Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Behind Her Eyes This may be a somewhat controversial view, but here goes…

For months before this book’s release I had excitedly followed the hype on Twitter, and I grabbed my copy as soon as it was out in our local Waterstones, chatting with the cashier about how great it was supposed to be. I think that was problem number one. It was too hyped up, and I started reading it with impossibly high expectations.

Of course, all the hype was about the final twist, that Twitter hashtag of #WTFthatending. And that, I think, was problem number two. Rather than immersing myself openly into the book and its characters, I spent the whole time looking for clues, trying to figure it out, to be one step ahead. I kept the whole thing, untrustingly, at arms length, and found myself not caring about the characters at all.

My third problem was that it was written by Sarah Pinborough, one of my favourite authors. I so wanted it to be another The Death House, which had me sobbing at the end, or 13 Minutes, that I read in just a few days. But it wasn’t.

I hate giving this just 3 stars, but it left me unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and, frankly, a little angry that it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be. I didn’t like the final twist, and the very ending annoyed me immensely.

But I don’t think it was all the book’s fault. I wanted too much from it. It was over hyped and failed to live up to its marketing.


Amazon’s Review Policy Changes and What it Means for Authors

AmazonOn October 3rd, Amazon changed their review policy which now states that reviews are no longer allowed in exchange for a free or discounted item. It was originally thought that this wouldn’t apply to books (sending out advance review copies (ARCs) has been an industry standard for many years), but it appears that this is no longer the case.

Prior to October 3rd, Amazon guidelines stated that ARC reviewers should include a disclaimer along the lines of “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review” as part of their review. This policy has now changed.

An email from an Amazon service representative stated this:

I’d make sure none of your reviews contain disclaimers using “I got this in exchange for that.” I would recommend your reviewers use language like, “I volunteered to review a complimentary copy of this book.”

It also appears that, not only will Amazon be removing any new reviews with the previously acceptable, indeed required, disclaimer, but they may well be removing old reviews too. Reviews that, when posted, followed Amazon guidelines to the letter.

To avoid having Amazon reviews being deleted, I suggest that you ask your reviewers to use the newly suggested phrase: “I volunteered to review a complimentary copy of this book.” Also, if you have previous ARC reviews, and you don’t want to see those disappear, it looks like you’ll have to ask your reviewers to log into their account to edit them.

At the end of the day, it’s Amazon’s sandpit, and we have to play by their rules.

Please also check out the links below, and if you have any other useful sources, please feel free to link to them in the comments. Forewarned is forearmed, and the more information we all have, the better.

Further reading: