August 9, 2013

Dangerous Job: Book Reviewer/Author

When I first started this blog, I thought being the book reviewer would be fun. I always wanted to share my opinion about books and have that lovely conversation about my favorite books.

However, from year to year, it seems like it's getting more and more dangerous to be a book reviewer.

What do I mean by that?

Anytime I critique a book, I look at the reviews. Of course, I read the book, form my own opinion, then write the review. Then I glance at what other people have to say.

Then when I see nothing but 4 to 5 stars for a book that didn't seem to earn it, it leaves me in a quite an odd spot.

It's always easy to agree with other reviewers but it takes a bit of . . . something to be able to stick with your review.

It can be so tempting to just say, "Maybe I was wrong about the book. Maybe I didn't read it right. Maybe I missed something they didn't."

That's what makes writing reviews challenging at times.

Another part of this dangerous jobs are the folks that just love the author so much they are willing to defend the book to the ends of the earth.

Granted, I totally understand the fan club dedicated to Twilight series or the Divergent series. I, myself, was an avid Harry Potter, Twilight, and Chronicles of the Unicorn (by Bruce Coville) fan.

And it can be so easy to criticize other people who do not value your book. Especially Harry Potter.

Slight side track: Quick story, I was walking down the school hallways with my friends and I mentioned that I fell asleep reading the fifth Harry Potter book. For some reason, I seriously could NOT stay awake. In fact, I tried to re-read for the second time, and fell asleep again.

Well, once those words poured out of my mouth. It was on like donkey kong.

"How can you fall asleep during Harry Potter!?"

"How can you call yourself a fan and fall asleep! Shame!"

I mean, really? These were my best friends and they didn't even try to be supportive or even lenient with their tone. They thrashed me a good one. Just for an honest comment.

Nobody mentioned the fact that the fifth book compared to the fourth epic book of the Harry Potter series was just suck-tastic. Nope. I was clearly in the wrong since I fell asleep.

This is the perfect example of what can happen to a reviewer.

There have been plenty of times where a reviewer or even an average joe reader will write a review of a book and then get thrashed.

Maybe even cyber bullied about their opinion.

It amazes me what a simple opinion can cause.

There have been countless battles between book blog reviewer and authors and fans. It's probably as old as time. The book reviewer with their nose so high in the air versus the honest author who has slaved over a book for months to only be ridiculed about their book.

And sometimes it can be vice versa.

Sometimes the author can be in the right. Some bloggers intentionally read a book they KNOW they will hate with every fiber of their being and review it anyway.

And they trash it from beginning to end. Just because they can. Just because they want to get a rise out of the author.

And sometimes they get what they want. And sometimes they don't.

However, this is all besides the point.

My point in writing all of this is to caution young book bloggers and authors alike. Sure, reviewing a book you received for free can be the best thing eva since sliced bread.

I will fully admit, receiving the free books is the best part of this job.

But, like Rumplestilskin says in Once Upon a Time, there's always a price.

Just like Claudia says in Warehouse 13, there's always a downside.

Even though those are fantasy shows, there is always a grain of truth.

There's always a consequence for our actions and choices.

Nobody forced me to be a blogger. Nobody forced me to be a teacher. Nobody forced me to be an author.

For one of them, I was chosen to be one. And I fought it fighting and screaming the whole way.

I'll let you decide which one. :)

All of this to say, be careful for what you sign up for. Make sure to get tough leather skin for this business.
It can literally eat you alive with anger and guilt. The blame game can go rampant. Depression and rejection can share company at times and the life can get lonely. Ever so lonely.

However, remind yourself everyday as to why you signed up to do this. Why you chose to write, teach or blog. You chose this for a reason. You are here on this earth for a reason.

Fulfill your purpose and let fate determine the rest.

What do YOU think is the most dangerous job out of all three: teacher, writer or blogger?