Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Tisket, A Tasket, Five Stars in a Basket

Over the weekend I finished a novel that I found to be quite good.  The author did a decent job for her first major work.  I even went so far as to tell my husband that I really enjoyed the book.  Now that's something!  I went online, found her book, and gave it five stars because that was my personal opinion of the book (emphasis on the words "MY" "PERSONAL" "OPINION").

And just to give you an idea of how well this book is doing, it is currently #1 in two categories and #5 in another.  It is in the top #100 of ALL books on Amazon at this very moment.  

And as with many things in life, here comes the rub...within twenty-four hours of my review I had two comments beneath it, comments from people who had given it a one star.  To my knowledge, no one has ever done that for one of my reviews before, but who knows, maybe they have and I never noticed.  One reviewer went so far as to actually suggest I was paid to write the review.  And before you think, "Oh no she didn't," I assure you, oh yes, she did.

Normally, I am a mellow, positive, calm and happy type of person, but what many people don't know is that I am a firstborn, alpha, type-A female.  Oh yes.  It's true.  And I have worked hard on myself because of that.  Much of my life is spent in a calm, happy state of un-confrontational bliss because that's how I prefer to roll.  I will admit though, today--for a few brief moments--I rolled over.

I've read more books than most people can dream of in a lifetime.  Many left me tired and sleepy after the first chapter.  And I put them down, and I didn't pick them back up again.  Yes, I suppose I could leave my own negative review, but that's just not my style.  I would rather build up writers who I do enjoy by leaving positive reviews.  If others want to leave a 1, 2, or 3 star, I respect that, just as others should respect me for mine.  To each his own.  And the truth is, I stopped caring about what people thought a long time ago (hence the life of peaceful bliss), but I still feel bad when I see someone else brought down by another's negativity.

As I sat back today and gave the harsh words toward the author of the book the two seconds it deserved, I couldn't help but think about how sad it is that some people are so vicious toward others.  How did they come to be this way?  Is their life so meaningless that anger is the only road left to turn to?  Did they grow up in the wilderness without parents so they were unable to learn about common courtesy and respect?  We all have so much to be thankful for and so many opportunities to lift others up instead of bringing them down.  You can leave an honest review that's less than glowing without sticking a fork in the writer and declaring that they're done.  It's something to think about.  Don't you think? 


  1. Cheryl, as a firstborn, alpha, type-A I feel your aggravation. I review books I like. If I don't like something I shut my mouth and politely step around it. Nobody left me in charge of public taste in reading. I love lifting people up. It feels so good.

    I imagine most of these one-star slingers are Jerry Springer rejects. They are a sad lot. Hopefully they're a dying breed.

  2. Amen. Most of the reviews of my book have been positive, thankfully, but one lady all out lied on Goodreads and Amazon about my book. She was cruel and vicious to me and the novel. I just don't get it. Sadly, she is the one who looks bad. Several people have commented to me about it, and others bought my book to see what she was talking about. They, in turn, wrote me and asked why she had said those lies about the book, thinking she was a personal acquittance whom I'd had a run in with. I explained that I had no idea who she was, except maybe a bitter lonely person.
    I like your philosophy, Barbara!
    Well, enough whining!! Merry Christmas!! Great Post! Thanks for allowing me to vent

  3. Barbara and Sherry.
    Thanks so much for your comments :) I couldn't agree with you more!

  4. Well said (written)!
    I couldn't agree with you more. Who died and made me the royal critic?
    If I did not like the book, I usually simply "forget" to leave a review. If I loved the book, my only problem is remembering not to write a glowing review which doesn't end up being longer than the actual book. *laughs*


  5. How odd that a complete stranger would make such an accusation. The temptation must be great to respond in kind, with both barrels as I like to say, but of course it doesn't do much, if any, good. I wonder too what makes people so mad all the time that they feel they must put others down. I'm no saint for certain, but I only lose it on occasion and I try not to do that in public places where a million people can see/read all about it. Being righteous is one thing. Being mean is another.

  6. Cheryl, remember misery loves company. All they wanted to do giving you crap about your review was to drag you down to their level. Obviously they didn't achieve that.
    It's sad but true that we are surrounded by LOTS of mean, petty people. We just have to spread more love to counter their negativity.

    As for reviews, I do have the same principle. Unless the book is good (self pubbed or trad) I don't leave reviews. I know how hard is to write a novel and have it published, been in those shoes and walked them until they ragged. Why would I want to put down someone sharing the same shoes???

  7. I've learned over the years that some people are simply NOT happy unless they either have something to complain about or something to make someone else feel miserable about. Don't waste your time trying to figure them out--you'll only end up stunned and with a headache. ;o)