Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Plagiarism in the Blogging World?!

Recently, an incident occurred that still has me fuming to this very moment. Never, in the past 8 months that I have been blogging, would have predicted that an occurrence like this would ever occur. Naturally, being the na├»ve girl I am.  

Some, upon reading this blog post, may assume that I am overreacting. Causing drama. Being a meanie. Well, you obviously don’t take plagiarism as seriously as I do.

Writers, and us bloggers more specifically, take our work very seriously. For this reason, we tend to get enraged by an event like this. An event in which a fellow book blogger/reviewer copied my review practically verbatim --with a little paraphrasing here and there-- and called it her own work.

I won’t name any names; but I will include the review of this particular person.

It began as I was browsing the reviews for a book I had recently read. I came across said review, and noticed that it sounded oddly familiar. After a few reads of the review, it hit me that it was just like my review. Stupidly, I assumed that I had somehow mistakenly copied that review, but when I looked at the date, it had been published four days after my review was written.

So, I decided to handle the issue in a polite, mature manner. I informed the reviewer that she had copied my review. She then replied that she didn’t copy it, and that people “share opinions” on books. Because I have no life, I broke down our reviews bit by bit, compared the two, and explained why it was plagiarism. She even said that all reviewers do this, and that if “this is copying, then all reviews are plagiarized.” As expected, she repeatedly denied what would be obvious to anyone comparing the two reviews. I kept attempting to explain to her that this is plagiarism, plagiarism is wrong. Clearly, it fell upon deaf ears.

However, the author did delete her review. That’s not to say that she admitted to her fault or anything.

The reason why I am making such a big spectacle out of this is because I want to make it known that plagiarism will not be tolerated by anyone under any circumstance. And the fact that a fellow book blogger did something like this? That is just sickening and brings shame upon us book bloggers’ names.

I want to make it clear; there is a difference between “sharing opinions with others” and plagiarizing off another person. This is called plagiarizing:

My review:
“More like 2.5 stars.

It seems that I've been cursed for the past few weeks or so, as I have read some pretty horrible books. This book wasn't exactly horrible, but I didn't enjoy myself while reading this.

I understand that this is an ARC, but there are way too many spelling and grammatical mistakes, to the point where it distracted me from the plot. I can't count how many times 'your' and 'you're' were mixed up.

At the beginning of every chapter, there was a few pages of back-story on the Fae. In my opinion, they were a bit useless. The only thing they achieved in doing was that it prevented the plot from moving forward, and nothing really happens until the very end.

It was frustrating how much Caroline kept denying Devilyn's feelings. She noticed and acknowledged them one second, then the next, she would be questioning whether or not he liked her. It got pretty annoying.

One thing I don't understand was why Devilyn took so long to actually tell her of her heritage. Ultimately, it would have kept her safe, and would have prevented a lot of the bad stuff from occurring. Really, why put it off?

Heck, I'm starting to think the author did this just to cause other events to happen and to complicate the plot. In reality, it could have all been prevented very easily, and I found it hard to take the story seriously.

Devilyn was annoying as well. All he spoke of was Caroline, Caroline, Caroline. Dude, obsessive much? That’s pretty much all that ensued during his point of view.

My main pet peeve: There was a lot of high school stereotyping here. A lot. Not everyone who is a cheerleader/jock is a total jerk, FYI.

With a slow-moving plot and characters that I feel indifferent to, I find it hard to give this book higher than 3 stars. It wasn't very entertaining, and didn't make good use of the topic of the Fae as much as I had hoped it would.”

Her review:
“To be clear, this book wasn't bad. The prologue really pulled me in and the story was very interesting and pretty cool too, but I just can't get around all the typos. I know, this is an ARC but still. If you ask me, most of the typos have to be gone in the ARC copies.

Next to that, I liked the background stories you got on the fae before each chapter, but it was a bit useless. They were really interesting and fascinating, but they prevent the other plot from moving forward.

I didn't like the characters that much either. Caroline just frustrates me most of the time. The way she kept denying Devilyn's feelings over and over again. One moment she acknowledged them and the next she's questioning him again. Really really annoying and frustrating. And why it took Devilyn so long to tell her about her heritage, I'll never understand. And he was a bit obsessive. The main thing he talked about in his POV was Caroline.
Then you got the High School stereotypes. Those are one big no for me.

I feel like this book could have been much better. It was a good idea, good story, just poorly executed.”

What do you guys think about this entire problem? Do you think something like this should be made public, or ignored?


  1. Hmm first off, this book was so annoying oh my gosh. I totally agree with your review. Fae needed some more revision and some character development FOR SURE. Lol. Okay, well, I think it's 100% okay to post that someone had plagiarized your work. I like it when bloggers post it so that we're all aware that it can happen to anyone (and I'm so sorry about that :( ) and I don't really understand how posting an 'I was plagiarized' post is drama? Wth? How's that drama? It's called AWARENESS, PEOPLE! AWARENESS.

    While the OTHER reviewer didn't copy your work word for word, it sounds very similar especially the beginning part. I think when she was writing her review, she was looking/reading at yours at the same time so maybe she just paraphrased it? I don't know..that's just what I think she did. But my English professor told us that EVEN THOUGH we paraphrased something, we STILL HAVE TO CITE THE ORIGINAL WORK (which is your review) OR ELSE IT COUNTS AS PLAGIARISM.

    Little Book Star

    1. Haha, Fae bothered me so much, ugh. Exactly! We need awareness. I've heard of one other huge plagiarism issue in the book blogging world, and some people said they were making drama out of it. I was like, WHAT?!
      I wholeheartedly agree with your professor. She did paraphrase, but it still counts as plagiarism either way.
      Thanks for visiting :)

  2. That is horrible. I would hate for that to happen to me and if I found out I would be just as furious. Great detective work! You have every right to be angry.

  3. First off, I was able to retrace her blog via a Google search for the 1st paragraph of her review (though of course it doesn't exist anymore, but Google still retains it) and I'll keep an eye on her...just in case ;).
    I often happen to read reviews with a similar feel, which is completely understandable...since we supposedly read the same book...but the same structure? No way!
    I'm glad she deleted her review in the end, but still...very upsetting incident. I spend literally hours on my reviews, but more or less, every honest blogger sweats on them. And they are our offspring...our little kids. One can't get away with predating on them! Also, the point of all that? To come out from a blogging slump and give the impression that one is actually writing? to fool people into thinking one got an ARC that they didn't?
    They can call it drama. Whatever. It's just wrong. Pointless, stupid and WRONG!

  4. It still amazes me that reviewers would bother to plagiarize an opinion piece, we may share similar opinions but how we express them is usually completely different. It probably happens more than we realise, unless it's a blog you follow, most of us wouldn't even know.

    Most reviews only take me half hour each at most, I keep mine short and sweet, making notes on the blogger application every few chapters, then using those to create my review. With bloggers like Roberta (above), who spend hours on each review, I'd be pissed beyond belief.

    Sorry you've had to encounter this Summer.