Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Positive and Negative Book Reviews

I read a lot of books and I try to review as many as I can because unless a writer is a brand name and reviews are irrelevant, reviews are important. My reviews are always honest. And when I'm being paid to review a book I don't like, my review will explain why I didn't like it. I don't get snarky and I don't get personal. When I'm reviewing a book "on my own time," it's because I really liked a book and want to share it. That's why I rarely post a negative review on Amazon or GoodReads or here.  If I don't like a book I'm not being paid to read, I stop reading it. I don't feel the need to waste my time writing a review telling  someone how bad the book is because reading taste is subjective. (I'm on the record as really, really liking Moby Dick, so there you go.)

Turns out the new book editor at BuzzFeed has a philosophy similar to mine only a lot bigger readership on his blog. Read about the fuss it caused when he announced he'd only be publishing positive reviews.  The thing is, there are plenty of places a reader can go to find a selection of good and bad reviews. If BuzzFeed just wants to share books their reviewer liked, I'm all for that. That's what I like doing. I've shared books with friends since I was old enough to pass my NancyDrew books around.  (Those books were the gateway to a lifetime of mystery reading.)

The problem with a lot of reviews you see online, especially in individual blogs, is that the reviewers often have an axe to grind. I know one woman who hated, HATED, really, really HATED Hunger Games and wrote a  rambling rant of a review that went on for thousands of words. I wanted to say, "Dude, it's just a book." She didn't just dislike the book, she went after the writer personally to the point where it was kind of ... crazy.

I just don't get crazy about books I don't like. I know the writer didn't write the book just to piss me off. Books I like though? I can't wait to tell everyone about them.


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