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Friday Coffee & Bookish Speaks – In the Eyes of the Reviewer

I am drinking less coffee these days. Gasp! I’m still drinking a small cup of fresh roasted coffee with cream.

What are you drinking?

I don’t know if you guys know that I took up a professional reviewing position last year with a magazine. The magazine had a policy that if you dnf’d a book than they had someone else review it to make sure. The problem is where one person sees a dud another person can see promise. I dnf’d a book and the person who read it after me gave it 5 stars!?!?! What!

I was pretty frustrated and I ended up not working for the magazine anymore (for different reasons) Than I dnf’d another book as I have made clear on my page I don’t publicize a review under a 3. So I was letting this author know that I couldn’t finish her book and why and she shot back with a copy of a reviewer that gave her 5 stars!!!!

People I’m at a loss as to how we can hold a standard that readers can depend on and authors can be held accountable by. I could drag this topic on forever, but I will try and make it short. One reason I believe the second dnf got a 5 star review because it was two authors exchanging reviews. I think that one was thinking if she gave a good review she would get a good review. Than a professional reviewer comes along and tells you this book is not good, because right now all I do is review books. The author can pop back with this 5 star review that may have had an agenda behind it.

Either way, this is a very frustrating subject matter for me.

I guess in the end there is no way to make reviews less subjective. All I can say is consider the source of the reviewer, look at other reviews, compare your own thoughts and make an educated decision. I would like to say to other reviewers be considerate of the rating that you give because it definitely determines a person’s perspective on the book.

What do you think about the different ratings among reviewers?

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • kimbacaffeinate July 31, 2016, 9:16 am

    While some books can get both jaded and enhanced reviews opinions will vary. A book can get get everything from a DNF to a gushing five star because each reader brings themselves to the story. Both the DFNer and gusher are both right…it’s an opinion. The idea behind a review is to see if things they loved/hated are things you’d love/hate. This is why it’s important to share without spoilers what you liked or disliked. For example you might like a alpha male or tolerate cheating, for someone else those traits might make them DNF a book. I always check out several opinions.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Sunday Post #224 My Baby is Twenty-twoMy Profile

    • Jessica August 1, 2016, 12:16 am

      This is really well put. Yeah I know sometimes I don’t like a book just because of personal taste. Sometimes I don’t like a book because a basic element like plot or grammar is missing and I think that’s more universal. Yet, even that standard is so subjective. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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