Book Blogger Hop

Bookish: Book Blogger Hop #25

Book Blogger Hop.PNG

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme with a prompt featuring a book related question. The hop begins on a Friday and ends on a Thursday and should hopefully give people the opportunity to learn something new about the blogger.

The Book Blogger Hop can be found on Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer and obviously my answers can be found here!

psyched for book review

I don’t.

I really dislike writing reviews.

Until next week when I answer the question of – *sighs*

Fine. I’ll expand.

The hard truth that I can’t sugarcoat is that I don’t like writing book reviews. I realised this towards the end of last year when I would finish a book and then set about to review it. I would sit at my desk and just… stare at the blank page.

After this happened enough times (yet I would gleefully rush to write other blog posts) I realised that I didn’t enjoy writing reviews.

It got to the point that my stupid self imposed rule of ‘review every book you read’ actually put me off reading because reviewing the book made it feel like I was doing homework so instead of doing the homework I stopped doing the thing that would give me homework.

Hmmm.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that it’s not a good thing if you stop doing something you actually enjoy because you follow it up with something you don’t. It’s even more ridiculous when you realise the follow up is something that you 100% don’t have to do but are doing it because of self prescribed pressure.

The whole ‘not liking writing reviews’ was further compounded by the plethora of ‘how to write a book review,’ ‘how not to write a book review,’ and ‘what you should be saying in your book reviews to make them interesting and show that you’re a critical reader’ blog posts that only served to make me feel like I was doing it all wrong.

Side note: I enjoy reading those types of blog posts because I find it interesting how people do things but they do make me panic when I apply them to myself.

Yes, it doesn’t take a genius but it took me long enough.

First of all I believe it doesn’t matter how you write a book review.

I’ve seen many different methods from ‘asdkjsdhfjlksdhfkjdshfkjsh this book gave me the hurt,’ to ‘Jeremiah Turtle was a complex and morally grey character and here is my in-depth psychoanalysis to explain my findings and also I have constructed an intricate breakdown of how the characters of Jeremiah and his sister Elspeth are metaphors for political change’ to bullet point lists of ‘Likes, Dislikes and Meh.’ 

I love reading all types.

Reading is subjective and while I love talking about books I find it difficult to construct what I have to say in an articulate and critical way that many people want and expect from a review.

Once I dropped the rule of ‘review every book’ it made me feel more excited to read again and it made me feel more relaxed to write about the ones I decided to review.

I’m also working on that feeling I have that I must be critical. Now, I’m not saying critical in that I won’t say if I don’t like something and why – because I will –  I mean I’m saying that I don’t have to come at reviews like I’m an English Literature student presenting my dissertation.

I still don’t like reviewing books but I keep in mind that someone may read my review and go, ‘I like the sound of this book, thank you for sharing your experience and I hope to feel the same way about it’ or even ‘oh my god, hilarious review – you totally hated that book and so did I!’

And that’s what keeps me able to continue writing reviews  – the shared experience with other readers and the chance to discuss openly with others how we feel about books.

Blog Hop

I am back to blog hopping – yay!

I’m hoping life will stop kicking my ass and taking my name and although this week it didn’t I was determined to get back to looking at other epically wonderful blogs out there!

Bibi @ Bibi’s Book Blog has asked us to discuss What Do Bloggers Offer When Receiving a Free Author Copy of their Book? The relationship between author and blogger is often a harmonious one but it doesn’t always go to plan.

Jenn @ Jenniely gives us some helpful advice on How to Request ARCs From Publishers.

Krysti @ YA & Wine discusses How to Really Build a Platform in the Book Community

Ren @ Strangely Pop Cultured provides us with A Study of Neil Gaiman’s Writing Style. For those of you who follow my blog routinely you know how I feel about Neil Gaiman.

Aurora @ Aurora Librialis has treated us with a brand new awesome project and the first post on The Female Gaze Project is all about Mothers and Daughters.

Kaleena @ The Reader Voracious explains Why I’ve Done Away with Star Ratings for Reviews.

Sara @ The Bibliophagist talks about My Favourite Graphic Novels. The top one on the list is one that I absolutely must read.

Ally @ Ally Writes Things writes about Cancel Culture and the Book Community. It is such a riveting and well presented read. Go look!

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter my Giveaway if you haven’t already done so and want to!

I am giving away a single MasterClass – remember that’s not one lesson it’s one single class which (depending on who you choose) can be up to 24 lessons of fun, fun, fun.

Masterclass

Rules (cos there some) can be found at the bottom of this here post and the place to enter can be found here.

