NOTE: I will be posting giveaway winners ASAP. My apologies about the ridiculously long wait but Eleni and I got backed up this past week. I'll make it up to you all soon with a huge book giveaway :)
My final is tomorrow and instead of studying, I got distracted and went onto Twitter (go figure). I've been juggling with a question ever since I started blogging and my reader-base grew. It's the type of question that's made me want to rip my hair our and scream bloody murder. It's the type of question that has no real answer, either.
I've been struggling with positive and negative reviews as of late. Do you post negative reviews on the blog if you're an aspiring author? Do you bite your tongue and refrain from reviewing? WHAT DO YOU DO!? And holy crap, what do you do if an author asked you to review a book and you didn't like it? Well for that one, I know what to do, but for the other questions? My brain still hurts from overthinking.
Some people tell me I'm nice when it comes to writing negative reviews. I try to, if I did not enjoy a book, say what didn't work and then back up that statement with some constructive criticism. That's my goal for books that simply did not work for me. I don't attack the authors. I just state what's wrong. Yet... there are authors who will still hate your guts for doing that, I bet. I know I've probably ruined a few friendships with some authors online because I might have been a bit too honest in their eyes (when I thought I was simply making a harmless statement)... and it sucks. Who wants to lose a friendship with someone over an opinion regarding a book?
I know that I personally would love to see constructive criticism in reviews regarding any future books I might get published. If there's a problem in my book that a lot of people take issue with, why not? It's nice receiving an outsider's opinion, and I know I would take those suggestions to heart when plotting/writing/revising any future works. I also know not everyone wants to receive such reviews. But guess what? Getting a book published means you're not going to please everyone.
I don't want to step on any toes before I'm even published. So what do I do? Do I refrain from posting those negative reviews about the books I didn't like? I'm not going to lie and bullshit about how awesome a book is if I didn't like it, so does that mean I simply do not review those books that I did not enjoy? I guess if I don't want to step on any toes, then it would make sense to not post negative reviews in general, but what about the readers?
What. about. the. readers?
If I don't post negative reviews, I'm going against one of the primary reasons I started blogging in the first place. Yeah, I wanted to blog to make friends, review books I love and spread the love. I wanted to review the not-so-great books and explain why they didn't work, because you know what? Amazon reviews for super-omega popular books, books like TWILIGHT, all had gushing 5-star reviews stating: "ZOMG DIS BOOK RAWKS!" and that shit used to piss me off. Not because people loved the book, but because when I finally went to go read it, I absolutely HATED IT and was angry that I ended up wasting $7-20 bucks on a mediocre book I could have rented from the library. (Btw: No hate on TWILIGHT here, I'm just using it as an example since I assume Meyer's not going to give a shit).
I always used to wonder in those situations: Why the hell wasn't there anything that politely stated what the flaws were and what the reader wished was there instead? Why weren't there more negative reviews that warned me of what I was getting myself into?
When it comes to buying books, most of the time, I ignore all of the 5-star reviews and search for the 1-3 -stars. Why? Because I know what I like to read about and I'd prefer to hear the brutally honest truth about a book I'm going to be spending/wasting MY money on. If there are a majority of low ratings that all state that the heroine in the book is dumber than a rock, then chances are I might feel the same way too. I've also come to realize that a lot of bloggers tend to bull shit and gush in their 5-star reviews. No hate on those reviewers, but I'm not interested in hearing how much you "looooooooove this book!" if I'm considering buying it. I want to know why you like it, and what you didn't like about it, and who you think will enjoy it.
Now I've ranted and raved about why I think negative reviews are important. The question still remains: for aspiring authors, do you post those negative reviews and risk stepping on some toes, or do you refrain?
I'm thinking that I might start refraining and only post 3-5 -star ratings from now on. Perhaps I'll leave the negative reviews to Book Dragon.
What do you all think? I know some of you wanted to know which books I DNF'ed. I know some of you appreciated my lower rated reviews. Will you stop reading my reviews if I only post about books that are positive?
You can be totally honest. If you'd stop reading my blog because I gave in, tell me. You're not going to hurt my feelings.
EDIT: After receiving such supportive responses, I've decided to keep writing negative reviews. This post was oddly therapeutic, so thank you very much everyone! :)
Sunday, December 19, 2010
To Refrain, or not to Refrain?
About the Author
Tori is a 23 year old college graduate with a bachelor's in English Literature. She's currently pursuing a master's degree in Nutrition, and hopes to eventually become a registered dietitian. She enjoys reading, writing, baking, cooking, and has a strange addiction to chocolate, shoes, and coffee.
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