Saturday, November 15, 2008

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday: Reviewing

My Friend Amy, who brought us Book Blogger Appreciation Week has a new carnival in the works, the Faith 'n Fiction Saturday.

Each week she will post a blogging prompt, which participating bloggers will answer on their own blogs. Then they head back to the original post and sign Mister Linky! This way we can all come to know each other more closely.

The past couple of days there has been a big flare-up in the broader book blogging community regarding review policies and a blogger's obligation to an author once they've received a review copy. For those of you who belong to the blogging alliance FIRST, we've also discussed this issue a little bit.

I decided to make today's question about this, because I think this is an even tougher situation for Christian reviewers who review Christian books. So here you receive review copies of Christian books? If so, do you review them honestly? How do you handle it when you don't like a book but are obligated to provide a review? Who do you see your first commitment being to in book reviewing (besides God)? Yourself? The author? Your readers? Does your review change based on the spiritual content of the book or is it solely based on technical or artistic merit? Have you ever had a negative experience with an author after giving them a negative review? (please don't name names)

My answer:

I receive only Christian books to review. I try my hardest to review them honestly, and if I don't like a book I'll say so. I try to explain why I didn't like that book, and I always try to consider why I didn't like it. If there's a book that I don't like, I try to still say something good about it. I tend to like quite a lot of the books that I read which is good :)
I'm still learning how to write good reviews, but my general rule of thumb is to always try and pick something out of the book that I thought was good.
A lot of my friends read my book blog, and I want them to get an honest opinion of what I thought of the books that I review.


Smilingsal said...

Right! It's important to do a review that reflects your thoughts and opinions.

Anonymous said...

I like your benevolent and good hearted approach. I must say though, you've had better luck than me. I've read some Christian books that needed a WHOLE LOTTA improvement. But I still try and find the good in the book and do my best to write a review that points out those good things and offers some pointers on what the author might do to make it better.

Anonymous said...

wonderful thoughts and great approach.

have a wonderful weekend.


M. C. Pearson said...

I agree, being honest is SO important.

Sunny said...

Great response! I think it's important to remember that even though we didnt like it, someone else might love it. So we have to be honest but also point out the good qualities.

kalea_kane said...

I like your approach, and I have tried to do the same in other reviews I have done. I have been fortunate in that I have enjoyed the books I have reviewed. I think that it is a good plan to be honest and also try to find something nice about the read. :)

Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reading in Seattle said...

I have always provided honest reviews as well - I feel we need to be honest to ourselves and our readers (the authors too - they may still be able to do revisions)

:) Wendi

I've got mine up late . . .
is my Faith 'n Fiction Saturday post.

Lindsey said...

"I always try to consider why I didn't like it."

I do that, too - sometimes I make my brain hurt having these conversations with myself, lol. I want to make sure I'm not picking at something insignificant, or just being distracted by life and therefore not appreciating the book like it should be. Since I had my baby it has been hard to stay focused, I'll tell you. Hopefully my brain clears up and I'm able to express myself better as time goes by. :-)

Here's my answer, a bit late:

Wyn said...

Good response, it is important to determine if your dislike is because it is poorly written or because it wasn't "up your alley".

Ausjenny said...

Hi Jewelz I like your response.

I have just tagged you for a meme.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Your rule of thumb is exactly on key!