Religion In Romance Novels

This is a topic I´m not all too happy to write about because… Well, there are topics you just don´t discuss. Sadly though, I feel the need to get this off my chest.

Back in the day my first boss gave me some valuable piece of advice:

Never talk about religion, politics or money with a customer. Later in life I added the “raising kids” topic to that list because that´s also something people can easily argue over. A simple fact. I´ve lived by the “Never Discuss….” rule ever since.

 

After a happy shopping spree on Amazon I spotted a beautiful book cover with a great book title. When I saw the author´s name my excitement grew. Mia Sheridan.

more than words

One of my favorite romance authors published a new book! `More Than Words` was published June 12th! WOOP!

I didn´t hesitate with reading a few Amazon reviews. This one was what sealed the deal for me.

 

Wow. First off, I think the review was well constructed and perfectly written. The reviewer, despite her non religious beliefs, rated the book with  4.5 stars, whereas I….

… I wouldn´t have been so generous.

Some may see the review as a spoiler. I see the review as helpful.

I´m an atheist. A happy one, at that. I, too, respect and accept other people´s beliefs and would never judge them publicly for what they think exists or not just as I would never want people to judge me openly for not believing in God.

The reviewer is right: Some people think love and religion go hand in hand. I believe religion should stay far away from love and from romance novels. Unless you´re an author writing epic stories about badass vampires and demons who reveal just how twisted and corrupted the religious world is  (  Read Hedoschism by Lindsey Clarke on Wattpad  )… you shouldn´t really include religion in a romantic story.

Of course, there are many  subjects readers avoid, such as: adultery, erotica in general, rape, M/M, F/F, M/M/F, fetish, etc. But none are as controversial as religion.

I´m fully aware that authors will never reach everyone´s hearts with their writing, no matter what they write about or what topic they include. Opinions vary. Why shouldn´t authors be allowed to include religion in their romance novels, right?

Exactly.

But for me, the happy atheist who wants to read a new Mia Sheridan romance novel, it´s disappointing to find out there´s religion included. I won´t buy the book.

Yes. One single review had the ability to influence my book purchase. GOOD! That´s what reviews are for.

I´m actually grateful for the reviewer´s insight because if I had bought the book without knowing about the “issue” that bothered the reviewer I would have been a very unhappy book blogger.

Because I don´t believe in God. Because religion doesn´t make sense to me. Never has and never will.

Now, you´re probably asking what happens when I accidentally stumble upon a romance novel that has religion included.

Due to my lack of interest on the subject I immediately DNF a romance novel that has religious characters in it.

And I also bet you´re asking why I accept religion in paranormal / fantasy novels and not with romance novels?

The answer is simple: Fantasy or paranormal stories are basically modern-day fairy tales drawn out to extreme levels. There´s creativity in world building, character forming and storytelling. For me, God and the Bible fit perfectly in that niche.  It´s make – believe. It´s not real.

Whereas romance novels are set in realistic worlds and characters deal with realistic issues. God and the Bible do not fit in a world I can relate with.

I struggle to believe God and contemporary romance novels could ever go hand in hand.

I´ve probably offended many people with my opinion on the subject, even though I´ve tried my best not to discriminate religion or people who believe in God.

But just as religious people have the right to openly love and praise their God ( and those who do praise God do it rather loudly ), I am also allowed to do the unthinkable and state my opinion on how I think religion is nothing more than a waste of time. Seeing religion in romance novels does not sit well with me.

 

What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you bothered by religion in romance novels? Do you even care if religion is included in any story? Are you delighted to see authors including religion in romance novels?

Do not hesitate to leave a comment. I´m ( thankfully ) one of those people who agree to disagree.

NOTE FOR OVERLY RELIGIOUS MEMBERS OF SOCIETY: I´m happy. Please do not tag me in any religious posts on social media and do not pray for me. If you feel the need to block / unfollow / unfriend me due to our religious differences then I will not stop you.

 

 

 

 

What Does A Book Blogger Do?

