|Flickr Credit: Abizern|
Sometimes I like blog reviews, too. I would feel like I’d be leaving too many people out if I tried to list people, but there are some people who have really mastered communicating their feelings about a book—through words, punctuation, gifs, and so on—so that their review might be just as entertaining as the book they’re reviewing!
But sometimes I don’t like blog reviews. I’ve already mentioned my opinion on how to write a book review, because a five-paragraph summary of a book and a two-sentence reaction at the end doesn’t cut it. There is a sad number of reviewers who believe that people are more interested in what the book was about than their experience while reading it.
I mean, take Shadow and Bone. I love that book. I don’t know why I picked it up; I probably thought the cover was cool. But I opened it, I entered its soul, my heart died, it was brilliant, and come the summer reading program at my library, I picked it out as the book I wanted. Then, when I went to Spain the summer before last, I brought it. I fell in love with it again, and I ended up reading it within a 24 hour period while my dad and I hid from Barcelona.
Now, I haven’t told you anything about what the book is about. If you haven’t heard of the series, you don’t even know the main character’s name, the problem she has to overcome, or whether the story is “gripping” and “will leave readers hungering for more.” But I have told you an experience. On the one hand, my trip to Spain didn’t change the content of the book in any way, but on the other, you know that it was a book I sped through two times. It was filled with slippery words that made it easy to get through and it recharged me when I was worn out from my trip.
Assuming I did end up filling more textual details, I’d much prefer to read a review like that.
With that in mind, I’ve thought about some things. There are people who don’t like reading reviews of books they haven’t read because they’d rather compare experiences and opinions. There are people who just read reviews for something to do. Some people read reviews of books they plan to read, and there are some people (like me) for whom reviews are a major turn-off.
So, in the end, I have to wonder, what is the purpose of reviews? Are we sharing about the book, or ourselves?
Food for thought.