Monday, June 17, 2013

Reviews vs. Critiques

I am doing "Show me your Cover" on my other blog for the next 30 days, so I thought I'd share a post or two here on Different Corners in my Life.
First, if you'd like to participate in, "Show me your Cover" you can find the rules here;

In fact it's that post that got me to thinking about reviews vs. critiques.

Why is it, when we write a review, we feel the need to critique the book and tear it apart? Pointing out all the flaws, instead of just enjoying the story.

I recently read, Devil's Nightmare written by Robert Pruneda. In fact it is the first cover featured on "Show me your Cover"

It is a beautiful cover and a great story! And I gave it an honest review, but where do I get the right to critique it?

When I ask for reviews of my own books, I do ask for the honest truth. Give me all you've got, but that's because I haven't used critique partners or beta readers and I know I should. I know my stories are good, but my writing sucks, BUT I'm learning. Wow that was a little harsh, but then again, I am my biggest critic and my own worst enemy. I tend to grab the football and run for the goalpost and...Touchdown! Oops...I say as the other team pats me on the back. "Thank's, they say, 'for winning the game for us" It's all about hindsight, Karen. Stop and think before you speak.

But I like to read a book for the stories. I like a book that will give me an adventure. That will take me away. Make me use my imagination, and have me afraid of turning out the lights, and "Devil's Nightmare" did just that.

I'm a big Stephen King fan and have recently started re-reading some of his books. I re-read "Dead Zone" last week. Now Stephen King surely has beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders, and editors up the ying-yang, and yet there were typographical errors. WHAT! Stephen King? No way! Yes way.

I read, "Under the Dome" (long book, by the way) And there was one part in it that I just skimmed over. It didn't need to be there. He could have left it out and the story would have been just fine. But...

Since when did I become someone who critiques someone else's work? That's not me. When I pick up a book, I read it to be entertained, to get lost, to slip away from my humdrum life :-) and to find an adventure.

So from now on, if you ask me (Rob didn't) for a review, you are going to get a basic, "I loved it, or I hated it"
 If you ask me to beta read or critique it, then that's a different story.

Pick up "Devil's Nightmare" and read it. Put your critical eye aside and Read it for the story. It's a thrilling story!


  1. Thanks for the great post, Karen! I also appreciate the honest review on your other site. As authors if we don't have thick skin and listen to where we have flaws then we shouldn't be in the business. Your feedback was much appreciated and I'm thrilled you enjoyed reading Devil's Nightmare.



    1. Cheers to you too Rob. Here's wishing you much success!


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