May 15, 2012

The Honest Review...IMO!

As a reader I'm looking for an honest review.

And as a reviewer/blogger its what I strive to provide.

I want to know what you didn't like about a book as much as I want to know why you loved it.

I started this blog because I was frustrated. 
Frustrated with all the raving reviews, the endless 5 star ratings and over the top exuberance that some people had for books that I didn't.

I'm not saying they were wrong, I'm just saying that my opinion often differed.

I'd hear about an absolute gem of a book, a must read with its numerous 5 star ratings and think..."Wow, it must be a fantastic book" and off to the shop I'd go.
Only to be despondent several days later and $20 poorer with the disappointingly boring* and/or over hyped* read.
Surely I couldnt be the only person on the planet that felt this way about that book...could I?

And so My Book Chatter was born. 
A place for me to voice my opinion.
After a little detective work on facebook, I discovered that there are a few authors out there who really hate a bad or so-so review and will sometimes even launch a campaign against a reviewer on Amazon or Goodreads to bombard the poor person in question with negative comments! 
In some cases I have even seen an author ask his/her supporters to write a flurry of 5 star reviews in order to get the rating back up.

I am by no means the review police, but its safe to say that this type of behaviour is a sure fire way to turn me off both the author and their book.

Its NOT honest, and in my opinion its NOT moral either.

It is okay to not like the same books as everyone else, it is okay to say you didn't and you shouldn't be afraid to voice that opinion.

Which brings me to another point: Respect

I will never go after an author personally, or in any way degrade the author for what they have written regardless of my opinion of their work.
And that goes for other reviewers and bloggers also.

I may not always agree with someone regarding a book, but I respect their right to that opinion.

Sadly, it has been my own experience that others do not feel the same way.

What the %@*#!!
I have received hate emails.
Spiteful comments on my reviews.
Personal attacks and aggressive PMs on facebook.
In my case it was because I didn't particularly like a book that they felt was the best thing since sliced bread.

Yes, some people love a book so much that when I disagree with their opinion, they react by calling me every name under the sun and spamming my inbox with hateful threats.

Its a tough world out here in the blogesphere.

I guess all I'm really trying to say is...

I write honest reviews based on my opinion only.

That doesn't mean I am right or wrong, its just my opinion.

Please respect mine and I'll respect yours :)

End of rant!!

*Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


  1. I know exactly what you mean. I received a "hate comment" on Amazon from a different book that everyone seemed to love, with a reader trying to force me to reread the book I didn't love. Like you, I also got into the book blogging business because I too was frustrated with the five star reviews. I think I was the only one that didn't really fall head over heels for The Hunger Games, but people did respect my review. All I can say is to keep your head up, and the only thing to do is ignore the hate. Eventually they will go away.

  2. Cath, I know this happens but I still have trouble believing it.

    There are many books and authors that I love but I cannot understand the kind of fandom that would lead to being personally aggressive or abusive to someone just for disagreeing with me.

    ESPECIALLY if they give the kind of balanced review that you do, with reasons and discussion.

    It's weird, but please don't let it stop you. We need book lovers like you to give us real reviews. Although as a one-day-to-be-published author, you terrify me, because I know if you don't like my work you'll say so, on the other hand, if you do like it, there could be no greater praise, because I will know it's genuine. And I'd rather take the risk of a less-favourable review than lose honesty in reviewing.

    Keep it up!


  3. Hi Felicia,
    Its disconcerting to me that people think that bully tatics, and aggression are the way to make a person change their mind. Whatever happened to free speech, adults acting like adults, and healthy respectful discussion??
    Thanks for stopping by and best of luck with your blogging :)

    Hi Imelda,
    I know right, it is hard to believe that it happens. Although I had seen it until I experienced it, it did feel a little unreal. I can only surmise that the 'fan' was so in the emotional moment of having read what she considered a great book that she just lost all reason and went into defence and attack mode.
    All I can say is dont be afraid of a review beacause like I said 'everyone's opinion is different' but if the review has come from a place of honesty and respect, surely it can only help an author grow right?
    Best of luck with your writing and thanks for dropping by :)


  4. This is amusing to me. When you get a bad review, I would tend to think of it as "I need to try harder next time." Sometimes you have to pay good money for reviews that are not "glowing", and a free negative review seems to be a deal!

    Move on

  5. I agree. Books are subjective - a basic many forget. Just as reviewers should have the freedom to honestly review, the writers should have the maturity to realize that whilst they have the freedom to respond as they wish, it is best to let things be if they're not happy with a review. I've just started writing novels and have yet to publish a thing as I have a very demanding corporate paying job - so I can't fully relate in the way you can - I can relate as a reader and a fellow human being... as much as I wish that people would be more congruent, have a tad more integrity and so on... from Chaucer to Larson, it seems that the world has never operated in that way. Having said that though - those of us who work hard at maintaining our sense of ethics need to keep at it - that's what makes living both a frustrating and enjoyable experience. Please don't lose your tenacity - I love it and find it refreshing.

  6. Hi thebuckedoff2,
    An author friend recently told me she was being charged approx $300(USD) to get her book reviewed and featured on a well known website!!
    Now I know everybody needs to make a dollar and feed their families but a paid for review? I'm not sure I like that idea from either parties perspective.
    Unless I've bought the book myself, my reviews are of books 'gifted' to me for one purpose...'an honest review'
    Thanks for dropping by the blog :)

    Hey Aneesa Price,
    Sometimes its hard work giving an honest 'opinion' but I myself hate being lied to so I try to be as honest as possible with my reviews. Sometimes I can come off as harsh but I always try to keep it about the book and try to find a small positive somewhere.
    Thanks for dropping by the blog, and leaving your thoughts :)

  7. I think some authors just assume because they give you a book for free that you are gonna 5 star it. If so that's just stupid. When I review a book I am completely honest about the book no matter what.


I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please don't hesitate to leave a comment :)

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