“So, basically, you read a book and type up a review.”

A statement made by non – book friends, neighbors, my husband and even by my own mother. Actually, that´s what everyone, who isn´t involved in the book business, says to me.

My instinct tells me to take a book and hit the people I love with it. But physical education is illegal, so… It suddenly dawned on me that others have no clue as to what a book blogger actually does.

 

No. Sadly enough, 6 trillion other book bloggers, including myself, do NOT only read and review books. Reading and reviewing is just one aspect of the deal. Just one of many!

There are a few book bloggers who stick to the book blogger basics ( uploading reviews only ) but, they eventually get sucked into trying new things out, too.

Sooner or later – We all get to that special point where we want to become a part of the ever evolving book blogging community and end up doing so much more.

As fun as book blogging sounds, and IS, it´s  TIME CONSUMING! I felt the need to put that in caps to get my point across.

We´re not taking about food or makeup blogging, here. We´re talking about the stuff that not only entertains a person but also educates people. Book blogging is about expressing one´s self. It´s about sharing news on what´s hot and not. Book blogging also is satisfying for one´s own needs in form of discovering new books / authors and helping others with what to read next.

That´s pretty much the glory side of the business, all wrapped up in a nice package. In reality, though, book blogging goes deeper. Much deeper than any outsider could imagine.

Book blogging is intense. It all about hard work with little or no pay. You sometimes need to dig out those big girl panties and thick skins to survive!

It´s time to put an end to the thought of book bloggers “just reading and reviewing”. It´s time to educate the poor souls who think us book bloggers do nothing but hide and read. Book blogging is serious business and it takes tough cookies to master the craft of handling books and blogs from the ass crack of dawn until stupid o´clock.

Let´s start with WHAT IT IS BOOK BLOGGERS ACTUALLY DO.

 

#1

Yes. Book bloggers read alot.

 Probably too much, if you ask anyone who´s not a book blogger. The ugly truth is – Some book bloggers read 3 – 4 books a week. And when ARCs ( Advanced Readers Copies ) are thrown in the mix then bloggers have to step up their reading game to make the deadline. Standard reading for a book blogger would be 1-2 books a week, which is still more than any mortal would do. Book bloggers have to be up to date with new releases, etc. 

It´s also not uncommon for a book blogger to read more than 1 book at a time. I have books in my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, livingroom…. Lots of unfinished gems.

 

“Reading is always fun.” – said no one, ever.

Not completely true. Reading is, most of the time, fantabulous. But once in a while a book blogger receives an ARC and those aren´t always fun. If a review is requested then there´s no beating around the reading bush. We have to read, page for page, in order to give our full opinion on the book ( skimming´s not allowed ). Our brains have to fully concentrate on the book at hand. It´s a different kind of concentration we have to maintain. And that, my dear friends, can be exhausting. If we read ARCs twice a week then some of us are just pooped beyond words.

It´s worse  when the ARC received is not really our cup of tea. It´s then a “pulling teeth” situation that can have us taking a reading break or make us re-read our favorite novels just to wipe our brains clean.

That might sound mean but it´s a fact.

 

#2

Golden Rule #1 – There are no rules.

 Thank all that´s pink and fluffy for the million outlets that are at our disposal! Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, oh my! A blog isn´t the only place to spread the word. Book bloggers are magicians when it comes to social media. 3 hours and 20 clicks, 6 post saves, 5 scheduled posts later and a book blogger has covered all book bases, making sure EVERYONE in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD sees the book they´re promoting.  But we´re not just excellent at promoting books and authors…. we excell at promoting ourselves, as well! We do that by…

  • doing Facebook posts
  • Coming up with catchy lines for Twitter
  • Being fabulous on Instagram
  • Interacting other people 
  • Creating promo  worthy fan art or graphics
  • using our children / pets ( because they´re cute…and stuff )
  • making videos

We know how the ball rolls and how to work the book mill and we use all we have to get the word spread. 

We´re the invisible cheerleaders.

