My name is Paul “Princejvstin” Weimer.
I’m a reader and a book reviewer. I’ve written a boatload of reviews, here but most of them nowadays are at SF Signal, at the Functional Nerds.
Like just about everyone, not every book I read is going to be the next hawt thing, or even an average book. Some of them are going to, in my point of view, not be up to my standards.
What to do?
Some people do not write reviews of books they dislike.
Others like to use humor to disarmingly talk about books that didn’t work for them. Justin Landon at Staffer’s Reviews has his “secretary Cheryl” as a device to do this:
And then there are those who like to, in the words of Damien Walter (http://damiengwalter.com/2012/08/03/aggressive-reviewing-is-here-to-stay-learn-to-deal-with-it/) be aggressive in their reviewing. This can range from tearing a work apart enthusiastically, to the likes of “Requires Hate”, who has a tendency to add a healthy dollop of the peanut butter of ad hominem and personal attacks to the chocolate of her scorn and hatred in her reviews and reactions to books and authors.
I don’t fall into any of these camps.
I try to be polite and professional, honest and trustworthy in my reviews. Even the reviews where the book did not work for me, or only worked partially. I try and tell people what worked and what didn’t. My opinion is my own, informed by 30 years of genre reading. Your mileage may vary.
I am no paragon of virtue. No indeed.
Can I do better? Yes, clearly.
I can only try to grow forward in my writing, be it reviews or anything else.
But my style is definitely not aggressive, mocking, or pour-gasoline-on-and-light-a-match. It would take a reboot of my character to do any of that.
And that’s where I stand.