The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration Part XV


We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions.
BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett




How do you handle review requests for a book series?


Uma says...
Good question! I always get a mini heart attack when that happens. Like Di, I mention that I’ll read book 1 and then decide if I want to continue with the rest of the series. Taking on an entire series is a huge deal even if you aren’t reviewing the books! I’d hate to receive an entire series from an author only to find out I don’t enjoy book 1 and plan not to read the rest.
Once after i received book 1 from the author and was still in the middle of it, she mailed the rest of the trilogy too and honestly speaking I was annoyed. And now I haven’t read the final book because I didn’t enjoy book 2. And even though she sent the books without me asking, I feel bad that I haven’t read or reviewed book 3 yet! I hate leaving things incomplete!
So basically I’d prefer if authors would just request book 1 to be reviewed first and depending on how I like it, offer or not offer the rest of the series.

Amy says...
I once got a review request from an author who was offering book 3 of her series to me. In that case, I asked for book 1 instead because I didn’t feel comfortable starting in the middle of the series. She was happy to do that, and I got book 1. (Turns out I didn’t enjoy the series, so I didn’t get the rest).
But yeah. If I’m offered a book that isn’t the first in the series, then I‘ll ask for the first book instead and take it from there.
I do things slightly differently, though, when requesting a book myself. When requesting from publishers, even if I haven’t read the first book in the series, I’ll still try my luck for an ARC of the second if I’m confident it’s a series I can’t afford to miss. But I only do this for ARCs, and only when requesting from publishers
Overall, if an author or publisher makes the first move and contacts me with a request for a review of the second or third, etc, book of a series, I’ll ask if I can have the first book instead.
But if I’m requesting an ARC from publishers and I’m confident I’ll love the series, I might ask for the second book before I’ve read the first. Obviously, I could well be refused, but I try my luck anyway. And if I get accepted, then I’ll buy the first book myself.


Do you think it’s okay to DNF a review copy?



Uma says...
I think every reader has the right to DNF a book, review copy or not. That being said, I’ve literally never DNF-ed a book in my life as a reader and that’s because i HATE leaving things incomplete. So even if I don’t like a book, I end up completing it. I have DNF-ed serieses though!
But yes, that’s just my weird ‘gotta complete’ attitude but otherwise hell yeah, you can DNF review copies. If you don’t want to complete a book, why try to just because it’s a review copy? I think authors and reviewers alike should understand and accept that not everyone is going to love every book. There are going to be different opinions and unpopular opinions with every book. If you’re like me and HAVE to complete the book, then go ahead complete it and review it but if you are not so and feel like DNF-ing it, go ahead and do that instead of torturing yourself to plough through because it’s a review copy.

Amy says...
I agree with Uma: I literally never DNF books, so I’m hardly ever faced with this dilemma. I’m strict with myself, and I make sure I finish the book. I also hate leaving things incomplete!
But I do think that if you receive a book to review and you’re struggling with it, you still owe the author a thorough read-through right to the end. Yes we’re not paid, and yes a book might surprise us and be torturous to get through, but my VERY personal opinion is to keep going.
If you’ve accepted a copy to review, then I think you owe the author a read and a review. (Especially if they sent you a print copy). And this makes me more careful when accepting and requesting, knowing I’ll have to get through the whole book.


How do you handle writing negative reviews for review copies?



Uma says...
I always send in my reviews, even if they are negative. If the author/publisher wants me to remove it from my blog I normally will but I’ll let the review stand on Goodreads.
What I don’t ever want to do though is tear the author or the book apart, even if I didn’t like it. The author spent a LOT more time creating and crafting their book than I did reading and reviewing it.
If I’ve actually been approached by an author or publisher to review a book (as opposed to requesting it from them myself) and the review will be negative, I like to go back to them first with the news of the negative review and ask if they would prefer it if I don’t put the review on my blog. Sometimes they still want the publicity because if the review is polite and I put forward the reasons that I personally didn’t like it, it’s still garnering attention and getting their book out there which is the actual purpose of giving out review copies.
Amy says...
Thankfully, so far I’ve never had to write any 2 or below stars review for any book I’ve got from authors. I’ve had to write super negative reviews for books I received from NetGalley but that doesn’t feel so hard considering you aren’t directly conversing with either the author or the publisher!
But even in my negative reviews I don’t just say “Guys I hated this book. Don’t read it.”. I don’t bash books or authors. I explain why I didn’t like the things I didn’t like in the book and I also make sure I mention the things I did like about the book.
It hasn’t happened yet but if I someday receive a book from an author and end up rating it less than 3, I believe I’ll let the author know how I feel about the book and let them decide if they want me to publish or not publish the book on my blog. But as Di says, the Goodreads review stays whether the author likes it or not.

To see my answers make sure to visit the other collab posts!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion post! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!

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