This book didn’t work for me at all. First, there’s a lot of telling, not enough showing. I never got to know the characters well enough to care about them or what happened to them. And what I did get to know about Alison really doesn’t make me want to root for her.
The premise was interesting and slippery. Taking on the sometimes unhealthy relationship between authors and reviewers is bold. The way it’s written however focuses on reviewers who care more about entertaining their own readers than the books (or movies or music) they write about. They exist, I won’t deny it. And some are talented. Trashing can be done with excellent writing and I’ve read delightfully funny reviews. To be honest, it’s much easier to be mean than fair, let alone kind. As a reviewer, especially as an independent reviewer, you get to decide what you want your reviews to mean. They can be about showcasing your own talent or wit. They can be about supporting authors and / or helping other readers find books they’ll enjoy. I hope no one has any doubt as to which category mine should fall in.
It kinda pisses me off that so much energy is spent on attention-seeking people rather than on books. I get that they can be harmful but I don’t believe the people liking gratuitous trashing reviews would have bought the book in the first place. One of the most important rules on the internet: don’t feed the trolls.