heat"? She's not ignorant and she knows that there are haters, but she's allowed to react when it happens to her or when something is not handled appropriately.

      It's not the issue of whether someone disagrees with you. Like Annabelle said, she doesn't mind when someone disagrees with her opinion and says why she doesn't agree. I'm pretty sure the example you presented was someone disagreeing with maybe a singer's song, or a decision they made. If you start telling anybody HOW to do something and that what they're doing is WRONG, then that's a problem.

      Of course, I've never suffered this problem because I'm perfectly perfect in every way, and anyone who isn't "always reasonable" is pretty much going to be called cruel and a bully and subject to torment.

      But what about being always right? That's subjective, so perhaps you're still always right in your own eyes, but I'm allowed to think that you aren't, and I disagree. Am I hater now too?

  9. I am so sorry that happened to you :(
    But really I hate it when people cannot understand that not every single person will like a book and that we are free to write negative reviews even if we criticize the author. There are times when I've felt offended by a book and I believe I should be able to say this without haters.

    Sure people are allowed to say that they don't agree but DON'T bully!

    I wish people would stop hating as well :(

  10. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. You're right, not everybody is going to like every single book and they all have a right to their opinion. There's nothing wrong with saying why you didn't like a book as long as you're not attacking who wrote it. If I see a negative review for a book I personally loved to pieces, sure, sometimes I will defend it, but never in a rude way and I always try to thank that person for stating their thoughts honestly. I love your blog and I hope you don't let those stupid comments drag you down. Keep being awesome. :)

  11. NOOO Annabelle remember that for every stupid, insolent hater there is there are at least a hundred people who love your face and will always be here for you! <333333

    But seriously. I hate when people make comments like that because they're obviously not true, and they just do it to get attention or try to make you feel bad for being honest. You obviously never target the author and you're always completely honest, so the only thing people should ever be disagreeing with you is their opinion of the book, not the way you wrote your review >.< and obviously people who think that people DON'T like negative reviews or at the very least find them helpful in deciding what book to read next have another thing coming. Hmphity humph humph.

    Fantastic post, Twinny! :D Love ya!

  12. WHO'S ASS DO I HAVE TO KICK?!?! *grabs shovel*

    I think it's ridiculous that everyone gets their panties in a bunch over 'negative' reviews. At least you're being honest for crying out loud. What, do they expect you to lie and say you liked it? There will always be people that like it and people who don't like it, and that goes for more than just books. Opinions are like buttholes, we all have them. Duh. It's the people that think they're always right (when really, right and wrong are subjective) that ruin it for everyone else. And it's just immature to think that people who think differently than you are wrong. Even a 13-year-old knows better than that. (GO LEENY!!!)
    And just like she said, you know you still have people here that love you. As for all the ignorant people, Karma is a Bitch and that is all I have to say.

    Like Mel's gif, haters gonna hate. Ignore the idiots and keep your chin up! I luff yew girlie! <33

  13. Hey Annabelle :)
    I know it's hard to deal with haters so many a time, I sometimes do too. But what's more important in times like these is to focus on those who still love you and admire you. You've been a great inspiration to many of us bloggers out there (like me) and there'll always be difficult times, but remember that there are still many of us out there who will always support you!
    So forget the haters, and just remember all the people you have inspired!
    I really hope to see you back on the blogsphere soon. I'm looking forward to all your reviews!

  14. I KNOW. This is horrible and haters are horrible people. Seriously. REMEMBER THAT WE LOVE YOU AND THAT A THOUSAND PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS BE THERE. You're an angel. Never forget that. Haters are always beneath you. People need to understand that blogs are for OUR OPINIONS. Seriously. If the don't like it? GET THE HELL OFF (I'd use your word, Honestly. They're horrible and they'll probably fail in life. That is all.

    <3 YOU ANNABELLE. AND DON'T LET ANYONE BRING YOU DOWN. Because seriously. You're one of the best.

  15. Hateful comments stink. Sorry that you are having to deal with that. I think your last comment is so true and something we all need to remember- think before we write. :)

    Don't let the haters get you down!

  16. I'm not a reader of this blog, but a quick glance tells me it's a blog containing negative reviews (yeah I'm that smart); I'm here because I'm checking blogs someone follows during my free time today (and it might actually be yourself, since I'm checking someone who's a big fan of cheese, and post so diligently on each cheese release that I'm curious). I'm not an english speaker.

    In complete disorder:
    I tend to focus on things I like, rather than things I dislike (especially when powerless, which you are in this case, even considering your ability to discuss, that's why you are angry maybe).

    I can understand liking the art to tear down things (that we don't quite like?), and I do it occasionnally, it can be quite amusing when harmless -and it can prove useful in some cases, so learning that skill is handy.

    Pointing at the bad is often the easiest thing to do though, seeing how the good goes often unnoticed, so it's not really outstanding activity.

    We go through life with a confirmation bias, which probably includes things we like. So we are likely to flock with people who like the same things, and oppose those who dare to attack things we like.

    Words strike harder those with thin skin.

    I don't think it would be that interesting for me to read someone tearing you down because you wrote a bad review about a book (s)he liked -which is felt as not okay-, the same way it wasn't that interesting to read how you think that person should not do ad hominem at you -you think it's not okay-, and how you think a blogger doing only good reviews is not a good reviewer (how about not writing about books you don't like?). Notice how you switch from a personnal attack, and personnal anger, to "general good advice". Is it because you expect people to be good?

