On Book reviews – good ones, bad ones, and ones that make you go “WHAT??!”

I’m not gonna lie….I read my book reviews.

Many authors will tell you they never do because they don’t want to hear anything negative about the book, or that it makes them uncomfortable, or anxious or ( insert your own descriptor).

Not me.

I read every single, friggin, review I find, especially those from people I don’t know. You kind of expect the people you know to say something nice about your book. But it’s the ones I’ve never met, who don’t know me from Eve, who when they take time to write something about one of my books, I sit up and take notice. I’m not arrogant enough to think my words will inspire, entertain, and bring happiness into every single reader’s lives. It’s my hope, but not my reality, peeps, heehee.

What I always find intriguing though, is when one book has polarizing reviews – both ends of the spectrum from 5 stars to 1.

Let me e’splain….

This was a recent review from a very famous author I know through a publisher connection. We have never met, but I thoroughly enjoy reading her books and she is a one-click author for me. For TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS this is her review, up on Amazon:

Katie O’Sullivan

Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020

Format: Paperback

Peggy Jaeger has done it once more, proving why I keep returning to her stories again and again. The vivid portrait of small town life, the depth of the characters and the breadth of emotions… I love escaping to the worlds this author creates on the pages.

Ms. Jaeger writes in a first person point of view that drags the reader along on a sometimes chaotic ride with Cathy O’Dowd, a small-town lawyer and the eldest O’Dowd sister in the small town of Heaven, New Hampshire. She took over her father’s practice and responsibilities when her parents retired, one of which was sitting on the board of the local Historical Society. When a well-known author comes to town to research his new book, the pair are thrown together and sparks begin to fly.

Okay, none of that sounds terribly exciting, does it?

Small town lawyer. Author doing research. Historical Society.

It all reeks of dusty pages and yawns hidden behind polite hands. And yet…

This story crackles with emotion and tension, as the main characters are instantly drawn to each other but trying desperately to ignore the electric connection. The stubbornly broken characters kept me glued to my Kindle rooting for them to give into their feelings, to get over their sad pasts and find a happily ever after with each other. The scenes with Cathy’s grandmother, Nanny Fee, add comical humor and lightness to the overall story. Ms. Jaeger does a wonderful job of creating real characters we can relate to and root for, with the strong background themes of family and forgiveness running throughout.

I finished this book in a day, and loved escaping into the world Ms. Jaeger created. The first book in this series, Dearly Beloved introduced the town of Heaven and the sisters… And I know there’s one more O’Dowd sister whose story has yet to be published (I can’t wait!)

Amazing, right? And such an ego stroke I can’t tell you!
Now, here’s the same book and a review from Netgalley from someone I don’t know from Adam:
Maggie – 1 star
I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have read so far in Today, Tomorrow, Always. I love the small town atmosphere, the family surrounding Cathy, and the love and patience she has for her family, her sweet dog and her community. The buildup of Mac’s background and loss of his family add to an intriguing mystery. Why did you throw in a gay marriage? My decision is to not finish this book and not request any more of Peggy Jaegar’s books. I read Christmas and Cannolis last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thus, I requested this book. Please leave LBGTQ topics no matter how small under LBGTQ headings. It may be only a minor one-page item, but I am not interested in finding out. I will not be leaving a review on Twitter or Amazon as I do not believe in writing negative reviews.
The last sentence made me laugh. THAT’S exactly what she’s done, isn’t it??
Like it’s been said many times in the past : You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Now, if this reviewer had said the story was boring, or the writing was sophomoric, or even that the characters were unrealistic, I would have taken her words to heart and chalked up the bad review to someone who just didn’t like the book. This is still America, people, and we are allowed to have opinions that differ.
But…. this isn’t really a review of the book, is it?
Think about it.
Reread her words.
This is about 1 scene, 250 words, 1 page of a book that she even claims she was enjoying up until these 250 words came into play. For whatever reason this was a trigger for her and she decided to condemn me for the rest of my book writing life.
This is just one of those aspects of being an author that makes me go… WHAT??!
If you’re looking for me I’m usually here ( or out reading my reviews!)Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me
…And liked Katie mentioned above, Book 3 BAKED IN LOVE is with my editor, but you can read the opening scene here: PJBlog
Until next time, kids ~Peg


Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

13 responses to “On Book reviews – good ones, bad ones, and ones that make you go “WHAT??!”

  1. Donna Simonetta

    Maggie better avoid my books then, because every last one of them has LGBTQ+ characters. Because, y’know, life. And also, it was a promise to a friend. But seriously, just when I think I can’t be surprised anymore by the bigotry of our fellow humans, someone says “hold my beer”. BTW—adding this book to my TBR pile!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sounds very familiar. I had a couple bad reviews because mine has BDSM, but it says it right up front — erotic, historic. Thank goodness we can’t please all the people all the time or we’d be contributing to the narrow minded, hurtful attitudes that have held people down throughout the ages. I for one want to help change that by showing that everyone has the right to a HEA.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. mrsnnnlight

    Huh, that one-star review is more of a review on this person’s bigotry than of anything else. All I can say is that unless the person in question lives in a snow globe, she will bump into and *gasp* possibly interact with a LGBTQ+ person. No, she won’t turn into one but she will run into one. I promise you this.

    Some people, I swear. *rolls eyes*

    Keep reading those reviews, Peg, and keep writing. Don’t change a thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. barbarabettis1

    To look on the bright side–a one-star review that’s really a positive one! it hurts to see that lone star (no offense, Texans) on the chart, but if anyone reads it, they’ll see half of the review says how wonderful the book is. I heard an agent at a conference talk about “one star reviews that sell the book.” I’d say this is one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Barbara – I simply adore that you always look on the bright side!!!! From your lips to God’s ( and sales!) ears! hee hee. Thank you.


  5. Wow. That reader really zoned in on those 250 words! Why even write a review if you didn’t finish the book? I hate DNFs. And now, she won’t buy any more of your books? That’s a real open-minded, tolerant individual.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Peggy Jaeger

    Judy, I know, right?? People make me insane.


  7. Congrats on the great review and ignore the sour one. I always wonder what the heck when a book received three glowing reviews and then one weird one. Too bad for her she’ll miss out.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Peggy Jaeger

    Bless you for you support and kind words, thezekechronicles. I always wonder the same thing!


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