I haven't done a Sunday Salon in a while. It was a productive book week for me: 5 book reviews posted and two scheduled for later blog tours. I don't think this next week will be as productive! It was also a thought-provoking week for me in regards to writing negative reviews. The Social Frog posted about this and it got me thinking. This topic will forever move through the book blogging world, and I don't think it will ever go away.
I think that honesty in reviewing is important. Being honest means that occasionally, even often, a reviewer will not like a particular book. I don't absolutely love every book I read. Some I like more than others, several I've absolutely hated, and some I don't finish. I'm not the only person who does this. I also think it's important to not be mean in our effort to be honest. Simply not liking an author's book isn't being mean, and a negative review can certainly be tempered with positive aspects.
No one likes negative comments. Whether it's a book review or someone not liking your outfit on a particular day, negative comments are difficult to take. But, what pleases one person is not going to please another.
I have had several authors send me their books directly. I have had several authors comment on my blog, both for positive reviews and negative reviews. Last year, one claimed to respect my opinion, but it was clear in their lengthy response that they were offended. My response in that case is always the same: it’s unrealistic for an author to expect every reader to love and adore their book the way they do. Readers always respond personally to any book read: sometimes we react from our own experiences, or perhaps something just simply touches a nerve. We take the things we read, just like we take our day to day experiences and we make them our own, often in ways the author didn't intend. Books also often make us aware of things in ourselves that we might not have previously realized.
I'm often surprised when I see a negative review about a book I've loved. But, I also find it interesting to see someone else's take and perspective. I think it's unrealistic to think that we can convince other people to see books the same way we do. We can only share our opinions and hope that those who read them will take that opinion and think on it. If it causes reflection, then it's a good thing.
What do you think?
You can find more Sunday Salon postings here.