If you’ve read a few of my book reviews, you’ll see a pattern. Most of my reviews fall in the 4-5 out of 5 star category.
You may think I’m incredibly lucky to pick books that are great, but that’s not the case. The truth is; I only write reviews for the books I’ve loved.
I am lucky that most of the books I do read, I love. But there’s the occasional book which falls short of my expectations for one reason or another. It might be I don’t like the style of writing, I’m not engaging in the story or with the characters, or that it just bores me. If I’m really struggling to get into the story, I’ll often stop reading and start something else. Life’s too short (and there’s way too many books), to continue with one that just isn’t doing it for me.
So why not review all the books?
It’s a fair question and my answer is two-pronged.
First, reading is subjective. One person’s book of the year, will be another person’s discarded rubbish. However, I’m not in the business of trashing a book just because I didn’t like it. There are enough scathing reviews out there. Reviewers who are thoughtless with their words and frankly just don’t care who they offend. I guess it’s their right to do so, but that game’s not for me.
Second, one day I hope to be one of those authors who is being reviewed. I don’t plan on reading reviews but I know I will occasionally cave. And I know how awful it would be to read a review that wasn’t favourable. Bad reviews aren’t personal, but when it’s your own work that you’ve put years blood, sweat and tears (many tears) into, you can’t help but be affected.
I have no problem with reviewers giving an honest opinion of a book. There are some fantastic reviewers who do just that for a living (or at least a side income or hobby). Many of these are thoughtful in their choice of words when they don’t love a book. They are able to give an honest, but balanced review. And that’s great.
Me though, I’m happy just to spread the love about the books I’m loving. And that’s what I’ll continue to do.