It’s hard trying to decide what book to read, you read the blurb and the first few pages -stare at the cover for a while- and sometimes it grips you and your decision is easy and sometimes it’s not. So it’s helpful to read reviews and see what others thought before you decide to make a purchase and sit down for some time with this book. (Yeah, you know this already you’re reading a book review blog)
This is where it can get tricky! I’ve been put off reading books because of the negative reviews. I didn’t read Discovery of Witches for a while because I read the reviews of people saying why they didn’t like it. I didn’t want to start reading and end up reading something I don’t enjoy. But I kept hearing about it and in the end I read it and loved it! I went on to read the other books in the All Souls Trilogy and this is my third time rereading it at the moment. And I am excited for the tv series!
Completely the opposite: I read some amazing reviews for some books and started to read them and then realised after reading a few pages/chapters that I didn’t enjoy the book and could not understand why everyone else was giving it such amazing reviews. It’s so frustrating starting a book and then realising it’s not something you’re going to enjoy.
Everyone is different. And what we enjoy at one point we might not enjoy another time, sometimes I like to read fat books with a long story, description and atmosphere, literary fiction or general fiction: Kate Riordan, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Kate Morton to name a few writers who write gripping and immersive novels. I like to read stories with detail about the characters, where you get to know them, like A Discovery of Witches. Other times I need a change and I’ll read something completely different. After you’ve read so many of the same genre for a while you need a break, so right now I’m reading Raven Black by Anne Cleeves, I don’t usually read crime but I’m riveted.
I prefer books by the writers I’ve mentioned and Discovery of Witches to fast paced thrillers, where the sentences are shorter and the book is over within a day or so because you have to find out what happens next, I find some of these books exhausting to read but I do enjoy them don’t get me wrong. I loved Did you see Melody? by Sophie Hannah
But then some of the people who wrote the negative reviews for A Discovery of Witches may prefer faster paced stories and that might be why they wrote the bad reviews. So you can’t really rely on reviews to decide to read a book and you can’t really rely on reading the first few pages.
Yes, I just admitted that on my review blog!
All you can do is take a chance. Try a book for yourself. Tell others what you think. I review books to share my views and get the word out about books I love. I tend to read more reviews on blogs now they seem more reliable than the one sentence reviews on merchant sites.
And there’s one thing that I can’t stand and that I will not do. I hate it when people go through a book and tear it apart point by point in their review. They didn’t like the book so they write a scathing review which may seem constructive to them but all they’re doing is criticising and putting it down. Book bullies! By all means say why you didn’t like a book but I don’t think people have to be so horrible about it, after all someone wrote that book, they actually spent months and months writing and editing it, (even the stinkers) and some people may love that book! I have read one of these type of reviews for my favourite book and I responded to it which was not a good idea, this reviewer in question wrote lovely reviews for some books but when she wrote negative reviews she seemed to change. She swore in her reviews and she basically attacked the book!
I will always give an honest review. I don’t always write bad reviews, it’s easier to leave negative reviews and be harsh on merchant websites but when you have a blog you don’t really want to be overly negative about peoples work. Maybe it’s because being a writer myself I feel for them. (maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m too nice) Even though badly written books make me so angry (it’s my opinion, just my opinion) there’s books out there that haven’t been published or are not that popular that are amazing but then books that are published that are absolutely terrible. But that’s another point entirely I guess.
To get to the point: I love reading reviews to decide what to read next but I like to make up my own mind too. I love reading reviews on blogs just for their own sake. I love sharing my love for books and finding out what others enjoy.
Have you ever read and enjoyed a book that had negative reviews? Or vice versa, tell us in the comments 🙂