Since I just started writing blog book reviews for MotherTalk, this story about a book reviewer being sued for giving a bad review snapped my head around real quick. The review was posted on the reviewer's blog, so I'm watching to see what happens.
But please, people. That's what reviews are - people giving their opinion. Not everyone likes everything. I was reading another author's blog (I'd link if I could remember where the hell in the blogosphere I was), and she was justly suspicious of books that get only five star reviews on Amazon.
As she points out, surely someone out there isn't going to like something. She said she'd reviewed a book and the author made a complaint about her negative review and had it removed. (If you recognize these comments, let me know and I'll link to you). Update: I was reading my favorite websites and found the entry about the suspcious five star reviews on Fangs, Fur, and Fey.
Now if someone starts attacking the author on a personal level and not based on the book, I'd say that's a problem. But I haven't seen any reviews that do that. The reviewer being sued was harsh, but all his review comments were centered on the book's content and layout.
I feel like I can tell most of the time if the Amazon reviews are full of it. If everything is sugar coated goodness, I'm suspicious. There is an over-the-top quality to most of the reviews written by the author and their co-conspirators. And I'm not sure how I feel about asking friends to give reviews. Is it unbiased? Is anything?
But fake comes across in writing, people. I'd rather trust a review that points out flaws - they seem more credible, and I bet you the authors who post fake reviews can't even contemplate putting a negative comment in there to better trick us into believing it's a real review.
Grow up, fake book reviewers everywhere.
My first book review for MotherTalk, Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, will be posted here on Monday. I have my attorney standing by.