Bookish Ramblings: Reviews – when did kindness turn into distrust?

Every now and then I’ll get a real crisis of blog confidence.  It’s usually a small thing that will set it off (Isn’t anxiety great) and this time it was another blogger posting on Twitter.  I’m coming to loath Twitter I have to say. The issue that has me all stressed is to do with reviews.  I have a love hate relationship with my reviews, they way I review has evolved over time and sometimes I read them back and think “wow that was a great review” but most of the time I think they’re a rambling mess.  I don’t feel that my writing is intelligent enough

But that’s just a usual worry, the actual point of this post is to do with my review policy. You’ll know that my policy is to only review and share the books I and the review team love. Because of the time I have spent supporting Indie authors, I know how much low reviews hurt which is why I chose to only post 3 start reviews and above. My policy is to give direct, constructive feedback to the author if they ask for it, rather than putting it on a public forum. I have been criticised for this in the past by others saying my reviews lack integrity because I don’t offer balance, but it’s been a while since this has reared it’s head.

The post I saw yesterday was about not trusting bloggers (like myself) who don’t post low reviews. How can they trust what I say about a good book if they can’t balance that against what I find bad in books? They want to know why they shouldn’t read a book as equally as to why they should, and it gives the impression that I just love everything I read.  To a degree I do love most of what I read, I’ve been doing this for a few years now and I know to be selective in what I sign up for, it’s rare for me to need to post a low review.  This year there have only been 3 books that I and other team members have felt warranted a low review, out of around 100 reviews that’s not bad. One of those was a horror, which wasn’t advertised as such – I know I dislike horror in books so that was just unfortunate.

Following on from that I would like to do a little research if I may. What do you want to see in reviews? Are you on board with my policy? Do you feel that you can’t trust the reviews on this blog because they aren’t balanced between low and high reviews? Let me know in the comments what you think – but please play nicely 🙂

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