 

#3

 Our creativity has no end and will never find one!

Our creativity is not narrowed down to writing reviews and thinking of smart and halfway intelligent FB / Twitter posts. Our creativity goes a step further than that.

We´re creative with our blog, too. Did you know that we´re also designers? That´s right, my little Padawans. Us book blog folk spend just as much time with designing our beloved blog as we would with re-decorating our livingroom ( well, probably not. Since there´s hardly time for that..LOL ). We pick a theme, change colors, create logos, move things up and down, left and right until we´re satisfied with how everything looks.

Don´t be fooled. Coming up with ideas is hard work. It involves a night with only one bathroom break.

And guess what? The design is never final. Us book bloggers are constantly changing things over time. Why? Because we have so many ideas and constantly think of ways to improve our appearance. That´s what moody artists do, right? We change things all the time.

* throws pencil across table and aggressively bites in chocolate crossaint while glaring holes in the air *

Life vs. Book Blogging.

Book bloggers often don´t like having to slip back into reality. Real life just has too many challenges. Reading is much easier.

But, we have to eat at some point. We have to sleep, answer the phone, let the dog out…. Life gives us endless chores. No wonder we like to read!

Let me tell you a secret. I don´t really have time to blog. I don´t have time to read, either. Between having kids, an attention seaking husband, my social life outside the house, work, household chores and school…. I don´t really have time to do anything besides drop dead on the sofa after the kids hit the sack. I´m not a soccer mom. Far from it, actually. But life itself is demanding at times.

So, I´m basically 13 hours on my feet then hop on the internet until the ass crack of dawn to get some book blogger stuff done. Same goes for reading.  That is – if I don´t manage to fall asleep before.

My days need more than 24 hours.

But somehow I still manage to find some hours in my impossible schedule. I really can´t tell you how I do it. I just do. And I pay a high price, too. Result: Chonic exhaustion.

 

Sleep is highly overrated.

Who needs sleep? I sure don´t. Many book bloggers don´t, either.

A book blogger quickly learns how to function during the day after having only 4 or 5 hours of sleep. It´s a fact.

Personally, I´ve earned my stripes. It took me years of practice to find the right toothbrush in the a.m. or to not bump my shoulder against the doorframe. Mixing up salt and sugar was yesterday. Now, I can read a book until 4 a.m and still wake up at 7 a.m ( like, once a month ). I might not look like a Disney princess but that´s not important. Important was the chapter I shoved in before I passed out from exhaustion! YAY for ME!

And if I´m not reading until stupid o´clock I´m hanging out at my favorite playground – The internet!

Here´s a small list of things book bloggers try to get done while not sleeping.

  • Come up with something to post on Facebook and Co.
  • Take pics for Instagram and work on them
  • reply to comments
  • visit other blogs ( another aspect that takes TIME )
  • getting back with people you accidentally ditched
  • write reviews
  • Procastinating and unleashing the creative beast within
  • Read 1 – 5 books.

See? There´s absolutely no time for sleep. None.

 

Book Blogging Is Dangerous Business.

There´s a golden rule when it comes to uploading reviews: Hide afterwards. Especially when you publish your not so nice opinion on a highly popular book that has a large, passionate fanbase.

Hence the need for the big girl panties because some fans can be vicious little turds who will stop at nothing to bring you down and make sure you end up in social media jail just because you shared your opinion. An opinion they don´t agree with. There´s always that one special person, a leader of the book troll army who waits for an opportunity to bash a reviewer.

Besides being hunted down by the fan mob, us book bloggers tend to be highly opinionated. We will express, both, our love and hate   dislike for a book in a very passionate and, sometimes, clever way.

We create posts using our large vocabulary all while experiencing our own Battle of the Bastards.

Book Bloggers know how to survive!

* picking up pitch fork / baseball bat / heavy hardcover *

 

Blogger Statistics: Acting like we know what we´re doing – 60%

Actually knowing what we´re doing- 40%.

