Jul 26, 2011

Subjectivity Sucketh!

We've all done it. Gone out and bought a book based solely on a friend's recommendation. That's what I did with NIGHTSHADE, by Andrea Cremer. I even had the same friend pick it up at a book signing for me so I'd have it personally autographed. I was that sure it would be an awesome book.

Then it sat on the shelf for a couple months while I caught up on some other reading and did some major overhauls on my book, The Crystor.

Well, I picked it up a couple days ago and was about five chapters into it when I put it down to get caught up on some blog hopping I needed to do. As I was clicking through the blogs, I came across a book review of NIGHTSHADE so decided to stop and read it, thinking it would be praised and recommended like my friend had done.

Not so much.

This blogger ripped the book to shreds. Apparently she didn't like how the main character, Calla, couldn't decide between her two love interests, Ren (the alpha wolf and boys she's supposed to marry to bring their packs together) and Shay (the human boy with a mysterious past that might just get her killed). This blogger/book reviewer had very little to say that was good about the book and it made me sad. It made me wonder if I'd made a mistake with this purchase and if I'd hate the book. After all, I was only a little hooked after the first five chapters.

It took me a couple days to pick the book back up--mostly because I was busy with other things--but when I did, I found myself questioning everything. I was suddenly watching for flaws and reading this bloggers opinion into every decision Calla made. I hate that. I want to enjoy the book or hate the book without someone's bias invading my brain. 

It made me wonder if book reviews are such a great idea. Sure, they get the word out and do the author some good with advertising it, but what about that rare bad review. If I'd just read her review, I may not have bought the book. That's really sad because I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book, and now that I've FINALLY gotten that blogger's voice out of my head, I'm loving it. I will probably finish it tonight.

And the best news ever . . . WOLFSBANE, the second book in the series, comes out tomorrow . . . TOMORROW!  I won't even have to wait to continue the story.

What do you think of reviews? Do they sway your opinion of a book when making a purchase or when reading?


  1. I try to avoid reading reviews until after I've read the book. That way, I can come to the review with my own opinions.

  2. Depends. If it's a question of style or whether the reviewer likes aspects of the plot that I deem personal opinion, no. If the reviewer mentions a lot of plot holes and proofreading errors, I won't read the book.

    But I don't go to reviews to find books to read. I don't think they're effective. A friend's recommendation or, more effectively, a sample of the book is what gets me to read it. (Or not read it. )

  3. If it's a book I've never heard of and I read a bad review, then it's kind of a matter of nothing lost. Good reviews generally encourage me to read the book. I'm not sure I've ever run across a bad review while in the middle of reading a book that I'm enjoying, though. That would probably colour my reading, too.

  4. I glance at reviews - if they lean mostly toward the negative, I don't buy. But if they're in the middle or higher, I pick up the book. But I don't usually read them in depth. Of course, as an author, I dig the good reviews when it's on my book.

  5. I have to confess that I rarely if ever read book reviews. I guess I just want to form my own opinions. Kind of hypocritical, I guess, since I post reviews of books myself sometimes.

  6. I'm laughing at/with Angie because I DO THE EXACT SAME THING. I post reviews, but I'm not such a fan. Actually, I guess I have gradually worked my way to basically not doing reviews unless I have to (because I've received an ARC for that purpose). I'll put my "stars" for the book on Goodreads, but that's about it.

    Because yeah. Books are SO subjective. Or the liking of them is.