Rating When You Didn’t Read It…

Here I am thinking about rating books without reading them. I’m beating the dead horse here, but with all the #cockygate drama, we’re seeing it all over again. Scrolling through Goodreads last night I consistently came across 1-star reviews or 5-star reviews for this author’s books and most from people who never read the books. They either feel this author is right for what she’s doing with trademarking the word ‘cocky’ and want to try to stop her ratings from dropping, or they totally hate the idea and they’re lashing out at her by bashing her books and leaving 1-star reviews.

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I remember when this happened with The Black Witch over racist characters last year and it began on Twitter. People read a review using the words ‘this author is racist’ and they retaliated by leaving 1-star ratings on the book. Not long after, it happened again with an author who threatened black magic on a reader for leaving a crappy review. The author threatened to curse him if he didn’t remove the statements he made in the review. Scads of people felt that these author’s needed to be chastised and began rating their books 1-star. I watched the ratings on both of these books drop from 4-stars all the way down to nearly 1-star in just under a week!

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Now, I totally do NOT agree with what this author is doing trying to trademark a word that’s been used for probably 500 years or more. It’s asinine and I think she’s getting some serious backfire. What she’s done simply isn’t fair, but is this really the right thing to do when upset with an author for something they’ve done? Everyone makes their own decisions, but when does is become okay to rate a book 1-star when you haven’t read it or any rating for that matter? After all, no matter what the author has done, isn’t this lying? What sort of message does it send to younger readers when they see this happening?

I have mixed emotions about it, but in the case with #cockygate, I’m truly borderline! Part of me feels like it’s wrong to rate her books based off her actions with threatening other authors, but then I also think this is the only way that people can get their point across with their voice. I’d really like to hear your thoughts. What do you think? Continue reading “Rating When You Didn’t Read It…”

Rant: It’s MY Review and There Aren’t Laws!

A few months ago I received a message from a very angry woman who wasn’t pleased with my opinions on a book I’d recently reviewed. She was upset with me for multiple reasons, but mainly because I called the characters flat and spoiled (she misread the spoiler and thought that I was calling the characters spoiled). She also said that I should’ve put some thought into my review before I wrote it and that I was completely wrong.

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I’m not going to lie–it upset me a little–and I messaged her back to kindly tell her that these were my thoughts and my HONEST opinions on the book. I also explained that I’m entitled to my own thoughts and opinions just as she is to hers. I pointed out that she read my spoiler title incorrectly and that I simply called the characters flat and the story boring.

It really got me thinking and now I’ve seen some people talk about how book reviews should be written. This is just adding more stress because now we are talking about how a review should be written and not just our personal tastes. This bothers me. Continue reading “Rant: It’s MY Review and There Aren’t Laws!”

A Dramatic Family Reunion

For about two years, I was the caretaker of a little girl that belonged to a family friend. We would take care of her roughly three to four days a week and had to regularly deal with her parents who were split up. It was difficult dealing with them because they didn’t get along at all and stress seemed to always be heightened. If she would get a scraped knee, or a bruise, I always felt like I had to have this explanation to prove everything because her parents were hyper-vigilant. Living in the country, you just expect that your kids are going to have injuries sometimes from running around in the woods or getting into things. In general, kids get injuries no matter where they live. I finally decided that after two years of babysitting, I needed to stop. I told her parents that they would have to find someone else for a caretaker because I couldn’t handle the stress anymore and felt that I needed to concentrate on my own life and children. I decided at that point that I didn’t want to be responsible for someone else’s child anymore.

Then, last September, our dog Cynder had puppies. Those who follow my posts know that we kept one puppy (Bowie), and the other two have homes not far from ours. When Fig was purchased, his owner mentioned letting us see him again and I finally got the text last week asking if we wanted to dog sit for the weekend. The kids were elated and after discussing it with my husband, we decided it would be okay. We were going to see Fig again! How lucky could we be?

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Baby Fig with Rambo the cat.

Continue reading “A Dramatic Family Reunion”

Blacklisted On Amazon – Update #1

For anyone who wants to read the original post regarding me being blacklisted from writing reviews and rating items on Amazon, you can find it HERE.

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Last Friday I was finally able to sit down and contact Amazon via chat, because it was recommend by a great friend and also a few other bloggers. Before I attempted to chat with them, I took Donna’s advice (previous post) to remove my social media accounts from Amazon and to also remove my Amazon connection on Goodreads.

Continue reading “Blacklisted On Amazon – Update #1”

Blacklisted by Amazon…

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Last year my mom and I had some issues leaving book reviews. Because she had temporarily moved in to my home and was using the same address, Amazon would not allow her to post a review for a book that I had already reviewed. They felt that her reviews would be biased because she was living at the same address. She called them on the phone and they gave her the runaround. Eventually we gave up and accepted it.

I also noticed that I was never able to use the word NetGalley or say that I received the book for free, or my review would be removed. It had to be worded that you received a “complimentary copy” or it would be removed.

Fast forward to January 30th 2018. I logged into Amazon to leave a book review and I received this message…

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This makes no sense. What previous review? I called Amazon and a woman gave me the runaround, telling me that someone would call me regarding the issue. Needless to say, nobody ever called.

A few days ago I received a specific request from an author to record my book review on Amazon. This is a book that’s a verified purchase through Amazon, by the way. I logged on and received the same message, “Sorry, we are unable to accept your review.” I became a little perturbed because this just seemed so unfair. I decided to call Amazon again. This time, the person I spoke with gave me the same information–that someone would call me back. I never received a call, but this morning I received an email from Amazon…

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Final? Obviously they’re sending this email out for all inquiries. It gets worse…

Due to my geographical location, I’m  a heavy user on Amazon. We pay for a Prime membership which (most of you probably already know) includes free two-day shipping. It’s not uncommon to purchase forty or more items a month and 98% of our Christmas and birthday gifts come from Amazon. I also purchase scads of books on Amazon as well.

