Raindropreflections: I'm Not Afraid

Monday, 9 January 2012

I'm Not Afraid

This post is long overdue. What with the Goodreads meltdown over one negative review and just a couple of days later, another author’s anger-filled post about a negative review that wasn’t even offensive enough to be so bothered about- I should have written this earlier.

I guess I just didn’t know what to say.

I am a book blogger, peeps. It means I love to read. And as a reader, my tastes aren’t always going to be the same as everyone else’s. I may hate a book everybody loved. Or heck, the other way around. And it’s my choice.

You know why? Because reading is subjective. That’s the beauty of it. I don’t know how many times we’ve pointed this out over the course of the last week, but reading is something that can strike a different chord in everyone. The very thing I loved about a book can be a peeve for somebody else. Isn’t there something beautiful in that?

I’m not writing reviews to please authors. I’m writing reviews to help others and to share my thoughts.

I won’t be bowing down to imaginary pressure from displeased authors. And ha, I suppose that pressure isn’t imaginary after all, is it? YA has been going through some rough patches lately. What everybody needs to understand is this: reviews are just that. Reviews. They may or may not help somebody get a book. A person is going to read your book no matter what if they’re interested in it.

So please don’t take out your anger on bloggers. Because, believe it or not, we have lives outside of blogging and reading. About 99 percent of us are NOT bitter, beaten down folks who want to take their anger out on the more successful artists out there. But for some reason, the majority of published authors seem to think that this is the case.

All I’m saying is this: if I didn’t like a book, I’m going to speak my mind. I’m not going to personally attack the author. I’m just going to share my thoughts, and I’m entitled to that.

I’m not afraid. And I hope that you fellow book readers and reviewers as well aren’t, either.

(And it’s okay if you didn’t get my Eminem reference from the title.)

18 comments:

  1. Well said, Rida. This was all so frustrating and uncalled for, and I hope that we can finally put all this behind us and go back to reading and reviewing.

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  2. LOLOLOL, Eminem? I'll always count on you to break up the tension, Ridz. <3 <3 <3

    It's like authors must protect their books from all the negative reviews out there. And since they can't attack the (anonymous) reviewers behind Kirkus and PW and SLJ, etc., they lash out to the next best thing — us. "They're not even professionals", I imagine them thinking.

    Or maybe I'm over-villainifying them (is that a word? :P), but these recent encounters have left me wary. Anyways. I'm going to do my best to put this behind me and not hold grudges, because in the end this whole industry revolves around the love of books, doesn't it?

    Author or book blogger, we're all bibliophiles, right? At least that's something in common.

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  3. "I’m not writing reviews to please authors. I’m writing reviews to help others and to share my thoughts." I couldn't agree more.

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  4. I love your point. We're not writing reviews to please authors. Literature is an art, and we're free to interpret it however. Great post! 🙂

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  5. Well, the song was playing in my head the entire time I wrote this, so yeah. But YOU get the reference! Yay!

    I do imagine them saying that, actually. But we're the target audience. So needless to say, our opinion counts. A lot. And your last line, Eden? I love.

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  6. Thank you– and why does nobody get this? I have seen many people shy away from giving any opinion about books, with the exception of glowing reviews. Some of my greatest friends and I can love almost ALL the same books, but can disagree completely over a handful. Reading should be subjective, and people should be able to voice their opinions.

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  7. HEY YOU!
    YOU said that MY book was crap shit like the twilight series? What do YOU think you are? God? Or J.K.Rowling. You are just a frustrated-little-teenage-girl who can't write as good as me and other famed writers. You are simply jealous of my success. You don't have a life 'cause if you had you'd have loved my book titled, 'Ten-billion-fail-proof-ways-to-charm-a-Bin-Laden'.

    So, I hope you'll feel privileged that I myself, took out time to read and leave a comment at your blog. And also I hope you'll be sensible enough to apologize for saying silly things about my best-seller. And mind you, I won't be intimated by songs of peoples like M&M and Mars and Toblerone, K?

    And yes, you can have my autograph.

    PS:- Hahaha. I LOVED this post.

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  8. Preach it, sister. Hur. But seriously, I wish they'd just stop and get away from the reviews. Like, go do your job and write or something. I'm sick of it, I want it to stop and I want to go back to reading and reviewing without caring about what the authors feel or say about my review.

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  9. That's what we all wish, right? Hopefully this quiets down after a bit. I'm tired of it.

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  10. I'm totally Team Reviewer on this one. Hannah M wrote a great letter accordingly. But truthfully, I've always said I wouldn't read reviews. My best friend is a celebrity who doesn't read them either. She said it's because she is worried they will impact her performance. Make her second guess herself. So I want people to review my book, but I likely won't read the reviews. I tend to listen to the thoughts of the beta readers I trust (Rida, I am sending a book for you to teen beta, btw) and work from there.

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  11. I read that Hannah M letter, and it was wonderful. And bring on the beta book!

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  12. One word: APPLAUSE.

    Also, Eminem is hot (When have I ever said anything not related to hotness and guys?)

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  13. *curtsies*

    LOLOLOLOL. I kind of agree. He-he.

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  14. I love this post, and thank you for speaking to the rights of readers. It is not difficult to discuss problems you have with a book in a constructive, non-hateful way. I do see why those obnoxious, snarky reviews rub authors the wrong way, but still, backlash and attacks will get them and their careers nowhere fast. I say: If you dislike a book, say so. And say why, but be professional about it. Thanks, Rida!

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  15. Excellent point. Some of the negative reviews seemed fine to me. But some seemed a bit harsh and I could see how the author took offense.

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