The Troll Under the Bridge: How to Write a Good Bad Book Review

A TrollFor the last few months I have been happily on top of my bridge.

My new book A Jane Austen Daydream had been out for a while, and to my relief it was getting great reviews, even from the Jane Austen Center and AustenProse (two reviews I was scared about). And on GoodReads I was averaging above 4.25 with a majority of my reviews being 5-stars. Happily, the responses there seemed to be between loving it and simply enjoying it. Yes, there were one or two that didn’t enjoy it, but that is fine. That’s life! Suffice to say, I had let my guard down and that is when trolls like to jump and grab you. And one finally did on Amazon:

When will I learn not to trust a book’s 5-star ratings? If they aren’t written by Momma, then they’re paid for.

If you prefer low-level reads (around  4th or 5th grade in reading difficulty), and poor writing, you might be able to  slog your way through this. For me, not even Jane Austen could force me to finish it.

Glad I borrowed this and kept my money. Then again, Amazon makes it easy to return garbage books.

After reading that review I was understandably angry, which was exactly what the troll wanted to have happen (kudos to him, he succeeded). I think what bothered me  the most is that it crossed a line by attacking the other 37 reviewers of my book (at the time of this writing), claiming that they were paid for and shouldn’t be taken seriously by readers. Of course, this is not true, and I have even written a post on this site (here) discussing my disgust with that practice.

Whatever the case, I kind of feel sorry for the reviewer because, frankly, he doesn’t know how to write a bad book review and in the end the review makes him look worse than me or my book… he just doesn’t realize that yet. See, like most things in writing there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Here are some things to remember when you have to create the dreaded bad book review.

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