Back from vacation, rested, if a bit whiney, pining over the missing turquoise water and perfect weather, exotic birds and fascinating sites. Sigh. Anyway, fortunately rested, because I came back to a review that was…well, I’m still trying to figure out what it was. It’s for the Biggest Kahuna, and it’s on one of those blogs were readers get a lot of ego bang for the buck writing their opinions on all things romance. (Not like here, um…). I’m not going to point you to it, because I’m not sure I want to feed the belly of the beast. Funny, good writing, sort of, poor woman’s imitation of “smart bitches”. Gave the book a C+, which maybe is what I’d give it. She didn’t like the heroine. She thought the premise was stupid. That’s fine, honestly. My beef: inaccuracies for the sake of humor. My hero isn’t a near-rapist, does not “force” my heroine to satisfy him without reciprocity. Couples couple in different ways throughout a courtship, and I’d certainly get bored if the formula was always “she does this to him, he does that to her, and then they do it.” The reviewer was given the book (I buy books to review–and I will get to yours, I promise).
So, my question to writers, readers, reviewers: Where do you draw the line? Honesty is good–if all we get are gushing reviews from all the usual suspects, we’ll never learn, the readers don’t get a sense of what to buy (if they read the reviews at all) because everything is great, all the time. But in my opinion, it is really very easy to trash any book and make your trashing pretty funny. When are you serving yourself and not your readers? Once again, I’m struck by how popular it has become to be as sarcastic as possible. I get a good laugh from some of these sites, don’t get me wrong. I even laughed at my own review. But on the flip side, I think it’s extremely important not to mislead readers with inaccuracies for the sake of being told you’re clever. What do you think?