No one knows if Lauren Pippa/Howard started this whole thing to create attention for her book or if it was just a misunderstanding but that's not what I'm going to be talking about.
On a larger scale, it's impossible for trolls, bullies etc to not exist on a site as big as goodreads.
Authors should not get upset if people rate their books. You put out a product, you will get good and bad feedback. You should not respond to negative non-constructive feedback(on your product).
On the other hand, if someone abuses, bullies or threatens you, you should not just sit and do nothing. Report. That's why goodreads has a flag button bedside reviews.
IMO, people shouldn't rate or "review" books they haven't read. You can shelve whatever books you want to however you like but I think it's stupid to rate books you haven't read.
Authors harass people daily on goodreads. I have never personally been harassed but I know people who have. They harass you to read their books. They spam groups. I'm a member of a lot of groups on Goodreads and I see this a lot.
I know someone who was threatened by an author because she wrote a negative review of the author's book. She didn't bash the author or the book and she gave constructive criticism but the author took it personal and threatened to attack her if she didn't remove the review.
The worst I've experienced with author harassment on goodreads was when an author kept on messaging me that I got his characters' names wrong in my review. I went back and checked the book and I hadn't made any mistakes. I told him but he kept on disturbing me so I just removed the names in my review.
Bottom line is this. People shouldn't be able to rate or review books they haven't read. Authors need to stop spamming people's messages and group threads. And reviewers should stop bashing authors or books. Write helpful/useful reviews. When there's an argument, don't jump into conclusions. Find out the facts.
The saddest thing about all this is that the people usually involved in these things are adults. When adults are acting like they're in high school, what do they expect the ones who are actually in high school to do.
As for Lauren Pippa/Howard's book, the part of me that would read probably any book I can lay my hands on wants her to release the book. Another part of me doesn't want her to release the book because I feel sorry for her if this is how she wants to start a career as an author
*image from The Savvy Senorita