I just finished reading a young adult book that will remain nameless. It was released by one of the big publishers, has lots of reviews and is very popular. I wanted to read it because that’s what authors do. Read their genre. Get familiar with the competition.
Let’s just say, it was an okay book. The writing was surprisingly basic. Descriptions were sparse. No real suspenseful moments. I went to Goodreads to log the novel into my “Books I Have Read”. While there, I couldn’t resist reading some reviews.
According to the ratings (stars), the book had good reviews, but also quite a few low scores. There were thousands upon thousands of them… something I can only dream of. I scrolled down the first review page and was surprised how many one and two stars write-ups appeared. I started to skim through and had to stop and read a few. They summed up exactly how I felt about the book. The reviewers’ comments were well thought out and factual. After reading the book, I agreed with them.
As an author I could never give a one star review. I think I wouldn’t write one at all. Just leave it be. You know the old saying–If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I know how hard it is to write and complete a book, let alone get it published. I also know how it feels when you get your first one star review. It’s a little like a knife through the heart. I know reviewers would say to toughen up and take the hit. It’s their right to review. I totally agree.
As I stated before, I’d give anything for all those reviews, good and bad. People are arguing over the character, plot and descriptions. They are talking about the book. They are reading the book…regardless, to see if everyone’s right. That author should be thrilled. I hope she is.
One thing for sure, she doesn’t have to worry about a one star review from me. I’ll leave that to the tougher critics. As a reader, I am on their side. As a writer, I’d say walk a mile in my shoes.