For What It's Worth

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions #6

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Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers "confess" and vent about topics that are unique to us. Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions. Just keep it respectful - no bashing authors or other bloggers!

If you want to participate just grab our button and include it in your post with a link to either Tiger's All Consuming Media or here on For What It's Worth. We will be providing a linky at the end of our posts so people can "hop" to see all the participants answers.

Question: Everyone LOVES that book! Why don't I? How do you handle being the one reviewer who doesn't like a book that's taking the blogosphere by storm? Do you write a review? Pretend you didn't read the book?

I used to love every book I read. I really did. Even minor flaws were overlooked. I was with the majority of people saying every book was AWESOME!

But the more I read and the more I blog, the more books start sounding similar to me. Maybe it's just the nature of blogging and reviewing. I now look at books with more of a critical eye than I used to.

Either way this situation happens to me about 80% of the time with any book I read these days.

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At first I thought something was wrong with me because I wasn't "getting" a particular book. What exactly am I not seeing?? Maybe I read the book wrong. lol  How did 500 people on goodreads give this book 4 or 5 stars and I gave it two? How is that possible? Should I read it again and expect a different outcome?

This is a little off topic  but I finally realized what was happening.The book reviewing blogosphere is vast but we do tend to read/review the same books for the most part. When I see a gorgeous cover & dozens of great reviews over the course of a week I start thinking "maybe I should read that book" even if it wasn't something that interested me before. I found myself not liking most of the books I was reading because of the way I was choosing them. Don't get me wrong, I have found a lot of great books through blogger recommendations and reading outside my comfort zone. However, I've found that what works best for me is to chose my next book for a number of different reasons, with good book buzz being just one of them. Since I've changed how I select my books, I find this happening less often but it doesn't really bother me anymore anyway. It's just my opinion - one among thousands - and I'm allowed to have it.

When it does happen I review the book. Every time I write a negative review for a popular book I hold my breath after I post it, waiting for the onslaught of "you stupid moron….this is the best book ever & you are the dumbest person ever for not liking it." Despite all the drama that seems to thrive on twitter & goodreads, I have found bloggers to be very supportive of differing opinions. Most have disagreed with me but understood where I was coming from with my thoughts. The other side is that even though you feel all alone in not liking a particular book - there are always others who feel the same. I get a lot of comments that say "omg, I thought it was just me!" There is no way that 100% of readers will like every book. Not possible. You are never alone.

Now, just to contradict myself, there have been a few occasions where it has made me feel awful that I didn't like a book; like when it's my BFF's favorite book. This makes me feel like dog poo. I feel like it's a direct insult on them and their reading tastes even though I of course don't mean it that way. I feel like I'm insulting their mother.


The Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. This is one of my BBC co-host Tiger's favorite series. It makes me feel horrible that I don't like it because as she has stated in the past, we are 90% book compatible. I want to be 100% book compatible! I've tried reading it, I keep trying, but nothing….sorry.

Put down that tomato right now! Do not throw it at me! I know you all love the series but I don't. 

The other book is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Again. I'm sorry, I didn't like it. It's Brooke from Brooke Reports favorite book ever! Have you met Brooke?? She's THE most adorable person and I had to tell her I didn't like her FAVORITE book after she begged me to read it. That girl is passionate about her books! I admit it…..I tried to avoid THE conversation. i didn't add my rating to goodreads right away. I considered adding one star to cushion the blow. I haven't written a review for Shatter Me but it's because I didn't have strong feelings either way, not to avoid Brooke's wrath. lol  (btw - she eventually found out that I didn't love the book and still loves me anyway - whew! Crisis diverted)

I think the bottom line is that it's difficult to feel like a party pooper especially when everyone is talking about a great book on Twitter/Facebook etc. You want to be part of the fun. You want to LOVE every book. I love discussing & pimping great books so it makes me sad when I'm not feeling the love myself but I just keep reading until I find the next great book that I can swoon over.

**This wasn’t part of this week’s question but I’m curious……how do you feel when people don’t love a book that YOU LOVE?  My answer: It doesn't really bother me but I tend to avoid reviews if it's anything the might upset me.  *anti-Peeta=death glare* I want the right to to be honest about what I read so I should allow others their opinion too.

Upcoming Questions:

April 2nd - Spoilers in reviews: Do you read them, do you include them? How to you describe (or avoid describing) spoilery parts of a book?

April 16th –: Review/Guest post requests: Do you have a review request policy? Has it changed over time? How do you handle requests that don’t meet your criteria?
In the past, what types of "pitches" have caught your attention? Are there any (non-specific) examples of requests that are off-putting to you as a blogger?

28 comments:

  1. I'm the one who "supplies" book to my mom and audio versions for my husband. I hate it when they don't like a book that I love, because it is disappointing, but I also feel guilt for picking out something they hate.

