Wednesday, October 06, 2010

"Good Book, But Hard to Put Down."

It's been awhile since we checked in on Amazon reviews for my suspense novels. I get such a kick out of them. The 5-star raving ones are great, of course. But sometimes the low-star ones are quite entertaining. Some are just plain strange, some funny. And for a few--those who mention nothing specific about the story but say it's awful, awful, awful--I have to wonder if the person read the book at all.

The following are excerpts. You can read the full reviews on Amazon. The data in quotation marks after each title refer to total number of reviews and average of stars. Overall, my ratings are very good. But here I'm not excerpting the raving ones. What fun would that be? Let's look at some of the more ... unexpected reviews. By the way, all excerpts appear as is.

Violet Dawn (66 reviews, 4 1/2 stars)

short and sweet. was exciting from beginning. 4 stars. [Me here: Violet Dawn--sweet?]

I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't the best suspense book I've ever read, but it was good. 4 stars.

The cover looks like a bad romantic novel, but inside is a fast paced thriller. 5 stars

I downloaded the FREE copy of this and I couldn't get past the first 25 pages. Horrible writing. Beyond boring. I felt like I was reading a paper that some 14 year old wrote. Two stars because I like the purple cover. Even the title is stupid. 2 stars

Good book, but hard to put down. 4 stars [Huh?]

Crimson Eve (23 reviews, 5 stars)

Honestly, I don't know how the realtors market in Kanner Lake but you won't see me trying to buy a house up there. 5 stars

Web of Lies (45 reviews, 5 stars)

Four stars, but only because of the spiders. I HATE spiders.

Exposure (80 reviews, 4 stars)

Out. Standing. I Bought this book for $5 for this book! TOTTALLY WORHT IT! 5 stars

This one is NOT recommended for church libraries. 1 star

Dark Pursuit (84 reviews, 4 stars)

The writing itself isn't -bad- really, and the book was free so I did give it two stars.

This is probably one of the worst books I have ever read and I am an avid reader. Her writing is jumpy and fragmented. No lead in from sentence to sentence, absolutely no character development, or plot for that matter. I am seeing good reviews and cannot believe it!! 1 star

Deceit (23 reviews, 4 1/2 stars)

Please Brandilyn, give us back some of your older quality books and plots. This one dwelt too long on murder. 2 stars

Ah, me. Those readers can be tough on a novelist. 


Kathy C. said...

"Good book but hard to put down." I'd take that as a compliment. Maybe he/she failed to get his/her work done because they couldn't stop reading.

Funny how what one person says is awesome another says is dull and not readable.

But then again, The Shack has been on the best seller list forever and I used my free copy to make a pinata because it has such nice paper : )

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for sharing, Brandilyn. It's a refreshing change to see someone willing to share their bad reviews, not just the ones we snip and enter into our "blurb" files.

Most folks don't realize the intestinal fortitude required of an author to put their work product out there for everyone to judge. But even those whose comments make us cringe have read the words we put on the page, and that's sort of our mission isn't it?

Lynette Eason said...

I'm confused. Why would she say Exposure was NOT recommended for church libraries? I read it and thought it was great. Just curious as to what was in it that would keep it off the library shelf. Hm....

Gayle DeSalles said...

"Please Brandilyn, give us back some of your older quality books and plots. This one dwelt too long on murder. 2 stars"

What's she talking about, Brandilyn? Your story about a "Horse Named Blue" or some title like that in which won a contest for as a kid? :-)

Always among your greatest fans ...

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Lynette, I think the woman who wrote the comment about church libraries wants a lot more obvious Christian content in her fiction than Exposure had. Still a little odd, because Exposure spoke quite clearly as to how God can help us deal with fear. Nevertheless, this is one example of just how different people's opinions can be about the same book. Keeps the world interesting. :]

Ronie Kendig said...

I can sooo relate! Some can be so funny you can just shrug and move on.

One reviewer took it upon herself tp not only to give NIGHTSHADE a 2-star review, but she also created a VIDEO of her explaining the review and how my book is an example of why Christian fiction doesn't sell well. She then posted the video in several places. Good grief!

Peg Brantley said...

Can I just say I pretty much adore you?

And your new picture is tres kewl?

(Would that be shallow?)

In other words . . . who reads reviews? Other than people who buy books based on them, of course.


James L. Rubart said...

I loved this blog post, but I couldn't stop reading it.

Ane Mulligan said...

Rubart, you're a hoot!

Brandilyn, these are funny. I'd sure love to know who didn't think the writing was good!!!???

Everyone knows I'm one of the Big Honkin' Chicken Club members - lifetime award recipient, thank you. I was somehow goaded into reading Violet Dawn. The writing was top notch, as all your books are. So good that I'll never go in a hot tub again as long as I live!

No character, my foot.

Cara Putman said...

This was fun to read, but what I love is the way you don't let the reviews get to you. Sometimes all you can do is laugh and be grateful Christian fiction has grown so much. There are so many choices. But I did have to shake my head at the ones on Violet Dawn. Love that book, but it's not what I would call sweet :-)