Saturday, 1 November 2014

How Should I Review?

It's been a scary time for book bloggers and vloggers lately. We read in horror the article about an author stalking (there is no other word for it) a book blogger because they gave said author's book a negative review and seeing people's reactions to this (have you not read the comments and some authors in favor of what this author did?). And then, yesterday, another author said that there "is too much positivity in the book world". 

So, in the past few weeks, book bloggers and vloggers have been told that writing bad reviews is bad, and yet so is writing good reviews. Conflicting messages been sent here. Which is it? 

I know this is an extreme reactions and very rare. In all my time in blogging, I have never had someone attack me (in real life or online) and, while I have written a review or two where my reaction to the book/novella was negative, I review books that I enjoy reading, and the idea that I give books positive reviews because the publisher has sent me a copy of the book for review is wrong. 

And the idea that all book bloggers/vloggers do this is just as bad. 

For example, I do get books and eBooks send to me by publishers and I am hugely grateful. In the past, I would try my hardest to read them all and write my reactions - good or bad. Some of the books I was sent I never read (due to many reasons) or I started but I never finished because I dislike/hated the book. But I chose not to review these (though if I did talk about them in two posts, An Open Letter about Delirium and When Is It Time To Stop?) as I felt it wouldn't feel right to review a book/eBook that I only read 30% of. How is a review of a book I only read 30% of fair? 

At the time I entered the world of book blogging, I was unemployed and reading books then chatting about my love for reading online saved me for getting upset over the situation I was in. Reading was a hobby I enjoyed so I jumped to that. I now have a job and I still enjoy chatting about books. Reading is still a hobby I enjoy. 

Reading is a hobby and I want to get enjoyment out of it. So, is it weird that I read books that I feel I will enjoy? I do go out of my comfort zone with books - sometimes, I am surprised how much I like and enjoy it. Other times, I'm not thrilled over the book in questions and, on those rare occasions, I start a book I dislike/am not "clicking" with so I stop reading them. 

Does that make me a bad blogger? Someone who is doing this in their spare time so wants to read books he could/would/might enjoy? 

And where does that leave this blog? Honestly, the same as it was a few days ago. I'm still going to read books that I hope I will like/love. I'm still going to try and write reviews of my opinions on said books and hoping you guys understand that this is MY opinion. I know bloggers/vloggers who have read and loved a book (for example, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green) whereas I wasn't that impressed. And there have been times I have read and thoroughly enjoyed/loved a book and other bloggers/vloggers have disliked (for example, Harry Potter). 

So, dear readers, before I leave you, I want to leave you with two points, if that's ok. 

1. The reviews that I write/vlog are MY OPINIONS. Just because I say I love a book doesn't mean you will. The same with if I said I loathed a book. Everyone is unique and so is everyone's opinion. So please be respectful and kind. 
2. Life is too short to read crap books. 


  1. Excellent post, I totally agree. You're an honest blogger who reads for enjoyment and writes about what you read. Perfect. No need to change a thing.

  2. If I finish a book I review it. Typically even a book I give two coffee cups was decent enough for me to finish. Most books are ARCS and I give honest,and fair assessments of the ones I review. If I DNF, I send note to publisher and post my reasons for discontinuing book on Goodreads. Great post.

  3. Excellent post - and good points. I review for enjoyment too and don't review books that I don't finish. Keep doing what you're doing - I think you're doing it right :)