Hooray - your favorite author is coming out with a new book! Even before the book has hit your hands, do you assume you'll love it, or do you keep an open mind? When it comes to our favorite authors, do you find it easy to fairly review their newest releases? Do you treat them the same as any other author, or are you even harsher on them because you have high expectations? As reviewers, I think it's important to us to be as objective and honest as we can, but who knows what is subconsciously affecting our reviews.
This topic is on my mind because a couple of my favorite authors have new releases coming out this year; I pre-ordered Emily Giffin's All We Ever Wanted months ago, even though it doesn't come out until June. I haven't been reviewing books long enough to have come across this potential problem before; however, now I find myself thinking, "Well, I love Emily Giffin and all her other books, so I'm going to love this one, too!" But is this coloring my review before I've even started reading?
Our favorite authors are favorites for a reason - we love the stories, the writing - they consistently give us books that resonate with us. So, are we pre-disposed to love their next book? Do we assume it will be good based on our previous reading experiences? And, does that affect how we review their books? Is it harder to be subjective when it comes to our favorite authors?
On one hand, maybe it makes us harsher judges, because we have higher expectations. We've come to know the author and their work, and we all have these previously wonderful reading experiences to compare it to. If we give this book 4 or 5 stars, it is well-deserved because we've really critically read the book.
On the other hand, maybe we're a little easier on them, because of those previous experiences and a strong desire to love their newest book. Maybe we're more willing to let problematic things slide and just chalk it up to being an anomaly. Perhaps if a different author had written the same book, we might review it differently.
Do you think there's a difference between reviewing a favorite author and any other author? Do you find it easy to be objective in reviews regardless of who wrote a book?
I definitely think it's a bit difficult! I'm usually pretty good at choosing a rating for the book, trying to look past the author... but it's always so sad when you read a book by your favorite author and you don't like it. Great post!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Erica! I know, I'm always bummed when I don't like a favorite author's newest work as much as the others.Delete
Interesting topic!! I think I assume I will like the books but that doesn't affect my reviews. If anything I think I am harsher or more disappointed if I don't like a favorite authors new book.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I think if you going into it thinking you will like it, things that don't work so well might stand out more.Delete
This is an interesting topic. I think that we might be more inclined to try a new book by a favorite author - especially because all of us know that our lists are long and we never get to read all the books we'd like. I know that I am excited to learn of a new book in a favorite series or my a favorite author that is a standalone. That being said, I've been reading long enough to know that not every book by an author, even one you love, is going to 'ring all the bells'. And, as Grace said, we might be a tinge more disappointed in that case. I know that I love crime novel series and much of what I love about them is the chance to keep up with favorite characters. Sometimes, the 'mystery' aspect is not as strong, but I still like my 'visit' with beloved characters.ReplyDelete
As to being impartial, well, I'll be the first to say that since this is not a paying job for me, I really don't care about that. I like what I like. And I don't like what I don't like. And I DNF books that I don't like, so I don't write what I consider negative 'reviews'.
I definitely get excited when my favorite authors release a new book, or a new book in a favorite series is coming out. And you're right, not every book is going to be a 5-star read, even from a favorite author, but yeah, it might be more disappointing when it's something you've been looking forward to.Delete
I definitely think it's much harder to review books from authors you love. Chris Bohjalian's The Flight Attendant is a perfect example. I've loved so many of his books, follow him, etc., but that one was a disappointment for me. I felt bad saying so, but I have to keep in mind that my reviews are for readers, not for the writers.ReplyDelete
Yes, it is important to keep in mind who the audience is for the review. If you're writing more for yourself, maybe it doesn't matter so much, but when you're trying to give an honest review for other readers, I think you need to point out the flaws, if there are any.Delete
I try not to have too many expectations, but that doesn’t always work because I’m super excited about the book and want to love it. Then I wonder if something is wrong with me if I don’t love it. Maybe I’m harsher on my favorites because I’ve read so many of their books and have past work to compare it to. I’m always disappointed if the new book doesn’t live up to the old ones.ReplyDelete
Aj @ Read All The Things!
