Sunday, 11 December 2011

Mixin' it up a little bit!

So, it's Sunday, and that's when I usually review a book. I've had QUITE a busy week this week with Musical practice, homework, then going back to school for dance practice for the musical and to top it all off I had a forensics tournament on Friday and Saturday. I can't review my book because I haven't finished it. I'm so super duper close, but I need to get some other stuff done so I decided to do something a tad different. (*Caution: this may be a little rant-y.*)

I was on Goodreads just browsing through different reviews of different books and I kept reading these nasty reviews with just flat out rude statements. I couldn't believe that people could just say these rude things without even backing them up with examples. Now maybe I've just been doing too many seminar questions in English Lit and Comp. where I have to pretty much back every single thing I say up with some literary example, but I think that's a tad ridiculous. It's also shown me though, that it's mostly my generation. Teenagers.

I know first hand teenagers, they (or should I say WE) can be nasty. Trust me, I'm around them every day. And we are the target audience for all YA books. So yes, authors should expect some reviews that are not-so-nice. But this is kind of a touchy subject for me. My own mother is an author. So I know first hand that authors read the reviews they get. I've seen people say they flat out hated a book IN THEIR REVIEW. I think this is highly inappropriate. Other people may not think so but someone has put their blood, sweat, and tears into this piece of work and someone has ripped it to shreds. Of course authors are going to have to expect it, especially if it's YA because teenagers are extremely opinionated.

I have a policy where if it's lower than 3 stars (or should I say Diva Crowns (;)for me, then I'm not going to review it. There's no reason. If I do have some criticism for a book, I do the Oreo cookie method. I learned this method in Forensics when we would critique someone's performance after they performed it for the class. We would first say what we really liked about the piece, something they could work on, and then another fantastic thing. Now, I know that authors can't really change what they've already written after it's published, but I still think it's a good idea. If I'm going to criticize something I'm going to always add something afterwards to keep the author in good spirits, in case they're reading.

So I'm gonna be the person to be spreading the cheer and throwing sparkles on everyone, because that's what I love to do. Make people happy with my reviews. Especially authors who read my reviews and know that their hard work is worth it. Because, honestly, without authors, I wouldn't have things to enjoy in my free time, I wouldn't have such a large vocabulary, and I wouldn't be able to connect with so many awesome people on twitter and my blog who all share the same love for books as I do. So thank you, authors! :)

Anyways, sorry for that rant-y post. I needed to get that off my chest. I also want to know how other people feel about this. Do you find it a problem, or do you think it's fine? Feel free to tell me how you feel about this "situation." Ta Ta for now!


LK Gardner-Griffie said...

That was a well thought out and well-written rant. You GO!!!

As an author, I understand that not everyone is going to connect to my work on the same level. And that's fine. That's what diverse reading tastes are all about and why not every book is the same... it'd get really boring that way. But I agree, there is no reason to trash-talk a book or movie, or anything else. If you don't like it, say why you don't like it, and then maybe the author can learn what your tastes are. That doesn't mean you'll like the next book, but at least you have provided valuable feedback rather than simply ripping something to shreds for the fun of it. Ultimately, that helps no one, not even the person doing the shredding.

Denise Grover Swank said...

Every time an author publishes a book, they are putting themselves out there for people to criticize. Unfortunately, it's part of the job description. No one book is going to please everyone. (Honestly, I can't believe you don't like Harry Potter. o.o)

I can only hope that the majority of the reviewers like my books. And if they don't, I have accept that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Still, one would hope there would be a little civility left in the world when they express their dislike.

Kay Bratt said...

Very good post. I believe that sometimes reviewers forget the purpose of a review-- which is to either recommend it or pass. It's not supposed to be an attack on the author, rather it should be strictly on the merit of the writing.

However, when an author first enters the spotlight, those early reviews that are less than glowing can be terrible. Your Oreo Method is a great one for others to remember, for we need plenty of writers in the world and encouragement is always appreciated!

Heather said...

I think it's absolutely amazing that you feel so strongly about supporting authors. It means the world to us when reviewers like yourself understand how much work we put into a novel. And I love your policy of not reviewing it if it's under three stars. You're pretty amazing. :)