It sucks to get a bad review. Writers hate them. We want to know where we went wrong. It’s really bad when all the review contains is ‘it sucked.’ Writers fear that review a lot. What can you do with ‘it sucked?’ Was it the plot? The characters? The flow or lack thereof? How do you fix suckiness?
I’ve always thought that it was a stupid review. How could a whole book suck? Couldn’t the reader find something redeeming in the story? Nice descriptions? A great character? A unique plotline?
Until this weekend. As a writer I won’t leave a really bad review for another writer’s book. But if I did, I would for the book I read this weekend. I won’t tell you whether it was an Indie or Traditionally published. I won’t tell if it was romance or another genre. I won’t tell if it was a male or female writer. It would serve no purpose to have those facts.
It isn’t that a reviewer doesn’t know what to say. If they could help the writer they would. It is that it is such a hot mess that they don’t know where to start. The characters are vapid, shallow, and self-centered and the author has portrayed those as their good points. The plot meanders through every current hot trend and every trope known to writers, and doesn’t use any of them well. Events happen, but the story doesn’t. The book goes nowhere and takes forever to get there.
Sometimes all you can say is “It sucked.”