It almost feels like 2014 around here again. We have authors showing their butts and some readers arguing that if you can't say anything positive, that we shouldn't post reviews. That we love negativity and that those that post "critical" reviews are doing it for publicity and to become famous.
Yep, I know when I post reviews for free after spending my own time and money on books that I somehow get all the accolades (deliberate eye-roll).
A lot of us ran to Booklikes back in 2014 after the mess going on at Amazon and Goodreads. We had the STGRB joke of a group running around and threatening retaliation for every negative review. They freaking doxxed people. And some authors stood around saying how bad and went about their day. We only had each other to lean on and support us. Heck, I stopped reviewing for four months after being doxxed. I finally said screw it though when all of that crap came out with Blythe and Kathleen Hale.
I was straight up livid, people were laughing at a stranger who was stalked at work and home. I am sure if Kathleen Hale wasn't young, blonde, and white, it wouldn't have been so damn funny. Moonlight Reader broke it down a lot better than I can though, check out her blog, The Shaming of Blythe Harris. And people are doing the same damn thing more than four years later. Blythe read a book, posted her comments about it, and then posted a review, like we all do. Apparently that meant that Kathleen Hale had the right to do what she did. Her coming back to write some BS personal essay about it is gross as hell.
Hale's publisher has pushed back with mumble mouth excuses about the importance of what she has to say. I wonder how in the #metoo movement anyone thinks that's it's cool that one woman harassed and stalked another one and it's cool to praise her. I hope that book bombs like a motherfucker and she chokes on the reviews coming her way.
That said, it looks like we need to break it down for the reading community one more damn time.
1. My reviews are not for the author of the book. If I wanted the author of the book's comments about my reviews, I would send it to them. Since I am not an asshole, I would ask they respect my space and stay the hell out of my reviews.
2. Critical reviews are just as necessary as positive reviews that say nothing except regurgitate the book summary and say this was great.
3. Goodreads and other book review sites need to do more to keep up the separation between authors and readers. I am a little tired of street teams popping up on Goodreads getting pissy because I dissed their lord and master by not loving a book. And I am also tired of authors popping up in my review comments asking me to please review their book. Stop it.
4. I use a pseudonym because I am a woman on the damn internet. The world at large has shown that it's not safe for us out there, and I will be damned that I am somehow less than because I won't show you my face or tell you my name. As it is, I am reluctant to even give people my address that I am friends with here and on Goodreads. This incident has brought up all of those old fears again about someone trying to harm you.
5. The last time we all had enough we did a blogger blackout, and with the release of Hale's book in June, I am wondering if another one is warranted?
I hope everyone in 2019, reads what they want, reviews how they feel, and doesn't have to keep defending themselves to authors or other readers out there that complain we are not nice enough.