Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Chat: Negative Review and Author/Blogger Relations

Book Chat is a monthly meme created by Misty @ The Book Rat. This month’s topic is about Negative Review and Author/Blogger Relations. You should go and check her video out. Here’s the link. She made a very excellent argument and I do agree with a lot of what she said.

Personally, I think it’s not about being positive or negative about a book. It’s a matter of expressing your own opinion. That’s what makes the book blogging community so wonderful because we all have different opinions about book. I think having different opinions about a book gives the book itself more… color, or life if you will because people can get different things from that book. People will either love it or hate it. There is no such thing as a book everybody loves or everybody hates. I know people that hate Harry Potter, if you can believe it.

For me, when I read reviews about hyped up books, I’d like to see what negative things are being said about it as well as the positive things. I want to see different opinions and takes about a book, so I can read it with a fresh and open mind. I remember hearing about how great Looking for Alaska by John Green was that I built these high expectations that perhaps no human could ever reach. Of course, it didn’t turn out the way I expected and it took me a while before I started building my own perspective on it. It ended up in my 2011 Favorite list, but that doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t read it with an open mind.

I heard authors including John Green say this: “When a book is out there, it’s no longer yours.” People will form their opinions on a book whether the author likes it or not.

When it comes to negative reviews, there are two types that I seem to always come across:

Type 1: "This book was so stupid! Nothing happened the way I wanted. She didn't end up with (insert a guy's name here)."

Type 2: "I say why people like this book, but it wasn't for me. Here are my reasons."

Personally, I prefer type 2. I prefer reviews that can provide an honest feedback on why the reviewer didn’t like the book. I don’t like judging it based on what happens in the story. I also never encourage personal attacks on the author. In the end, this person had done something I couldn’t do, which is writing and publishing a book. I don’t write negative reviews because I like it, but it’s because that’s honestly how I felt. I believe that being honest about a book is a way of showing respect to the author, even it what I have to say isn’t always pleasant.

I’m not an author, but I understand how awful it must be when people bash the work you put your heart and soul into. But as they say, no job is easy. Even if you’re doing your dream job, there’s always going to be a negative side to it. The best of authors struggled to get better at their craft (at least that what they keep saying if you check their videos on Youtube). If it’s something you love, you shouldn't give up no matter what people say. Keep persevering. My teacher says: “you should always try to get better. You’re never too old to learn.”

So yes, I’m pro negative reviews. I think they’re necessary. And if you would look at them with the right attitude, they could turn out to be helpful. When it comes to attackers, honestly just ignore them.

Tell me, how do you feel about negative reviews? Whether you agree or disagree with my rambling, your opinions are always welcome.

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