The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration - Part 15

We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 


How do you handle review requests for a book series? 

I actually get a little scared when someone offers me a book that is a part of a series or I want to request a book that is a part of a series! Starting ANY book is quite a large commitment, right? A series even more so. Now we’re talking about an ENTIRE series for review? WOAH!! 

If an author or publisher contacts me about a series for review I’ll always ask them if I can take just the first book and see how it goes. There have been two exceptions to that and thankfully, both have turned out remarkably well. 

The first exception was the Poison Study series where I actually requested a book that was #6 in the world that Maria Snyder had built. Poison Study had been on my TBR forever though and when I got accepted to review Dawn Study I binge read the ENTIRE series to read and review. 

The second exception was the Red Winter Trilogy. I actually only MEANT to request the first book but I think I made a mistake and actually got the entire trilogy from Xpresso Books… BUT I AM SO HAPPY THAT I DID. Another firm favourite in my ‘best series of EVER’ list.

Good question! I always get a mini heart attack when that happens. Like Di, I mention that I’ll read book 1 and then decide if I want to continue with the rest of the series. Taking on an entire series is a huge deal even if you aren’t reviewing the books! I’d hate to receive an entire series from an author only to find out I don’t enjoy book 1 and plan not to read the rest. 

Once after i received book 1 from the author and was still in the middle of it, she mailed the rest of the trilogy too and honestly speaking I was annoyed. And now I haven’t read the final book because I didn’t enjoy book 2. And even though she sent the books without me asking, I feel bad that I haven’t read or reviewed book 3 yet! I hate leaving things incomplete! 

So basically I’d prefer if authors would just request book 1 to be reviewed first and depending on how I like it, offer or not offer the rest of the series.

Do you think it's okay to DNF a review copy? 

I actually do… If you have, in all fairness, given the book every chance you can and you still can’t do it? If it doesn’t matter how much you read and your rating will still be negative - don’t force yourself.

The reason that I blog is that I enjoy reading and even if I’m given a book for review I still want to keep that fact in mind and enjoy the ‘work’ that I’m doing. Sometimes it’s worth pushing on with a book that isn’t something you might normally pick up, but only if you can still rate and review it objectively. 

Publishers and authors are people too and they generally do understand that not every book is going to be for every reader, especially if you take the time to explain to them that the book just wasn’t the right fit for you and either you will review it negatively or not at all. 

That being said I’ve only ever DNF’d one book so far and while it was unfortunately a review copy I knew there was no way I could enjoy the book.

I think every reader has the right to DNF a book, review copy or not. That being said, I’ve literally never DNF-ed a book in my life as a reader and that’s because i HATE leaving things incomplete. So even if I don’t like a book, I end up completing it. I have DNF-ed serieses though!

But yes, that’s just my weird ‘gotta complete’ attitude but otherwise hell yeah, you can DNF review copies. If you don’t want to complete a book, why try to just because it’s a review copy? I think authors and reviewers alike should understand and accept that not everyone is going to love every book. There are going to be different opinions and unpopular opinions with every book. If you’re like me and HAVE to complete the book, then go ahead complete it and review it but if you are not so and feel like DNF-ing it, go ahead and do that instead of torturing yourself to plough through because it’s a review copy.

How do you handle writing negative reviews for review copies? 

I always send in my reviews, even if they are negative. If the author/publisher wants me to remove it from my blog I normally will but I’ll let the review stand on Goodreads. 

What I don’t ever want to do though is tear the author or the book apart, even if I didn’t like it. The author spent a LOT more time creating and crafting their book than I did reading and reviewing it. 

If I’ve actually been approached by an author or publisher to review a book (as opposed to requesting it from them myself) and the review will be negative, I like to go back to them first with the news of the negative review and ask if they would prefer it if I don’t put the review on my blog. Sometimes they still want the publicity because if the review is polite and I put forward the reasons that I personally didn’t like it, it’s still garnering attention and getting their book out there which is the actual purpose of giving out review copies.

Thankfully, so far I’ve never had to write any 2 or below stars review for any book I’ve got from authors. I’ve had to write super negative reviews for books I received from NetGalley but that doesn’t feel so hard considering you aren’t directly conversing with either the author or the publisher! 

But even in my negative reviews I don’t just say “Guys I hated this book. Don’t read it.”. I don’t bash books or authors. I explain why I didn’t like the things I didn’t like in the book and I also make sure I mention the things I did like about the book. 

It hasn’t happened yet but if I someday receive a book from an author and end up rating it less than 3, I believe I’ll let the author know how I feel about the book and let them decide if they want me to publish or not publish the book on my blog. But as Di says, the Goodreads review stays whether the author likes it or not.

Come check out my answers over at their collab posts!: 

 We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 15 in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? 
 If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!


  1. I try to be as respectful as I can in negative reviews. Unfortunately the last book I read was a memoir that I really didn't like (and had won from Goodreads, so I felt like I needed to write a review). It's more of a delicate situation when you're dealing with someone's real life. In this case, I just put the review on Goodreads and not on the blog. I don't think I was mean, but I still wanted people to know my true thoughts.

    1. That's brilliant :) But good point, I imagine that would be trickier.
      Yeah that's a good way to do it.
      Thanks for the comment, Angela!

  2. Wow, I really needed this post! I agreed to read and review a book, and I'm not sure if I'm going to be giving it the most positive review now, as it's just not my kind of book :P Reading your answers here really helped me get a more positive outlook on this! I'm also crossing my fingers for the book to get better, as I'm only 100 pages in :)

    audrey caylin

    1. Yay I'm so glad it helped, Audrey!
      Shame, that's a tough one :( I hope the book improves!

  3. I agree with Di on DNF'ing, luckily I've never had to do it with a review copy but if it's a book you just can't get through I think it's okay. I would probably try to finish it just cause I hate to not finish a review copy, but it just depends on the book. And since I don't take a lot of review copies luckily I don't have this problem too much lol.

    And right even w/ negative reviews you can usually find something worthwhile to talk about in a review, or just to note that it didn't work for me but doesn't necessarily mean someone else won't like it.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Greg! And lol, that's a nice situation ;)

      So true :)

  4. This is such an interesting post! It was really interesting to see two different perspectives on these issues!

  5. I totally agree that every read has the right to DNF a book! Reading is still a hobby for us, something we enjoy, and we shouldn't have to force ourselves to read something when we really don't want to. That said, I am pretty bad at DNF'ing myself - if only because I want to give the book an honest chance so I keep reading and after a while I tell myself 'Well I already made it halfway, might as well just finish now' haha :) But I have DNF'ed before and I'm sure I'll do it again.
    Negative reviews are still okay - they can really be helpful (sometimes kind of fun even), but I do agree that reviews should still be respectful to the author. They put a lot of work into it and just because I didn't like something, it doesn't mean someone else might not like it.

    1. Good points, Lindsey :)
      Yeah totally. You're so right.
      Thanks for the comment! <3