    However I will say that that a lot of the time when my husband doesn't enjoy one of the audio books it is typically because of the narrator. If the narrator isn't great then it's really hard to enjoy the book.

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    1. I'm really careful when I recommend a book to my husband. We have very different tastes but thankfully he's liked almost everything or we've agreed in our dislike of books.

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  2. I love the point you made about changing the way that you select your books to read! I always find that if I am picking up a book for the wrong reasons (I accepted a review request I was iffy about, or someone suggested a book that was too far outside my comfort zone) I usually end up feeling luke warm about it.

    To answer your second question, if it is a book that I really loved and someone I suggested it to doesn't like it I usually feel a little sad. More so that I wasted their time with a book that they didn't love.

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  3. I feel completely terrible too when I don't like a book that someone recommended to me. I want to like it so much for their sake. On the flip side of that, I also feel completely terrible when I recommend a book to someone and they don't like it. I feel like I wasted their time. Plus, it always breaks my heart a little when someone doesn't love a book that I'm in love with.

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  4. May i just preface my comment with this statement: You stupid moron….Shatter Me is the best book ever & you are the dumbest person ever for not liking it. BAHA! Just kidding....not really...well about the you being a moron part-that was a joke...all other statements stand. :P

    Seriously though, it's ok that you didn't like it. For real! It doesn't even crush my soul or hurt my heart at all. It's fine! Really! I'm just glad that you at least gave it a shot! And you did! And i love you for it!

    Now, how do *I* feel when people don't love a book that i loved? Well, if you're not my friend then i automatically dislike you very much. And yes, that is a true fact. If you HATE one of my FAVORITE books, then you practically just said you hate me. When I fall for a character or connect with a story and then somebody says something negative about them/it, THAT does hurt my soul. Because...because....no one likes when something they love it dissed. AM I RIGHT?! i'm right.

    (also, i must say, i didn't really like The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer but everyone else seemed to love it?? Yeah, i was most def confused on that one. But i'll probably end up reading its sequel anyway.)

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    1. See that's what I was saying! I feel like I'm insulting YOU but I'm not. It's one thing to not like a book that random people love but it's another to dislike a book your closest friends love.

      It doesn't really bother me when people don't love what i do. I think my only problem would be if it became about the author. If they made it personal and I don't like reviewers who diss the readers who don't like the book. That crosses a line imo.

      I might not agree but I don't think anything is wrong with the people who love something I don't. I usually feel the opposite - that something is wrong with me.

      Love you wifey!

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  5. With friends and their reading tastes..its nothing that I will dislike that they didn't like the same book as me. Different people have different reading tastes and likes. Just because some one doesn't love the same book doesn't mean that I still don't love them LOL
    --didn't read Mara
    --Shatter me was Meh

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  6. I think it's good to have another view out there, and I don't mind giving an honest opinion, even if it's not what everyone else thinks. My blog's not popular enough to attract trolls, and my readers respect my thoughts even if they disagree. However, I have found myself focusing more on the positive things and less on the negative than I really thought, even adding a button (my star rating is 1-5 buttons) if the book was a gift, because I don't want the person who bought it to be disappointed or feel they've wasted their money.

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    1. That would be tough if the book was a gift. Hadn't thought of that. I probably wouldn't even review it.....eep

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  7. *dies laughing* I know exactly how you feel about the Soul Screamers series, because that's how I felt while talking to you about Jeri's Urban Fantasy vamp books. When I had to admit to not liking it, I was cringing and hiding my face in my hands while sitting behind my keyboard typing.

    I felt /precisely/ like the apologetic kitten in the picture. (Or wait...am I the kitten on the bottom, since tigers are orange?:-))

    I used to love every book, too. All fiction brought me joy. Now the percentage of joy-bringers is lower, but I think the level of joy is the same--we just get better at finding the reads that work for us.

    Wow. Fantastic Baby!

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    1. lol You should never feel the need to cringe! It doesn't bother me at all.

      We might have problems if I didn't like Ilona. I would probably just never tell you O_O

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  8. I always feel like a giant loser when I don't like a book everyone loves. Like the whole Maguas/Alec thing. I don't get why they are such a hot couple. They pale in comparison to Qhay! Okay, that's not a fair comparsion considering the genres, but still. LOL

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    1. Qhay! OMG I might die if they don't get together soon!

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  9. It doesn't really bother me when I am less than enthused with a popular book. Not every book works for every reader. Now, when I love a book and nobody else seems to have even heard of it, then I get a little frustrated, but again, not every book works for every reader...

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  10. You don't like Soul Screamers? *le gasp* *sharpens pitchfork* What? This? It's nothing...
    Just kidding of course.
    I don't mind if people tell me they don't like a book I liked as long as they don't attack it. I've seen some negative reviews of Mara Dyer and I loved that book. Part of why I loved it was because I related to Mara so much, but that was what some bloggers had a problem with. That made me sad because Mara and I have a similar personality so I felt like they wouldn't like me. I guess that's what everyone goes through to some degree though. Why do we like these characters? We relate to them, or we respect them. So when people attack them it's like they're attacking us.

    -Kim

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    1. Oh no! Not pitch forks! this is what I was afraid of lol

      There is a book I LOVED because I related to the character so much and the book actually influenced big changes in my life but then I saw a lot of reviews that hated the girl and her choices so I see what you mean but I think we all come from different places in life and view things differently.
      I know I've been really hard on characters that I thought were doing unrealistic things only to have a blogger say that had happened in her life.

      I guess we just have to share our own thoughts & be respectful of others.

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  11. I hate being the only one not liking a book, but the truth have to be told, and I say it like it is then. If I do not like a book I say so

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  12. If someone else doesn't like a book I love it doesn't bother me either (most of the time) but like you I avoid the negative reviews (anything under three stars because the 3 star reviews usually tend to be on the fence, not hating or loving the book). But yeah negative reviews make me sad if I LOVED the book so I don't look at them haha.

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  13. This is a great topic for discussion!! I agree with your feelings when I don't like a book someone else has raved about -- I feel bad. And then, I feel like somehow, I missed something, and then feel obligated to re-read the book. However, I'm pretty honest if I don't like a book (although I'll usually find something I did like about it).

    If someone doesn't like a book that I love, I'm not offended. I do reader's advisory as a librarian, so I'm used to recommending books, and then the person not thinking they're as great as I do. I don't take offense -- after all, I didn't write the book. Sometimes, though, I'm disappointed, because I like sharing my enthusiasm about a book with another reader.

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    1. I agree - I'm not offended at all but you miss out on sharing that love of a great book. That's why most of us are here after all.

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  14. Good point about sometimes deciding to read a book because you see it everywhere and people saying they like it. I've learned to not do that now too. lol I didn't read Shatter Me but yeah, I heard good things from a lot of people. I still like the variety and always interested to know why someone may not have liked a book. I think it helps make a better decision if you are going on reviews before deciding to read a book.

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  15. Awww, it's okay if you don't like the Soul Screamer series or Shatter Me. We normally only agree on a handful of books, so I know not to trust you.

    I kid, I kid! :-P

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    1. Bahahaha!! Base your reading choices opposite of my reviews.
      Yeah - we don't agree very often lol

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  16. That picture with the "I don't get it" is hilarious:) I definitely have found that the longer I've been blogging the much more critical of a book I am. I think it's only natural when you read as often as book bloggers do, and when you stick predominantly to one or two genres where the wheel can only be reinvented so many times, not liking something because you feel like you've read it before is going to happen. I used to question myself if I didn't like a book everyone else seemed to love, but now I just accept that it didn't work for me and move on:) There will be other books out there I agree with everyone on!

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  17. awesome post, karen. i understand totally, especially what you said about how you choose books. I agree with getting out of your comfort zone, but there are red flags for me where I just know a book is not for me before I read it. like if it's really violent or scary, of course I'm not going to like it LOL. Also, I haven't enjoyed most dystopians I've read, so I'm not quick to jump on the bandwagon when I see great buzz about that genre. I just know it's not really for me. There are exceptions of course, but I totally understand what you mean.

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  18. Ahh this is such a good topic! I totally get what you mean about looking at books with a more critical eye. Before blogging, when I read a book I didn't really think much of it after I was finished but now I think about WHY I liked or didn't like it. It feels like Shatter Me is a book with mixed reviews, people love or hate it! I'm on the love it side and I can see why people didn't like it. It's always interesting to me to read different reviews but I do feel kind of a jerk when I don't like a book people rec me too. I also go through a mini DO I JUST HAVE BAD TASTE? when I end up liking a book people don't like but in the end, I have to remember to stick to my convictions! or something like that, haha.

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  19. Great, great thoughts Karen. I enjoyed reading your position. I often feel that way...hey remember the tweet you sent me when I admitted I didn't love Raised by Wolves? You were like, "How dare you?" And we're still buds. The other things is I *LOVE* hearing differing opinions and why. I absolutely loved Forest of Hands and Teeth. Missie from The Unread Reader gave a wonderful valid point about why she did not. It's this kind of dialogue that is worth it's weight in gold. Oh yeah and I'm waiting for backlash from the one I just posted.

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  20. This is a great question, and I love your answer. There's a lot of discussions among authors how they handle negative reviewers, etc, but it was interesting hearing this angle from a reviewer. Thanks for sharing!

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