My Review Disclaimer

Here is a question I have had to give a great deal of thought and prayer in regards to my reviews of library books and books that I own personally, should I post book reviews on books that I thought had some negative aspects to?

I am aware that there are people who are reading my blog, who might make a decision to read/buy a book on what I say about a book. I never thought about it much when I post a review on Goodreads.com but now on my blog, should I have a different set of principals? If I only write positive or glowing reviews, will people think that I am skipping books just because I might have something negative to say and too much of a coward to say so? If I post all my reviews will I be respected as an honest reviewer, regardless what I say? If I post negative reviews what is the cut off on how negative?  Also do authors want to hear what readers really think about their books good and bad, if it is done in a thoughtful way?

For me it is never easy to say anything negative about a book because those are just my thoughts about a book, and my thoughts are not the same as the reader next door. I also know that the authors have worked hard to get their book to the point of being ready to be sent off to their editor/publisher, to go through the editing process, then having it out there for the whole read. They are putting themselves out there and who am I or anyone to cut their work to pieces? Is it better just keep my mouth shut or speak my mind in a thoughtful way?

So here is what I feel that I should do and regardless what may happen as a result. When I post on Goodreads and I have posted over 450 reviews there, I only review books that I would recommend to others, regardless what I thought about the book, or was so bad that people needed to be warned not to waste their time. I have only reviewed TWO, out of those 450 reviews, that were so bad that people needed to be warned not to waste their time, and I pointed out exactly why I thought that in the review.  With those two book reviews, I also was not the only who felt that way for there were plenty of other negative reviews on those books with the exact same things I was saying.  If it was just me thinking those things, then honestly I would feel that it is just me, and skip the whole idea of writing a review.

Otherwise, my reviews always has something positive to say about a book even when I state that there was something I didn't like about a book. I think the author deserves to hear what I liked about a book, even as they hear that there is something I didn't like about the book. I don't expect an author to change anything, after all I am just one reader and I don't always like everything that everyone else does.  I firmly believe that every review I write I should write something positive for every negative that makes it in to the review.

There are indeed books out there that I have trudged through or skipped a lot of pages, that I either wrote a short review or skipped a review altogether because it wasn't the books fault but my own reading preference that made the book not enjoyable to me. Maybe I took a leap to read a book that I normally wouldn't have, or I picked it up without really reading the back so I didn't realize that it was a book that I normally dislike. With that being the case, why on earth would I bother posting a review when I know that it is me and not the book?  That would be mean to do that to an author who put themselves out there, and I try to only write thoughtful reviews for I just can't bring myself to be mean like that.

There are the books that maybe marketed as one thing and in reality are something different.  With those books it will be a book by book situation, with what I will say.  If a book claims to be Christian and no other warning that there might be some objectionable content in there (after all some books might have it in order to make a point), then I might write a review with why I was disappointed in the book. What is objectionable content to me?  Well sex scenes for one, a lot of cuss words just for the point of being cuss words without rhyme or reason, the lack of any mention of God (especially in a Christian book) especially when marketed as a Christian book.  I feel that I should state why I am disappointed just so others know that the book is not what it claims to be.  I wouldn't write a negative review just to write a negative review in this case, but state clearly why I was disappointed.

So please remember that these reviews are my own opinion.