Confessions of a Bookaholic: On Authors and Review Copies

So recently I got my first few review copies from authors. And although I was excited, one of the first things that struck me was: What if I hate this book?

I’m not saying here that receiving a free copy influenced any of my reviews at all. In fact, I told myself to be more truthful than usual (which, guys, is saying something since I try to tell the truth as much as possible) because I owed the truth not only to my readers but also to the author.

The thing is, though, I don’t like getting review copies from authors. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books themselves, but I don’t like the idea of having a personal relationship with an author before I even start their book. If I read something and really enjoy it, I love telling authors on Twitter. I love saying things like OMG YOUR BOOK WAS SO GOOD I COULDN’T GET ENOUGH OF IT I NEED THE SEQUEL SO SO SO BAD. But if I write a bad review, I never ever tell the author that I hated their book. I never tag them when I post the review on Twitter. Because it’s mean. It’s like bullying. And I hate it.

In the end, I was 100% truthful when I wrote those reviews. I didn’t sugar coat anything, and I wasn’t any more tactful than usual. But I didn’t enjoy writing the bad and the so-so reviews and then having to send it to the author and wave it in their face and say, Hey, I didn’t like your book. This is what was wrong with it and I think you need to correct this. It stung, even to me.

This is why I don’t like getting review copies from authors. And I will continue to receive these review copies and continue to read them and post truthful reviews. But what this experience has taught me is not to form relationships with authors before reading their book. That I should reply to their email saying that yes, I will read their book, and thank you. Nothing beyond that before I start. It’s painful both for me and the author when we’ve become acquaintances and I need to tell them that I hated their story. No matter how much an author understands that not everybody will love their work once they make it public, it will still hurt.

Is this just me, or has anyone else encountered this problem?

 

 

Eagle Eye Movie Review

Actors:

Shia LaBeouf
Michelle Monaghan Michelle Monaghan
Rosario Dawson Rosario Dawson
Michael Chiklis Michael Chiklis
Anthony Mackie Anthony Mackie
Ethan Embry Ethan Embry
Billy Bob Thornton Billy Bob Thornton

In my review of Blindness I wrote that if an award aspiring drama is released in September then chances are it isn’t very good. I think we can just say that if a movie is released in September nowadays chances are it isn’t very good, regardless of genre. Sure the Bourne Ultimatum came out in August (another dead movie month) last year and was fantastic. But that film was the exception to the rule.

 How to write Movie Review?

Eagle Eye is the latest over-hyped action movie geared towards the 12-18 male demographic. It stars Shia LaBeouf, who has come out of nowhere in the last two years to become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
I have never liked Shia as an actor because his characters always seem so corny and phony. There is never any emotional depth to his characters and he is becoming quickly typecast as the unassuming hero, similar to what Michael J. Fox was doing in the 80’s except with more charisma and believability.
And speaking of believability, a lot of people are going to have issues with the events of this movie. I am always willing and able to suspend my disbelief in the name of entertainment, but that suspension can only go so far. From the opening scene in Eagle Eye to the very last nothing that happens has any sense of realism. Granted, this makes for some entertaining action scenes but in my opinion actions scenes are only effective if they involve interesting characters taking part in important and credible affairs. The plot of this movie is simply implausible and the audience will be rolling their eyes throughout the movie.
Shia plays Jerry Shaw, a young underachiever who lives on his own and who has just found out that his twin brother has died. Then, without explanation, he comes home to find boxes and crates of ammo and bomb materials in his apartment. The very same night, he receives a call from a female voice telling him he has been “activated” and that he needs to follow her directions. Michelle Monaghan plays a single mother who receives a similar call around the same time. Eventually they meet and slowly figure out they are pawns being used in something larger than they can’t understand at the moment.
I won’t tell you who the antagonist is, but when the movie is over you will wonder why everything that happened needed to happen at all. Not that there is any possibility it could have gone through all that to begin with. The one positive that I take from Eagle Eye is that Shia is slowly becoming a better and more adult actor. Hopefully he will sign on for a script not geared towards high-schoolers, and we’ll be able to see what he is capable of.
On a final note I must say that I was very displeased with the fate of Shia’s character. Can screenwriters and filmmakers please try to be a little bolder?

 

Rating: 2 / 5 stars