Authors long for reviews of their work. I don’t know many authors who don’t want them, though I know a few who are anxious about reading them, afraid that they’ll get a bad review. Virtually all authors get a sprinkling of those.

I recently read two novels–one a mystery and one a historical. When I went on Amazon to write reviews for the two books, I already basically knew what I wanted to say, but read through some of the posted reviews. What struck me was how wide the range of reviews was–from one-star and devastating comments all the way to five-star and glowing comments.

Not only that, but some people were saying the exact opposite of what I was planning to say. That didn’t change my mind. I loved both of the books and said that. Both got five-stars from me. One of the books was a book I got from our local library, and I said so. Amazon still let me post a review. The reviews are meant to help the authors and to help readers decide if they want to take a chance on the book.

So, why do people have such varying opinions of books? It’s a mystery to me. Regarding the historical novel, one person said that she thought it was way too slow moving, that she couldn’t get into it, and that she had to skim through the rest of the book. She gave it three-stars. I said that I was hooked from the very beginning. I was mesmerized by the first-person point of view of a little boy in war torn Germany. I was never bored. Another person said they thought the book was good but would have been better if it was shorter. I didn’t want the book to end.

Many other reviewers felt the same way I did.

The other book had as wide a range of reviews as that one.

Another mystery was why some people said they loved the books and yet gave them only three-stars. What was wrong that they didn’t earn four or five stars? I guess it’s all a matter of perception. Regardless, I’m glad that people are willing to share their opinions about the books they are reading.