I may officially join this Booking Through Thursday business if the questions continue to be so freaking awesome.
I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it aSomething I think all authors should realize when they sign a contract is that once that book is printed and bound, it's out of their hands. When another, unrelated-to-the-project person reads it, they don't know ANYTHING about the author's intention, or history. So, they take their own meaning from the story. While writing a book is a hugely personal thing, once it flies away, it ain't coming back. We readers make it ours, depending on our own history, perspective, and context.
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?
This in mind, if you send me a book, you thereafter agree to let me do your job, and that is to be a reader. You're the writer, the mirror-maker - I look at the mirror and whatever I see, you can't tell me I'm wrong. (Unless I snark on the author. Then I am absolutely wrong. Feel free to call me out on it. Note the difference between "author" and "book", however.)
And in fact, if you follow this line of thinking, there is no bad book, just the wrong reader for a certain book. But I still firmly believe this much is only true when the book is well-crafted. The problem is, some (read: a lot) of books have many weak spots, in which case I say it sucks (in different amounts, depending, but nevertheless sucks).
Which again is very subjective, what you perceive as a flaw or not. This, my friends, is why it's important to find a source of book recommendations whose taste correlates with yours.
Okay and now I must get back to reading.