Reviews: To Write or Not to Write

Book reviews

Do you write book reviews?

I ask this of both authors and readers and wonder how different the responses will be.

As a rule, I don’t write reviews unless I am simply blown away by a book and want to share my experience with others. These have, unfortunately, been few and far between.

Oh, I’ve written reviews because I’ve been asked to do it, and I have no problem with that, as long as the person asking understands that it will be my opinion, good or bad. But reviews that come spontaneously from me are usually few and far between.

Usually, if I write a review, it’s 3 stars or above. Mostly because I know reading is such a subjective business. Just because I didn’t like it won’t mean that you won’t. (Of course, just because I did like it won’t mean you will either, but I don’t mind putting the positive out there.)

I began to realize that my perception of things (like books and movies) was not in sync with the rest of the critics when, years ago, I read a review of the movie Jewel of the Nile that praised it up and down while I thought the movie so much worse than Romancing the Stone. Time and again I’ve loved a book or a movie only to find it panned by the critics, or absolutely hated one only to find it had accolades out the wazoo.

So now I tend to keep my opinions to myself, except as I said, for those rare occasions when the book just overwhelms me, like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander or Stephen King’s 11/22/63. And if I don’t write actual reviews of the books, I do tell people about them and describe, usually very passionately, why they should read the book.

Now, how about you? Do you tend to write reviews or not, and why? There seem to be a lot of them floating around on Amazon and Goodreads, so someone’s writing them. Is it you?

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7 Responses to Reviews: To Write or Not to Write

  1. libbycole007 says:

    I tend to write a review whenever I get around to it – which isn’t as often as I like, but maybe once a month? Still, I like to point people in the direction of books they might like. Don’t be scared of having a different opinion – the trick is to put in exactly why you feel that way, so people can see if they think they’d agree or not 🙂

  2. Jordan Bates says:

    I just started my blog in April and have wrote a review for every book I have read since then, about 50. I found the writing reviews for good and bad books worked out well. People love to hear what is great about a book, but when you say what you don’t like about a book people are all over that. So I write. It’s what I love, so why not.

  3. Daryl Devore says:

    I think I write 1 or maybe 2 reviews a year – yet as an author I’m always pimping– write reviews for authors. Crazy, I know, but I’m the same mindset as you – just because I loved/liked it certainly doesn’t mean another person will.

    And I especially agree that Romancing the Stone was better than Jewel of the NIle.

  4. Melissa Keir says:

    I do write reviews. I’ve learned how important they are to others. People may not agree with me or my thoughts but I like to give people a place to start talking. 🙂

  5. I struggle with this issue. I don’t write reviews, yet I ask others to review my books.

    There are several reasons why I don’t review the books I’ve read. Time is one of them. And when I finish one book, I pick up the next. As a writer, I read differently than I used to. And I feel a little weird reviewing books that are technically in competition with mine.
    But I am very grateful for those who have reviewed my books. It really means a lot when readers connect with my characters and are willing to share their experience with others.

  6. Jenna Jaxon says:

    Reblogged this on Jenna Jaxon Romance–because passion is timeless. and commented:

    Last week on Nights of Passion I asked the question of readers and writers, Do you write reviews? If you didn’t weigh in then, please let your voice be heard now!

  7. E. Ayers says:

    Amazon doesn’t like me writing reviews so I’m never certain they will stick. Besides, they seriously frown on reviews written by other authors. But occasionally I will write a review. If I hate a book, I won’t read it, therefore how can I write a review on something I haven’t read? Besides my mother told me if you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth closed.

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