I think we all know where this post is going. I’m going to pretend you all have been informed of all the recent drama between reviewers and authors. But in case you missed the wankfest you can check out this recap.
Once upon a time I wrote a review for a book called Carrier of the Mark and it happened to ruffle some feathers. At the time of writing the review, I was an angry little reader flabbergasted by a few issues I noticed. I wasn’t thinking of what the author would think of the review and contrary to popular belief, I couldn’t have cared less what she thought. Because once I care, I’ll be forced to sugarcoat. Anyway, usually I write my reviews with the reader in mind, but the Carrier of the Mark review is the only review I have written for myself. So for all those who have been “reviewing” my review and hating it? That’s fine. I really don’t care. You all are free to disagree with whatever opinion I have. However, also please note that it is my right to say, “Haters, please exit stage left.” I stand completely behind what I wrote. I didn’t write it to spread hate because while I hated the book, I did not hate the author. The two are separate in my mind, as they should always be when writing a review. People have voted like crazy for the review. Why? I have no idea. I suppose, they thought it was a good review or maybe they even agreed with it. Or maybe they just think I’m bodaciously awesome. Whatever the reason, we all know what happened next…drama, drama, drama.
So what’s a review? Does a review have to be an academic paper void of any emotional attachment to the book? Well, if you want to write a review in that style I’m certainly not going to stop you. What a reviewer chooses to do with the space Google or WordPress has given is up to them. Here at Cuddlebuggery, that’s not quite how I roll. If I were to write an academic style review, and you can bet your ass I could do it, it would be a really boring review. And I do mean really boring. So boring, in fact, that I’m pretty sure all my followers on this blog and GoodReads would unfollow me with the haste of a thousand chariot racers. That may or may not be an exaggeration. I like reading reviews where the reviewer pours out their heart or frustration into the review. Reading experiences are deeply personal and have the habit of bringing out the best and worse qualities in us. I want to know what someone loved or hated about a book because before I’m a reviewer/blogger, I am a reader; a consumer. I am not a professional, nor have I ever claimed to be such. I’m not sitting in an office with some hardass boss leaning over me editing my reviews. This is not my job. Let us not forget that I buy these books. Yes, sometimes I do get ARCs, but publishers have been known to also give those out to people that don’t even have a blog. If people think my reviews are invalid because they can be sarcastic or because I use images and gifs, fine. That is their opinion. Webster and I will just respectfully disagree.
That being said, here is what you can always expect from me (BIG thank you to Phoebe North as the inspiration behind these promises):
1. I will always give my honest opinion of a book. Even if I am friends with the author or the book is an ARC, I will not sugarcoat.
2. I will not rate a book before I have read it. (Full disclosure: I did this once in the past, but later deleted the rating.)
3. I will rate and review a book I did not finish. As always, take those reviews with a grain of salt.
4. I will continue to write negative reviews. I know some bloggers/reviewers choose not to write 1 star reviews. I am not one of them.
5. I will never attack an author in my review. I’ve actually never done this, but it needed to be said regardless.
6. I will move an author’s book(s) to my “Do Not Read” shelf on GoodReads if the author does or says something that doesn’t sit right with me. That’s just how I feel as a consumer. I don’t want to go into a book with previous bias against the author. Please do not read that as a blacklisting campaign. I don’t care if you still want to read the book. In fact, go for it! I will probably read and “like” your review too.
7. I will not read a book that I am sure to hate just to write a snarky review on it. Once, I may have thought about doing this, but not anymore (the “purely for the lolz” shelf is gone). There are far too many good books out there to read. No, Project: Hindsight doesn’t count because I was genuinely interested to see if I would like Twilight as much as I once did. I could barely finish the first book and didn’t finish the second. As it stands, I have abandoned the project because I’m pretty sure it would not be a happy review for the last two books. I think I gave it a valiant effort. Time to abandon ship.
8. I will post my reviews on any of the following sites if I choose to: Amazon, Shelfari and GoodReads.
9. I will be respectful to other readers and reviewers, whose opinions differ from mine. I would never wish a bad reading experience on anyone just because they decide to read book I didn’t like. These reviews are my opinion only. It, of course, is your right to disagree.
10. I don’t plan on changing my review style. Yes, I am long-winded. Yes, I am sarcastic. Yes, I am detailed. Yes, I occasionally use gifs and images. Yes, sometimes I’m snarky. Yes, I can be blunt. No, I will not change…for anyone.
And you can take that to the bank.