I saw bunches of status updates about TANGLED this weekend. They were along the lines of this:
My Friend: Tangled = ♥
My Other Friend: So cute! So fun! I adored every second of Tangled!
My Other Other Friend: Add Tangled to my list of all-time favorite Disney movies! So, so good!
My Other Other Other Friend: I loved TANGLED. It was very [XYZ] and .
I left a comment for one of them like this: Wow! I want to see this movie and I’m hearing so much great stuff. I might have to check it out very soon!
Then I saw a status update like this from My Other Other Other Other Friend: TANGLED was such a disappointment. I heard that it was so great from so many people and that it was very [XYZ], but it wasn’t. And it was only a little bit . What a letdown!
I left a comment for MOOOOF saying: Thank you! I was going to see this based upon the other glowing recommendations, but now that I’ve read your comments, I won’t waste my time. I mean, I thought it was going to be [XYZ] and . Since you say that it isn’t, why even bother?
Okay, actually, that didn’t happen. Not that last part. And, in fact, not that second to last part either. But I see this ALL THE TIME with online book reviews. A book gets some good or even great reviews. People leave comments on those reviews saying they can’t wait to read it. Someone else writes a review saying that they read the book because it was recommended highly, but actually, the book wasn’t all that. People then leave comments saying that they were going to read it and thought it sounded good, but now they aren’t going to because they read this review that apparently tells it like it is.
As an author, I find it disheartening when I come across this, and not only when the book being discussed is one written by me.
As a reader, I find it perplexing. I’ve seen so many books that I’ve liked and loved get this kind of treatment and I think, You’re interested in this book. Dozens/Hundreds of other readers love it. But you won’t read it now because THIS PERSON didn’t fall in love with it? Are they your identical book twin or something?
If there is a book that I want to read, there are times when I do like to check out well-written critical reviews to see what the non-lovers of a book have to say. Not because I need to be persuaded not to read it. Not because I think that the way they feel is the way that I am going to feel. I just find it interesting to see opposing views. I like to predict where I’m going to fall on the spectrum when I do finally get my hands on the book. In some cases, I love to be surprised when I’m wrong.
There is no one person out there who loves exactly the same books that I love. There is no guarantee that I'll love or hate the things that I expect to love and hate. Isn't that part of what makes life interesting? Making these discoveries?