I love reviewing and I’ve done it for many years, handing out my considered opinions on everything from trips to Disneyland Florida to television shows. Through it all, I always enjoyed book reviewing, and I was thrilled when I was invited to write for CrimeFictionLover.com Finally, I’d found my people!
I’ve now been with the site for seven years and the postman and I are kept busy with the daily arrival of books for my perusal. In that time, I’ve given very few two-star reviews (though Patricia Cornwell thoroughly deserved it!) and I’m proud to say that some of my five-star books went on to great things – take a bow, Emma Healey and Elizabeth is Missing!
So, what are the criteria I employ with the books I review? Top of the list is definitely readability: Does the story grab me? Am I engaged by the characters? Is the text littered with errors?
That last one really gets my goat. Yes, I often receive uncorrected proofs which give me the chance to read the book well before it is published, but other times I am reading a bright, shiny new copy of a book that’s about to be let loose on the public. They’re paying good money for the novel and they expect it to be perfect, but sadly some publishers seem to think that cutting back on proofreading services is a great way to save a few quid – and no one will notice anyway.
That is just WRONG! There have been many occasions when I’ve given up on a book because I couldn’t cope with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, and I know I’m not alone. A beautifully written, tightly plotted, free-flowing narrative is a thing to be cherished and applauded, but when it is littered with mistakes it makes me both angry and sad. Angry that someone didn’t care enough to make the book the best it could be, and sad for the author, who has put blood, sweat and tears into their work, only for it to fall at the final hurdle.
What are your pet peeves when you’re reading? And what makes you love a book so much you have to share the joy with others? I’d love to hear!