I know, it's so hard - authors are our favorites because they've given us great stories in the past, so it's really hard to NOT have expectations.Delete
The author who write my favorite series, one that I own in ebook and paperback and have read three times already, I didn't like her last book that I read. My review, which is written but not posted yet, is not positive. I did wonder if maybe I was being harsher than usual since I expected better... but idk. Although I'll admit part of me just doesn't want to post the review cuz it's so negative!ReplyDelete
I don't usually have problems writing and posting negative reviews, but it might be hard to criticize an author I have probably raved about many times on the blog.Delete
This is such an interesting topic! I think that, in a way, I hype myself up for my favorite authors' new books even more than for any other books... meaning that my expectations are sky-high. Yet, at the same time, I'm also convincing myself that I'm going to love it, because it's this or that author and I have loved everything by them so far?! It's really hard to be impartial this way... I feel like I am harsher whenever it has been a while since the author published a book. I was kind of stressed about Green's new book, he's my favorite author and hadn't released a book in YEARS, so I was really... well, getting ready for everything there aha. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed :) I think we all have different expectations when it comes to favorite authors, we're all harder on them or a bit too... easy on them, as well haha :)ReplyDelete
That's such a great topic! :)
Thanks, Marie! I know, it can be hard to be impartial, when in the months and weeks leading up to the release, we might be raving about the book and the author and getting so excited - we don't WANT to be disappointed.Delete
I don't find it easy at all to be objective when reading and reviewing books by favorite authors of mine. I have a couple of authors that always send me their new book to read where I've been reviewing for them for years. So I know them pretty well by now and it does get hard to be totally objective because I don't want to hurt their feelings if a book would be not as good as other works. But I do my best.ReplyDelete
Yes, I can see how that would be so hard, directly working with an author. I would hope I could be honest, but I might worry about hurting the relationship I've built with them.Delete
This is a great question! When it comes to reviewing books by my favorite authors I do try to treat it like any other book. Do I sometimes overlook certain things that I wouldn't really like about other books? Occasionally. But do I ever give a 5-star rating to something I'd normally give a 2-star rating? No. For instance, I love Meg Cabot's books. They're always insta-buys for me, I spent the majority of middle school/high school devouring her entire backlist. So when she released a new Mediator book the other year I was pumped. I LOVED that series. But I didn't like it. I thought it didn't fit with the tone of the series, and I said so in my review. Was it hard giving a favorite author/series a bad review? Sure, I was sad, but I didn't want to sugarcoat.ReplyDelete
I agree, I maybe overlook certain things, but if I really didn't like the book, I would never give it a super-high rating "just because." It may be hard to write the review, but I think it's better to be honest because other readers rely on our reviews.Delete
I always feel weird when these hyped books and popular authors have such high ratings, and when I read the book, I don't like it. It makes me wonder if the reviews are inflated, because people just want to love the author. I mean, I know I'm not going to like every book, and we all have different tastes, so I'm sure in a lot of cases the high rating is warranted, but sometimes I just find so many issues with the book and wonder if anyone else saw them.
Great topic. I find it somewhat harder to review my favorite authors just because my expectations tend to be so high, probably too high to be honest. Like you say, they're my favorites for a reason. If I do end up disappointed, I'll definitely say that in my review but I feel bad doing it. I just have to keep reminding myself that I review for my fellow readers, not for the authors.ReplyDelete
Exactly, it can be hard, but I have to remember who I'm writing for, and if a book has issues, even if it's by an author I love, I feel like it's important for me to point those things out, so the next reader will know what they're potentially getting.Delete
Great topic! I hadn't really thought about this yet, but you're so right, it really is difficult to be impartial when reviewing a book by our favorite author, because we really want it to be good. On the other hand, when our expectations are too high, we can be more easily disappointed too. That said, I do think I can give fair reviews to favorite authors since I did have some issues with a few latest releases of a favorite author (thinking of Sarah J. Maas books for example. I love her books, but was disappointed with some of the last ones. I think I still gave them a fair review though...)ReplyDelete
Yes, I definitely think when we're expecting so much from a book, we can get let down when it's not perfect, and that's never fun, but it does happen sometimes, even from our favorite authors. I think I just have to learn to have an open mind for all books.Delete
This is a great question, Angela. I think I feel the disappointment of a bad book more when I've read and loved others from that author. When it's a new to me author, I don't mind writing a scathing review. When it's an author whose other books I adored, it hurts to write those negative words (but I do write them).ReplyDelete
I totally agree - I can admit when a favorite author has a misstep, but it does hurt a little more!Delete
I think I'm more likely to judge a book by a favorite author harshly. They can have a lot to live up to!ReplyDelete
They really do! I think we expect that they will always put out books we love!Delete
Good question! I hadn't really considered it before. I don't have favourite authors in the sense that I rush out to buy their new book just because it is theirs. But I do have several where I have an expectation of liking their work and would feel more disappointment if I didn't than with an author on whom I had simply taken a chance.ReplyDelete
Right, I agree, I definitely think there's a difference between an author you've read and enjoyed before and one you're trying out for the first time.Delete
I think I am tougher on an author I love. I have these expectations, which were set by the author's previous work. Conversely, I feel so much more disappointed, if the book does not dazzle me the way prior books had.ReplyDelete
Totally, I think the feelings are so much stronger, either way, for an author you already love.Delete
This is a great topic to discuss. I definitely think a lot of us feel a sense of loyalty to our favorite authors. I tend to judge favorite authors against their previous books. I'd like to say I'm always impartial, but that wouldn't be completely honest. I know I've given the benefit of the doubt to certain authors in the past. Definitely something I'll be thinking about the next time I review a book by a fav author. Great discussion!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Alicia! Yeah, I think you nailed it with the loyalty we feel towards certain authors. I think I have overlooked issues with some books because they were written by my favorite authors. I might say I didn't like them as much as their previous works, but I still enjoyed them (maybe slightly more than I actually did).Delete
Yeah I definitely think reading a favorite author-makes you biased. But I do reviews based on what I liked most about that book Individually. Great post!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Joann! I think trying to focus on the book itself instead of the author would make a difference.Delete