Sad, right? * snorts * It´s not sad at all. The reality is – Most of us are winging the book blog world as it comes. It´s not our fault people assume we take 2 minutes, tops (!!), for a clever constructed Facebook post. Hey, most of us are happy our fat finger syndrome doesn´t screw things up for us.

When it comes to doing new stuff…. Well, we just act like we know what we´re doing because it would look unprofessional if we didn´t.

We´re the silent assassins, lurking in the corners of the internet.

A special part of our job is to be alert. We have to have our eyes in a lot of places at the same time just so we don´t miss out on something new. A nice side effect of being a silent book assassin is the ability to see more than we want and end up benifiting from the stuff we learn.

In 7 years I´ve learned that:

  • Appearance is half the rent! It´s actually crucial for a book blogger. Graphics, logos, banners, fonts, formatting, colors, selfies, Instagram pictures, and even emojis are important. Don´t have or use any of the above then you need to step up your game.
  • Email structure is mandatory. Although, I have to admit that I don´t care about typing up a professional email. Life is too short. Be wild. Write crappy emails and include 6 hundred hearts before sending the email off to a publishing house! ( and hope for the best)
  • Having a calendar. Because you want to know when books release, blog tours start, etc. You don´t want to be like me, wondering WHEN, HOW and WHY you´ve missed ANOTHER important release dispite having a calendar. Use the damn thing!
  • How to network. It´s all about making friends or connecting with others.
  • How to not make the same mistakes other blogs made. The more you look the more you see and the more you understand. The end result: The more you can do better from the get – go.

 

How much time the world thinks book bloggers need for a review / blog post: 20 minutes.

How long I actually take to write, polish and upload a review or blog post: 2 hours – 4 days.

That! The big secret revealed at last! Blog posts aren´t always a walk in the park. Sometimes it takes a book blogger an hour, if everything goes smooth, to publish a post and sometimes it takes days to come up with the right words before hitting that publish button. What´s taking so long, you ask? Ha! I´m glad you asked. Have a drink while I unroll my book blogger scroll:

  • Sorting out thoughts. Seriously, this is something that takes up a lot of time. You can´t just write ” I enjoyed the book.” and call it a day ( and a review, for that matter). That´s not a book review. You have to craft the post. Mold it and give it your personal touch. You also have to find the right timing.
  • Finding the right graphics takes up time, as well. If you like to be creative with images and gifs then be prepared to sit until your ass becomes numb.
  • Searching for links. It doesn´t matter if you need purchase links or social media links; There´s nothing remotely “quick” about collecting links for a blog post. You think it takes 5 minutes when in reality, you´ve spent 30 minutes searching for 2 links.
  • Polishing a blog post before you upload it. This one I love and hate the most. Before anything goes out I double, triple check everything, such as: Spelling, formatting and images. Sometimes you think you finally got it but then end up re-writing the whole blog post because something seemed wrong, unfitting or you re-write the blog post simply because the whole thing was…. shit.
  • Coming up with brilliant ideas for a blog post and end up forgetting about them. I have this problem. It´s like opening the fridge but forgetting what you wanted to get out. You stare at the yoghurts and cheese like a fool, trying to remember what it was you wanted. It´s the same with ideas for blog posts.

It doesn´t matter if a book blogger wants to write about a serious topic or if the book blogger wants to do a simple and fun post… Both demand time and love.

PS – I´m on day #4 with this blog post. And right now, it´s 2:45 a.m. ( just thought that might interest you. If not, carry on as if nothing had happened )

YES! WE CAN DO MAGIC! We make the impossible possible!

“Can you beta read for me?” SURE!

“Can you share my post?” OF COURSE!

“Do you want to be apart of the cover reveal?” ABSOLUTELY!

No matter how stuffed a book blogger schedule is- There´s always time for an author in need.

We enjoy the little things in life.

There comes a time when a book blogger is rewarded for their hard work. And that reward comes in form of a simple act of appreciation.

“Thank you.”

