I started this blog as a book reviewer, but the focus has shifted more toward writing and my own fiction. There are famous writers who review their peers’ novels, but they’re always positive. You never see a negative review from a big writer.
But what about those of us who have book blogs where we talk about our writing and also review books? Should we be posting reviews? This is a sticky subject for some.
On one hand, if we post negative reviews, the author of that book may find it offensive that another author is publicly stating they didn’t like your book. This can result in a bit of a war between them, and this kind of thing has been seen on Goodreads. On the other hand, if the author only posts positive reviews, they may be seen as insincere, or that the reviews may be untrustworthy. They’re just doing it to boost other authors and make themselves look good.
Well, what I do is I review books I like. If I don’t like it, I don’t finish it. If I like it enough to finish it, I review it. I may have some 2 star reviews, but 2 stars doesn’t mean I don’t like it. It means it was readable for me, it has aspects I liked, but some that didn’t work for me. However, I still recommend those books for certain readers. They do have their merits. I am never negative, I only point out where something doesn’t work for me in a constructive way. My “harshest” review was of MoonRush. But notice that I say that many things don’t work for me and I give a reason why. The style doesn’t match what I like, the science is not at all accurate, so the scientist in me can’t suspend disbelief, and there’s a lot of cliche. I said that if you can suspend your disbelief, or you just like a fun story that’s got lots of action, you may enjoy it a lot. I was positive about it.
I will continue to post reviews for books I like. I will not post reviews for books I don’t like. MoonRush was reasonably entertaining, which is why I posted the review. It will likely work better for people who aren’t educated in the sciences.
But what do you think? Should writers review books? Let me know in the comments below.