Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?
I missed most of last week's kerfuffle, and only read about it afterward. But like most other BTT participants, this is how I see it: the most important thing I can do as a reviewer is share my honest opinion about the books I've read. It shouldn't matter how I've gotten ahold of the book. I do acquire books from a wide variety of sources, and I feel free to review them all in any way I choose. For an author (or publisher) to expect positive reviews only isn't fair to them or to the people who read my blog.
That being said, I do try to look for positive things in each book I review to highlight. It would be unfair of me to slam a book just because I didn't care for it. Someone else might love an aspect of the book I didn't like. So even if a book isn't a good match for me, it might be a great match for someone else, and I'd like to encourage those people to give it a chance. I'm not sure that what I'm saying here is making sense, but the point is that I try to be fair- perhaps to a fault.
In light of what happened last week, though, I did put up a disclaimer. I haven't had a problem yet; so far, I really enjoyed the books I've read and reviewed at the author's request (there's a third that's next in my reading pile, but I don't anticipate getting to it before the Thanksgiving holiday). But I'd rather not end up in the position where I'm having to defend myself against an angry author. That wouldn't be fun for anyone (and I know it wasn't fun for those who were involved last week).
What about you? Where do you fall on the issue?