Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Soap Box Stand

If you've skimmed through my previous posts, the one thing that should have stood out above all else is my abhorrence of synopsis reviews. That's not to say that synopsis-style reviews are the same animal.

Let me put it this way. Black panthers. They are not all the same breed. Some are jaguar and some are leopard but people refer to them both as being black panthers.

Many reviews include a synopsis up front but it doesn't end there. It continues on to include the affect the story and characters had on the reader/reviewer and whether it worked or not. It shares with readers of the review why the reviewer would recommend others to pick up the book and see for themselves.

A review that insults the very nature of what reviewing is all about is the pure synopsis 'review'. I use the term "review" lightly. Those types will retell the entire story using all of its major paragraphs and will only allocate perhaps two sentences at the very end for something only remotely resembling an opinion without justifcation for its rating.

An author writes for months, does edits for another month and does promo work and what kind of response do they get? A lackadaisical attempt without thought or effort? A rehashing of the very things a reader should find out for themselves by reading the book? I find that insulting.

I found a perfect example of what I refer to and I'm going to share it with you. I have no tolerance for synopsis only reviews like this. Authors deserve better and reviewers are getting a bad rap when the industry thinks this is the norm. We deserve better too.
Check out this link:
Must Be Doing Something Right
This is my response:

What this review should have done was to continue with how it affected the reviewer. What made it good? Why didn't it reach 'great'? What worked for the reader? What were his/her opinions? What stood out; was it characterization, descriptions, love scenes, what? Did any part of the book make them laugh? Cry? Bite their nails? TALK TO ME! Don't rehash the book; make me curious! Make me want to check it out! Isn't that why you write reviews in the first place?

Now I ask you:
Who thinks this review has value to a reader? I'd enjoy a dialogue as to what makes this one acceptable. What can someone say to recommend this style of reviewing? I'm very interested.