I have been an avid reader all my life.
Only in the past ten years have I been writing my own work.
And I review books. On Amazon and on Goodreads.com. Now recently its come to my attention that a neo-pro/semi-pro author such as myself could have a conflict of interest in writing reviews.
And I get the point about that. I’m not going to say that writing doesn’t influence how I read books. It TOTALLY influences the way I watch plots to see if they are too predictable or if loose ends are tied up. It influences the way I read characters who are too Mary Sue or who pluck my hearts strings out with their vulnerability and humanity. Writing means that I think consciously about pacing and world-building when I read books.
But what it doesn’t do is influence the truth of my review. Some books are so amazing that I read the book without ever really coming up for air as a writer (the last couple of books that did that to me were Bitterblue, Firelight, and Lola and the Boy Next Door) and those are the books that I usually give 5 stars to…because the writing is so tight it never trips my writer/editor brain.
Other books, no matter how masterful (Murakami’s 1Q84, for example) have some quality that makes me turn on my writer/editor brain at the same time as I read.
But isn’t that useful information?
Isn’t it useful to have reviews from all kinds of readers? I would much rather, myself, have access to reviews of a new book by readers young, old, professional, motherly, and neo-pro. Believe me, I’ll snap up a book in a hot second if one of my favorite authors recommends it….