The Problem With Honest Book Reviews From Book Bloggers

There´s a problem with honest book reviews from book bloggers. Did you know about that? Have you already figured out what the problem is? It´s tiny, almost miniscule microscopic, but it´s still there. I´m even positive this problem doesn´t even bother anyone, either.

Honesty. Probably one of the trickiest and most misunderstood word existing. We all want honesty but it´s often not accepted or appreciated, depending on the type of honesty that´s been given. Negative honesty is never welcomed. Positive honesty is always appreciated.

But what about the unnecessary type of honesty? Like- the mentioning of honesty in book reviews?


In the ever growing book industry, book bloggers / readers are confronted with writers from every bookish corner. We´ve got the indie writers, the self – published authors and the traditional published authors. And every single one of those writers, no matter the niche they occupy or the genre they write in,.. they all  need feedback ( as I´ve so cleverly mentioned in my post on 5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important.) Feedback usually comes from readers. But that´s a whole other bedtime story for another night. ( and some day I will get to how opinions affect authors ) And they all want honest opinions. Okay, fair enough, right? Shouldn´t be that difficult to accomplish. In fact, this should be the easiest part of a book blogger´s job. Yet….. there´s a problem. A weird one.


Ever picked a review to read and noticed how those reviewers include a

“this is my honest opinion”

line? Whether that line is on the top of a review or skillfully weaved into a review… Reviewers often ( if not always ) add that line or use the words honest opinion.

Isn´t that just fabulous? Everyday, indecisive readers get to read an honest opinion on a book. If you take a few seconds to think about it… Mentioning  honesty isn´t really necessary because it should go without saying that the review on any book is honest. Why bother, otherwise, right?

But the word holds more power than one would think. Honesty. Because we get blindsided about the actual fact and meaning.

“Oh wow! We´re getting an honest opinion.”

When in reality, you´re getting one person´s point of view. It´s their honesty. No one elses. It´s not the honesty above all honesty.

It´s irrelivant to include “This is my honest opinion.” because I, myself, assume I´m getting an honest opinion anyway. That was my honest opinion right there.

But for a book blogger to include such info? Can someone see where I´m going with this? It´s confusing.

I have yet to come across a book blogger who went out of their way to lie in their reviews.

Okay – If we leave out the special people who review books they haven´t read ( yes, dear book – loving – Padawans. That´s a thing. And these people can be spotted easily ) then there´s no reason not to think a review isn´t always honest.

I agree with you all that this isn´t world shattering business but it´s still something to think about.

Dear book bloggers, why do you add that line? Is it because you want to prevent a war? Is it because maybe you feel better including the honesty disclaimer? Why do you do it, if you do it at all?


Maybe it´s because book bloggers have been asked by publishers or authors to include the honesty bit in reviews…. Which is fine. Doesn´t mean it makes more sense to me because ( see reasons above ) it still doesn´t make sense ( does this make sense?!).

So, there´s my answer to the problem. Including an honesty line doesn´t carry much meaning.

I would love to read your thoughts on the subject Honest Opinions In Reviews!<3


Thank you all for reading this blog post.

PS: In no way was I trying to be offensive to fellow book bloggers who include the honesty line in their reviews.

Much love,

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12 thoughts on “The Problem With Honest Book Reviews From Book Bloggers

  1. Hmmm… I did use the honest disclaimer till my ‘friend’ wrote the same lines so I kinda changed it. I think NetGalley and amazon insist on it. Since we copy paste the review there, it seemed easier to write on blog too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Netgalley demands it, yes. But Your review can get deleted if you include the disclaimer on Amazon. I changed the line too ( not for the reason you’ve mentioned, though). Now I just add “copy kindly provided by ___ in exchange for my opinion”. I’m doing that for netgalley now too because it feels more logical to me, if that makes any sense?


  2. Good question! When i started reviewing netgalley books, i was under the impression that i need to mention it that i got the book from there. So i looked at other blogs to see if there’s a standard disclaimer or anything. Every blog seemed to have that one line that said ” i received the book from x via netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion”. So i figured that’s the line i need to use and been copying it over to all netgalley reviews ever since 😂
    When I’m reviewing my own books i never say anything of that sort.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is exactly how I started using that line, too. Lol. Started reviewing Netgalley books, noticed how everyone was adding the disclaimer and then added it to all my other netgalley reviews. I have since been asked twice ( in 9 years ) directly by a publisher to include the line in my reviews. It took me 9 years to have that eureka moment regarding the disclaimer. I think it´s good that you don´t add it too your own book reviews, though. Because I assume you´re giving me your honesty anyways. Lol. Many others still do, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. HAHAHA. My thought exactly! They´re probably trying to cover their asses from an invisible threat called ungrateful lying book bloggers. Pfft. The line means nothing and does nothing for either parties. It only confuses poor average Joe readers. Do you think it´s possible that publishers think we´d benefit from the disclaimer? Maybe they´re demanding it so we can feel like rockstars at the end of the day? Do you feel like a rockstar? I sure don´t. HAHAHA


  4. Omg! I did the same as the person above! I copied it from everybody else’s blogs lol. It’s only been a few months since I started reviewing ARC’s so I looked around to see what everyone’s disclaimer was. Although what you say makes so much sense. Of course I expect honesty in a review lol. Should it be something along the lines of “I received this book from __ in exchange for a review. This has in no way influenced my thoughts/opinions.” Yes??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think everything works if you leave the word honesty out of it. Lol. But yeah, I get where you’re coming from. It happened to me too.😂 I’m definitely guilty of copying the line and added it everywhere. Until my eureka moment. It’s the same with people swearing on the bible in court: do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?” I’m like: wait a second! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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