But what if I don't like a book that I read? What happens if I absolutely detest something? Surely I'm being trusted to tell the truth...right? I recently got asked this question and it really made me stop to think.
To put things into perspective, here's how I review:
1. I read the book (Shock horror)
2. I decide where it stands in the market
3. I write a review based on said market
It may not seem like a intense and nail biting process, however reviewing a book based on it's genre as well as the writing is imperative. I don't pick up a YA paranormal romance and compare it to a crime thriller. We're not talking apples and oranges, we're talking chalk and cheese. Different genres call for different styles.
I understand the responsibility that comes with reviewing. (Fighting the urge to quote Spiderman here). Writers trust me with their work. They send me pre-published novels and novels they just want to get out there, expecting me to be brutally honest. What is important to understand is if there was ever something I didn't agree with, morally or otherwise, I simply wouldn't review it. I see no value for anyone if I slam a book publicly. But what if the writing is awful? What if editing is non existent?
To give you an example, I recently read a self published book as the author had contacted me for a review. The synopsis of the book was appealing, yet the book itself was unreadable, in my opinion. This is the problem we face with the new age of Indie Authors. Is it my responsibility to act as the publishing company and tell the writer their book simply doesn't cut the mustard? In short, no. I will however contact the author and let them know I won't be posting a review, so there is a fine line in the sand. It's rejection on a different scale.
For those of you that review, I sympathise. For those who are looking for a review, I will be honest and constructive, even if that means I have to be the bad guy.