Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Amazon Book Review Rebuttal - Are You Kidding Me?

I'm in an ebook downloading and reading frenzy lately. Not only have I found Ereader News Today, which lists 20+ free Kindle books each day, I've also discovered how to find free Kindle books on the Amazon site listed by genre, subject, etc (just click on "Best Sellers" under Kindle eBooks). Wow - all these great (and maybe not so great) FREE ebooks and so little time!

When I started downloading free ebooks, I planned to post a review of each. The Amazon site makes it easy and I figured it was the least I could do in exchange for the author doing a free promo. I'm no literary critic but thought my opinion might be of use to another regular person trying to decide whether to devote precious reading time to a given book. In fact, before I download a book, I read at least a few of the best and worst reviews and especially appreciate the folks who are willing to say what they didn't like. After all, I do not have enough time left in this life to read even a fraction of what is available (with more choices added daily!) so why would I want to waste even a few minutes on something I am unlikely to enjoy?

Ok, so now for my rebuttal story. I posted my honest opinion of Heartbreak Trail, a westward migration tale. I wasn't mean. I didn't say I didn't like it or that it sucks or was poorly written or anything negative. I even gave it 3 stars for "ok".

Warning - spoiler alert!

My main issue was that the main character didn't stay true to character and then the story totally lost me when it got too outlandish to be remotely believable. Yes, I realize that the author wanted to throw in a steamy romance scene. Fine. But I don't have to keep reading when it comes at a blatantly implausible time, both from an environmental and physical standpoint. This woman spent the first part of the book as the picture of propriety and then did a complete turnaround in the middle of a wagon train while under the watchful eye of her zealot BIL shortly after the death of her husband and miscarrying her first child. So I decided to move on to another book and left a brief review.

Well, I got a rebuttal. Yes, I did have a typo (woman instead of women due to incomplete editing when posting my review), which was pointed out to me first - with an exclamation mark! So I fixed that. But why anyone felt the need to take me to task for stating my opinion and not finishing the book is beyond me. It appears this person feels that only positive reviews are appropriate but I disagree. Like I said, I rely on positive, neutral and negative reviews to help me decide where to spend my limited reading time.

So that's my rebuttal story. How about you? Do you leave reviews of books or products purchased on Amazon? Have you ever gotten a negative review of your review?

BTW - I downloaded a graphic and link to the book. I realize this is providing a small bit of publicity for a book I didn't bother to finish and that's perfectly ok with me. Go ahead and read it - you may like it just fine.


  1. Crystal - I think it is great that you take the time to leave a review, especially with the books you get for free. I wouldn't worry about the people who leave comments about your reviews - they obviously have too much time on their hands. Everyone has their own opinion and should be allowed to share it - that is the point of reviews. Glad you are finding so many good freebies - I scan the Amazon free list every week too to find interesting books to read. It's so much fun finding authors you have never read before - and then finding a gem as well!

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Deanna - beings you're a published author, your opinion on this subject carries a lot of weight. You're probably right about some folks having too much time on their hands. I can barely find the time to post reviews of what I've read - I certainly don't have time edit and refute the reviews posted by others! Also, I want to thank you for including the link to Ereader News Today on your blog as that's where I found out about the site and it's great!!!