Confessions of a Reader: Telling it Like it Is

Note: Be sure to grab this new button if you’d like to participate!
It’s time for Confessions of a Reader! You can read more about the idea here, but here it is in a nutshell:
  1. Whenever you have something you want to share, just spill it (you know you want to). Just create a post of your own, grab the button thingy above and then add your post link to Mister Linky below.
  2. I will be here every Saturday, but you need not commit to a weekly post. Post when you have something to share.
  3. Posts can be rants about something you are reading, or a deep, dark secret. All I ask is that the post relates to reading or blog reading in some way. If you want to piggy-back off of what I post, then that’s okay too.
  4. Posts can be as short or as long as you like and can include more than one topic.
  5. The goal is to get to know one another better.

Here’s mine:

Here’s my deep, dark secret…I’m not shy. Those that know me personally are laughing right now. Okay, I’ll admit that if there is something to be said, it will usually be said by me.  I don’t have a problem with conflict and I can discuss almost anything in a respectful way. The same can be said for the reviews I write. When I read a book and consequently write the review, I pretty much tell it like it is. Or so I thought.

When I updated my blog recently, I went through the process of transferring posts over and as I was doing so, I re-read a few of the reviews that I had written for books that were so-so, or just flat-out bad. You know what? The reviews that I posted, the ones that made me cringe a bit when I hit the publish button, were not that bad. Meaning… that I had somehow made the book look good! How did that happen?

Some of it was due to me trying to inject humor where there was none.

Some of what I was saying was said between the lines so if you didn’t know me that well, you probably missed my “I’m rolling my eyes” sarcasm.

Whatever the reason, it was not intentional. Have you ever done this? Written what you thought was a scathing review and then realized later, without even knowing it, that you caved and wrote a somewhat decent review of a book you really thought sucked? Luckily for me, I haven’t read too many horrible books since I began blogging but I am going to pay special attention to this in the future and try to accurately capture how I feel at that moment. I certainly don’t want anyone to think that I liked a book that I didn’t.

If you’d like to include your own confession, click on Mister Linky, enter your blog name and the permalink to your post. Or, if you aren’t quite ready to post your own confession then comments are fine too.

15 thoughts on “Confessions of a Reader: Telling it Like it Is”

  1. So far I’ve tried not to write anything too scathing. I did that with a review that I put in Goodreads and the author belonged to Goodreads and wrote to me. I do try to be honest in my reviews but I try to say at least one nice thing in each review so as not to crush anyone’s ego. Which has, curious, been enough to make some people who read the review think the book was worth reading. Perhaps I need to be even more honest?!

  2. Lol! That happened to me a lot, too. I thought I was too negative and then when I went back to reread discovered it sounded almost like I liked the book! Haha. I just hate writing bad things about something someone has given so much of his/her time and effort in. It’s one of the main reasons why I stopped receiving ARCs. Because when I don’t like a book, I don’t finish them. Whereas, with ARCs, I HAVE to finish them to be able to give an opinion. I do wrote at the end of the post if a book was a review book or not. So if it’s a book I picked up on my own, it means I finished it without being forced to and therefore I liked enough.

  3. I try to be nice, but honest. But there have a been a couple this year that I really told it like it was–I didn’t hold much back. I just wanted to add that I just picked up Of Bees and Mist at my library last night—i am hoping to get to it soon!

  4. Unlike you, I hate conflict. The last thing I would want to do is hurt someone by saying something mean. When I read books, even if I think they are lame, I always think about the author, their passion for the subject and how hard they tried to get their point across. I’ll admit, with all of this racing through my brain, my reviews may come across as lukewarm when instead they should have been ice cold! Usually, my true feelings will come out in the end through my ratings, but still. I need to get better at this, I know. I guess for those that know me, it is very obvious when I LOVE a book, though. Total gush-fest.

    I know that we are not the only ones guilty of this. I will read a review and interpret it completely incorrectly. I will think they hated it, or loved it, and comment accordingly, only to find that I’ve missed the whole point.

  5. I did that with The House on Riverton, but at the tine that I read that book I genuinely thought I liked it, and then I thought about it some more and decided that it was very flawed and didn’t answer a lot of questions that I had. But that glowing review is still there. LOL. I have talked about it several times since then.

    I have been reading books for so long that I have a good handle on my tastes, so I am usually more disappointed with some books rather than real dislike, but there have been a few.

    Great topic.

  6. I do that all the time. I get involved in trying to write well, and before you know it, the book sounds like it was “lyrical” or “magical” or whatever. And my husband will read the review and say, “wow, you really liked this book!” And I’ll be so shocked! But it happens with me mostly with mediocre books. If it is really bad, I can have fun writing a review that way.

  7. I have had the opposite experience where I loved a book but listed a negative or two and the review came across as slightly confusing.

  8. I’m one that dislikes conflict so writing negative reviews or thoughts is challenging for me. I haven’t written any scathing reviews but a few that I didn’t care for. I tried to highlight what others may like and make it short. I have had some book reviews that sounded better than I thought it was or my concerns didn’t pop out strongly enough.

  9. Like Jill (softdrink) I’ve written reviews for books that were pretty good, but have been honest about their flaws, and I’ll get comments like “Too bad you didn’t like the book” or whatever, and I’ll think, wait a minute, I DID like the book.

    But I’ve also written pretty nice reviews for books I didn’t like that much. I think even with a book you don’t love, you can still find some things to praise.

  10. Oh I hear you on this. I try to be nice AND honest but sometimes the nice part seems to take over. And I’m always trying to think that just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean other people won’t. It is when I give a rating that I can truly share my overall opinion!

  11. I actually have a draft of a post about this (it’s been sitting in draft mode since, um, June!). My review of UNPOLISHED GEM was meh, but many people wrote in comments “great review! I’ll add to my list!” … I read these and thought, “no, that’s not what I said!” So I went back and tried to clarify … It’s good to revisit the reviews; I always try to imagine what I would say to a friend who asked about the book.

  12. I think a bigger problem for me has been what Jill and Lisa are saying, that I’ll think a book was pretty good, if not great, but will lay out WHY I didn’t think it was great, and people will think I gave a bad review, that I didn’t like the book!

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