Attention Books Reviewers

Book reviewers, I have a confession to make and a tiny request. Please read this post.

How It All Started

I have turned off the notification on Goodreads. If there are any comments on my review, status, I don’t know about it. Once in a while, I go through the comments and reply to those. I am less active on Goodreads these days.

Today, as I had nothing better to do (I didn’t feel like doing anything else) I thought I will just browse through some of the comments.

There was one comment which pointed out a mistake in the plot summary and character names. I had to spend an hour to verify his inputs and I corrected my review. Thanks, Mujeeb.

The other one was a complaint about my review. A young girl (I assume) had left a comment saying I am misleading readers with my review of a certain book. She didn’t sound too aggressive, though.

Déjà vu.

About a year ago, same thing had happened with me. It wasn’t polite. On the contrary, it was harsh, as though that private account holder was after me for life. I was so terrified that I removed that book from my shelf. The aforementioned commenter went on to leave a nasty one star review for one of my books (I have 50 books on GR, by the way). I was so dejected, that I thought of giving up – blogging, writing books, writing reviews.

Then, I googled if what I had done was wrong. I posted about it. My dear friend Sara Saif (thank you Sara, you always have something positive to say) commented on it and I moved on.

An Evolved Approach

This time, it is different. I stand by my opinion. If I didn’t like the book, I will say so.

I ensure that my review is just that – my review.

I don’t try to persuade others. In the past, I included a verdict section in my review but I stopped doing that.

I just don’t understand. Why don’t we understand that all books cannot get only 5 star reviews?

There are several times that I like others’ reviews even though they have given a 1* rating to a book I love.

I read one review where a reader criticized Harry Potter. Now, I read Harry Potter series very recently. I am not a die-hard fan, but I liked the books. However, I agreed to the fact that Harry seems like a whiny little boy – why didn’t Dumbledore call me? Nobody loves me, blah blah!

I like their review and I feel that I should show my appreciation for their nicely written review. It doesn’t mean I agree with their opinion.

The Million Dollar Question, Again

Since I write stories (that very few people read), does it mean I cannot review others’ work?

Does it mean that I should only praise others, because I know what it takes to write a book?

Should I stop posting my not-so-positive reviews for other authors’ books?

Let’s face it. I ain’t no writer. It’s my passion, not my profession. I may write a good review. My storytelling skills may suck. But, hey. Readers can choose to not read my books, and they do. I will not stop writing because a reader feels that I should stop writing.

All I want to say is – reviews are subjective. Try and look at it subjectively. If I don’t like your favourite books, I am not your enemy, nor should you be mine (enemy). You shouldn’t avenge me by leaving negative review. I don’t mind negative reviews. But, please don’t do that without reading my books. If you want, you can contact me for a free copy, *wink*

Let’s agree to disagree, shall we?

Love and peace,

Shabana Mukhtar