    Even if people were good, they aren't always good all the time. Every moral lesson you take, you can't expect other to abide, nor expect no clash ever. If you want to give good advices, please do so mindfully. You are urging anonymous people to think before posting, and yet some the very comments of this rant do not seem to follow your advice (I'm pointing at the extreme fan ones, and/or those who hate HATERS in capital letters). Why? One of the reasons would be, in my humble opinion, that your post was too much emotionnal. And not well tought out. Unluckily for me I suppose, because in that case it would have been funnier to read, maybe as funny as your negative review that I didn't get the chance (yet) to read because that rant was in the way.

    I see you draping yourself with, engulfing yourself within, the shiny moral cloack for nothing much (for emotionnal defense?) but strike in the end with "think before you write". Doesn't that sound condescending? Do you really "feel" the person you are angry at is a good person (what are the hints he left?) ? Did you follow your own advice enough?

    Strangely enough, it would be better to deliver your advice in a non-verbal way. Setting the example yourself. And then, it will maybe go unnoticed somehow, because it will be a given from you, and because it is good.
    And what about "haters"? Well, are "they" saying anything interesting? If not, you are on your own blog.

    We can't take our words back, so what? Is it because it's bad to hurt people feelings? Is that why your rose has no thorn?
    Keep on doing bad reviews about books, and not about people, so I'll read that next time I get here. Thank you and I hope you fell better now ^^

    1. I don't think this will make Annabelle feel much better.
      This was just an honest sharing of thoughts, and Annabelle is entitled to say whatever she wants because this blog is actually her property and so are her reviews. Thus, it is only fair that she can share her thoughts, whether emotional defense or not. People who visit her blog are actually what they are -- visitors -- so as vistors should respect other's property, her blog visitors should also be respectful in what they say. Perhaps they are, but sometimes the words and tone used bring across a different message.
      It would be easier for a lot of us if instead of bringing someone down and insulting them, we encourage them to do what they love, so that they can continue their passions.

    2. Honesty is good, but it's not enough of a thing.

      Annabelle is entitled to say whatever she wants, you too, and anyone is also entitled to say that we are not entitled to say whatever we want, or say we cannot write bad review about book X or Y. It is pointless to say. What would be interesting is what backs it up.

      I don't know what visitors *should* do or what they should not. I'm not expecting anything in particular, especially if, like you, I'm expecting them to be at least honest with their feelings (which can be honest yet disgusting).

      What I know is, this blog is owned by blogger (google?) and run by the author. The author is factually not entitled to say whatever she want, but that's not important because she's running a review blog, which is cool, and she has some admins powers so visitors are less entitled than her to say anything they want: their comment can be deleted.

      I don't know if it would be easier if everybody was encouraging. Anyone reacts to differents things in different contexts. Anyway, it's not *our* duty to make your life easy. Don't expect that.

      Don't misunderstand me, I get it you are good-willed, somehow. It's nice and kind. I think the posts that drove to the author's rant are probably toxic and uninteresting. I think the author should just have warned this person that she would delete toxic comments from this person in the future, period. She probably tried to justify herself, and explain how bad this person was behaving, to no avail (whence the powerless feeling).

      I'm not sure I was trying to make the author feel better. I'm sorry if that was implied in my sentence, it was not what I meant (I'm not english speaker). I was just hoping she felt better than what she felt when insulted and whatever, now that she gave her rant, and now that time has passed.

  17. *applauds with a standing ovation* YOU GO, GIRL! Like you said, hate makes you angry, but the initial reaction is hurt. And for me, hurt stays a whole lot longer than anger, which really sucks. If they don't like something you say, then they need to go. It's not as if you attacked them personally or insulted the author on a personal level. That author put their book out there to be read and not everyone will like it. You are just giving your opinion on it. It makes me want to go to the hateful commenter and ask what they hate in life, whether it be food or animals or whatnot and then yell in their face that they are being bullies and hateful towards that thing and its creator! *rolls eyes*

    Great post, I personally love negative reviews :)

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

  18. I usually prefer to write reviews for the books I love (rather than the ones I don't) only because I like more to 'recommend' books than to talk about the things I didn't like in a story.
    Talking about hate and love, I guess love comes more easily to me, LOL. But I can also hate bad books with a passion. And if I have something bad to say about a book I'd pretty much like for people to understand that that's my point of view and I can't change it.

    You are right, if people don't like what they're reading they can close the browser tab and search for a review that matches their point of view - this is how they can also find people with similar taste, and arguing about someone's preferences won't make anyone like a book more. It's just a never ending fight about taste - which will only get to nowhere.


I love hearing from my readers! All comments are greatly appreciated :) If you're a fellow book blogger, include a link so I can come and visit you! I adore you all so much! <3

Also, anonymous comments have now been disabled since I have been receiving upwards of fifty spam comments a day and I'm just done. If you're an actual human being and not a spambot who happens to comment anonymously I'm really sorry.

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I'm a university student and ballroom dancer who spends too much time curled up with a good book. Red roses are my favorite and I love a good love story.

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