Let me tell you about this problem I had recently...
You see, I follow lots of authors on Twitter. I read their blogs, I add their books to my Goodreads ages before publication. I retweet their interviews guest posts and giveaways and things, I chat with them about their books and other books, sometimes I even meet them at different events. Sometimes all of this happens before I've even read their books. And sometimes because of this ...friendliness on social media beforehand, I then feel nervous about reading their books.
Because what if I don't like the book? What if I think the writing is disjointed and pulls me away from the story? What if I don't think the character development is very strong? What if I don't like the characters and don't really believe in the relationships in the book? (all examples of my actual thoughts on certain books where I didn't enjoy the story but where I really like the author in question)
How am I going to write my review of these books when I 'know' the author and when the author might read these reviews and know that I didn't like his/her book. What do I do? How will that ever not be awkward? This is a problem I faced a few months ago.
And then something wonderful happened. I had been stressing on Twitter with another book blogger about these fears. I was worried that my expectations of a particular upcoming book were too high and that that book couldn't possibly live up to my high hopes and I was worried that I'd be disappointed and have to write a middling or negative review. And the author of that particular book saw my tweets and she sent me a DM on Twitter. It said 'Even if you don't like my book, I'll still like YOU.' As simple and as straightforward as that. And it allowed me to breathe a little more easily.
Because after that bit of encouragement, I was able to hope that other authors would feel the same way and would also be able to separate me from my thoughts on their books. Because I always want to maintain my integrity when it comes to my reviews on this blog. I read lots of books every week and month and year and I don't love them all. I don't think it's possible to love them all because books aren't aimed at everyone to love. My favourite books will not be your favourite books and what I look for when I'm reading will not necessarily be what you look for when you're reading. There might be some overlap but I hope that whether we agree or disagree on particular books that you'll still appreciate what I do on this blog.
I read and I review books on this blog: amazing books, okay books and the books I didn't enjoy at all. I will never attack an author personally and I don't think I've been unfair in my middling or negative reviews in the past, nor will I be unfair in the future, I hope. I try my best to provide both positive and negative aspects of a book in my reviews and give a little balance. But I also won't shy away from talking about how a book didn't work for me, even if I know an author personally or have conversed with them over social media. Because you wouldn't expect that of me, right?