Yesterday I didn’t buy a book BECAUSE OF A REVIEW. Big news, eh? I bet some of you have even turned away by now, thinking ‘What type of news IS this?’ But, for me, it is truly a scary revelation. Let me explain. Obviously, in the last few months I have started to review books. I decided that where I had been actively asked to give a review on my site, I would. Where I wasn’t, and the book wasn’t quite up to the mark, I’d confine it to Goodreads and Amazon. That’s fair, I thought, because if I wasn’t actively asked to read the book, is it fair to shout about it? Which, let’s be honest about it, is what you’re doing when you blog. With my posts, I originally intended on informing people, letting them know whether their decision to buy a book would be justified. Would it deliver on excitement? Would it be romantic, tug at the heart strings, make them smile? My tag-line states that I was out to find as many 4 and 5 stars as possible to ‘add to the lighter side of a heavy tbr pile.’ The tbr pile is that mountain of books that needs to be dealt with, the ‘to be read’ pile. For many people, they adore books so much, and yet have so little time, that a bit of help is needed. Enter book reviewers. Now I’m not saying that MY blog is far reaching and amazing enough to inform ALL of these people, but I like to think it would help someone!
And so what of the other ratings? What of the two stars, the three stars, the (shudder) one stars? Well, I have to admit, I didn’t really think about them. ‘You idiot’ you say, shaking your head with a bored look on your face. ‘Didn’t think about the one or two stars? That’s positively idiotic!’ But I didn’t! Any reader that writes a review MUST in their head, commit to it being honest. It’s not fair otherwise. I’ll admit, when I read reviews, the one stars sometimes direct me ‘to’ the book as opposed to away from it. The things the reviewer state they hate in a book is sometimes what entices me in. Or sometimes I think the review is so unwarrented, that I just try to prove it wrong. But there’s times you can’t. Yesterday, a review said that the tension built up within a book led her to nothing. That the event it was to lead to didn’t really take place. This wasn’t a spoiler per se, as it didn’t state exactly what did or didn’t happen, but this event was built up so much in the blurb that I decided it probably was a non starter. This, paired with the fact that I’ve four kids and spend nights juggling reading, writing and my own personal studying of what I so technically term ‘the literary stuff;)’ ie articles on writing, publishing, marketing, promotion and grammar, means I don’t want to read average books. Harsh but true. There are published gems out there, and self published gems out there, and I want to find them.
Is this a fair way to be? Do you post book reviews? Do you stick to the (unsaid, unwritten) rule of being fully honest(without being mean, of course!)? Do you think I should blog ALL reviews, even if not asked? I’d love to hear your opinion, so let’s do this!!!