That´s usually all a blogger needs to read / hear in order to feel the need to keep going.

You see, book blogging… as wonderful as it often is… hardly gets recognition. Many authors or readers take us and our work for granted.

Book bloggers don´t fish for compliments. Quite the opposite, actually. Most, if not all, of us post reviews and bookish stuff just because we want to. Not because we have to. I sure as Hell don´t have to spend my nights with toothpicks holding my eyeslids open but I do it because I find a certain kind of joy in book blogging.

I don´t necessarily like reading until 4 a.m. but I do it because my love for a story is sometimes greater than knowing which kid is standing infront of me at 7 a.m. ( okay. That´s not true. I always know which kid is talking to me. I have a chatty, morning person kid and an evil beast who needs 2 hours alone time before anything happens. I think I´ve just outed myself as a terrible mother. Oh, Lord. I´m definitely going to Hell now. Let´s just forget this part and move on. Remember: I love my kids )

File:Facepalm.gif

We want to be apart of the fun and mingle, even if we´re shy and have no idea what we´re doing. We´re a humble bunch with sharp minds.

Without those likes, follows and comments, we have no other way to feel any kind of appreciation.

Sure, it would be nice if some of us got paid for our hard work. But we know that´s not going to happen. No book blogger has ever become a millionaire through writing. We´re aware of that and we accept that.

That´s why we´re over the moon with joy when we receive a simple THANK YOU or any other single word praise. That just shows us that our creativity paid off. Someone actually liked what we put out there. No matter if the kindness was aimed towards a review or a bookish post… it´s always wonderful when someone recognizes a book bloggers work for what it´s worth.

It´s a silent moment of happiness ( because we haven´t found a way to hop through the computer screen and hug the person who was kind. Yet. )

Related image

 

All in all, we´re moody, over exhausted, loveable book loving creatures who fight the clock every day of our lives. And….

WE DO NOT JUST READ AND REVIEW! ( again, the caps to get the point across )

Do you hear me, Mom? I do NOT just read a book and spend 5 minutes typing a review then spend the rest of my hours watching Johnny Depp clips on Youtube.

 

Do you hear me, Husband? I do NOT just stare at Johnny Depp clips on Youtube. I actually blog… If you´d look at my blog you´d notice.

 

To my bestie, Lindsey Clarke ( author from the glorious The Whitechapel Chronicles): I found new Johnny Depp clips where he doesn´t look so chewed up!

 

I think this is your cue!  If you liked this post then feel free to leave a like and / or comment.  If not then I still appreciate you taking your time to read. I hope you enjoyed!

 

Much Love,

Morgana ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Book Reviews Aren´t What They Should Be

I think it’s safe to say that alot of people know what book reviews are, so no use to give a deeper explanation for that term.

But what is a review for?

Well, to keep this simple- reviews are there for indecisive people who search for a good book to read( and to help authors with sales ).Or, sometimes not help them ( depending on the reviews content). Either way- reviews are important. ( read 5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important )

But, did you know reviews can also be corrupt? Oh, yes. Quite so.

There are 2 major types of reviews.

1 )reviews

2 ) do-me-a-favor-reviews / help-me-climb-the-ladder-to-success-reviews

Confusing? It shouldn’t be. An author usually has a goal, and that is to make a living off of writing and that’s perfectly fine. If it were up to me I’d wish everyone the success they want. Unfortunately, the road to that success can be a rocky one. There’s so much to do to get „out there”. Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn’t cut it anymore.

 Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn't cut it anymore

Authors/ writers depend on one major thing- positive feedback. The more positive feedback they get the better their chances are for more exposure. Word can spread really fast and that helps loads.

(Uugh…this is boring……* head against table * )

I like to say I’m a skilled book ninja. I have my eyes and ears all over the place, especially in the indie-author community. When blogging I keep an eye on all sorts of stuff, such as: new book releases, blog tours, author streetteams, yada yada yada, AND reviews. Yes. I read reviews, too. And due to my ninja observation skills I know who’s besties with who and who’s fan #1. If you take a closer look I’m sure you’ll notice, too. 

