Jennifer and Melinda are pulling out their soap boxes today and discussing a topic that has bothered them both – honesty in book reviews. Jennifer will start things off.

The topic of honesty in reviews has been on my mind for some time now and I need to put my feelings out there.

One of your favorite authors writes a book you don’t love. Do you write an honest review? Or do you write a “fake” review because you love the writer so much? Truth or lies? What do you do?

While I don’t enjoy bashing an author’s baby, I believe honesty is ALWAYS the best policy. As a blogger I take the honesty of my reviews seriously because I want those that read my reviews to know they can rely on me to speak the truth. Maybe I’m taking this topic too seriously, but will I and my reviews be taken seriously if I give every book by a favorite author 5 stars?! I don’t think so!

Have you ever been part of an author’s street team? If so, did you feel the expectation was to leave a positive review no matter your true feelings? I’ve experienced this and did not like the feeling at all 😦

We can’t all love the same books, right? How boring the world would be if that were the case? Two of us can read the same book and come away with two different reactions. I firmly believe we should both be able to write an honest review of that book and let the readers of our reviews decide whether they read a book or not. Isn’t that our job as bloggers?!

I’ll hop off my soap box now and let Melinda take a turn.

Melinda here and when Jen told me she was going to do a post about this I wanted to chime in because this bothers the crap out of me! Once upon a time a few years ago I was in a very popular author’s Facebook group because I truly loved all of her books at that time. It was a positive, fun experience. *Unless* someone said anything negative about that author. Or if someone posted a link to anyone saying anything negative about that author – then it became a gang mentality of how dare you. I left that group because it made me so uncomfortable. Those fans are so voracious I’m intimidated to write an honest review about those books. So I just don’t. What I DON’T do is write a false review raving about how wonderful those books are. 

Besides that particular author there is not a single author that I won’t review and review honestly. I’ve signed up for blog tours before, not liked the book and let the publicist know ahead of time because I feel that’s responsible since I’ve chosen to publicize their book for them. My absolute favorite responses to those are the authors that say okay, write your review and thank me for being honest. How awesome is that!? 

I’ve bought books based on 1 or 2 star reviews before (full disclosure – those reviews usually say that there was too much sex) so I have no issues writing them. Most authors I know have no issues getting them either. The newest thing I’ve seen that I DO have issues with though? Negative reviews tagging those authors. That’s just crappy. There’s no need to write a negative review and then go shove it in the author’s face in my humble opinion.

Jennifer again – I can’t stress enough how much I agree with Melinda on tagging authors in a negative review. DON’T DO IT!!

Fellow bloggers, what are your feelings regarding honesty of reviews? We would love to hear from you.


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