Would a review stop YOU from reading a book?

Yesterday I didn’t buy a book BECAUSE OF A REVIEW. Big news, eh? I bet some of you have even turned away by now, thinking ‘What type of news IS this?’ But, for me, it is truly a scary revelation. Let me explain. Obviously, in the last few months I have started to review books. I decided that where I had been actively asked to give a review on my site, I would. Where I wasn’t, and the book wasn’t quite up to the mark, I’d confine it to Goodreads and Amazon. That’s fair, I thought, because if I wasn’t actively asked to read the book, is it fair to shout about it? Which, let’s be honest about it, is what you’re doing when you blog. With my posts, I originally intended on informing people, letting them know whether their decision to buy a book would be justified. Would it deliver on excitement? Would it be romantic, tug at the heart strings, make them smile? My tag-line states that I was out to find as many 4 and 5 stars as possible to ‘add to the lighter side of a heavy tbr pile.’ The tbr pile is that mountain of books that needs to be dealt with, the ‘to be read’ pile. For many people, they adore books so much, and yet have so little time, that a bit of help is needed. Enter book reviewers. Now I’m not saying that MY blog is far reaching and amazing enough to inform ALL of these people, but I like to think it would help someone!
And so what of the other ratings? What of the two stars, the three stars, the (shudder) one stars? Well, I have to admit, I didn’t really think about them. ‘You idiot’ you say, shaking your head with a bored look on your face. ‘Didn’t think about the one or two stars? That’s positively idiotic!’ But I didn’t! Any reader that writes a review MUST in their head, commit to it being honest. It’s not fair otherwise. I’ll admit, when I read reviews, the one stars sometimes direct me ‘to’ the book as opposed to away from it. The things the reviewer state they hate in a book is sometimes what entices me in. Or sometimes I think the review is so unwarrented, that I just try to prove it wrong. But there’s times you can’t. Yesterday, a review said that the tension built up within a book led her to nothing. That the event it was to lead to didn’t really take place. This wasn’t a spoiler per se, as it didn’t state exactly what did or didn’t happen, but this event was built up so much in the blurb that I decided it probably was a non starter. This, paired with the fact that I’ve four kids and spend nights juggling reading, writing and my own personal studying of what I so technically term ‘the literary stuff;)’ ie articles on writing, publishing, marketing, promotion and grammar, means I don’t want to read average books. Harsh but true. There are published gems out there, and self published gems out there, and I want to find them.

Is this a fair way to be? Do you post book reviews? Do you stick to the (unsaid, unwritten) rule of being fully honest(without being mean, of course!)? Do you think I should blog ALL reviews, even if not asked? I’d love to hear your opinion, so let’s do this!!!


8 thoughts on “Would a review stop YOU from reading a book?

  1. Any review I write eventually gets published on my blog. Up front I state the purpose of my blog is to promote the books and authors I love. My review policy states that I do not give negative reviews. If I read a book that I can’t even give a 3 (the lowest rating I give), I contact the author with the reason I won’t review their book. By doing that I stay true to myself and my purpose in writing reviews.


    • I’ve the same in my review policy, if I find an error or a discrepancy, then I’ll inform the author, however what happens in the case where a book just doesn’t match it’s description? I read a book lately that planted itself firmly in the historical fiction camp, with a flash-forward towards modern women’s fiction(not so firm, then;)). The mild S&M contained within the modern section was both unexpected and unwelcome. The more I think about this the more I think I did the reader a disservice by not posting. But I wasn’t asked for the review so I felt I was doing the author a disservice by blogging it …


  2. Really interesting and definitely food for thought. Having a book out there, I don’t think that I could write a review and give it 2 or 3 stars only… I don’t write reviews when I don’t enjoy the book because I don’t want to put the author down šŸ˜¦ and also because I just think that everyone has different tastes and maybe something I love will completely bore another reader and visa versa… I guess I don’t believe in negative publicity and putting authors down – whether that’s helping them in the long run or not, I have no idea…


    • I think I’m slowly changing, Cassandra! Any one or two stars I’ve read are by people driven demented by a book because they were led to believe it was something it wasn’t. In cases such as that I do sort of feel for the readers, they’ve put their faith into a book, which sounds melodramatic, but given the fact that there’s a world of other books they could be reading … ?! I do think people need to learn the difference between constructive criticism and downright meanness though, there’s some horrible people out there!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, there sure are! I just don’t get why or how people get pleasure from putting others down like some do. I have been disappointed in books before but I somehow it never crossed my mind to lash out at the author! I had just expected more and been disappointed. I wouldn’t rush out to buy another book from said author probably but that’s how far my discontentment would go! Oh well, let’s just focus on all those lovely readers who take the time to write nice comments and forget about the others I say šŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. When I review I only give three stars and above (Goodreads scale, which is much better than Amazon’s). The reason is simple. Life is too short to read books I don’t like. Why would I spend time reading what I dislike, only to give the author a review they won’t want?

    And bad reviews can build bad feeling among authors. I certainly don’t want to be accused of tearing down another writer’s work to make myself look better. My review policy is stated on my blog. I don’t contact authors later about books that don’t make the cut. I figure they can fill in the picture by themselves.


    • Very true, the only thing is the time could come where a book could be different to what is ‘advertised.’ If it comes to it being a one or two star in your eyes after you’ve read a substantial amount, then possibly a diplomatic review to prevent other people from wasting their time could be warranted?


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