Can anyone remember the shitstorm Amazon caused with their taking down reviews from certain books? Yes. That was a thing and it pissed so many people off. I would know. I witnessed it, first hand. Amazon never took any of my reviews down ( Thank God ) but they did with other bloggers and fans. And guess what? Bravo! It was about time. Not that I´m pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I´m sure many deleted Amazon reviews were wrongly accused of diabolical review-washing. But the majority? Serves them right. 

I’m positive that won’t win me any plus points. But I don’t really care. When I hunt for books I’m just an ordinary reader. And when I notice someone is just doing an author a favor my blood pressure rises. How am I to trust these people who devote their lives to these authors? Their judgement is clouded in so many ways that their reviews aren’t trustworthy anymore.

Sure, I’m all for supporting my favorite authors. But stay realistic. Stay professional.

I’ve seen people befriend authors ( mainly through Facebook ) and get really REALLY tight with them ( again…that’s fine. Anything that floats their boats). And then I’ve seen those authors publish book after book after book and each book got the same LOVE as the ones before, by the same people. An author can write 12 books ( each with different stories ) in a year and still, they’d get 12 outstanding reviews from the same blogs who are oh-so-tight with them. Something is totally fishy there. There is no way a person will LOVE everything an author writes. No-ho! 

It’s impossible. There always a slower book in-between great books. A story that, in truth, deserved 3 stars because it was, in fact, slower, or a bit more softer, or just not someone´s cup of tea. Any normal thinking person would rate the slower book with 3 stars ( or less) because that’s how they actually felt about the story, no matter how much they loved the authors other books. But, nooooooo.Some bloggers / fans feel so much loyalty towards an author that they feel compelled to give the slower book 5 stars.

Why does that happen? Do readers/ bloggers think their friendship will go down the drain if they’re honest? Or does it have anything to do with stupidity? I. Don’t. Know! You tell me. But something is definitely not right there.

I’m not sure if that can be considered as healthy behavior.

Would you like to know what helps me pick a book? I skip all the 5 star reviews and jumped right to the 3 or fewer ones. I’m not saying that all high rated reviews are full of shit, but can you blame me for doubting them? Reading a 3 star review will not convince me NOT to buy a book because tastes are different. It’s as simple as that.

I know I shouldn’t waste my time breaking my little head over the review matter, because it’s really not worth it. Reviews are… subjective. I’ve wasted so much energy trying to figure out why bloggers aren’t fully honest with their thoughts regarding a book * sigh *. But you’ve got to see my point of view, here- I want to read a book and the only way not to dive blind into a story is to read reviews and see how others judged a book. And people who do authors those stupid favors ( because they want recognition or what not) aren’t helping me, or any other book nerd out there.

That’s basically why I was happy about the Amazon clean-out.

The book universe is sometimes a dark place. Bloggers doing authors favors because they’re afraid to jeopardize their friendship is not okay. 

There was a time, way back in the early blogging days, when bloggers helped authors get reviews by doing so called blog tours for their favorite writers. Blog tours are nothing other than a virtual book promotion where often free copies of a story were/are offered. The only thing wrong with those blog tours were / are… a reviewer CANNOT publish a review with less than 3 stars, depsite what their true thoughts of said book were/are. Anything to avoid a bad review. So, a reviewer either lies or they don´t review at all and risk a potential shout out from the blog tour hosts. I call that…. corrupt. And wrong.
Another observation I made:
Authors releasing new books and bluntly asking for 5 star reviews. Because a 4 star review isn´t going to make sales. * holding breath * The same authors then wonder why hardly any people leave reviews.  That screams desperate.

This is also the main reason why I believe honesty is the best policy. State your real opinions instead of doing favors. 

And for the authors who are hungry for fame….. The big shot writers often have alot of negative reviews along with the 5 stars. That´s definitely something to think about.

