Why I won’t leave a bad review of a book (even though I really, really want to)

I have recently read two stupid books. One was recommended to me by a friend, and one I picked up because it was written by a big-deal author, and the cover art was cool.

I read both these books cover-to-cover and they both sucked. At the end of the three weeks or so it took me to finish them, one after the other, I was so mad that I’d been duped, so mad I’d wasted my time, that I immediately wanted to go to Goodreads and Amazon and leave long, rambling reviews telling potential customers everything I hated about them.

I wanted to get everything off my chest. I wanted to share my suffering and in turn make the authors suffer too. How DARE they find money and success with such garbage?? How DARE they use tropes and clichés and predictability to build their author clout?? How DARE they be more famous and successful than me when their writing sucks so much??

I thought all these things and then I realized…Oh, I’m jealous. That’s what that feeling is.

I mean, I’m also mad that I wasted my time and that these people are clearly scam artists making (okay, okay, probably not that much) money by writing such tripe, but I think the reason that I wanted to write bad reviews on their work is because I’m jealous. I’m jealous that they made all these dumb mistakes that I’ve been told my whole life not to make, and they got published anyway. I’m jealous that Author #1 wrote an absolutely terrible book, and my friend loved it and recommended it to me anyway. I’m jealous that Author #2 wrote an absolutely terrible book, and he’s still got a Netflix movie based on another one of his works anyway.

I’m not the world’s best writer by any means. But I AM at least as good as those two bozos. And I have only the tiniest fraction of the success that they do.

My writing a bad review wouldn’t change any of that. Not for them. Not for me.

And as much glee as it gave me to think that my words could possibly stop a customer from buying one of those books and depriving the author of their money (a whole whopping $0.50 or whatever), I also thought about how it would feel if the authors themselves actually read my review. I’d like to think very few artists out there are just in it for the money and don’t really care about what it is they’re producing. Whether they’re a musician, a movie director, a sculpturist, or a writer, artists tend to only share with the world that which they are proud of, the things they’ve created that they think others will enjoy too. They put this creativity out in the world, hoping that it resonates with people, connects their souls.

I don’t want to be the person who craps all over their dreams.

So I’ll just share my displeasure here in this blog. Angrily, yet quietly.

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