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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > Bad Review Repercussions?

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message 1: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesslie) I am reading my first "First Reads" books and I already know the review will be less than perfectly positive. I feel a little uncomfortable (guilty) writing anything less flattering when they were nice enough to send me a free book. Then I tell myself I am a silly girl because what the heck is a review for? I know I will only give an honest review, but wonder if they-who-send-the-free-books appreciate even an unflattering review?

message 2: by RandomAnthony (last edited Aug 09, 2009 08:46AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Tell the truth, Leslie! Kick that book's ass! You don't want anyone else to read the book then wonder what the hell you were thinking, do you?

(I do think you have to be honest...:) So what if they gave it to you for free? They knew the score...)

message 3: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Right on, RA.

message 4: by Jessica (last edited Aug 09, 2009 09:15AM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) I know I don't represent all authors, but...I'd be far more appreciative of honesty and careful thought than an obligatory positive review.

It's obvious that not everyone will like our books, even when given free of charge

message 5: by Knarik (new)

Knarik I think you must say what you think.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Say what you think, but keep to the specifics, such as the plotline didn't work for you because...

message 7: by Lori (new)

Lori Leslie, I just got my first give-away too, I'm glad you asked this question. I haven't started mine yet, hopefully it will be good. But if it's not, I've been wondering if I should treat it the same as every other book, which is the 100 page rule - if I'm really not interested after that I put it away. I've decided I'll do that, and give as tactful but critical review of why.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I just got one too - but I'll probably read the whole thing and then give an honest opinion.

message 9: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Hey, how are y'all getting all these free books? (Not that I have time to do a review.)

message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) Mindy, you just won a free book!

pm me your address and I'll send it your way!

(I mean it, chica!)

message 11: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Lol, but I can't do a review, Chairy!

message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) actually you probably can't even read it...what with law school and all.
In any case, I'll give you one when I see you.

message 13: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments my reviews are quite juvenile and all depend on how much i enjoyed reading the book and less about the book itself. por ejemplo: if i was on a reading holiday i will review a book much more positively based on my overall enjoyment and relaxation

message 14: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments plus i use bad grammar and wrong word choices

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Kevin "El Liso Grande" wrote: "plus i use bad grammar and wrong word choices"

Its the intent that counts Kevin.

message 16: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Deal, Jess! Yay!

And Kevin, my reviews are never all lit crit-y and stuff, so if a publisher gave me a freebie for a "serious" review, they just wouldn't get it.

message 17: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments thanks jim. when i call someone a dum ass in a review the point will be taken i guess

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Kevin "El Liso Grande" wrote: "thanks jim. when i call someone a dum ass in a review the point will be taken i guess"

Hard to ignore.

message 19: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) Leslie wrote: "I am reading my first "First Reads" books and I already know the review will be less than perfectly positive. I feel a little uncomfortable (guilty) writing anything less flattering when they were..."

Try to balance it. It's okay to not like the book. If there are aspects you like, do say so. Try to figure out why you don't like it. Is it not to your taste? Is it better suited for a different kind of reader? A review that says "This isn't the kind of book I like." comes off nicer than "This book is a piece of crap." Be honest, but analytical. The main thing is to review it. Reviewing First Reads wins increases your chance of winning more. I don't think it makes any difference if it's positive or negative.

message 20: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesslie) That's some good advice, thanks you guys.

message 21: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Of course, sometimes "this is a piece of crap" can be a very effective statement...


message 22: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Constructive criticism is always a good thing, whether it's directed at a book or... whatever (so long as it's not persistent and nagging in the context of a relationship - then it's just a pain in the a...bottom).

The key is being constructive with your criticism - when I give feedback, I'll give specifics and offer suggestions or direction on how it can be changed.

Keep in mind that I don't have any book reviews posted on GR (yet - Jessica's gonna get my first and possibly only reviews). That's because they can be exhaustive for me because I'm thorough... and I don't have the patience or time to do that for leisure for all the books I've read.

I did do a mix review on TC once, though... and then flaked on the other reviews (which are written out in my mind). :)

message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie | 568 comments I like Lori's 100 page rule.
I use a similar practice, but I can't say 100 pages for any book. Sometimes its 50, sometimes its 3.
Every once in a while it's somewhere like page 267 when I just give up on forcing myself to read something I don't like.
I am also starting a free First Reads book. It's ecological. Not exactly a summer read, so it may take me some time to get through it.

message 24: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments I'm really glad you brought this up too, because I'm facing the same issue Leslie. (I'm almost wondering if it's the same book) I haven't been able to read past pg 97, and the book is only 201 pgs long. Oy.

The story has merit and could be a really good series (the author says this is the first of 12!), but the writing style is just juvenile. I feel really bad because he autographed the book & everything, but he really is just not a great writer. I think maybe he's one of those that got wonderful praise from teachers & parents, but never really did any research on how to write professionally. It kinda drives me nuts because I want to tell him that his book could be 3x longer if he actually put in description & characterization that the story needs.

