I’ve been wrestling with a book rating this morning. I finished one of the books I was reading last night and was hideously disappointed. It wasn’t a bad book. Quite the contrary. But I read through the whole thing expecting one thing and got something else entirely.
It wasn’t what I wanted.
There were half a dozen points in the narrative where the author could’ve easily taken it in the direction I wanted. But she did something else. And I’ve been trying really hard to go back through the book in my mind to evaluate it for what it was, not what I expected it to be. Because as an author, I know perfectly well that I have a certain vision of what a book will be and if a reader expects something else, I get really…upset when people judge it based on what THEY thought it should be.
I lay the blame of my expectations at the feet of whoever wrote the book blurb. Because everything about it implied that I was about to get the kind of YA where paranormal/fantasy collides with the real world. And what I got was a contemporary YA that happened to be set in a locale with some fantastic local history that essentially challenged the scientifically minded heroine to believe in romance. Which is all well and good, but I was totally expecting both she and the hero to be…not human and to have some kind of Romeo and Juliet vibe and have to do something about a feud and…
Yeah okay, I’ll just write that one myself.
How do you deal with rating a book when what you get is not what you expected? Do you just go with your gut reaction and dock it, or do you try to go back and re-evaluate?