Saturday, January 19, 2013

What is in a Review??

We all know that one of the most crucial parts of being a book blogger is reviewing books. Now there are many ways to view the task of reviewing books. You see not that long ago I was the kind of person that didn't really like to leave reviews, *gasp* I know. I just never knew what to write. Now I could talk your ear off about a good book, I just didn't know how to put it in writing. So, frankly I didn't. I know shame on me, *hanging head*, but the good news is I am a born again reviewer and now leave reviews! Yay for me!!

When I first started blogging I didn't set out to review every book I read, I wanted a few of those books to be for pure pleasure. Of course, I still left a review on both Amazon and Goodreads it just wouldn't be as in depth as the one's I do for books I chose to review. But the more I read and the more I communicate with awesome authors and bloggers alike, I realized that a lot rides on a review.

One review can sway a person to read or not read a book!! That is a lot of pressure. And when it comes to reviewing a book that I love, a book that I really think people should read, a book that I got completely lost in I feel like the pressure is even higher. Now my blog doesn't exactly get overwhelmed with hits everyday, but I feel like my reviews need to be stellar for those that do visit my blog. I'm not saying I think my reviews are awesome or anything--far from it actually, my reviews need a lot of work. And with every review, I agonize over what to write.

How can I get my thoughts and feelings across to a reader without just saying this book is awesome, you should totally buy it? How do I take all the things that the book made me feel and put that on the screen? And not only that, but how do I say it in a way that is unique to me?

Then there is length. Is the length of the review a reflection of the thought and work put in by the blogger? If the review is short does it make it any less effective or good? Is the review any good? What will potential readers think? And the worst one of all, the one that kills me every time I write one, what will the author think? *heart palpitations* seriously every time.

You see all the things that I think about when I review a book?? And I am sure that I am not alone in this. I'm sure that every blogger out there agonizes over what to write in a review and how to write the review. Or maybe I am alone in this, but I seriously doubt it.

So the question I pose to you authors, bloggers, and readers--What makes a good review?

Maybe one day I won't agonize so much about reviewing a book, but I highly doubt it. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I feel like I have accomplished something just by simply publishing my reviews. Or even this post!! The longer I think about what I am writing the more inclined I will be to change it or doubt the words.

I love writing reviews and I love blogging. People think I'm crazy for doing this for fun and maybe I am, but I can honestly say that if what I write on my blog moves even one person to buy a book, read a book, or even borrow a book I can honestly say that all my agonizing has been worth it. Supporting awesome books, great adventures, magical worlds and their completely amazing authors is why I do this. So if what I do supports them in any way my agony will not be in vain.

What about you, what makes you review a book? What makes you not review a book?

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."


  1. Great discussion post topic and I hope to stop back again when I'm a little less tired and a little more coherent. But my favorite thing about the few reviews I do read is hearing the reviewer's voice in the review. Whether it's a short gushing review, or a longer analysis, as long as I know it's that blogger's voice I enjoy it.

    My one peeve is spoilers. I don't like spoilers in reviews. I want to read a book and discover things for myself. Especially key things.

    I think, at least for me, the important thing is to write the review for you. Not for the author. Not for the reader. Sure you want to express yourself coherently but if you're writing a review for an author then you're neglecting the readers who would buy that book. And if you write a review for the readers only, then you're catering to an audience that will forever be changing and you can't possibly always please.

    You have to please yourself. If you want to talk for ten pages about a love triangle then do it. If you want to just tease or beguile then go for it.

    I love a mix of reviews, some critical analyses, some long rambles, so straight and to the point "loved it"/"hated it" kind of reviews.

    Like you I stress over every review, every world, I read back each and every sentence as I write it to see if I'm redundant, if it sounds right, if it doesn't just sound "good" but actually makes sense or means something. Or does it sound good but doesn't really apply to what I've read or what I'm trying to say? It is not easy, that's for sure. But as long as it pleases you, that's what's important.

    I like to always review the books I read for a blog. Unless I read a few series books back to back and then I couldn't possibly say interesting things about each one.

    And I don't DNF review as I typically make that decision within 6-10 pages. But I always have thoughts and ideas about things.

    This is probably getting too long for blogger...

    1. LOL....all that was so nicely said. I 100% agree that you should always write the review for you. Everything that you post should be for you. And I like to think that I do, but there are times where I worry too much about what others are going to think. And it really screws up my thinking process!! Really sucks! I think I have really been letting the pressure of reviewing get to me. Good to hear the reminder you know? And it is so glad to hear that I am not alone in my agony!! You know they say misery loves company, haha.

      I think you could totally write that post for me!! LOL

      Thanks for the thoughts and for stopping by! :)