Reviewing Bad Books

An author once told me that writing reviews for books was fine, as long as they were five stars in support of the work; I turned around and reviewed a 99¢ erotic short story of hers as 4 stars. It makes sense for an author not to criticize books and other authors, but as a reader, not being honest feels truly fraudulent. I know I still have a lot to learn.

That being said, I feel as though I can't review all books read this year equally as I had originally planned. Short stories are one problem, but many book bloggers suggest delving into author insight and synopsis as means to fill out a sparse review. But what is a reviewer to do when they read a bad book? I means when one is not in the mood for a bashing, of course.

Emlyn Chand, president of Novel Publicity, says that when unable to write a positive review, when unable to renege on the review, you must maintain balance. You can opt for an interview of the author, or a synopsis, or merely focus on the good points of the book. You can read the entire blog post on Novel Publicity: 10 ways to write a book review and what to do if the book sucks.

Not too long ago, I downloaded and listened to a free audiobook which was a holiday promotion item. If you have been around long enough, you probably know that free is often all they could get for this type of thing.

To keep it short, and relatively polite, Love in the Afternoon by Alison Packard, narrated by the seductively enthusiastic Gia St. Claire, is overwritten, but enticingly set backstage at a Soap Opera. It's slightly open-ended, and the sex is not too gratuitous. The relationships between characters, other than the main couple, are easy to understand, and relatable. The main couple falls into insta-lust, and well, end up Happy-For-Now. All that said, I got about 2 hours in, and listened to the rest of the book on the highest speed setting available. Regular drug-store romance readers may find this book much better than I did, however, and Carina should rightly be proud of the promotion this item received from the audiobook-supplier's Valentine's Day-freebie offer. From the reviews available on their site, it seems the book was really popular. I must concede as well, that I love the cover. The font doesn't do much for it, but the layout and photo, even the faint reflection of a house in the water, is better than most romance covers that I've seen. Covers are an easy way to win readers, and it was this cover that convinced me to download the free book.

I understand and agree with Emlyn on this topic, one must be neither too enthusiastic or too critical, after all, the audience will often ask themselves what the reviewer might gain from such a review, or if the reviewer went in with stubborn convictions. I did not, and I find myself unable to say much positive about this fluffy publication. Well, as previously said, it's a learning experience.