As a reviewer, I freely distinguish between two types of books:
1. Those I think are poor examples of their type (which I usually enjoy)
2. Those that, for one reason or another, are just not my type of book.
I do not review the second category. If it's just not my thing, then why should I weigh in?
It is sometimes difficult to identify book that just aren't my thing. We are often obsessed with genre labels, but I have enjoyed books in nearly every genre you can name. I've also hated books in almost every genre you can name. And I've identified books that just aren't my type of story in almost every genre you can name.For example, I read a lot of romance. But I've realized I don't usually care for modern romances featuring career-driven women in office settings. Just not my thing. Doesn't make them bad books, just not for me.
I would think that simply not reviewing books that aren't for you would be the natural way to go, but around the internet, I see a surprising number of reviews that, IMO, never should have been written. For example, reviews of romance novels condemning the sexual content. (Really, the two naked people on the cover in a passionate embrace didn't clue you in?) Or reviews of science fiction novels from people who don't understand genre norms, and clearly never read them. Or -- and this one really gets me -- reviews of novels partway through a series in which the reviewer is confused by what is going on, because s/he didn't read the prequels.
(And tonight, I am feeling a bit miffed on a personal level because I received a harsh review of my own science fiction novel because there is practically no romance in it. I never said there was!!!! Why would you read a scifi book and then slam it because it isn't a romance novel?)
Reviewers: What do you do when you find yourself reading a book that just isn't for you? Do you recognize the distinction? Are there times when it is appropriate to leave a review of a book that isn't really your thing?
Loved this post and had to share with my twitter followers. I think it is so important to know what your thing is, and it makes no sense to review a book that you have no interest in or are not willing to put that aside to learn something new - then you should not be reviewing said book.
Look forward to keeping in touch and checking out your posts.