Yesterday I posted a poll on my Facebook page @dbmoonespage, which is a new page and not getting the traffic I hope to gain with time and perseverance. The survey was asking book reviewers and writers if I should go forward with reading and reviewing a book or to contact the British publisher and first-time author and notify them I am declining to go ahead with reading and writing a review. The specifics of my dilemma follow:
A first-time author asked me via Twitter if I would read and review her book. After skimming the preview she included with her request, I agreed and requested her book via NetGalley. I received the book and began to read, but I couldn’t get past the first page of the prologue without becoming irritated as I take writing book reviews quite serious.
The book is adult fiction about women from the Italian/Sicilian mafia, but the book reads as if it were written by a child. The author writes incomplete sentences; writes in both the past and present tense, so the time relationships she is conveying does not make sense; she is not clear on who is talking during conversations between the characters and uses too many hatcheted clichés and slang. Additionally, she admitted to omitting characters and “spoilers” in the review copy of the book.
How can anyone write a proper book review with missing characters and “spoilers?” I emailed the British publisher and shared my feelings with him, as well as addressing it was my sensing the book had not been through its first editing process. The publisher responded and thanked me for my email, adding, “it will be interesting to see if anyone else makes the same point” and he ended with “The book has been edited by a professional lady who worked for major publishing houses.”
This book is giving me a headache and leaving me with a dilemma. I have looked for other reviews of this book; there is one in which the reviewer gave the book three stars and said of the book, “A bit far-fetched…” As I told the publisher, my review of the version provided to me is not going to help the first-time author (writing under a pen name) nor will it help his sales. I went ahead and pushed myself through four chapters hoping it would begin to resemble something that would become book material, but it did not come close. Perhaps with the proper editing, it would be a decent indie book.
My dilemma is: Do I force myself through the rest of the book and write a review that is already a one star at best, or let the author and her publisher know I am declining to go forward with the review for the benefit of both the first time author and her publisher?
I received two replies on Facebook; both were to decline writing a review. What do you think? Please leave me your thoughts because Tylenol is not helping, nor is the sangria.
The comment section is at the bottom of the page. Please provide me with a yay or nay.