During this week I happen to stumble upon a heated argument on Goodreads. It involved a review in which the reader urges other readers not to buy a specific book with which she took ethical issue. In the review she noted she would consider anyone who buys and likes this specific book as stupid. I read the exchanges with some interest as it tapped into something I’ve been thinking about since I started writing reviews myself: How far is too far when writing reviews?
My personal opinion is that a review is one person’s opinion about the experience they had with a book. I like reviews which tell me what a person liked and didn’t like about a book, and I template my own reviews on this preference.
It begs the question: What is the purpose of a review? To give information about the book? To give information about the author? To provide a personal opinion on a book? To tell others how they should or should not feel about a book? To convince others to agree with the reviewer? All, some or none of the aforementioned?
There certainly is a myriad of differing opinions out there. Some readers feel it their right to convince as many people as they can to read a book they themselves enjoyed while viciously warning readers against a book they didn’t enjoy.
I prefer to think of people who read my reviews as intelligent and able to make up their own mind about what they want to read. In giving my experiences with a book, I hope to convey my opinion without trying to manipulate readers into agreeing with me. Just because I enjoyed a book doesn’t mean you are going to, but I can nevertheless tell you what I liked and didn’t like, and leave you to make up your own mind on whether or not you want to read it.
So for readers and reviewers out there – How far is too far for you?
Much love ❤