As many of you know, I've joined up with Goodreads. Part of that is writing reviews for books that I've read. That got me to thinking about how to write a review. No, not the structure (a quicky google search could teach me that!), but the ethics behind it.
Basically, I've had a few ideas bouncing around my mind that I will attempt to express in this post. So take it as you will, and be sure to comment if you have an opinion.
I am a firm believer in tough love and honesty. However, that...er approach isn't always appropriate (and can get you into trouble when it isn't welcome). I don't think that a reviewer should be giving the author of that really terrible novel "tough love" through a review. Generally writing this in a comment/review section doesn't go over well:
"Your characters were 2D and shallow. I say this because I love you and want you to get better!"
First of all, because it's public and second of all because that's not the point of a review. You can be honest, and TACTFUL at the same time. Example:
"Although the characters could have used more development, the premise was really clever."
The two stars and a wish is a good method (I liked___and___, but I wish that____) to employ if you must write a review about a book you didn't like. Let's face it, we might think that we want to hear the brutal truth, but we really don't want that truth without a spoonful of sugar (to help the medicine go down!), and do we really want that truth where everyone can see?
That being said my personal policy is if you don't have anything nice to say than don't say anything at all (not thatI always follow it...but hey). It can be tempting to rip a book to shreds in a review if you didn't like it, but is that really necessary?
Sure, if a friend asks me if I liked a book and I didn't, then I'll tell them, but I will not post a review on Goodreads tearing a book down. It's easy to forget that there is an author behind every book who has feelings (sounds corny, but it's true).
So I have come to a conclusion, DO rate books on Goodreads with honesty (that's how people find good books to read!).
And DO be tactful with what you write in a review ( and if you don't have a penchant for being nice just remember that the way you review something will reflect back on you!)
I leave you with a review that has my gold stamp of approval, tehe! Happy Weekend!
P.S. Stay tuned for a post on responding to a review (whenever I get around to writing it, ha!)