I am not going to lie, I was scared to death to start this short story. The title is "One Star" and if you've been around the block as many times as I have, you already know how treacherous the world of the one star review can be for the reviewer. If the author is sensitive, having a bad day or simply cannot take any criticism about their book baby they and/or their fans could drop a world of hurt on you for ruining their career (when in reality their tantrum is likely the thing that'll do it). I'm not talking about the shitty "you have atrocious taste, you are too dumb to read blurbs and you are a moron" comments left on your review (okay MY review, haha). That's all part of this social media thing. I'm talking about real life danger. Someone having a bad moment might chase you down and hit you with a wine bottle, create a website and DOX you and spread falsehoods about you, attempt to sic a lawyer after you, call your place of work, create a petition in an attempt to make your name public knowledge on Amazon (thanks for boosting that one, Anne Rice), perhaps even do some snooping and locate your home address to pay you a little visit and give you a talking to. (NOTE: All of this shit has happened, if you want proof lemme know). But you can read some of it with linkage here .
So yeah, after all of that stuff, I am a little wary of the big, bad one star. I used to write light-hearted, silly one-star reviews. Click on a cover to read some silliness:
It is highly unlikely that anyone would feel that those reviews are constructive or helpful or nice which is what people continually and to this day tell me I should be doing. I don't believe in that. I will never believe that I, the consumer, need to be helpful in my unpaid review. You can tell me that until you or I turn blue but I will not change. I wrote those reviews for fellow readers which is what I always do. I'm not forcing anyone to agree with me and some of those people in the comments in those reviews don't agree and that is perfectly okay by me. Those are my true and unpolished feelings. It is the only way I know how to be. I will now likely DNF a book if I hate it because, as I learned with the books above, it is never worth the time and my free time is a precious thing. Ain't none of us getting any younger over here. Nor is it worth the potential hassle if someone is feeling slighted or may be slightly unhinged and I have too many good books to read before some crazy person murders me.
Anyhow, I have made this review all about me because I have some strong feelings on this matter as I was put on a "bad reviewer hit list" years ago for my open and big-mouthed book reviewing ways as were several well respected reviewer friends who absolutely did not deserve it.
Now on to the story, haha!
One Star begins as a blogger is penning her final blog post. She has witnessed something so terrible that she is haunted enough to pull down her own blog because she feels her review sent an author off the deep end. I feared the worst, truly I did, but The Behrg promised this was a love letter to reviewers and I put my trust in his hands and he was not fooling around. He brings up some good points from all sides of this debate and debacle. There is a sinister turn and it surprised and pleased me very much. The things some people will do for money, for fame. . .
These are my quickie thoughts after a quickie read through but I plan to sit down and give it another read so I can chew on some of this stuff. It was super interesting and is worth a read. Thank you, The Behrg, for being one of the sane voices out here in the wilds!
And to all of you reviewer types who bravely review day in, day out because you must, YOU NEED TO READ THIS!