From Booking Through Thursday:
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 a positive review.
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?
All bloggers have a different reason for why they blog. Some only review books they like, which is great that's their choice. When I asked a similar question last week for Faith 'n Fiction Saturday, Rel said she reviews to encourage so if she doesn't like a book she doesn't review it. I think that's wonderful. Another respondent said they review books...they didn't know what a dishonest review was. I LOVED that. Some share their reading journey no matter what, some offer literary or critical reviews, I mean the list goes on. In short, there's no one size fits all for book blogs.
So I think an author should have a look at the blog they're asking to review their book to see if it's a good fit. And, yes, I do think bloggers should have a review policy either posted or shared with the author upon request. I don't (though I'm working on it) and didn't think about it before, but the more book blogging rises in prominence as a way to market and promote books I think the clearer the expectations--the better.
I think as a book community--we should all value honesty above sales and ego stroking. The fine art of reading a novel is going by the wayside due to a variety of things and lying about whether or not we like books is not going to sustain our favorite hobby. If we can't even share what we like honestly with one another, what do we have? I do think we owe it to authors to be respectful of their work, but we owe it to the community as a whole to be honest.
So those are my thoughts at present.