Perhaps I am naïve after all

16 Jul

After six months of not writing one single solitary review, it seems a flood is coming. I would apologize for the glut but… nah, ‘sall good 😉

Anyway, a recent author’s response to my usual courtesy email (“My review of your novel [title] has been posted here [link]“) included something along the lines of “I like your reviews because I can tell you actually read the book.”

Picture me blinking in incomprehension.

Seriously? People out there write reviews without reading the material they are reviewing?

People other than Harriet Klausner, that is *cough*

On another note–but somewhat related–I’ve been mulling a variation of “if you can’t say something nice…” This one is called “For the life of me I can’t understand why harping on the negative and not the positives”.

Here’s the background: the first ever RomCon was held last weekend in Denver. Since it was billed as a reader and blogger event, quite a number of well-known bloggers attended and participated in various ways (DA’s Jane and SBTB’s Sarah had a roundtable/panel thing, for example).

As happens with other conferences, posts went live as soon in the evening as people got to their hotel rooms (if they had internet access, of course) reporting on each blogger’s experiences. Both SBSarah and DAJane happened to have less than stellar things to say about the first day of this convention, which resulted in longish comments threads.

Some of the commenters were happy they hadn’t attended (‘hadn’t wasted their money’ was how it was put) while others offered contrary opinions on the convention as a whole, based on their experiences.

Late in the thread at SBTB, Katiebabs (who had a wonderful time throughout the convention) posted a comment that included the snippet quoted above: “For the life of me I can’t understand why harping on the negative and not the positives” and that got me thinking…

If a person’s experience is negative–or if among the positive there was some really big negative stuff, or even if it just struck them wrong, or they had a bad day, or had a personal grievance, or… (fill in the blank)–why shouldn’t they feel free to talk that aspect up as much as other people should be free to talk up how great the whole deal was for them?

Isn’t it like saying, “if you cannot write a positive review, you shouldn’t review the book at all”?

What say you?

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