25 comments on “Caution, Book Review Crossing

  1. Hmmm…. I don’t think I’ve ever written a review of a book I didn’t finish. But I can totally see how you could write a valid review of a book you didn’t finish reading – especially if it was filled with grammatical errors, weak plot, etc. Why would you go on reading? ;-)

    Awesome post, George!

    • Hi Michele,

      For me, sometimes it’s the grammar or editing (or lack thereof I should say) sometimes the story just does not resonate. Any more, I review them and folks can make their own judgments. You’re right. There are too many books to read to suffer through one that’s not working for you.

      George

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  4. I think not being able to finish the book maybe, in itself, a book review, right? On my blog, I never review books I don’t like. I’m not brave. ;-) But I agree with you that honesty is important, and blow-by-blow descriptions are not a review.
    .-= judy´s last blog ..Stuff =-.

    • Hi Judy,

      Yeah, it is kind of a statement in and of itself. As far as reviewing on my blog, if it was an assignment I would feel obligated to give my honest opinion on the blog, but otherwise my pleasure reading I review on Amazon or Goodreads.

      Cheers

      George

  5. I’ve never written a review, but it’s been on my mind lately as the cover is being finalised for my novel, and I had the sudden realisation that people might review it one day! It make me nervous, as the book club I’m in has revealed how tastes differ so much, and that a “good book” is such a subjective thing. Out of a room of 6 people, there is often such a gulf between our views of a book, and to think that each of us could influence a buyer if we wrote our thoughts in a review, and in turn influence the success of an author… scary stuff.
    .-= Emma Newman´s last blog ..An angry rant about query letter writing =-.

    • Hi Emma.

      It can be heart wrenching. It’s amazing to me when I’m considering a book that will have some folks crowing about the literary genius whilst others are trashing it as the worst thing they ever read. Truly one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

      btw, so excited about your book and the process you are going through. I’ll bet you’re on cloud nine.

      George

  6. Reviews are both necessary and nerve wracking for an author. Having said that, I know that I’m not going to please every reader – just like I can’t please every editor that I send a story to.
    I think it’s wrong, wrong, wrong for an author to contact a reviewer over a less than stellar review. Writers need to roll with the punches and let it go, not explain how they were misunderstood.
    The truly cringe-worthy reviews are the ones that give away the plot. Why do they do that?!
    .-= Laura Eno´s last blog ..Surf’s Up – #FridayFlash =-.

    • Hi Laura,

      Ugh. Giving away the plot stinks. Folks should put a spoiler alert message at the very beginning.

      Not sure I’d respond directly to a poster of a bad review. I’m thinking not because they are objective and even if I disagree, there may be some validity from their perspective.

      George

  7. I think you can review a book if you’ve only read 40%. I am new to writing reviews for books but I had an experience where I just couldn’t read another word. I think reviews help readers and authors alike. Sometimes you just don’t know what to read. Reading takes up much of your time and wasting your time on a bad book can be aggravating.

    I think those who read reviews and authors who read reviews need to realize that there are reader emotions and bias. Everyone has them. Your book may be good but someone read it who didn’t care for what was written at the time. Or your book may not be that great but rubs someone in all the right spots. We are all subjective so remember than when reading others reviews. I actually wrote something similar yesterday http://ping.fm/IF8kK
    .-= KayAnna Kirby´s last blog ..My 2 Cents: Reader Bias and Emotion =-.

    • Hi KayAnna

      Thanks for coming by and commenting. Went over and read your post and I absolutely agree with what you wrote.

      Subjectivity is the key.

      Following you on twitter now, looking forward to your tweets.

      Cheers

      George

  8. I like writing reviews too and I do read them as well. I agree about the length of reviews…don’t tell so much that there’s no point in reading the book! Have you seen Librarything.com ? It’s much fun :)

    Oh, and hell yeah I’d review a book I couldn’t finish…If it’s that bad people need to know!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Cool Beans =-.

  9. George,
    I don’t recall ever reviewing a book I didn’t finish, but I agree with your premise. I try to be gentle in my reviews while still being honest. For example, I might say something didn’t appeal to me, but people who like XYZ might enjoy it. However, if the book is filled with errors … I can’t say anybody would like that.

    If I don’t like a book, I won’t review it on my blog because I want readers to find things they like when they come to my blog. I tell that to authors in advance when they request a review. However, I will rate it and usually write a very short review on Goodreads.
    .-= Lillie Ammann´s last blog ..Scripture for the Fourth Thursday in Lent =-.

    • Hi Lillie,

      So nice to see you again. Thanks for the Goodreads friending, I responded earlier.

      From what I know of you and your comments here, I can totally see you being the honest, gentle type. Admirable.

      George

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  11. Hi George,
    Oh my. Oy. Yiikes. It does not seem the author of the book you reviewed is comfortable in his skin. That comes with the territory, doesn’t it? Want to write and publish? Accept that some people won’t like it. It’s just a fact of life.

    I’ve written several book reviews, and also a few reviews for publishing houses over at my blog. I quite enjoy reviewing books — maybe it makes me feel like a kid again — writing a sort of book report. :)

    About reviewing a book before you’ve completed it, I think that’s completely OK. Especially if you’ve also stated that you didn’t finish it. I’ve taken that tactic before and simply mentioned that I didn’t finish the book very early on in my comments about the book. I see no harm at all in that.

    I’ve been contacted by authors only on very pleasant terms — I guess I’ve been lucky thus far. I have to admit, though, I still cringe and hold my breath when I get feedback about things I’ve written. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that initial zap.

    I really enjoyed this post, George, but I always do!
    Enjoy your day.
    :)
    .-= Lori (JaneBeNimble)´s last blog ..Omm Writer =-.

    • Lori,

      Wow, thoughtful and sage commenting (as usual). I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for your take on the topic. Book reviews can be a lot of fun and I’ll continue posting them, in my own style, of course.

      George

      • Sage commenting? I think I’m going to print your comment and frame it on my desk. I feel so smart all of a sudden. Thanks, buddy.

        You go, George! Keep up the great work — in your own style, of course.
        :P
        .-= Lori (JaneBeNimble)´s last blog ..Omm Writer =-.

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