Tea and Scones: The Blogger and The Negative Review
A blog is first and foremost a place where we can voice our opinions. It is nothing much, I believe, if it is not even that.
So I just want to share my humble opinion on a subject that has occupied some book blogs recently, namely, the opinion that book bloggers are reluctant to give negative reviews because they are being too nice, at the expence of their credibility and reliability. And that is mainly because most book bloggers are women, it said. I will not link here the original post in an act of protestation, as I don't agree with it, but you can find it in the relevant post in a chair, a fireplace and a tea cozy, as well as many other opinions on this matter. Also, I liked what Becky, whom I respect and trust, had to say about it.
I don't want to repeat what others, among them an author I love to read, Robin McKinley, had to say, but I will only highlight a few things that came to me while I was reading all these posts, about blogging and a negative review.
1. When I am researching a book in Amazon.com, right after reading the plot description, I go straight to the one-star reviews. Why? Because that's where I can find out if there is any serious problem with the book. I read them, and try to decide whether the problems presented by other readers would be insurmountable for me. Needless to say, sometimes they have the exact opposite effect on me. For instance, if they say about a book "it says too much about God" I know I will like it and so on.
2. I have noticed, on Amazon again, that most of the time it is women's negative reviews that are the most violent. However, I have little respect for someone who abuses a book, however poor it may have been. These reviews might as well not have been written for all the help they are to a serious reader.
3. I do believe that a negative review in a blog adds credibility to it, since it shows that the blogger isn't just being nice.
4. However, I made a blog, as I believe most of us have, to share good things with the world, books others would want to add to their TBR list. I wouldn't much enjoy spending my time on a detailed review about how a book disappointed me. It is of course necessary, especially as far as new releases are concerned, when everyone will rush to buy a new book, without having enough available information about it.
5. I have noticed that the larger reading group or group of fans a book may have, the larger the negative reviews of it are. Take the Twilight series for example. I don't think Twilight would have 539 one-star reviews on Amazon, if it didn't have as many five-star ones. (In fact, it has about double that). That shows maybe that negative reviews are not as easy to write.
6. It also shows, in my opinion, that if many people picked up a book for other reasons than that the plot appealed to them (i.e. that it is famous, that it was turned into a film, that everyone is reading it and so on), and were finally disappointed by it, their reviews don't really matter. They shouldn't have tried to read it, or having begun it, should have stopped as soon as they found out where it is going. That goes especially for those of them who picked up the sequels. Yes, in this case I think they just want to abuse the author, which isn't just honesty. It's something else, and it isn't good.
7. I recently read a book that I then almost immediately sold to a a second-hand bookstore (it was that bad) and even worse, the other day, I threw one straight to the wastebasket (it was insulting to Jesus). I hope it's not because I am a woman, but I really don't want to even discuss those books in my blog. If not for anything else, it might give someone the idea of reading them nonetheless and I would hate to draw attention to them in any way.
8. Lastly, last year I read a book and was so excited (it was that author's first published one) that I emailed her. Now, when I read her third one, I was greatly disappointed and almost threw it against the wall (almost). I wouldn't talk to her straight about it, but I will review it here. Although, it will be rather hard, as I really liked her, and her first books, so I can see where my "niceness" could be an obstacle to my honesty.
Please let me know what you think.
P.S. I know that it's irrelevant, but I was wondering which 'button' for the 'tea and scones' post is better. I would appreciate your vote. Thanks.