Why We Stopped Writing Book Reviews

We could go into a long-winded explanation of why, exactly, A Reader's Respite stopped publishing book reviews.  But truth to be told, it can be summed up much quicker:

When A Reader's Respite first starting writing about the books we read, the online book world was simpler. (Insert pathetic nostalgia rant here.)  Self-publishing was in it's neo-natal infancy and it was rare that an author was responsible for their own publicity.  We read books.  We wrote reviews, both positive and negative.  And the world was a happy place.  Kind of like this, but with internet:

But then things began to change.  Self-published authors, as well as authors with the big publishing houses, suddenly became responsible for selling their own books.  Not only did they want reviews from book blogs, they wanted GOOD reviews from book blogs, regardless of what the novel actually merited.

In their attempt to create an online presence (again, this is something they were forced to do if they wanted to sell books), they began collecting their minions of fans.  These little armies marched around the internet looking for any less-than-stellar review of their pet author.  And when they found one.....BAM.  Full attack mode.

Over time, a book blogger was forced to make a decision if they wanted to avoid an Attack of the Minions:

1.  Write glowing, positive reviews of every book you read, even it means lying your pants off.


2.  Not write about books you didn't care for.

Well, A Reader's Respite couldn't live with Option #1.  Option #2 would leave us with precious little to write about, given how stingy we are in the Five Star Department.  (Seriously, Five Stars in our world means "Oh my Gawd, this book was so amazing I will probably re-read it at least once a year and will buy copies for all of my friends."  How many of those books do you read in a year?)

So we took the coward's way out and chose Option #3:  stop writing about the books we read.  And frankly, after a year of this cowardly behavior, we're tired of it.

So here's the gig:  We are going to write about the books we read.  If it's fabulous, we'll tell you.  If it sucks donkey balls, we'll tell you.  And if it was a pretty mediocre read, we're gonna tell you that too.  Most important, though, we'll tell you WHY we felt that way so you can make up your own damned mind whether the book might be a better fit for you than it was for us.

In an effort to mitigate any Attack of the Minions, we will state up front that A Reader's Respite will not be doing things like Blog Tours or any other blatant author/book promotions.  We read what strikes us at the time.  Sometimes that might be an upcoming book that looks promising, sometimes that might be a self-published book we found while browsing on Amazon, sometimes that might be a library book (we are library whores, just so you know), and often times it will be a random book from our own shelves (there's over 2000 books in our living room alone, folks, which means unless we pick up the pace from those shelves, A Reader's Respite will be dead before they all get read).

So those are our thoughts.  You've been warned.  In the interest of free speech and fairness, any snotty author comments or Attack of the Minions are also welcome, although don't expect much of a reply.

Tomorrow we will be discussing the Philippa Gregory young adult novel that came out last year (oh yes, we went there).....stop on by if you're curious!


  1. It sounds like much interesting writing and fun will ensue. I would much rather read a strong honest opinion than a sales pitch any day! I look forward to seeing your reviews. :)

  2. Did I make you both nostalgic for the good ol' days? You were both blogging back then. :)

  3. This is pretty much the best approach ever. Read what you want to read, review how you want to review. Awesome.

  4. Just found your blog today, hoping to find some good reads and glad you are writing again.

  5. I'm nostalgic for the old days of book blogging, too! Glad you are back! :)

  6. You are awesome Michele! You inspire me!!

  7. I have really missed you and your 'tude, you know? I am not a minion so never fear, I am a bit of an outcast. I rarely do a tour or any such thing, I generally read what I want. I am over all that stuff.

    You and Jenners made me laugh like nobody else out there. You left and now Jenners is gone. So I am glad to have you back. I'll never forget the vagina clown car.

  8. This just makes me the happiest.

  9. Awwww, you guys made me smile, something that doesn't happen too often lately. :)

  10. BRAVISSIMA!! RR! I used to write reviews for "another site" and told the TRUTH. Ergo, my reviews did not get published. I salute you! Just tell the truth.

    I gave up writing fiction myself because it seems these days EVERYONE is an "author". There is no sense of achievement anymore.

  11. I absolutely agree....writing a book has become ubiquitous, hasn't it? Which wouldn't be so bad if the attitude popped up all the time. What was it I saw recently? Oh yeah, an author on facebook equating a bad review with rape. Truly. I removed her from my feed.

  12. Should've gone with that idea from the start.
    That'd be the day anyone will try to corner me into giving a false opinion on anything. Grow a thicker skin and do the same.

  13. I'm so glad you're back! I've truly missed your honesty and your no-holds-barred approach to book reviews.

  14. Welcome back! And in spite of your resolve, there will be OTHERS to welcome you as well, viz: "Blog Tours or any other blatant author/book promotions..."

  15. YEAH!!! Welcome back Michele. I've really missed you and your very entertaining book reviews! Yesterday morning I was looking over the blogs on my reader and when I saw yours it made me sad that there was no new updates and then, like magic and a wish granted, there was a new post this morning! I really look forward to reading your posts. I'm moving you to my very favorites folder right now.

  16. Really glad you are back Michele, and for standing up for honest book reviews. I also hardly ever review blog tour books etc for exactly those reasons. Can't tell you how pleased I was when your blog showed 'new post'. Welcome back :)

  17. Thank you for the kind words....all of you. I've missed talking with you guys about books. :)

  18. I always write what I feel like writing. I really don't care if people like it or not! LOL!

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