I am a person of strong opinions, at least where books are concerned. However, I'm not likely to share them publicly, as in "I hated Jane Smith's newest release because..." Here's why.

Book-loving is subjective for me, as I suspect it is for most. I can't get past a weak plot or an unlikeable protagonist or side trips that muddy the story for no reason. I am aware that these are my own prejudices, and I am also aware that others often don't mind such things. This does not make me a great judge of reading material, and it makes my opinion less than relevant to your choices.

I have a friend who reviews books, and she's much better at viewing the whole "picture" that a book presents. Yes, she sees the plot holes, but they don't necessarily ruin the book for her. She can state clearly what it is she did not appreciate without rejecting the book as a whole. She can say what was appealing despite the 6-page rant from a secondary character on the pitfalls of psychology or the rather rocky ending that didn't quite add up.

Most people read for entertainment. Writers and reviewers read with more intensity, having an additional reason to read. I see mistakes I want to avoid. My friend sees areas for comment in her review. But her opinion will be more helpful to you than mine, because she weighs the good with the bad and comes up with a balanced review.

I just get frustrated and give up.

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