Over the last few months, I have noticed a growing trend on GoodReads. It no longer seems good enough to just review a book, now people are adding their own “casting choice” photo’s to go along with them. What I mean by this is that there will be pictures added, usually of actresses and actors, that are the reviewers representation of what the character looks like. I say usually actors or actresses but there have been models I’m not familiar with (dicey ground Ladies and Gents … if the images are copyrighted, you are playing with fire) or even porn shots (not cool … it’s not an age-restricted site).
So why do I not like reviews including such pictures? More often than not, they are only a problem when I’m looking at reviews before I read a book. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and these reviews often include pictures that, although obviously work for the blogger, just don’t work for me. I have the type of brain that latches images to names and, after I’ve seen a image with a name attached, I cannot picture anyone else. If I’d read the review that had Aaron Eckhart as Soren before I’d started the book, I’d never have picked it up as he just does not work for me and that is just one example of many that I’ve seen. I’ve been put off many, many books because of these reviews; I’m never going to read a book where the lead characters remind the reader of Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez and YES, I have seen this on erotic romance reviews. I think this is one of the reasons that I also choose covers that have no faces on them … man-titty is always fun to look at but I don’t want images with features that can stick (especially when I recently read one that hinted at a hero with blonde hair and the author wrote him as a red-head!).
Sometimes, I read reviews after reading a book to see someone else’s opinion on the book or plot. When I start looking at reviews, these picture reviews can be quite useful as, if the reviewer has an opinion that differs to mine on what everyone looks like, it’s clear that we didn’t see the book in the same light anyway so I probably won’t find what I’m looking for. This is the only time I will glance at reviews with pictures … probably not the reaction the reviewers were looking for!
So what is your opinion on “casting choice” reviews. Do you love them? Do you hate them? I want to know if I’m in minority … it’s possible I am!