It’s a review, not a critique.
In fact, I don’t give less than a three star review. Call me crazy if you wish, but a real person is behind that book. Someone who (hopefully) tried their best. I am not going to gleefully rip apart their work, just a faceless troll who lives for pain.
I have limited time, and it’s not my job to beta read and critique a published work. If I liked a book at all, despite any problems, I’ll give it a favorable review and maybe point out something that threw me out of the reading groove. The rule of thumb I was given while judging works of art was two positive comments for every negative, and it has never steered me wrong.
If it was too deeply flawed, I’ll skip the review. My silence is my opinion. My upbringing deeply instilled an ethic of, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything, at all.”
The book review is not the place for a deep critique. Unless the author knows and trusts my opinion, it’s just a jumble of hateful words. I won’t be that person. I know how to give constructive criticism, and the review is too late.
If you chastise me for unbalancing a system that tries to rate books according to their merit, to you I say, “So What?” At what point, in this screwed up system, does true fair play come into effect? Shall I point out the people who admit to not finishing the book? How is that fair? Shall I point to the recent trend of ‘catfishing’? How is that fair? The person hurt in those situations is the author; dammed if they fight back, dammed if they don’t.
That being said, If I haven’t reviewed YOUR book (there are a few of you, and you know who you are), I’m not being silent and judgey. I’m being overwhelmed with learning to blog, tweet, beta read, self-edit, navigate Word, my homemade writing course, make a website, figure out formatting, and one… other… thing.
Oh, yeah. WRITE. Apply butt to chair, tear thoughts out of my head, organize into words, lather, rinse, & repeat.
Wait. Is that right?
Anyway, I’ll get you that review, ASAP. I promise. 🙂