Reviews can often make a book, and their lack can often break a book.
In truth it’s always been the way, but authors feel it more keenly now. Mainstream publishers do check the number of reviews on distribution sites when deciding whether to renew a contract, and for indie authors many internet promotion portals determine entry by the number of reviews it can verify online. Being an author leads to being a reviewer.
Most members of Hornsea Writers would prefer to review without any kind of star system, even though most sites make it obligatory. Both Amazon and Goodreads offer a guide in making a decision, though why anyone would doggedly persevere with a book to give it an “I hate it” one star is beyond us. Hitting one’s thumb with a hammer would doubtless give as much grief in far less time, allowing a better suited book to be enjoyed sooner.
Some of us do persevere with books that will eventually be labelled with two stars, but the reason is well argued within the review. What we feel is a waste is a regurgitation of the book’s blurb. If it was a good read we say why; if we thought it so-so we explain what kept us reading and mention what grated. All readers are individual in their tastes, even those reading within the same sub-genre, because reading is not a passive occupation, it’s an engagement.
Long or short, every review is welcome as each sheds a distinct and individual light on to an author’s work. If you read, do you review?