There has been a lot of chatter this last couple of months about a YA mafia. Said “mafia” leave rather scathing comments on negative reviews of their own books. The problem has gotten so bad that Goodreads have taken the step of blocking any author who does this, stating that Goodreads should be a place where people can air their views on certain books, negative or positive. Here on the blog, we have decided to state our views on the subject, with an explanation as to why.
Personally, I hate leaving negative reviews. Having tried time and time again to write a book, I realise the kind of blood, sweat and tears that authors put into their books. Its almost like you leave a piece of yourself on that paper, so it must be heartbreaking to read that someone doesn’t like your work. I really dislike reviewers who put venom into their opinions of a book, or leave no reasoning as to why they give a bad star rating – there really is no need to have such joy in rubbishing someone else’s efforts.
On the other side of the argument, I will not lie about whether I like or dislike a book. Ultimately review’s are not for an author; they are for the people who are deciding whether or not to read a particular book. I will, however, always explain my reasoning of a one star review. I always find reviews are subjective and, just because I dislike a book, does not mean that other people will be of the same opinion. I always write what bothers me about a book as objectively as possible, that way people can decide whether the same things that bother me would them. Reviews that simply say “it suck’s” are useful to nobody, but will ultimately turn people away from a book. Reviews that say something along the lines of “I didn’t like it because the humiliation aspect of BDSM bothers me” are useful because some people actually like the use of that particular punishment within that genre of books.
As a person who uses reviews, I understand the value of a well balanced review. It can turn you onto a book you will love and potentially help you avoid a book you won’t. I will not say I hate any book, I simply find books that are not for me. I am not arrogant enough to think that my opinion should be everyone else’s, so I will try to be objective in the review of any book I find isn’t for me. I believe that, as reviews are for the reader and not the author, I should try to be as honest as possible so that is what I will try to do on the blog.