This site is for writers who wonder about the usefulness (to them, to readers) of book reviews, whether paid or unpaid. Its purpose may change, its scope may widen, but right now I’m just interested in looking critically at the reviews themselves.

Writers who would like to review a review are invited to do so in these pages.

Why look critically at a review that has already gotten to you (I’m assuming in a negative way, although you could, if you wished, review a positive review)?

TTwo reasons I can think of:

1. Critically analyzing a review that has gotten under your skin may in many ways defuse it, put it into perspective, enable you to toughen up. You may find that it’s not a review at all but an expression of opinion. You won’t be able to fault it, because it’s not presented as anything but the writer’s opinion. You–we–should not tremble for good opinions. We’re not in the people-pleasing business.

2. Ripping apart an offensive (as opposed to a reasoned negative) review will make you happy. Note: You will not be engaging in debate with the writer; you will simply be looking critically at what has been written.

Writing is hard. So is reviewing, whether you’re being compensated for it or you’re doing it for pleasure. We are professionals. This site is for us.

–Jincy Willett