Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions: Missing the Bandwagon

Book Blogger Confessions is a bi-monthly meme hosted by Tiger's All Consuming Media or For What It's Worth. What is it? It's allows bloggers to weigh in on a topic, talk about or own blogging experiences and maybe vent a little. This week's question: Everyone LOVES that book! Why don't I? How do you handle being the one reviewer who doesn't like a book that's taking the blogosphere by storm? Do you write a review? Pretend you didn't read the book?

As of right now, I review every YA novel that I read. Old or new, whether I liked it or not. If I read it, I make sure I take the time to write up my thoughts. And actually, this post is quite timely because I have to write a review here pretty soon about a book that I didn't like at all - but so far it's been receiving nothing but glowy love.

But this is far from the first time this has happened. Matched by Allie Condie, for example, is one that everyone seems to love and it just really didn't do it for me. And I know that some will probably consider this blasphemous - but The Iron Fey series - I read the first one, thought it was okay - but didn't really feel the desire to continue. Yet everyone is obsessed with this series. Although, I read these before my blogging days so I can't really speak to how I handled these particular situations.

Really, when I don't like I book, I worry more about the author than I do other bloggers or what other people thought. The thing I least want to do is hurt an author. Speaking for my own thin skin and resistance to letting my own work be viewed by outside eyes, I know that authors take a big risk on their own pride and emotions just by sharing their works. So I work really hard in my negative reviews to explain exactly why I didn't like a specific book. I did read Possession by Elana Johnson during my blogging days and really didn't care for it - even though everyone seemed to go bananas for it. If I remember correctly, this was the first negative review I had to write. It was a painful post for me, but being honest was just as important not completely bashing a book.

Maybe I got off topic, I don't know. Bottom line - books aren't separate entities all their own. They're attached to authors, editors, publicists, agents, readers - all who have poured incredible faith, love and hard work into them. I'm not going to love every book that I read (although I do love most of them) but I always work to treat every book and the people that come with it with respect.

And just because I'm now realizing there's quite a bit of negative energy in this post, I have to say that on the flip side of this - when I love a book that everyone else seems to love - that just fills me with all kinds of gooey feelings. I think one of the best things is to be a part of the positive and exciting buzz that surrounds a good book.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for being so honest. I know it's hard to talk about some of the downsides.
    I have changed how I write negative reviews over time. I try to make my opinion clearer and explain exactly what did and didn't work for me.
    I've also started holding off on the hyped books so I don't get caught in any type of frenzy. I want to read a book because it's something that interests me not just because everyone else is.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Negative reviews can be so difficult. I'm like you where I hate to say anything negative about something that an author poured their heart and soul into. In fact, I used to not even write a review for anything less than 3 stars, and even the threes made me cringe. That was all fine and dandy when I was only reviewing my own books, but when I started receiving books from publishers, I felt obligated to write a review whether I liked it or not. Of course, I realized that negatives weren't the end of the world. The key is just to stay respectful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Negative reviews can be so hard when you like an author and I have seen that not every like Matched. I also know that its tough to say I didn't like a book and why.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also review every young adult book I read on my blog. Like you, sometimes I am not as blown away as other bloggers seem to be. Also, like you, I try to find something positive to say about each book I read even if I didn't really enjoy it. I know I am not a typical audience for YA being just a bit over the YA target age. I don't expect to have the same reaction as the targeted readers. I think there is room for a variety of opinions about books.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I completely agree with you about being concerned about the author when writing a negative review. I certainly don't want my review to feel like an attack on an author. That being said, I will always mention the things that I didn't like about a book in my review, even if I just love the author (it is definitely more difficult but I do try).

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great post! This has happened to me a lot since I started blogging, two of them being Delirium and Divergent. I couldn't find it it me to love them as much as other bloggers do. I guess I need to be better at writing negative reviews and not bash the book so much, but it's so hard after enduring the frustration of reading the book. However, I do try to find as much positive to say about the book as possible.

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like that you said you worry about hurting the feelings of an author when you don't love a book --- because I feel that way, too. I try my best to write balanced reviews, so if there are things I don't like, I can usually find a few things that I did like. It's sometimes difficult, though .... which means I usually wind up going over my draft a few times before posting it (and then being worried). :)

    ReplyDelete

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions: Missing the Bandwagon

Book Blogger Confessions is a bi-monthly meme hosted by Tiger's All Consuming Media or For What It's Worth. What is it? It's allows bloggers to weigh in on a topic, talk about or own blogging experiences and maybe vent a little. This week's question: Everyone LOVES that book! Why don't I? How do you handle being the one reviewer who doesn't like a book that's taking the blogosphere by storm? Do you write a review? Pretend you didn't read the book?

As of right now, I review every YA novel that I read. Old or new, whether I liked it or not. If I read it, I make sure I take the time to write up my thoughts. And actually, this post is quite timely because I have to write a review here pretty soon about a book that I didn't like at all - but so far it's been receiving nothing but glowy love.

But this is far from the first time this has happened. Matched by Allie Condie, for example, is one that everyone seems to love and it just really didn't do it for me. And I know that some will probably consider this blasphemous - but The Iron Fey series - I read the first one, thought it was okay - but didn't really feel the desire to continue. Yet everyone is obsessed with this series. Although, I read these before my blogging days so I can't really speak to how I handled these particular situations.

Really, when I don't like I book, I worry more about the author than I do other bloggers or what other people thought. The thing I least want to do is hurt an author. Speaking for my own thin skin and resistance to letting my own work be viewed by outside eyes, I know that authors take a big risk on their own pride and emotions just by sharing their works. So I work really hard in my negative reviews to explain exactly why I didn't like a specific book. I did read Possession by Elana Johnson during my blogging days and really didn't care for it - even though everyone seemed to go bananas for it. If I remember correctly, this was the first negative review I had to write. It was a painful post for me, but being honest was just as important not completely bashing a book.

Maybe I got off topic, I don't know. Bottom line - books aren't separate entities all their own. They're attached to authors, editors, publicists, agents, readers - all who have poured incredible faith, love and hard work into them. I'm not going to love every book that I read (although I do love most of them) but I always work to treat every book and the people that come with it with respect.

And just because I'm now realizing there's quite a bit of negative energy in this post, I have to say that on the flip side of this - when I love a book that everyone else seems to love - that just fills me with all kinds of gooey feelings. I think one of the best things is to be a part of the positive and exciting buzz that surrounds a good book.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for being so honest. I know it's hard to talk about some of the downsides.
    I have changed how I write negative reviews over time. I try to make my opinion clearer and explain exactly what did and didn't work for me.
    I've also started holding off on the hyped books so I don't get caught in any type of frenzy. I want to read a book because it's something that interests me not just because everyone else is.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Negative reviews can be so difficult. I'm like you where I hate to say anything negative about something that an author poured their heart and soul into. In fact, I used to not even write a review for anything less than 3 stars, and even the threes made me cringe. That was all fine and dandy when I was only reviewing my own books, but when I started receiving books from publishers, I felt obligated to write a review whether I liked it or not. Of course, I realized that negatives weren't the end of the world. The key is just to stay respectful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Negative reviews can be so hard when you like an author and I have seen that not every like Matched. I also know that its tough to say I didn't like a book and why.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also review every young adult book I read on my blog. Like you, sometimes I am not as blown away as other bloggers seem to be. Also, like you, I try to find something positive to say about each book I read even if I didn't really enjoy it. I know I am not a typical audience for YA being just a bit over the YA target age. I don't expect to have the same reaction as the targeted readers. I think there is room for a variety of opinions about books.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I completely agree with you about being concerned about the author when writing a negative review. I certainly don't want my review to feel like an attack on an author. That being said, I will always mention the things that I didn't like about a book in my review, even if I just love the author (it is definitely more difficult but I do try).

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great post! This has happened to me a lot since I started blogging, two of them being Delirium and Divergent. I couldn't find it it me to love them as much as other bloggers do. I guess I need to be better at writing negative reviews and not bash the book so much, but it's so hard after enduring the frustration of reading the book. However, I do try to find as much positive to say about the book as possible.

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like that you said you worry about hurting the feelings of an author when you don't love a book --- because I feel that way, too. I try my best to write balanced reviews, so if there are things I don't like, I can usually find a few things that I did like. It's sometimes difficult, though .... which means I usually wind up going over my draft a few times before posting it (and then being worried). :)

    ReplyDelete