Driving the mile to work the other day, I heard on MPR the intro for a discussion on whether the anonymity of the Internet means people are more honest or more snarky. (Not how they described it, but hey, I also had to watch for road-crossing deer.)
With my new Kindle app, I am able to read many more romances than before. Authors--sister RWA members--as well as Amazon ask me to 'like" and to post reviews. But I don't know the proper protocol. Does each of us have to create our own guidelines?
I try to practice the "do unto others" Golden Rule. My mother preached to me any my three brothers, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." I believe in "what goes around, comes around" karma.
Does this mean I should say only something good about the books I might review and cast aside any commentary on weaknesses or flaws? Every book has some good elements. The fact the writer finished it, submitted it or self-published it is an achievement in itself.
If everyone only praises, does this make reviews worthless? Do reviewers need rating, too?
I have read reviews that are critical that I agree with. If I add my chorus, will I help deter someone else from buying a novel? My opinion is only my opinion. Or can I view reviews as a big stage critique group whose feedback can help the author?
I am sure some reviewers delight in going to extremes. Their motivation may be more to elevate, to celebrate themselves.
Novels are verbal art. Art appreciation is subjective.
What's your view on reviews? I really want to know.