Three things happened in the last week that prompted this post:
- I read an ARC for an upcoming release by one of my favorite authors. And I didn’t like it.
- I wrote a rather negative review of a book on Goodreads. And I was one of a few who rated it rather lowly.
- A book that I edited and received overall very positive reviews also received a few negative ones that put the author in a temporary moment of insanity. I have to admit, even that one stung.
All of these events were somewhat of a shock to my literary being (I know that may make zero sense to some, but let’s just go with it). I was not only shocked that I didn’t like something that one of my ultimate faves had written, but I was even more perplexed that everyone else overwhelmingly loved it. What did they take away differently from a story that so utterly turned me off? Same with the book that received the glowing reviews as opposed to my scathing one? With the book that I edited, that author and I put our feet in it, and we both had a few headscratching convos about where we went wrong, and we conspiratorially concluded that those readers are just nuts (teehee…Yes, I do get in my feels.)
I’ve thought about this, and the simplest answer is “Everything ain’t for everybody.” But more importantly, when we read, we process things differently. Our head spaces aren’t the same. Life events may come into play. While both books were not badly written, meaning, they were “technically sound”, I wasn’t captivated by the storyline or attracted to the characters. And you know what? I felt really badly. I felt like I was betraying a friend for not liking her work, and I felt like shit for going in so hard on a book that just triggered something in me that just pissed me off to the highest level of pisstivity. With the book I edited, I am still quite pleased with the end result, but more importantly, the author loved the end result, and that’s all that matters as far as I am concerned (But yeah, I’m still a lil raw over one particular negative review…)
Words and emotion. They don’t just apply in real life.