Thursday, December 2, 2010

On Reading Reviews

(Part one of my series on reviews is here.)

Last time I talked about the type of reviews I write, but today I'm going to talk about the type of reviews that I read around the blogosphere. They fall into three basic categories.

Readers I Trust:
Of course there are a ton of blogs out there and even more reviews if you take into account Amazon, Goodreads, and, you know, professional reviews, but what I'm talking about here are the few people I know whose reading tastes are very similar to mine. There are some bloggers who, as much as I like them and as well-written as their reviews might be, they just don't enjoy the same type of books as I do. They talk about different genres, or enjoy darker, "edgier" books, or authors that I'm just not a big fan of. On the other side of that, however, are the bloggers who I can trust to recommend a book for me. The ones whose reviews I read because we have compatible reading tastes and I want to know what books I should be reading.

Objective & In-Depth Reviews:
More than anything I love reviews that are written well, that really get to the heart of a book. I tend to skip over the one-paragraph reviews to read ones that talk at length about a book. I might not always agree with the reviews, but I know that the blogger is being honest and really putting work into their review of a book. Synopsis that I find on Goodreads, Amazon, or the back of books can sometimes be misleading or leave big things out, so I like reading reviews that not only tell me what the book is about, but also what works and what doesn't. Whether negative or omg-love-it positive, these are the reviews that I look for and these are the types of blogs that I follow and read regularly.

Different Opinions:
It's strange, but I actually love reading reviews that disagree with my opinion. I like reading negative reviews of books that I loved and positive reviews for books I didn't like, just to see how different people are and how subjective reading is. It's always interesting to see that what works for one person can be a total mess for another, and to realize that people really are unique little snowflakes.

So, tell me, what types of reviews do you read? What is the "best" kind of review in your mind?


  1. I read a lot of reviews too becuase (like you said) the synopsis might be lacking. My problem is if I read a negative BEFORE reading, and it says "_____ annoyed me because of ______" (not the best example, but it's simple). While I'm reading it I start to notice that thing the character does that bugged the reviewer.

  2. I guess I picked a good time to mention this on Twitter! Hmm.

    My favorite reviews are ones where they highlight why they liked the book. What it did for them as a reader. If they mention the character's evolvement (or lack thereof), that's a plus for me. I also like it when they write their own synopsis. Sometimes they add details that grab me more.

    I like reviews where they disagree with me too. I don't care for reviews where they fawn all over the book but don't say WHY WE SHOULD READ IT.

  3. Jewels I try not to read reviews of books I have to read until I've read the book. Or if I don't know if I'd like to read a book I'll read reviews of it. HOPEFULLY THAT MAKES SENSE. & part of the reason for that is what you said -- I don't want to notice whatever the reviewer didn't like in a review.

    Bri Meets Books LOL YES, GOOD TIME!! Yep, I love reviewers who write their own summary... sometimes the ones on the back of the book just don't pull me in like a review does. & I also don't like reviews where the reviewer either did or didn't like the book, but they have nothing to back it up with.