I just feel bad because I know this is the author's baby, and it really needs to go back in for another gestation.

message 25: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments I have the same problem--wow--and the same name! I got my third first reads book and I looked at it some and I really don't think I'm going to like it, I'll give it a chance, but I was wondering the same thing.

I have another problem--I put a book on my to-read list and the author contacted me and she thanked me and then she sent me a link to this article and it was really interesting, so I decided to go on Amazon and I got the book. And I told her I got it, then I started reading and I just don't want to finish it. It's about 500 pages and there's nothing really wrong with it, but it's not compelling and I don't care about the characters enough to read 400 more pages! So, it's sitting on my currently reading list and I don't want to give it a bad review, I don't want to hurt her feelings. UGH!! I'll probably just pop it over to my didn't finish shelf one day and hope she doesn't notice, but I feel kinda bad, since I'm a writer and I know how I would feel--disappointed and let down. Oh well--I'm not reading 400 more pages.

message 26: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments Guilt is a bitch pain in the fanny, isn't it Leslie?

I think because we are writers we tend to be more sympathetic to new authors, and have a hard time giving negative feedback because we know it might hurt them. But, this is the whole point about reviews, right? We need to be honest about our responses... we can just do it with a bit more tact than others. (even if they are dumbass authors, right Kev?)

message 27: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesslie) And Yall know what? I finished the book and it turned out much better than I thought it would at first. Yeah!

message 28: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments I agree Sherrie--100%!

I don't think GRs cares what kind of review we write, I'm more concerned about the writer's feelings, when she emails me and we converse, it's so much more personal, not like saying I don't like a Jodi Picoult novel, I doubt she'd ever see it and if she did, she has about a million positve reviews, I don't think she would care too much. And like you said, since we're writers, we're more sensitve to how the other writer would feel.
It's such a personal thing, what books we like and which ones we don't. Have you guys noticed that some of the books in the best books ever lists are also on the worst books ever lists? It's funny.

message 29: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments I noticed that too, Leslie. Kinda strange.

message 30: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesslie) Oh, we have two Leslie's here.

message 31: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Perhaps you two should fight to the death for the rights to use the name.

message 32: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Or you can add a nickname. Some people do that, I hear.

message 33: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i would go with Donna

message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments And all other Sarah/Sara variations seem to have vacated the premises or changed their names (you know who you are).

message 35: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments But Sara(h)s are sneaky like that. Unlike the Sherri(e)s who amicably work it out. :P (Or one of us just decides its easier & more fun to change our name)

message 36: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i like the new name but maybe it should be Cosmic Cher

message 37: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesslie) hmmm....what to use as a nickname. The only nickname I recall getting was by a bully in the 8th grade that called me "Lester the Molester" which was most unfortunate and still annoys me. I shall have to think of one today.

message 38: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments yeah, not that one.

message 39: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Isn't Morely the opposite of Leslie?

message 40: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments "The girl's name Leslie \l(e)-slie, les-lie\, also used as boy's name Leslie, is pronounced LESS-lee, LEZ-lee. It is of Scottish and Gaelic origin, and its meaning is "holly garden". Also possibly "the gray castle". Place name and name of a prominent Scottish clan, first used as a given name in the 18th century. Used mainly for boys in England and Scotland. American use of Leslie is mainly for girls. The Lezlie spelling preserves the original Scottish pronunciation. Actresses Leslie-Ann Down, Lesley Ann Warren.

Leslie has 9 variant forms: Leslea, Leslee, Lesleigh, Lesley, Lesli, Lesly, Lezlee, Lezley and Lezlie.

Baby names that sound like Leslie are Liesl and Lusile. "

message 41: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I remember the lead singer of the Bay City Rollers was named Lesley and when I was a kid I thought that was weird.

message 42: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Then there's Leslie Nielsen, Leslie Gore, Les Lee Majors, Les Bruce Lee, etc...

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Les Bruce Lee??? I had no idea, Sarah Pi! ;)

message 44: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments Les Misérables

message 45: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments His wife was just a beard, Jackie. :)

message 46: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Les Dufus Extraordinaire

message 47: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesslie) I used Les Miserables as a pen name as a teenager. (Aren't all teens a little moody and dramatic?)
And, Sarah Pi, I knew about the gray castle bit, but never heard of the prettier sounding holly bit.
Larry, one of my mom's boyfriends used call me "More", saying "Les is More, ha ha " like it was funny. He never tired of it. I didn't laugh.
Some one called me Lesslie once, which sounds like Lassie, so that's good I think.

message 48: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments my pen name is going to be Bjorn Turok

message 49: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Would we have to salute you?

message 50: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments yes, because "for those about to rock..."

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