Goodreads, more than Amazon or Barnes and Noble seems to be the go to place for reviews. I’m not really sure why that it. Is it easier to post? Maybe. But it seems to me that Goodreads reviewers are a little more free with their opinions than others are.
I DON’T read my reviews. I did. When the first few started to roll in I did. Of course! What newly published writer doesn’t want the world to know what they have to say about their baby? But I have stopped reading them. Even the glowing ones, unless somebody sends them directly to me. Why? Because something about them even the good ones always bugs me, crawls under my skin until I can’t think of anything else but what that person has said.
It’s the reader’s right to criticize a book. America is the land of free speech. People have lost their lives to give us that right, but sometimes it seems that people are being too free with their words and not enough with their thoughts.
I was on Goodreads about to rate a book by an author I have met and read and liked, but when I scrolled through the reviews I spotted a one star rating. And the first line of the review said, “I F&^king hated this book.” I read on in horror as this person tore the book to shreds. It was ruthless and just plain mean. I can understand not liking a book. I can understand being frustrated with an author, but being so ruthless is not cool. When I looked at the other reviews by this person I noticed a theme. It was like she took joy in ripping people apart. It was like she couldn’t find a single positive thing to say about anybody.
It made me feel sad for her. That her life was so devoid of joy the only way she could find happiness was gleefully ripping somebody else’s work to shreds. Most of you here are writers so you know how hard it is to write a book. How much work and blood and pain goes into the process. Knowing that I would NEVER rip an author like that, even if I didn’t like their book.
It seems to me that those type of reviewers forget that authors are real people, with real feelings, who work very hard at what they do. It just doesn’t sit right with me. If you can’t leave a thoughtful, concise review without swearing and tearing the author to shreds then just don’t leave one.
What do you all think about this? Is okay to rip some one apart?