Recently, I’ve found myself trying to decide what book I’m going to read next based on reviews I read either on Goodreads or on reviews made by book bloggers. I had always said that as an author I would never post book reviews, feeling that my writing was best served on the other side, but I think that it’s time that I put my two cents into the equation, especially as an author.
Even though I’ve been encouraged by my writing friends to not read the reviews of my books, I nonetheless find myself piecing them apart. I don’t necessarily care if readers love my work, but I would like to know that they are moved in some positive way, thus the point of writing with intention.
Last week I received a rather daunting review of my book on Goodreads; One Star. After reading her lengthy review, I went to her other reviews and found that she had given books like The Member of the Wedding and In Cold Blood one star as well, with equally daunting written reviews. As a book lover and an English graduate, I know these to be extremely important books, especially knowing the history of both of these writers. When I went to the reviewer’s profile she mentioned that she was a high school English teacher.
When I was in high school, adults around me encouraged me to read these books, as well as many others which would shape me into the adult I am today. Nonetheless, we all have our opinions and she gave very high reviews, and five stars each, to the entire collection of Twilight books.
It was at this point that I decided that it was time to start writing reviews of the books I read, especially as an author who understands the difficulty in forming a story, being true to the reader and the craft at the same time. Being that I’m constantly reading, as well as listening to books on Audible, I thought I could at least give, what I feel, are regular and honest reviews of the books I read. Quite frankly, I feel that no writer who spends the time and energy in writing, developing and editing a book deserves one star, unless the reviewer can intelligently back up their reviews. Giving one star to The Member of the Wedding citing the main character as “crazy obsessed” is not, what I believe to be, a fair review.
But let me step back a little bit. My reviews will be just that; my opinions. But I will try and be as fair to the writer as possible. Not every book can be The Fault in the Stars. I think readers forget that sometimes. Many of my reviews will be of books that I’ve already read that I think need to be reviewed because they were so amazing, such as I’ll Give You the Sun or Love Letters to the Dead.
If you’re interested in me reviewing a certain book or if you’re an author and would like me to review your book, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org