I was asked today by someone I respect why such a large percentage of my reviews are 4 stars or higher and a full 50% of my most recent reviews were 5 stars. She joked that she would like to buy her books from the same place I get mine since she has had such rotten luck lately re book choices. Here’s what I told her (with some minor corrections and changes to protect the innocent) *g*, since some of you may have similar questions –
“I do read books that are below 4 stars or even below 3 stars – I don’t post reviews for most of them because I didn’t finish them, they were so bad. At one point I toyed with the idea of posting DNF on a number of books but I would have had to totally diss the books and I didn’t have the time. Here’s a review I posted a couple of months ago for a book that I gave 2.5 stars
(I have deleted the link to the book since it would not be fair to post it here)
One of the reasons I just don’t bother posting reviews for many of these books is they take time to write when I could be reading a book I really enjoy and my TBR list is huge as you can imagine *g* . So no hidden agenda – I just can’t be bothered writing a lot of (negative) reviews for books that are really bad. Another reason you see a significant percentage of high ratings is I have also been very selective lately in what I buy since in most cases I actually pay for most of my books and I choose them very carefully because I don’t want to waste money on something I’ll put in the garbage. Of course from time to time I get some that really stink up the place.
Also, two months ago I decided that 25% of the books I reviewed were going to be old favourites. Since these books were favourites, clearly when I review them on the blog they will be at least 4.5 stars.
Here’s what I tell the readers about my reviews – either the book is in a genre that I particularly love, e.g. fantasy, paranormal, cowboys, action-adventures, murder mysteries, sports etc., or I love a particular author’s writing (the rest of this paragraph is deleted because I named the author).
I hope that I have explained to your satisfaction why there are so many 4.5 and 5 star ratings on the blog but you bring up an interesting point. Since I never explicitly explained why there have been so many high ratings on the reviews I posted, other readers may misunderstand and think I’m giving the authors a pass, which I’m not. I’ll post something on the blog along the lines of this email so that there is no misunderstanding. Right now my TBR list is over 400 books and I know I won’t read them all because every week I buy more. It’s a sickness. *g* “
If any of the regular readers of this blog have questions on any of my reviews or ratings I would be happy to answer either by email or on the blog. I try to state my biases up front, whether it’s a particular genre or an author who is an auto buy for me. No review is totally objective because we all have our biases but most reviewers do try to be fair, even taking into consideration our personal preferences. There are authors whose books I refuse to buy any more because I have been disappointed so many times in their stories, the characterizations or both. I can overlook a few areas in a book if the characters are credible and not caricatures, and while I would love to get both a good plot and great characters, I can settle for great characters. In case you’re interested, I read almost twice as many books as I review.
Because you, my loyal readers, *g* want me to post more reviews of books I really didn’t like, rather than file them away never to see the light of day as I have been doing recently, I will accede to your request. But this will not be a hate fest. I respect authors who take pride in their creative skills and give readers hours of pleasure through their imagination, and the mere fact that a few of them might have written books that strain credibility (especially if the story is not a fantasy) does not give me free rein to dump on them. So “fair and balanced” as the guys at Fox News say (although I don’t believe them). Thanks guys. You always give me good advice.