Today, the BPR princesses are taking on rants. We are definitely no stranger to a good rant here at Book Princess Reviews. Mandy and Sha have shared a few over the past years here — erm, perhaps with Mandy leading the pack — with a couple books that got our blood pumping in the wrong ways.
However, with each rant that we write or read, we know there is so much that goes into them. In fact, there are three sides to every rant: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’re breaking some of those down today.
RANTS NARROW DOWN WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD READ
🔸 Just like I’m sure many bloggers know, the moment that I find an intriguing looking book, I start to look at the reviews. I don’t want to purposely walk into something I won’t enjoy or waste my time on a book that isn’t going to be a jam. If the first few reviews on Goodreads are full on rants, I’m exiting that tab—no matter how promising that book sounded. It is the perfect warning system, and rants have saved me from reading many books I know that I wouldn’t have enjoyed over the years.
RANTS HIGHLIGHT PROBLEMATIC CONTENT
🔸 Another perfect reason is problematic content. Most of the rants that BPR has done in the past have been because books have included problematic content. We definitely have to call out things for future readers. For example, in one book Mandy read, she had to go on a rant because she found it incredibly triggering for those that suffer from past/current eating disorders. There were no trigger warnings—not even a mention in the summary or anywhere on the Internet. The book also had a lot of issues, but she needed to get the mention out. We’ve seen other rants in the past do the same with problematic content that alerts others to its triggering/harming/even offensive material.
RANTS DISREGARD THE HARD WORK OF THE AUTHOR
🔸 With our unique spot in the book world as book bloggers, we definitely have more insight into all the hard work that goes into publishing a book. Before I was in this deep with the book blogging world, I mean, I knew how much hard work the author would do to write it, but I didn’t really realize the magnitude. When critiquing a book, we can’t forget that hard work went into the process, even if it isn’t our cup of tea.
RANTS DETER NEW READERS
🔸 Sometimes, one person’s negative rant may deter you from a book that you would have enjoyed. We can’t take “I think this book isn’t good” as gospel! Just because five people go on Goodreads and share extremely unpleasant experiences with a book, doesn’t mean YOU will read the same book and finish with an unpleasant experience.
RANTS ARE SHARED WITH THE AUTHORS
🔸 We are definitely on a pretty public platform. Most of reviews aren’t just on our blogs. We put them on our socials, our Goodreads, and more. They’re very visible—which means that authors can find them decently easily. This can definitely make things…complicated. I think we can all remember the Kathleen Hale incident that happened after the author found a bad review of her book. Whenever I post a rant, I do have a paranoid second of omg, what if this author sees??? *goes into rabbit hole* It’s alright to want to vent our feelings about a book, but we should not tag the author or publishing company when doing so.
RANTS INSULT/BLAME THE AUTHOR
🔸 I don’t know about you, but to me, a negative review is not necessarily a rant review. I could rate a book one star and in the review, list what I disliked and why others might enjoy it. This is a negative review. I could also rate the same book one star and then list everything I disliked in detail asking why WHY was the book like this. This to me, is a rant. But what about the rants that call out the author, blaming them for the poor book quality? That use insults or belittlements? There’s a big difference between airing your grievances with a book and slamming a person—and when reviewers blur these lines (or cross them complete) ranting gets real messy.
What are your thoughts? Are book rants okay when certain rules are followed, or should we keep are more negative opinions about books to ourselves?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!