You have until Sunday 5th May to enter and time is ticking so get on that asap because I want someone to win this prize!!

Winner will be announced on Wednesday 16th May.

Come on people, what are you waiting for?!

Breaker

How do you go about getting yourself psyched for reviews?

Do you enjoy them? Do you not enjoy them?

Tell me more. Tell me all your secrets. I need all the tips.

Until next week when I avoid answering the question of what book I’d wish I’d written by telling you about the list of books that I’m currently trying (and failing) to write! Yay!

Advertisements

28 thoughts on “Bookish: Book Blogger Hop #25

  1. I am really glad that you realized you don’t enjoy writing reviews, because if it is putting you off from reading then it is a problem for sure! I definitely relate to the pressures though, especially feeling like I need to be critical to be taken seriously.

    You know what though? There is no wrong way to review, so if the typical format doesn’t work for you maybe try something else? When I was reading Finale last week, I had a WordPress draft going with bullet point thoughts and quotes I had while reading, which honestly is kind of hilarious to read now. I used it to help write my formal review, but I may use it as a “X thoughts while reading” kind of post because I really enjoy those and find them funny.

    Thanks so much for linking to my discussion on ratings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree – no wrong way to review at all and I really enjoy seeing and reading the different ways people review. I will happily read bullet point summaries, rant reviews, emotional gushing, critical deconstructions – everything! I don’t think I’ve ever read a review and thought ‘they shouldn’t have written the review like that.’ I tend to consider if I’d want to read the book though!

      You should definitely do a ‘thoughts while reading post!’ I think those would be honest and hilarious!

      Like

  2. I like your attitude! I mean, there’s no point in forcing it and psyching up. If you don’t feel inspired, well, just wait until you do. 🙂
    Also, all those rules about how to write a review… nonsense. If everyone wrote a review the same way, there would be no point in reading more than one review about the same book 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Norrie!

      I’ve read a lot of blog posts about writing reviews and while I genuinely enjoy reading about how people write their reviews it panics me as there is often a lot of advise and it feels like information overload at times. I’m not adverse to writing about how I write reviews except I don’t think I have a process. It’s more ‘I sits, I types, I panic because I didn’t even have an outline.’

      I really enjoy seeing the multiple ways people write reviews and that’s what keeps reading review posts interesting to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I STILL get surprised when you say that you don’t like writing reviews because it 100% sounds like Your Thing. 😀 But I totally understand the issue of reviews feeling like homework. It’s a problem for me with those “I didn’t like it, but I didn’t dislike it” books because there are only so many ways of saying “Ehhhh *shrugs*.” But in general I do love them. I like figuring out why something makes me feel the things it makes me feel, and I love trying to explain that to people. Which is why I created the blog in the first place! So I think the best way to approach reviews–like with anything you do on the blog–is to do it for yourself, and do it in a way that makes *you* happy first. I’ve seen authors write posts about how to write “good” reviews and why you shouldn’t give out 2 star ratings unless the book is filled with grammatical errors, and that’s just…no.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! Fake it until you make it baby!

      It just feels a little like pressure although I don’t know why. I genuinely don’t think there is a right or wrong way to review and I love reading all types but I think reading all the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ genuinely stresses me out because I don’t think I match up to expectations. Whose expectations? No clue, probably my own!

      I know! How many times can you phrase – ‘enjoyable,’ ‘good’ or ‘alright?’

      I like your reviews a great deal Kathy because you always explain so passionately why you like or dislike something!!

      Eh?! Authors have written posts on how to review??!! Nope. People review how they want to review and frankly if something thinks a book is a 2 then well – it’s a 2!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know right! I think authors and publishers sometimes forget who reviews are supposed to be for.

        And haha okay, SO. I’m gonna go back on my words a bit here because–*whispers*–I think I’m actually kind of burned out from review-writing right now? And my brain’s oh so helpfully inserting thoughts like, “Aren’t you being too formulaic with this?” and “Holy purple prose batman. And why do you always need to be so emotional?” Thanks a bunch, ME. Always can count on you to make things complicated. Maybe I’ll stick with discussion posts for a bit. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jennifer, that’s such a lovely compliment (and such a motivator to keep writing reviews as well!)

      You are the literal queen of reviews!!! I never would have guessed that you don’t like writing them because that never comes across, not even a little.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Gerry, and I’m glad I could motivate you a little! ♥️ Maybe I should have said I am kind of “meh” about them. I don’t really hate them, but I don’t love them either! Reading the book is much more fun, but I have to say, talking with friends about the book via the review as a starting point? Well, that makes it all worth it! ♥️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for sharing my post and for all your kind words! ❤

    I honestly agree with you about reviews. I like writing reviews for books I have a lot of thoughts about, but there are some books where the only thing I can say is "I really enjoyed it, please read it" so it's hard to write full reviews for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome!

