Is it Epic or is it Crap? Finding Encouragement in Love it or Hate it Book Reviews.

"Poop! Crap! Garbage! Crap!" -Kira (1 star rating)

"Three words; unique, epic & addictive." -Kristi (5 star rating)

The above is taken from the beginning of two Goodreads reviews of the same book, Beautiful Creatures. To one person, the book was poop, crap, and garbage. To another, the very same book was unique, epic, and addictive.

Reading the reviews for this book (most either LOVED it or HATED it) and then reading the book myself, made me realize how differently people can perceive the same story. What one loves, another despises. They are reading the same words and yet they respond in completely opposite ways.

As an aspiring author, this is both encouraging and discouraging. I don't ever want to read a "Poop! Crap! Garbage!" review of something I've written and yet I can be rather confident that if I ever see something published and in print, I will also receive reviews such as this one. Ouch. It's tempting to keep my stories to myself, to not attempt to write something worth sharing, to give up and admit I am much too thin skinned for this.

But there's also something encouraging, something that pushes that insecurity down and keeps me going. For every "that's crap" review of this particular book, there's someone else who loved it enough to give it five stars and call it "epic and addictive". Sure, some will disparage my writing, should I ever be lucky enough to be read. Some may hate my style, my characters, my plot. But others may be swept away into another world, may find escape from their every day, may simply enjoy a story that I've created. And that must be enough.

There are different styles, genres, and stories out there for all. There are different styles, genres, and stories inside of us, as writers. As much as we want everyone to love us, that's not going to happen. But there will be some, and for them, it is worth sharing your story. And as a reader, I am grateful to all those who put their hearts out there and allow me the opportunity to experience their worlds and their characters. I hope someday to do the same.

*By the way, if you're wondering how I felt about this particular book, I quite enjoyed it. I gave it four stars and look forward to continuing the series and diving further into the world of Casters and Mortals and the small southern town of Gatlin.


AwesomeCloud and family said...

You get used to bad reviews. Minions For Hire has gotten a few, as well as a few good ones. Nobody has ever said anything nice about my art, a fact that used to devastate me, but now I honestly don't care anymore. Why? I don't know. Maybe it's because I've uttered those words "Nobody has ever said anything nice about my art" so much that the very concept has become a parody of itself.

I like when people buy my books. I like when people who have bought my books come back and buy more. But what they think of the books after they read them, that's not my problem, and it's been a long time now since we started publishing, and I've done all my caring already. After a while it stops being about the audience and goes back to being about the books.

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