The Hard Question…

This past month or two has seen me particularly busy – the Writers Festival took up an entire weekend plus the time I invested before hand trying to read something by each of the participants ( I didn’t succeed in this challenge but I did read a few of the participants books – which did make the sessions I attended more enjoyable) and then throw in  some house sitting and just general busyness,  I managed to get a little behind in my reading, the TBR resembles a certain leaning tower 🙂  And four authors or their agents contacted me personally to review books and I was approached to join in a couple of blog tours, I made the mistake of agreeing to all requests.

Thankfully nearly all of the books I was requested to read were excellent and I got to stretch my reading habits – I read some horror, some great debut novels, a hard core thriller, a mash up of crime/lite paranormal/romance – which I thoroughly enjoyed, and some contemporary reads. Last night however I read a book I actually didn’t like, I didn’t like the characters – I think that was the main issue for me- and then I couldn’t suspend my disbelief – and so now I am stuck – what do I do about this one? I know what I should have done – before agreeing to review I should have mentioned if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t participate in this blog tour. What to do?

The more I think about it the more I think I will just say the book is not for me and bow out- what would you do?



I am the only voice not giving this 5 stars on GoodReads – the writing is technically fine – I just didn’t connect or like the protagonists or their dilemmas.  Are you a fan of the adage  “any review a good review”?


15 thoughts on “The Hard Question…

  1. Sounds like you are burning candles both ends and all over the place, Carol. About your dilemma, it’s easier I guess if you’re just offered the book for review, your honest review is then what you honestly thought. Much harder to be negative about a book in a blog tour. So I think you could bow out with a word to the publisher/author, OR possibly just list the blurb and the book and do a Q/A or guest post with the author, rather than having to talk about your thoughts on the book?

    • I am catching up Lily 🙂 Yes I think I might withdraw from this one – it is a kind of “review push” before the next book in the series is released – so far I am a lone voice – other reviewers have 5 starred it. I might do a short review after the hype has died down about this one. Technically – the writing is fine – I just didn’t like any of the characters and couldn’t reconcile a lot of what was happening with my own thoughts. Are you a fan of the adage any review is a good review?

  2. Hi Carol, I tell authors I will definitely read their book but that I don’t guarantee a review. My website Murder in Common is for suggested reading, If I don’t think it’s a fit for my readers then I don’t review it. I respect the work they have done even if it’s not my style or for some reason it just doesn’t catch my interest.Which sounds like where you are with this.
    June Lorraine

  3. Carol, when a pleasure starts to become a chore it’s time to reassess. I’ve noticed your blog posts have really increased over the last 6 months or so, which is great for me as I trust your reviews. As flattering as it is to be personally asked to do a review of a book, it’s all about that work life balance, and publishers or authors must accept that you may not enjoy it. I would start being more choosy about what you do and don’t read from now on, and let’s face it, we are never without something to read are we 😉 Even though it does take you out of your comfort zone, if it leaves you feeling like you are at the moment, it’s not worth that. After all we all read for pleasure, don’t we?

    • I did do some homework first Janine which is why I am disappointed – I looked at the blurb and other reviews – all 5 stars – thought it was for me – but turns out it wasnt – we cant like them all can we – what a boring world it would be if we al liked the same everything ? I think I have refined my reading choices quite a bit these past years – which is probably why you don’t see many of my reviews with less than 4 stars 🙂 It is not that I am a generous reviewers but I don’t publish about the awful ones. I know plenty who do. And from memory I think out of the 150+ books I read last year I only cast aside 4 – that is did not finish them and didn’t review them either – you will never see me write a snarky scathing review -I know that is not helpful. I do how ever appreciate an honest “tongue is cheek” style review
      (one with no nastiness) but I don’t have the talent or time to write this sort of review 🙂 Maybe I am more honest than some?

  4. I’m intrigued about what the book is. I’ve committed to two blog tours in upcoming months but usually say no to any that seem to be about romance or historical fiction or something outside my comfort zone.

    I try as much as possible to give balanced reviews and often find myself picking books I LOVED to pieces when I don’t mean to. Similarly (other than a couple) most books I’ve disliked I’ve been able to find some positives. But if the book really isn’t for you and you can’t read it I’d contact the publisher and just say it’s really not for you.


  5. Tour reviews can be tricky, either asking to be excused or just posting something general is probably best because tours are heavily promoted by the publisher and they aren’t going to want to promote a wholly negative review. However in general terms I don’t think there is a problem with posting well thought out negative reviews (without the drama).

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