      That’s the problem with some ARCs I’ve read – where I *have* to review but I’ve enjoyed the book but don’t have anything to say. I feel like I’m trying to pad out a word count when I write those. Sometimes I struggle if I love something and can’t explain why, I tend to just be like -‘I loved it because I love what I love and I don’t know why!’

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for including my post!

    I’ve made it a policy to only review books that come out in the current year and if I feel I have enough to say about said books. I’ve only broken this rule twice, once because I thought the book came out in the year I read it but it turned out it came out the year before, and the other time because the book was so bad I needed to tell people about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome!

      Hahaha! I love the breaking of your own rules because a book was so bad you just had to tell people! Oddly I *love* those kind of reviews because I tend to rant review and really enjoy the opinionated reviews!

      Like

  6. This post is so beyond incredible and incredibly realistic. Honestly, it felt like you took the thoughts right out of my mind.

    I used to feel like I had to review every book I read as well, and it definitely makes me not want to read. Or, even worse, I feel like my reading choices are then dictated by what I think people would want to read a review about. Ridiculous, right?

    I really love your outlook on reviews in that it just is yet another way for us to freak out about books with other people that also love to freak out about books.

    Great post! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much!

      It’s strange isn’t it? I don’t know where that pressure to review everything I read came from because it didn’t come from anything/ anyone/ anywhere else but myself. I’m glad you’ve also now decided to not review every book read because it feels like a barrier to reading has been broken down.

      Oddly enough I completely get where you’re coming from with writing reviews that others want to read. I don’t know if it’s my perception or if there is a trend in it but I do think the most popular read reviews and the ones for the most popular/ well known books which is a shame in itself because there are wonderful books that don’t happen to be as well known which probably deserve more of the publicity!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ihh Gerry, thank you for mentioning my discussion post ♥

    I found myself in your unenviable position making reviews a chore, in late 2018. I kept reading books, putting off the review, and in the end it just amounted into like 20 books with only 1 review. I kept coming down on myself like “write the darn review”, “what are you waiting for?” etc. then I came up with a new rule for myself, and now I’m only writing reviews for the books I WANT to!! If a book is good but doesn’t inspire me, I’ll leave a GoodReads rating, but that’s it.

    I will no longer try to push myself to do something that takes my joy of reading away. That’s a vicious circle, as you described really well in your post!! And it’s just not worth it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome!

      I think that’s a very good rule – write the reviews you want to write. I think when someone is enjoying writing something it is a more enjoyable read!

      It took me a long enough time to break that circle, ridiculous what we set ourselves!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree that it can sometime show if the review is “forced”. And yes, why do we make our hobbies into hard work? Its not like there’s a blogging authority who’s going to be like “Goodreads says you’ve read 12 books, where’s the reviews”? 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for including my post! (And I hope you love Saga as much as I do.)

    I love writing reviews because it kind of helps me finalize a book in my mind. Like I started it, I finished it, I sorted out my feelings about it, and now it’s done. I like to sit down and write the review as soon as I can after I finish the book, while everything is still fresh in my mind. It also probably helps that my boyfriend usually asks me to talk about my opinions about whatever book I’m reading, so I already have a review formulating in my mind while I’m reading it. Sometimes he’ll also ask me why a book wasn’t five stars, which really helps with putting into words what I disliked or found problematic about the book. I have a lot to say about writing reviews, but I tend to avoid those “how to write a proper book review” posts. However someone wants to get their feelings out is good for me. There’s no right or wrong way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome! So do I! I think I’ll wait to read it though.

      I agree with you in writing the review as soon as possible after reading keeps it fresh in the mind. Unfortunately that’s very practical and sound advice which I never seem to be able to follow which also probably contributes to my dislike of writing reviews – I leave too much time between reading and writing and then forget half of what I was going to say!

      I quite like the approach of speaking about your opinions on the book out loud because that would probably help formulate what you would say in writing in a more succinct way!

      I enjoy reading the variety of ways people write reviews, if everyone wrote reviews in the same way I’d be bored I think.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I could actually be interested in reading a post about ideas of how to write book reviews. Not a “do it my way or you suck” but genuine advise, ideas and such could be fun. So with your advise and educational background in Linguistics, I hope you do write such a post, Sara 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s