Dear Goodreads,

I love Goodreads, it’s a fantastic website for authors and readers to interact, and find new books that they might not have heard about otherwise. I love scrolling through reviews of a variety of novels, whether that be to praise the author’s work or bash it – every review is different.
It has a gigantic list of what books are coming out this year, and next, and so hopefully you can tell I’m a big fan of the website.

There is one thing that don’t like about it though, and something that should be addressed more often.

Why, oh why are people reviewing books before they are even out?

I’m aware of ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copy) where someone will – well you get the point, but I’m very confident that before you write your review, you first mention that you recieved an advanced copy of the book from the author/publisher.

I had recently heard about Stephenie Meyer releasing a new novel on November 8th (just under 2 months), and so in the hopes of finding out more, I went onto Goodreads knowing they would have something for me.

It baffled me to find that already people have reviewed it, giving their thoughts on the book instead of actually waiting for it to release, then reading it before rating the novel. The same had gone for Sarah J Maas (author of the Throne of Glass series, and A Court of Thorns and Roses and sequel). Reviews were coming in, and guess what?

No one had read a single word. They just didn’t like it, and spewed hatred over the author.

I don’t like the Twilight series (besides Eclipse), and I have no interest in reading the Host (also by Stephenie Meyer), but that gives me no right to suddenly give her upcoming book, The Chemist a two star review just because I haven’t been a fan of her previous works. It only shows immaturity and ignorance!

This doesn’t just go for Goodreads, but for the cinema too as well as others. We immediately make the assumption that something will be awful based on previous experiances. (That’s what us humans do.) But taking it to the next level and throwing out reviews doesn’t just make us look bad, but it damages the product itself. If someone comes along, and finds a book that they like, but sees that it has a ton of negative reviews, he/she may be missing out on a story they could really enjoy! So let’s have some consideration, eh?

So Goodreads, as much as I love you, please let’s stop reviewing books in advance on the sole basis being we don’t like someone’s previous work, or the author themselves is someone we’re not a fan of. You can have your opinion, that’s fine, but it says a lot more about you then it does about the book when you review it in advance and with no knowledge of the contents.

Love,

Peter

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