When scrolling through some of my purchases from last year, I noticed that the star rating wasn’t completed on ANY of my previous purchases. Every single one of my ratings and reviews has been removed. Every single one from the beginning of time.

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Continue reading “Blacklisted by Amazon…”

Amazon redacts one-star reviews of Hillary Clinton’s new book What Happened

Hundreds of damning verdicts on memoir of 2016 presidential race, posted within hours of publication, have been removed by the online bookseller.

I saw this on The Guardian this morning. It might be highly unlikely that all of the people read the book overnight, but I’m not sure if I agree with the removal of the ratings if they can’t prove that the people indeed didn’t read the book.

This made me think of The Black Witch, a book I read earlier this year. Many people rated it 1-star without reading it because they said it was racist after reading one person’s damaging review. I have to wonder why Goodreads refuses to remove 1-star ratings from users who openly admit to NEVER reading the book? 


From The Guardian:

Hundreds of one-star reviews of Hillary Clinton’s memoir What Happened, which appeared online within hours of the 512-page book’s publication, have been removed from Amazon.

What Happened, in which Clinton gives her account of the 2016 presidential campaign, was published on Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, there were more than 1,500 reviews of the novel on Amazon.com, the majority either glowing or scathing.

The book’s publisher at Simon & Schuster, Jonathan Karp, told the Associated Press: “It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton’s book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful.”

Continue reading “Amazon redacts one-star reviews of Hillary Clinton’s new book What Happened”

Should YA Books Have Parental Ratings?

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Here lately I’ve come across a few YA books that contained some content I thought might be inappropriate for young readers. With an eleven year old advanced reader, I’m reading more YA to be sure that the books are appropriate beforehand. YA can be directed at ages twelve on up to twenty-five which we all know is a broad range. Many of these books don’t come with an age rating at all and online research is needed, or the book must be screened beforehand.

Our library has become so strict with what children are able to check out. If they attempt to checkout an R-rated movie and they are under the age of eighteen, the computer will alert the library clerk and the movie will be put back on the shelf. However, they can check out any book they want. If a teen wants to buy a mature video game at Wal-Mart, the parent has to to buy it because they won’t allow him to.

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The problem with books is that many parents don’t have time to read and screen books before their kids read them. I’m sure plenty of parents don’t even like to read or just don’t feel the need to. Reading isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Now, I’ve read YA books that are perfect for my eleven year old and others that I’d never want her to read before she’s upper high school level. How wonderful it would be to open a book and read a short rating that stated: Strong use of language, sexual situations, suicide, incest. Then, you’d know right away whether a book is appropriate. Would that be too much of a spoiler? Maybe…

Earlier this year I read All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. I made the mistake of recommending the book to a few friends on GR. Needless to say, I lost a few friends over it and all because of the content. They told me that they never would’ve read the book had they known that a thirteen year old was having a sexual relationship with a young adult. They felt that the author was promoting this behavior and that it was child abuse. I didn’t feel that way, but it was at that moment that I realized people are sensitive to different things. What was I thinking when I recommended that book? I mean, it’s just a book, right? My thoughts were on the fact that Wavy,  at thirteen, was not like most other thirteen year olds, and that somehow that made the relationship okay. Others would say no, without a doubt, its wrong. It’s true that teens all have different maturity levels and can’t be pigeonholed, like in Wavy’s case. So saying that a book is for ages thirteen and up might not work for everyone.

I’ve also noticed that there are people who won’t read a book if it involves rape. Some people have triggers, and I’m talking about adult readers here. How would they feel about their kids reading books involving sexual situations, promiscuity, drug use, and sexual abuse when they don’t even like reading them?

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I’m getting off the YA topic here, but we as parents raise our children differently and I was thinking that ratings on YA books might be helpful to many. I personally would just like to see a short warning that stated the content where applicable, at least with YA. Like watching a movie trailer, the rating is exposed before the movie is even released. I’m not in any way claiming that the book’s content should be changed or stating that the content is bad, only that maybe it would be beneficial to have a short statement if the book contains controversial content for young readers.

Continue for my questions…

Continue reading “Should YA Books Have Parental Ratings?”

What’s a Spoiler??

Spoiler is typically defined as a person or thing that spoils something, but it’s not that easy is it? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spoilers when it comes to book reviews. On Goodreads, there are people that will straight up lash out on others for including spoilers in their reviews, but just what exactly is considered a spoiler?

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I recently reviewed a book and compared my review to somebody else’s review on the same book and they had many labels for spoilers that I really didn’t consider spoilers at all. It made me reflect on my review writing and I’m questioning if I’m giving out too much information about the content.

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Continue reading “What’s a Spoiler??”

How Do You Implement Social Media With Your Blog?

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful week. I have a question for fellow bloggers today and hope to get some feedback from you on the importance of social media and your blogs.

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I’m not a social media user. I use Goodreads for book reviewing, but I’m not on Facebook, Twitter, or any other site. Honestly, I’ve been against it because I don’t see how I can keep up with more than Goodreads and WordPress at this point with all of my life responsibilities and everything else. I worry that it would cut into reading time, time with my family, or just free time in general to do some other activities that I like to do.

I see the use of social media frequently and notice that Facebook and Twitter are often connected to giveaways. I noticed that fan pages on Facebook are quite common for blogs. I’ve also noticed the option to follow many authors on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are my questions…

 

Continue reading “How Do You Implement Social Media With Your Blog?”