What should readers expect from a review? #poll #amreading

Another in my ongoing series of questions about what you think about reading, writing, and buying books.

This guy has nothing to do with the topic, but we both know you enjoy looking at him.

This guy has nothing to do with the topic, but we both know you enjoy looking at him.

Reviews are definitely dangerous territory for an author, so today I’m actually stepping back and taking my author hat off. Today I’m just a reader.

I read a lot of reviews. It’s far more important now because there are just too many books out there to know which ones I’d like, or to avoid the ones I won’t like. I hate having to rely on other people’s opinions, but there’s no other way. Even when I’m on Goodreads reading my friends’ reviews, I shape my reading choices around what others are saying.

So, as a reader, I have certain expectations in a review, especially from a review site. The main job there, and the reason they get free books is for a real review of the book. One of the sites I usually love has let me down lately. The last review I read there contained 10 sentences of plot summary and about 1.5 sentences of whether the “reviewer” liked the book. (.5 of one sentence referred to plot) and actually told me nothing at all about why the reader liked it.

The book got 4 stars, so I assume she liked it. Or is 4 the new 3, which means the book was okay but I didn’t like it enough to pay attention to anything that you might want to know about it.

Another review gave a different book 3 stars. That reviewer gave a glowing report of all the things that made the book great. If that’s a 3 she must have multiple orgasms when she reads a 5-star book. I immediately bought the 3-star book!

I expect certain things from a review when I’m trying to make choices about how to spend my very limited time and money choosing books. I’ll bet you’re the same way.

Take the poll and let me (and reviewers) know what you want.

And then please leave a comment about what you DON’T like to see in reviews, so reviewers know that we’re not going to take it anymore!  Maybe I’m a bitch, but if a review doesn’t give me the info I need or fails to mark a spoiler, I vote it down on Amazon or comment about it on GR.



7 thoughts on “What should readers expect from a review? #poll #amreading

  1. I really hate the Grammer Nazi comments. Yes, bad English and bad Grammer can ruin a book reading experience. But some people seem to go out of their way to nit pick every single comma error in the book and put them in their review without saying anything about the content or story. I’m not going to say that some stories don’t need better editing, but when that’s all a reviewer talks about, I could care less.


    • I agree. Everyone writes a review with their own issues in mind, and I never “like” a review that doesn’t give useful information. But I do let people know when they’ve done a good review and I’ll follow them. I’m often tempted to say to those grammar people: but what about the story? LOL


  2. I don’t like reviews that don’t expand on the plot summary. I’ve already read what the author wrote, but sometimes it’s unclear what the book is really about so I like spoiler alerts. Also I really need know about MC death or abuse.


  3. Far too many reviews on Amazon lately say that the book was not what the reviewer expected so they don’t like it. Not helpful. Also the grammar Nazi’s make me crazy.


  4. I’m a little odd in that I don’t have many hot-button issues (except for animals getting hurt and even that is important to stories sometimes). I want to know if the reviewer thought it was an engaging story, and, especially, what the reviewer thought about the characters’ journeys. Reviewers who nitpick either the plot, the grammar, or both turn me off. And superficial reviews rife with clichés are not for me. I am more likely to read a book when the reviewer has expressed him- or herself intelligently and with some evidence of depth.


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