“I'm an Amazon reviewer - currently #216 on "New Reviewers" - and also a "Viner". As a Viner, I am NEVER compelled to give a "good" review to any Vine product I review. And most other Viners feel as I do.
I read about half fiction/half non-fiction. Vine offerings tend to be fiction, but sometimes I can get a good history or biography or memoir. As I review - at the most - 4 Vine books a month, most of what I review are books purchased either at Amazon or my local bookstore. As a reader/consumer, before I buy a book on Amazon, I always check the reviews written by amateur reviewers. They are usually more honest than those reviews penned by other writers at the behest of common publishers. I read both the 1 star and the 5 star reviews, figuring I can get a "balance" that way. It's very irritating to find a 1 star review based on the price of the book or of the Kindle, rather than on the content of the book. I try to alert Amazon when I find reviews based on price but usually they do not delete the review. That's really tough on the author whose book is badly reviewed.
. Like all Amazon reviewers I know, we think pretty carefully about what we write and the number of stars we give a book. Sometimes reviews write themselves, and sometimes I anguish over my review.”