Someone asked me the other day why I typically only post positive reviews. Am I so uncritical that I like everything I read? No, of course not. It would be impossible for someone who reads as much as I do to like every single book. I generally only choose to write about the ones I like.
Believe it or not, I am picky about what I read. Yes, I'll read just about any genre, but that doesn't mean I'll read any book in any genre. I have standards. If a book sounds interesting, I'll flip through and read a couple of paragraphs at random and see what I think about the writer's style. That doesn't protect me from books that are poorly plotted or disorganized, but it does help me cull most of the books that I won't like right from the start. Sometimes I'll get into a book and realize I just don't like it. Either I won't care about the characters, or I'll find the plot confusing, or the story just isn't pulling me along. In those instances, I usually keep reading for a while, hoping that something will spark my interest, but eventually I get bored and move on to some other book that is more interesting. I can't review a book I didn't bother to finish.
Also, I guess it is more my personality to say nothing at all rather than say something bad. I suppose if I thought an established author who had previously done well had really phoned it in with the job they did on a new book, I might write a negative review. But I find that new authors frequently get better. Jim Butcher who I wrote about recently has gotten better with every single book. I read a book last fall called The Queen's Bastard that I liked. The author, C.E. Murphy had previously written two other series and I've been slowly making my way through them. Her first books aren't as good - the characters show promise, but the stories aren't as well organized, and the plots can be convoluted. But why would I go back and criticize them now when I can see that she's made so much progress?
Sometimes I have mixed feelings about a book, and then I guess maybe I do err on the side of being positive. Take my review of Breaking Dawn, for example. There were parts of that book that I hated, but I didn't want to be spoilery. Hey, if you haven't read that book yet, stop reading this now, because I'm going to try to explain my thought process, and that involves giving away plot details.
Ok. I hated that Bella got pregnant on their honeymoon. Of course, as an infertile, I generally sneer when anyone gets pregnant on their honeymoon, but most particularly when it is a teenager who didn't even want to have kids anyway. I thought the fact that she was desperate to then keep the baby she hadn't wanted and that was probably going to kill her was somewhat unbelievable. But I wanted to know how the story ended so I stuck with it. And then I liked seeing Jacob come into his own, and I liked seeing more of the Cullens and meeting the other vampires. I didn't get what was so great about Renesme, and I thought her name was dumb. Most of all, I really liked seeing Bella and Edward and Jacob all happy at the end of the book. So I walked away feeling generally positive about the book, which meant that I wrote a mostly positive review of it. That's not say that I only like stories with happy endings, but for those particular characters, well, yes, that was what I wanted.
All of which is just a very long winded way of saying no, I don't like everything.