But this post is not about Emily Giffin herself. It's not about the importance of negative reviews, either, since I've beaten that horse to death already. What I'm here to talk about is one line from the comment war in particular, from Emily Giffin's husband as he attacked a negative reviewer (click to enlarge, and many apologies for my crappy underlining):
"If somebody hates the book then fine but some of these are not objective reviews."
Objective reviews? Stop right there, buddy. There is, in my opinion, no such thing as an objective review, and let me explain why:
- Reviewers are often right in the thick of the hype about a book, and don't take kindlly to being let down if the book doesn't quite live up to expectations.
- Reviewers have bad days. Maybe their mom is in the hospital. Maybe they're tired, or hate their job. Maybe they're just cranky. But there's all sorts of external reasons a book might not resonate with them.
- We are all individuals with our own likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, triggers, pet peeves, and more. That's what makes us human.
- Like it or not, reviewers are human, and that's the way it should be.
And I'll say it again: That's the way it should be.
Of course, I said all of these things more profoundly on Twitter, as I am wont to do. Discuss any fine point of reviewing there with me anytime, or, of course, in the comments section.