I read quite a bit. I do it in every spare moment I have. I do not stick to one genre though I do have my favorites. I am always willing to give anything a try. I think of it as the author spent time and effort on this book. I used to think people wrote because they have a tale to tell but now I am not so naive. The internet, Facebook, Goodread and other social sites have made it a world where people ten years ago would not be stars or published authors. Look at Justin Beiber, if there had been no YouTube he would have been a high school dropout living in his mom's basement.
I love the internet for the simple fact it leads me to authors I may have never discovered. And I am "friends" with many of them on Facebook. Some I like personally and some I don't and I can say the same about the books.
Praise is a wonderful thing, it sustains us, bolsters us and keeps us going. Criticism is harder even when you ask for it. It is hard when someone does not like or finds fault in what you are doing. People who read and give feedback before publication are there to get the story where it should be. Once it is published reviews are there to give people a glimpse of what they saw in the book. Not to win brownie points with an Author.
I write reviews on GoodReads, Amazon and here on occasion and I found myself pulling punches when it came to the reviews because I was "friends" with these writers and they may read it and since I put my name on mine they would know it was me. Then I thought about it and what good does that do. So I stopped and started being more honest. I seldom give one star except maybe Possessing the Secret of Joy. But I do give 5s and I mean them. I have a real friend who happens to be an author and with great sincerity he said he hoped people write honest reviews good or bad he will know what people really think.
I was reading a review on Amazon today which got me thinking about all this. The amazon reviewer RedFury wrote "Now, before all you 5-star reviewers skewer me for daring to not
agree with you about the awesomeness of your friend's book, let me
finish. I think this author's style of writing is perfect for beach
reads. It's not too complicated, not too deep, not too emotional.
However, I have to be honest when giving a review. I thought it was
okay, and that's a 3-star book."
It was not a bad review there was one 1 star review trashing this book which is the one that really makes me want to read it. But they are right all the 5 star reviews read the same.
I am Facebook friends with the author this review was about. And I went and looked at the reviews because she was heartbroken about the one star review. I started to say they can not be all fives but looking at her reviews that is what she is used to. She friended me awhile back. At the time I thought she must go through authors in her genre friend list and friend people because how else could she have found me. But I accepted thinking I am always looking for new books to read. She almost instantly got unfriended because several times a day she would send me suggestions on GoodReads and they were always her book or she would invite me to a special online release party of her book. Or simplely because her status update would be all about how great she and her book are. Then I thought she is her own cheerleader that is ok I guess.
I just keep thinking how can we really know if the review is genuine or just them trying to win something, score brownie points or bolster their friends ratings. So I think it is time for me to get my hands on the book from this review and see what I think.