WHY I LOVE REVIEWS
I learned to read before I went to kindergarten and have always loved books. When I began to write, I knew how to create a memorable story because I had read so many. Every book provides a lesson of its own.
Book clubs are great places to make friends and read books you might not have chosen on your own. I belong to three book clubs and each has it own personality and focus. One group loves mysteries and sci/fi. Another reads women’s fiction, and the third has potluck dinners and selects a lot of nonfiction. If you have never belonged to a book club, you might want to join one or form one with your friends. You’ll be surprised at the different reactions to books. Some people will love a book and call it a favorite while others find it too tedious to finish.
This month, one book club read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. It’s been on the bestseller list for more than a year. It’s told by 16-year-old Hazel Grace who meets 17-year-old Augustus at a cancer support group. It’s a poignant story about life, love and death, important issues at every age. There are sure to be tears when you read it, but it’s also one of the best books I’ve read this year, or ever.
Most of the book club also loved the book, but one woman who is a hospital lab technician said some of the hospital details weren’t accurate, and that spoiled the book for her. We accept everyone’s opinion without asking them to justify it, but she made me wonder what the reviews were for the book on Amazon.
As of today, there are 5,795 reviews posted with the majority being 5 stars. Those who didn’t love the book often thought the teens were not realistic, and yet there were 5 star reviews written by teens. Obviously, not everyone loves the same thing. I once dated a man who ate only vanilla ice cream. Vanilla! When there are so many delicious flavors to try, why would anyone stick with vanilla? We didn’t argue over it, however, because there is no point in arguing over tastes, but I digress.
Many authors are so sensitive they cannot bear to read a poor review of their work. Should I receive one, I study it to learn why the reader didn’t enjoy the story. Many people leave lengthy, detailed reviews to categorize every aspect they found objectionable. Some comments are simply due to taste. Others are helpful if they point out something I should have caught, or could improve in later books. Perhaps I didn’t make motivations clear enough, or show why the heroine’s attitude toward the hero changed over time. Whatever the problem was, I give it a lot of thought and hope each of my books is better than the last. Thank you to all of you who take the time to write thoughtful reviews.
Do you buy books based on the reviews? Or will you buy a favorite author’s new book even if the reviews aren’t entirely positive? What if a friend recommends a book, but it has very few positive reviews? Do you write reviews?
My latest book, FIERCE PASSION is a November 5, 2013 release from Samhain Publishing. It’s the story of Ana Santilan, an haute couture model who has lost the great love of her life, a famed matador. She finds a new love, who comes with serious complications, and a stalker who wants her all to himself. With both passion and danger, it follows the Aragon family introduced in FIERCE LOVE, and FIERCE PRIDE.
I will be happy to give an ebook copy to someone who comments, and I hope you’ll want to write a review of FIERCE PASSION.