Friday, April 02, 2010

To trash or not to trash?

I read a book this week that was just awful. I am not naming names here. While I don't have any problems saying a few negative things, I don't want to throw this author under the bus. Though I feel the book was misrepresented in the proposal, I just can't vent my feelings.

How do you guys feel about really negative gut feelings?

My policy has always been to mainly print recommendations, not mean reviews. I guess the one thing I could say is that the print was nice and big.

Oh and I survived!!


  1. what a dilemma - I also try to concentrate on positive reviewing especially if the author is still alive -
    However - if you say that the book has been misrepresented - (one the back of the book?) - then I think that it is ok to say that....

    Happy reading (of other books!)

  2. Glad to have you back - best wishes for a quick recovery.

    Decisions, decisions. I personally try not to be cruel though, as I resolved to review every book I read, I feel I must be honest about how I felt about it. I'm sure that most authors understand that one person dislikes, another 2 people love.

  3. I've run into this before. Where I have so looked forward to reading abook and it in no way lived up to the expectations. I am not one to judge 'bad' writing, but I can tell when a book would benefit from a good editor. You can comment if the plot line was good, or did it keep getting side tracked. were the characters well developed or shallow? stuff like that. And I also feel its good to admit when a book fails to catch your interest. I have not said a book is 'bad' as that is so subjective, but it can fail or succeed in a number of ways.

  4. You've received great advice here.

  5. I tend to write (what I would consider to be) "honest" reviews. If the book genuinely wasn't good, then tell people that, but back up those claims with evidence. Clunky writing that needed more editing? Post an excerpt to illustrate. Lack of plotting, poor climax, no resolution (when the author seems to have been trying to resolve)? State it and break it down.

    I don't think all reviews have to be positive, but I think they should be balanced. I don't appreciate when people give a bad review and their reason is (something like), "I was on vacation and wanted something lighter." Okay, well, just because you didn't pack and plan well, doesn't mean the book is bad--put it down and come back later.

    My advice: be objective. If it was bad (objectively), then tell us that.

    Oh, and glad you made it through safely.

  6. I think about that a lot. I got a comment from the author of one of the books I discussed on my blog and my first reaction was panic..oh no! what did I say about her book?! Then I re-read what I had written and found I hadn't said anything that I wouldn't stand behind. As it turned out she was very kind so I didn't have anything to worry about. But it made me think harder about some of the things I say in my blog. I've decided that the important thing is to keep being honest, but I don't believe there is ever a reason to be cruel. There is a lot of good writing out there, but there is also a lot of bad writing. I don't call what I do reviewing because I don't feel qualified to review. I just write my thoughts on books I'm reading and sometimes those thoughts are not positive. Could I ask you to do me a favor? Would you drop in on my blog and read what I've written then give me your honest opinion on whether or not I've been too harsh? I'd like to have an unbiased opinion, and of course if I ask a family member or friend they'll just say what they think I want to hear. If that's asking too much I absolutely understand. You have a nice blog hear, and a new follower!