Monday, May 5, 2014

I Never Met a Book I Didn't Like...

...I'd really like to be able to say that, but it isn't true.  I've met plenty of books I didn't like, and while I don't enjoy giving bad reviews, I've always felt that if all anyone saw on this site were five-star books, they probably wouldn't be interested in what I have to say.

Well, they might read the reviews, especially if they agreed with me, but would they think I was being honest?  Or would they think I was only reviewing "great books" because I either didn't want to offend anyone or hurt their feelings?  Whatever the reason, I personally feel that if you choose to review books, you have an obligation to let people know not only about what you consider to be great books, but about the stinkers, too.  After all, not everyone is going to see books the same way.  What I might think were terrible books someone else might think they rate right up there in Books to be Remembered Forever.

And that same person might also see some of my five-star reviews and agree with those (or not).  The point is, I, myself, feel that I would be doing an injustice in even having this blog if I refused to review the books I didn't like.  Trust me, I never go out of my way to find a book that sounds like a stinker to review; and if the "blurb" doesn't sound interesting, I won't even pick it up.  But even the blurb can be misleading:  I've read quite a few that weren't really accurate on the plot - they might have something here and there that had to do with it, but as I got farther into the book, realized that some of the facts were entirely wrong (which is another post altogether).  But I figure that if I've read half of the book already I may as well finish, because the second half might be a whole lot better (and that's happened, too). 

I don't think anyone can pick up a book and know whether it's going to be good or not.  Even a prolific author can have a book that just isn't up to par.  It's up to us, the readers, to let them know that.  I'm not going to feel bad about what I think about a book or telling others what I think about it.  Not only am I entitled to my opinion; I feel that in all honesty, I owe it to anyone who reads my blog to tell them the truth.  For myself, - and I'm NOT disputing or knocking anyone, so be nice - I'm not interested in reading only blogs where everyone 'plays nice' and 'absolutely LOVES ' every book they read.  Because I don't believe it.  Not for a minute.  It's not human nature to feel that way. 

I will say that I'm pretty lucky in that most books I read are pretty good, because I stick with what I like.  I'm not going to set out trying a genre I'm not interested in, because I feel I shouldn't have to slog through a book and be disappointed on purpose.  That doesn't mean that I don't read genres I'm not comfortable with (there is a difference between being not interested and not comfortable).  On the contrary.  I have done so in the past and will do so in the future.  Books can surprise us, they can astound us, they can change us.  They can make us think differently, act differently, react differently.

Yet if I do find a book I don't like, I will tell you.  Not only is it my obligation, it's what I feel is right.  I'm not going to put it aside and pretend I didn't read it just because I don't want to offend anyone.  You can't go through life being afraid of making waves, any more than you can go through life doing it on purpose.  So while you may not always agree with my assessment of someone's book, you will always know that it was done with honesty and thought.

Happy reading. 

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A Souffle of Suspicion (A French Bistro Mystery #2)

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