I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.
Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?
You are never obligated to write a positive review. It is certainly unfortunate when a reviewer is harassed by an unhappy author, and it seems to be all-too-common in the internet age. However, think about it this way, when the New York Times doesn’t like a book, do you think the author harasses them?
When I don’t care for a book, I will say so; but I also try to point out aspects that other people may like. For example, I didn’t even finish reading The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, but someone who likes sci-fi may love this book. I just found it too dense. Now, I don’t expect H.G. Wells is gonna come comment on my blog… and I wasn’t required to review it because it was just my TBR pile, but I didn’t feel I had to finish it or like it!
This actually reminded me of a little scuff that Trish @ Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? unfortunately experienced. It’s old news now, but the long-and-short of it is she received a book directly from an author and reviewed it. She didn’t think it was well written, and she substantiated her thoughts with quotes and reasons… but the author got upset. [Here’s the full story if you’re curious.]