It´s amazing to watch authors and their devoted fans go to such extremes. But it´s less amazing when you spot the lie.

I feel cheated on. Ripped off.

5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important

We´ve all seen them. They´re all over the internet, on movie / book covers and even in magazines in form of recommendations or as one-liners included in ads. In one form or another – we´ve all been confronted with someone´s opinion on something that piques our interest. Reviews.

We live in a time where everyone has the opportunity to raise their voice and be heard and the easiest way for that to happen is through the internet. Luckily- not everyone has to be a professional writer to whip up a few words and publish them.

Reviews play a major role in the book industry.

When an author decides to publish their work they need people who will read their book and leave an opinion on their story, or else, their dream of „ getting out there“ will less likely come true.

Sadly, alot of great books don´t get enough recognition. Many good stories never see a large audience. Why is that?

Well, maybe the book is terrible. Maybe the genre of the book isn´t popular and therefore hasn´t been able to reach a larger audience. Or, maybe… just maybe the book doesn´t have enough reviews.

In alot of cases, all points above can be the reason for lack of success. In my humble opinion- the main reason for a missing fame is a missing review.

Mouth to mouth propaganda used to be a reliable source when it came to spreading the word. But these days- it´s not enough to tell your neighbor about the awesome book you recently finished reading. You have to use the tools you´re given in order to help spread the word and that tool is the internet.

Now, I know what you´re thinking because I think about it alot before I purchase a book.

Are reviews reliable? To be perfectly honest… the answer is YES and NO. The problem with reviews are- they´re subjective. Reviews are 20% based on facts and 80% based on personal feelings. Every reader who writes a review will always know what the story is about but their feelings on the story is what makes a review a review. So, can I trust a stranger´s opinion about a book I want to read? The answer is still YES and NO. It depends.

But one thing is for sure- reviews help and here are the 5 reasons as to why reviews are important.

Reviews Help Indecisive People

Despite the fact the reviews are subjective, they still help readers make a decision. It´s a trust issue. It could also help to read more than one review before picking the next read. What usually helps me is to skip all the 5 out of 5 star ratings and go straight for the 3 star reviews. Those are mostly more trustworthy than all the ramblings from the outstanding ratings. Reviewers who give 3 stars often take a step back and try to be less emotional about what they´ve read.

Reviews Increases Sales

Believe it or not. Reviews help with sales. If you´re a fan of an authors work, especially a fan of an independent author, then publishing an online review can help them climb up the ladder of success.

 

Reviews Help Get An Author Noticed

So you read a book and want to share your thoughts? You call a friend or you mention the book at a party and that´s where it usually ends. The bush drums have collected dust over the last few years. My first boss used to tell me- „Good news spreads at a snails pace but bad news spreads quicker.“. There´s alot of truth behind those words but nevertheless, if you don´t spread the word ( positive or negative ) then people won´t know. People won´t notice the amazing author your discovered if you don´t use your tools ( technology ). It takes one curious person to stumble upon your opinion on the internet and you have the power to persuade that person with your thoughts. And in the end, you also helped an author get noticed. It´s a win / win for everyone.

 

Reviews Help Authors Improve Their Skill

It´s true.

Reviews are not only there to help with sales and convince a reader to buy a book, reviews are a form of feedback for authors.

If 20 people wrote that they hated the story then that´s their opinion based mainly on their feelings. It´s then a matter of taste. But when 20 or more reviews say the story lacked emotions then that´s something an author can work with. That´s called constructive feedback. Sadly, both don´t really help an author with sales but it can help an author improve their skill and write a book with more emotions for the future. If no one points out the positive or negative then an author will never know if they´re doing something right or wrong.

 

Bonding Through Reviews

Who would have thought that reviews are also a great way to meet new people and possibly make new friends? Yupp. Whatever a review entails there are always going to be people who either agree or disagree and that can bring people together. It can be an author who liked your review or it can be another reader… when someone reacts to your review and reaches out then there´s a good chance to make a new friend ( or enemy ). It´s not science, it´s nature. And here´s the clue- when people bond over a mutual interest then they eventually expand and form groups that often turn into larger groups and that always leads to a small fan base. The small fan base meets another small fan base and they create a large clique. That´s how an author CAN get fans and fans meet new people and sooner or later they become devoted cheerleaders with a purpose. Another win / win.

