Where have all the honest reviews gone?

Reviews have become something that I can’t seem to trust any more. There is a genuine fear from other authors when it comes to reviewing a novel because no one wants backlash. No one wants to have to deal with the repercussions of what might happen if you give a bad review. Sock puppets, angry fans/ friends of the author, Stop the Goodreads Bullies and more have a heavy handed reign on what is and isn’t okay to say in a review, and it’s not right. If you’re 100% completely honest in your review of a book, you’re considered a terribly person and end up on a list on a website where all of your personal information is used to harass and abuse you. If you’re not honest in your review, you are lying about your thoughts and potentially leading others who might trust your review to complete disappointment.

Since when should someone have to live in fear of being honest? Authors are readers, too. We have things we like and dislike about the books that we read, just like any ordinary reader. It doesn’t mean that we read other books just to scope out the “competition.” We read because we like to. We read because it’s how we got our start! Honestly, it’s kind of our thing. So why do our reviews get beaten up and spit on if they’re not in favor of the book? I experienced this last year and it was the most frustrating month of my life. I was just being honest, and I was attacked. I know I’m not alone in this, and that is the purpose of my post. I have gotten to a point where I do not pick books based on reviews. I read the synopsis and go from there. It bothers me that I can’t, you know? I mean, otherwise, what is the point of reviewing in the first place? Readers review books because they obviously have feelings about those books that they want to share. It isn’t a crime. However, it seems that so many people become delusional about their own work that when even one bad review is posted, they lose their shit. I say this knowing that I have to follow my own advice, and I do. That is my big motivation behind starting to review books on my blog. I want to share my opinion on MY website and not be afraid to be honest. Trust me, I already have been. My bad reviews aren’t written to be mean or evil. They’re written because I want to share my opinion.

On the other side of that coin, you can’t go and just bash books because you don’t like who the author is as a person. You have to hold their book and who they are as people in two different hands. If you know that you can’t give an honest, unbiased review, then you shouldn’t touch that book. Leave it alone. Life is too short for all that drama.

My goal for this post is pretty simple; I want to see the return of the honest review. I want to go back to a time where a majority of the reviews, positive and negative, were honest. So I have started to review books again for the sake of being honest. I would love to see it happen without repercussion, but I don’t know if that can ever actually be a thing. I don’t know the authors personally, and I won’t ever review a book if someone asks me. I am just going to find books that sound interesting and go from there. I hope that you all can join me!

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About Maegan Provan

I am an indie author and proud of it. I try to update as much as humanly possible, but I'm a busy bee.

Posted on February 17, 2014, in Journal, Random Stuff and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I am doing monthly reviews on my blog, and honesty is a big factor of it. What’s the point in writing a review if you aren’t going to tell the truth? Great post and I agree with you completely!

  2. You’ve made some excellent points in this post. I was reading and reviewing books long before I ever thought about writing a book. Now that I’m an author, I’m very careful when I review. Part of me doesn’t want to hurt an author’s feelings. Another part of me is afraid to leave bad reviews because I don’t want to be attacked. There are some very nasty authors and reviewers out there. Readers should be able to leave honest reviews without fear of retaliation. Authors should be able to interact on forums, or Facebook, or blogs without fear of ending up on a BBA list. It’s not okay to one-star books you haven’t read just because you don’t like an author. It’s not okay to say you wish the author (or reviewer) would die. Reviews should focus on the book, and authors should learn to tell the difference between a bad review and a personal attack. Everyone has a duty to treat others with respect. Just because you’re hiding behind a screen name doesn’t mean you can say or do whatever you like.

    Sorry for the long-winded comment. I have a feeling you’ll be getting a lot of lengthy comments because this is an issue people are passionate about. Thanks for being brave enough to blog about it.

    • Well, it’s something that we SHOULD be talking about, ya know? I mean, as we have seen, it’s a bigger deal than most people are willing to talk about. If I get attacked for this, then it just further proves my point. We shouldn’t have to hide our opinions because we’re published. We shouldn’t have to worry about retaliation because we’re published. We are readers just like everyone else.

  1. Pingback: The First Time [Book Review] « Ace Worldwide Goods & Services

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