- as far as your opinions of books are concerned. Always, sometimes, never?
I suppose in a private conversation you can say what you think about a book, assuming you're not my husband and it's not my book he's talking about. Only - it's wonderful - will do, dear, if you value your bits ands pieces.
But on the internet where your opinions can be read by the world and possibly the author you're reviewing , how truthful dare you be? If you hate a book, would you tell everyone? If there were aspects you didn't like, would you always temper them with praise for the few bits you did? Easy to proclaim your love for a story. Far harder when you detest it.
I made the mistake once of telling the truth about a debut book in a very blunt way and I upset the author. She said I didn't but I know I did and I apologised. Not for the fact that I hated her book for so many reasons, but the way I expressed my opinion. I don't like to upset people and I thought about how I would react if someone hated any of my stories. Rejection from agents and publishers is one thing, but a deep down detestation of something that might have taken a year to write is something else.
But in this world we live in, praise is seen as all -important. Do we only want to hear praise? Can't we learn from constructive criticism? We should be able to and I hope I do but I'm very cautious now about reviewing anything I really don't like. Consequently I wonder if authors get a false idea of the way their books are perceived. If everyone gushes, do they think they've written a masterpiece? Are you brave enough to tell them you didn't like it, when the rest of the world appears to?
I'm reading a romance by an author I like very much. It's her latest book and I paid $14.00 for it. She's a bit formulaic but generally I like the formula. Forceful MCs - straight down to the heavy stuff with blunt language. But in this latest, the woman is vulnerable, trying to look after her sick brother, even contemplating the horror of sleeping with a guy (not the MC) in order to get her brother the help he needs. All OK so far. Then suddenly, the MCs are in bed together. The woman who was sweet and gentle although determined and brave- is so desperate to get into bed with the hero I was taken aback. Her language changed, her behaviour - everything. It was such a character jump, I wondered if I'd skipped a few pages by accident. In addition, the POV changed so much it was confusing.
The story has been bought by one of the big publishers so someone must have read it and loved it but I don't know why. I've read almost every book by that author and this is the second that has left me disappointed. (Not the one I read prior to this but a year or so ago) It has to be the name that's sold it and to be honest, the name sold it to me but I wonder if these big names ever get anything rejected?