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 spend a huge amount of time on this blog. It is a hobby of mine and one that I truly enjoy. I want others to read my blog and know that I spend time both reading the books I post reviews for and reviewing them. With that said the question is what do I write about a book that I did not really like but am obligated to provide a review for. I write my reviews as honestly as possible. I don't think as a reviewer I am suppose to just be out peddling the books but offering an honest opinion of them. The author would not have sent out the novels to be reviewed if they did not understand that some reviews will not be favorable.
My first commitment is to the readers who visit this site. I know that recently I picked up a book based on the endorsement of the book by two authors I really love and my book club at church decided to read this novel. Usually, I read the novels before taking them to the club for selection but this time I did not. It was a huge mistake and one that reminded me that since I have decided to post reviews of novels and nonfiction books I owe it to both the reader and the author to do so with honesty or risk loosing my integrity. The two authors that endorsed that book have lost integrity in my eyes and I will no longer select a book based on their backing.
When I review a novel I try to evaluate it on a these criteria:
Was it enjoyable?
Would I want to share it with others?
Did the plot and characters develop in a believable manner?
Was the style of writing easy to read and follow?
Did the novel share the love and grace of Jesus Christ?
These are what I based my reviews off of. I am sure others probably go much deeper but for me this is what I look for in Christian Fiction and what I base my reviews on.