My critique partner Natasha says that any rating over three is a good rating for a book.
I tend to agree with this because in the publishing world there are a wide variety of opinions both about writing style, plot, characters, and marketing of a book.
I’ve come to realize that some publishers only care about what’s on the front cover. Pretty girl, artwork, something to draw the readers in, and what’s on the inside won’t matter because the people reading the book will be no more than five feet tall.
It’s staggering that in today’s society, the opinions of thousands of screaming twelve year olds counts for more fame, fortune and money than anyone else in any other age group. You don’t see 20 year olds rallying for the same cause, but 12 year olds are like sheep, they run in packs and they follow a leader. That’s what makes books that appeal to them such best sellers, even if they’re crap. Little girls will share it with their friends and start a pandemic of readers. Soon they’ve all got the same fever (yeah that was a subtle reference don’t you think?) But regardless, they who have the largest group of impressionable minds, is the biggest group anyone would want to appeal to.
Enter bad books.
This is how bad vampire novels get born, sold, turned into movies, and ultimately make everyone who’s not twelve and female, gag.
The real question here is who has the balls to speak out against these bad books? They’re often written in the rush of the moment because the market changes so quickly, picked up because it’s exactly the book a literary agent is searching for, with all the elements thrown together off a grocery list of elements likely thrown at the author and little to no thought has been put into the plot, sub plot, philosophy (wait, most of them don’t have intelligent thought, I take that back) or character development. They want boxy simple characters that can all turn into Edwards.
And yet, there’s really no point in writing a bad book review on a bad book because ultimately, it’s not going to stop the twelve year olds from reading these books and sharing them with their friends.
On the flip side of that, there are plenty of good YA books that real people have been enjoying, that have flaws. I have personally had a “bad book” on my shelf for about six months now, and I originally wrote a bad review about it, and then I removed it because I didn’t want the author to read it and resent me.
I suppose if you don’t want to share your reviews with authors or you don’t think authors are stalking their own reviews, you might be in the clear.
I believe bad reviews are a bad thing. If I have nothing nice to say I would rather add it to my DNF list and leave it alone.
There are two reasons for this, number one, I write books too and would be heart broken to see a trashy review about MY book.
The second reason is that I want authors to feel comfortable with me as a reviewer of their books. If they’re going to share their ARCs with me, I want to do them justice and post a fair review of their book. If I don’t like it, I’ll kindly let them know it’s not my thing and see if I can pass on the ARC to someone who will review it properly.
What about you? How do you feel about bad book reviews?