Over the weekend I read a book by an author I admire. I've read just about every book she's ever written. I've loved just about every book she's ever write, but not that one. In fact, I could find very little to like about the book. And yet, I read it to the bitter end (and the ending was just that--bitter; it left an unpleasant tang on my tongue). So, am I going to run to Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com to write a scathing review?
Not on your life.
This author is big, much BIGGER than I will ever be. She writes women's fiction. She makes mega, Mega, MEGA bucks. She's hit the New York Times bestsellers list (in hardcover) at least 16 times (and probably the USA Today top fifty as many times, too). So how could she write a book I didn't like?
Was the novel well written? Yes. Her gift for description is to die for. (Well, at least if you aspire to be an author.) Did she have a bad plot? Nope. She's written almost a score of books--she knows what she's doing. So what was the problem?
It just wasn't my cup of tea. It just didn't "sing" for me, but that doesn't mean it didn't hit the right notes for thousands (and we're talking HUNDREDS of thousands) of readers. So why not go on a public forum and tell the world my opinion of this book? Because it's not necessary. Would I have written a glowing review if I'd loved it? Probably not, so why do it if I didn't enjoy the book?
With the advent of social media, far too many people log on to review sites and vent their spleens. I've read some pretty nasty book reviews--and have been on the receiving end of them as well. Will a nasty review keep this fantastically talented woman from making a living? No. And she doesn't expect everyone will like her book(s). But neither does she (or any author) expect to be trashed in a public forum.
We all have different tastes. Not all books will appeal to everyone. Will I warn others away from the book? No. It's got quite a twist at the end that some (probably many) will find quite appealing. Will I read her next book? Probably. If I don't like it, then I will probably stop reading her work. There are plenty of other brilliant authors out there. But trash her work? Never.
Have you ever trashed a book on an online site? If so, why? (Feel free to answer anonymously. Well, if the CAPTCHA will let you.)