So the big story in the book world this week is the release of Breaking Dawn, the last book in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight saga, which folks have been anticipating almost as much as the last Harry Potter book.
People seem to either love or hate the book.Â Those who love it, really love it. Those who don’t, well, you can read their reviews on Amazon. Dear Author also posted an interesting, thoughtfulÂ review yesterday.
Why do I find this interesting? Well, as a reader, I’m always curious as to what other people think about books. Reviews help me decide what to spend my money on.
For the record, yes, I did read Twilight. IÂ really enjoyedÂ the book — untilÂ Bella found out Edward was a vampire and became obsessed with him about halfway through. I’m not a huge fan of obsessive love stories, and I thought the bookÂ became aÂ Romeo and Juliet with fangs at that point.Â Still, there were things I liked about it, and it certainly wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, though.
Bad reviews are part of being an author. Everybody gets them. One of the worst reviews I ever got was one word — insipid (for Hot Mama, I believe). But lots of people seem so angry in their reviews. Like Meyer has personally betrayed them. They’re calling her book poorly written fan fiction and worse. Much, much worse.
As a writer, this sort of scares me. Would I like to have Meyer’s success? Sure. But I don’t think I’d want to be in her shoes right now.Â Passion andÂ popularityÂ can beÂ double-edged swords, especially when it comes to books. Maybe it’s because people have to use their imaginations more than they do at the movies. But I don’t ever recall seeingÂ a movie or television show with the sort of vicious reviews that Breaking Dawn has gotten.
It’s happened to other writers too. Some folks didn’t like the final Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowling. Others don’t like the direction J.R. Ward is taking her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Ditto for Laurell K. Hamilton and her series.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I always respect an author’s achievement of finishing a book. Of writing, editing, and polishing it. Even if I don’t like the finished product itself.
It’sÂ an accomplihsmentÂ that should still be celebrated. People seem to have forgotten that. And that’s a shame.
What do you think? Will you read Breaking Dawn? How far is too far in a review? Share in the comments.