BTT: Honesty

I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.

Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?

I don't receive any free advance copies from either authors or publishers (though, hey, if anyone wants to send me some, I wouldn't be saying no!) so I don't feel that I have that pressure to provide a good review.
Having said that, in the reviews that I do write, I don't feel that I MUST write glowing reviews - if I don't like something, I'll say so - but I do feel that constructive criticism is the way to go. Flaming and all-out meanness, no matter where or how I got the book, isn't the way to go. Regardless of how I feel about the book, it's still someone's work. I wouldn't want someone overtly trashing something I'd spent a lot of time on.


Anonymous said...

I agree -- constructive criticism is a must. We have to be honest about how we feel, but we don't have to be cruel! There's usually something remotely positive we can draw from the books!

shelburns said...

I like your thinking!

NoBS said...

I have "slammed" one author who I felt was lying to his readers and disrespectful to almost everyone involved in his "memoir". My answer to the BTT is here:

It's late due to internet connection problems on Thurs. I'm so bummed!