A Reviewer’s Lament

January 29, 2012 § 4 Comments

Boy, I hate January. Even though it’s been unseasonably warm, I still loathe it. It’s just a long, dead holiday hangover. The way I’ve been coping is reading. (And writing, but reading is my addiction.) I will now disclose my number. No, not that number! Mind out of the gutter, people. My book tally for the month of January thus far: 15 (I still met all my writing and exercise goals, although I don’t wish to discuss the meditation.)

Now, ask me how many reviews I’ve written… Maybe 3 or 4?  I don’t like to leave a review for something that didn’t blow my mind.  I want to be a kind soul, but I also want to be credible. I need to get a system.

Here’s an example of a book I read that I want to review but haven’t. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi- a YA dystopian that was HIGHLY recommended to me. I read it in about 3-4 hours, so it wasn’t boring, vvery fast paced. It had some hairy spots for me though.  Lines like “there are 15,000 feelings of disbelief hole-punched in my heart”  or “I die 5 times in that second.” Too over-the-top for me.

So how do I rate it? It’d be going along fine and then get so melodramatic. But I liked the story and I think these feelings are a matter of my own personal taste. Isn’t everything, though? Somebody just  punch me 15,000 times and make me shut up. 4 stars?

 I just hate writing reviews unless I am completely in love with something these days. This other YA I reviewed called The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab was an easy review. I adored it. 5 shiny stars. Or even if I do NOT like a book, I will just leave it alone. I won’t leave less than 3 stars.

I’ve brought this up before, but it still haunts me, especially knowing that somebody will review one of my books someday. If they don’t like it, part of me hopes they will just keep that crap to themselves. Just kidding, but not.

So my goal is to come up with some sort of quantifiable system.  That is my goal this week. I should be a legit reviewer too. Maybe that would be a good incentive. I am a good recommender already. I recommend the heck out of books I love.



§ 4 Responses to A Reviewer’s Lament

  • Gene Lempp says:

    Nice job on the goals you decided to speak on *grins* and the others I’m sure are making progress in one way, shape or form. Thought counts as long as it eventually leads to action.

    Tough call on the reviews. I’ve always applied the rule of: “If I don’t like it then I never mention it”, which is a comment of a different sort given the power of word of mouth. Since that doesn’t seem to be something you wish to do I would suggest reviewing based on technical merits. Is the book technically a good read, meets all the requirements of good fiction, most people would enjoy it even if it didn’t meet your personal criteria or tastes. If the book is technically good, then review it based on what you liked, personally. If it is technically bad then review it by gently pointing out the flaws as constructive criticism. I’m not sure if this will help, but that’s my two burrito’s of an idea.

    Have a great week, Heather 🙂

  • Ruth Nestvold says:

    Wow, I don’t think I’ve read that much since I was in college! That’s very impressive!

    I’m not a reviewer, so I can’t really offer much advice. I do a lot of critiques for other writers, though, and then I always try to take into consideration whether I think I’m the target audience or not. Perhaps that’s a place to start?

    Have a great week!

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