Do you receive review copies of Christian books? If so, do you review them honestly? How do you handle it when you don’t like a book but are obligated to provide a review? Who do you see your first commitment being to in book reviewing (besides God)? Yourself? The author? Your readers? Does your review change based on the spiritual content of the book or is it solely based on technical or artistic merit? Have you ever had a negative experience with an author after giving them a negative review? (please don’t name names)
I do receive review copies of Christian books through BookLoons, FIRST, and sometimes from authors.
I do review honestly, but try to keep an open mind and remember that just because I lose interest or don’t like a book doesn’t mean that someone else won’t love it. I like to find positive points in every book I read and also be honest about my reaction to the book overall, making sure everyone knows it’s my opinion that it’s slow, or I found the characters somewhat lacking in depth. I know that I’ve read negative reviews of books I’ve loved so I always try to keep an open mind when reading them myself.
As for writing those critiques in reviews – it’s so hard sometimes, I’ll tell you! I would never want to discourage an author.
I see my first commitment in reviewing as being to God, then my readers. I want to be sure I’m honest.
I think spiritual content is important, and sometimes my review does change based on that. Like with my review of The Shadow of Colossus, I might have focused more on the plot if I hadn’t been so moved by Tessa’s struggle with opening her heart to God and love. If I’m deeply affected by something in book, I want to share it – and that way my readers know that there’s more to the book than just a good story.