Recently (this past summer), I started getting approved for more books on NetGalley. I have read/listened to about 9-10 books from them this year and I am SO thankful for that! I have had the chance to jump into some of my favorite worlds and some new ones and I get to write reviews about all of these in the process. It has been a very eye opening experience for a few reasons and I want to break that down for you all.
First off, I started out on NetGalley just over a year ago and got declined a fair amount. Slowly but surely I did start to get approved for more and more. With more approvals comes more books and with more books comes more reviews. Some of these books have ended up not being my cup of tea. At first glance of the summary of them they looked like perfect books for me, but then upon reading and diving into them more I have found that not the case for these books. I am very careful about what I request on NetGalley. I only try to request things that I think I would enjoy and could give good feedback on for publishers, but even being careful some books slip through the cracks.
The main reason I am writing this is to address those books, whether they’re an ARC or books that are now out in the world. Sometimes we don’t like all of the books we get or read and it’s okay to be honest about that. My general rule of thumb is I will give star ratings down to 3 stars but after that I will not give a rating. I don’t need to tear an author down because I didn’t like their book.
Having spent quarantine working on and writing my own book it gave me some time to reflect on that. I would hate if someone said to me some of the things I read on GoodReads and other reviews on either Blogs or other sites. Yes, Netgalley and the publishers are sending me a book to review and share my thoughts on but I don’t think my job entails dragging someone’s life work through the mud.
So yeah, there are sometimes books that don’t click with me, but they might click with someone else and I am always sure to mention that in every review. It goes both ways too, I might LOVE a book but the next person might DNF it. That’s why I try to be very careful about what I request and if something doesn’t hit the mark, that’s okay.
Basically, what I want to let you all know is that reviewing books is a big job. Yes I love a lot of books and yes, some miss the mark. But you have to remember through it all, that there is another human being on the other side of that book. Someone spent a chunk of their life working on that novel you’re thinking of praising or trashing. Before you do the later of those two, I just ask you remember that person and remember that not everyone book is for everyone.