What is a Review Worth?
Posted by Sue
So, What is a Review Worth?
Recently I’ve seen many comments about reviews and whether they really reflect whether a book is worth reading or not. When I read a reviewer’s comments about how he or she never gives 5-star reviews, I am reminded of some teachers I used to know that bragged about how students rarely made an A in their classes. Their excuses were usually along the lines that A’s meant the student was perfect, or as good as the teacher, that their (the teacher) standards were set higher than other teachers, or some other inane reason for justifying their position.
Is it being in a position of power that allows people to look down on others whom they see as having lower standards?
Some reviewers state that all 5-star reviews are bogus, that any book can be improved. Of course, any book can be improved, but a 5-star review doesn’t imply that a book is perfect. If you check on the meaning of Amazon’s five stars, one star means I hate it. Two stars mean I don’t like it. Three stars mean It’s okay. Four stars is I like it and five stars mean I love it. I don’t know about you, but I read many books that I like, even books that I love, that I can see ways in which the story could be improved. So what? I liked it the way it was.
I am a writer, but long before I was a writer, I was a reader. I still am a reader. On an average, I read several books a week. I just don’t do reviews for all of the books I read. Perhaps if I had to, I’d become jaded about reviews too. Thank God, I’m not. I still enjoy reading a good book and I do leave reviews for some books. I leave a 4 or 5-star if I enjoyed the book. I leave a 3 if the book was okay, but had problems. I leave a 2 or 1 if I did not like the book. When I buy books, if I haven’t read anything by the author before, I always read the reviews. Sometimes the two or three star reviews convince me to read the book, simply because I have a different world view than the person who wrote the review. My personal opinion is that all reviews should have reasons for their placement.
Sometimes writers are devastated by a bad review of their book. If that writer is you, don’t take that review personally. Maybe the reviewer was merely having a bad day? Who knows? Maybe he/she should never have read that book? Since reviews are only opinions, then we should take all reviews with a grain of salt. One person’s hot chocolate may be another person’s cup of hemlock juice.
What is your opinion on reviews?