 

The truth, though, stays the same. Not everyone wants to write a review for the public eye. Many are just comfortable reading and leaving it at that. Which is fine. But keep in mind- If no one writes a review then others can´t be helped. Reviews do not have to be as lengthy as a novel. They don´t even have to sound professional. The sole purpose of a review is to help ( or not help, depending on the type of feedback you want to give ). It only takes a few words, maybe 5 lines to state your opinion. You also don´t have to use every single social media to publish your review. Pick one platform ( Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, FB, etc.) and I guarantee someone will see it. You can even contact a blogger and speak with them about your thoughts and maybe co-write a review with them. The possibilities are endless.

And that, my dear readers, is why reviews are important.

 

REVIEW- Walking Disaster ( Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire

Book Description

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Thoughts

Okay. At first, when I read the line Can you love someone too much? I couldn´t stop laughing. I still laugh when I read that. The answer is YES! Travis is capable of loving someone too much. I´d go so far and say his love is suffocating. But that´s just me.Walking Disaster #2.2

`Walking Disaster` ( Beautiful #2 ), by Jamie McGuire, is the same story as `Beautiful Disaster` ( Beautiful #1 ) only this time, it´s told from Travis´s perspective.

If you´ve been following my reviews you probably know by now that I dislike dual POV´s. It´s bad enough having them in one book because they´re often ( very often ) repetitive scenes with little or no additional insight. When a MC from a previous book get´s his own story it´s worse because you have nearly the same amount of pages with the exact same amount of story and dialogue.

If I´m honest- it´s a rip off for me. I´m paying double for the same story with a 10% more use of the word „fuck“ in it. THAT is why I didn´t want to read this book at first. I sensed that this was going to be a 1:1 copy of the first book. My gut told me that it wasn´t going to be worth it. My friends, on the other hand, were yapping and swooning over the what they said was the best POV of all times!

I really have to start listening to my gut instead of my friends. I was right. `Walking Disaster` is just a 1:1 copy of the first book. I kid you not. Same scenes, same dialogue, etc, etc. Am I mad? Slightly.

I can´t really say that reading this book was a waste of my time. Not completely. I see the whole ordeal in a positive light. It was a re-read. An expensive one. That´s what aggravates me. I don´t have money growing from a tree in my back yard. Books aren´t cheap and if I get the same story with almost the same cover image I´m gonna be disappointed and my wallet´s going to cry.

Readers who´ve already read the first book KNOW how Travis is. He´s a loveable , passionate lunatic. I didn´t feel the need to dive into his little obsessive world and lust after Abby some more. I got the picture while reading book #1.

The few new scenes didn´t make this read more special for me. In fact- I didn´t really care much for them. I wasn´t sitting here with my mouth open from shock. * sigh *

Still- It´s a great story but you do NOT have to read book 1 and 2. Either one is enough.

Would I recommend this read?

Sure. To any Die-Hard Travis Maddox fan, definitely. For the rest of the world- Nope.

The Cover – 2 stars ( It´s like the people in charge of the cover were on a creative strike.)

The Story – 5 stars ( Same ol´, same ol´ with a lot more swearing and an obsessive mindset.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( It´s a 1:1 copy. I´m not going to hate what I loved before. )

My emotional state after finishing this read- Mad. Disappointed.

In short- I loved the first book so I can´t hate the exact same story just because of the POV switch. BUT…I can give this a lesser rating because I feel like I´ve been ripped off.

I´m giving `Walking Disaster` ( Beautiful #2 ), by Jamie McGuire, 2 out of 5 stars.

If you feel the need to go against my recommendation and still try this read out, feel free to click here and start your re-read.

Book Box Feature