Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tell Me Something Tuesday: REVIEWS

a weekly meme hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings!

This week's question, a part of the So You Want to be a Blogger edition:
What are your tips for writing reviews?


Since I'm still perfecting the content/style/everything of my reviews (I guess it's an ongoing process), I'm going to take the perspective of a reader rather than that of a book blogger. There are some reviews that I find more helpful than others and those are usually the ones that cause a tiny prod; either towards or away from the book! A good review, for me, is, to some extent:

Reader-friendly. Rational. I'm all for subjectivity but only when the whys are laid to rest. Why were they not comfortable with the writing style? Why did they not like the ending? Why did that secondary character not resonate with them? 

Also, when it comes to negative reviews, I prefer the ones that clearly state why the book was not for them. All of us have different preferences, so when the reviewer takes time out to say why he/she in particular could've been put off by the book, biases and preferences withstanding, I find it easier to match my preferences with theirs and take a call on whether the negatives are something I would care about! These reviews go out of the way to be helpful and I appreciate that!

Energetic! I love it when I sense an energy and urgency in the review to tell you everything (that's spoiler-free) about the book. It need not be endless gushing or a GIF-plastered rant. Just... not monotonous, you know? Reviews feel like art when they contain the angst/enthusiasm/nervousness/cringiness/deadpanness- everything they felt or made sense of while reading the book- in a way that is contagious! 

Venom-free. Personally attacking an author or being scathing without any real basis is my one and only turn off.

Insightful; as additional insights always help. It's one of the reasons why I'm eager to look out for reviews of books I've already read as well- to see if they've come away with the same things that I have after reading the book! 

Easy to read. It could be with regard to the format of the review or the ease with which the reviewer moves from one aspect of the book to the next. I'm not going to wade through one giant clump of a paragraph... I prefer ones that are better laid out and easy on the eyes.

Wordily genuine. Nothing beats a genuine-sounding non-glossed-over review. I'm always on the look out for those!

Succinct, because as I said before, I am not going to wade through 10+ chunky paragraphs. As much as I don't want too much of the review to be a synopsis of the book, I do like a one or two line summary that gives context to the review (in case I don't read the Goodreads blurb). While I personally find it very hard to be concise and keep cutting out the "excess chunks" of rambling, I do love clear and crisp reviews that practically hit the bulls eye in what I'm looking for as a reader!

Of course, these are all of the things I tend to prefer in a review. Sometimes ranking high on one or two of these aspects alone is enough to make the review helpful and relevant and crazyhilariousandawesome!

Preferences definitely vary since we're all on the lookout for different things! What do you look for in reviews? Or what do you give importance to when you write them?

13 comments:

  1. What a great post! You hit the nail on the head and touched on everything I look for in a good review. I know it is hard to be succinct. I am really working on paring my reviews back a bit. Thanks so much for being a part of TMST. I loved your post today!

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  2. I agree with everything you mentioned here, Pooja! I don't like venom in reviews. Not very helpful. If I read a negative review that spells out the issues I find it's not necessarily a negative review to me. I may actually like some of the quirks the reviewer found annoying so it helps me weed out what I want to read and what I don't. Very helpful. I like it when the reviewer gets down to what's important and if they keep it tight. I don't want to read a novella, like this comment is turning into! Lol! Great post! :)

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  3. I agree with your points totally!

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  4. I love the person who thought up of the Q this week :D Exactly when I was asking you too lol!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your points. <3 I do agree :) About no venom in reviews. I agree. I don't do that. At least not against the author :) It isn't the author's fault that I didn't enjoy their book. Hih :)
    Thank you for commenting on my blog. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

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  6. Wonderful post! I share the want for an vivacious review and a review where the reviewer explains his/her reasons.

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  7. I agree with many of these, particularly the easy to read and venom-free points. There's snarky (which can be both entertaining and helpful) and overly snarky (which I'm personally not a fan of). Great list, Pooja!

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    1. I forgot to say, I like the new look around here! :)

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  8. I try not to have really long book reviews, as I'm the same as you...it's hard to READ something really long. Sometimes I have limited time to check out a review and comment back so the shorter (but not TOO short) the better.

    I also like when people explain why they did and did not like things. If they say they hate a book for something I normally like then I know I might still check it out.

    -Lauren

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  9. A lot of fantastic points, Pooja! :) I especially agree with you when you said "when the reviewer takes time out to say why he/she in particular could've been put off by the book, biases and preferences withstanding, I find it easier to match my preferences with theirs and take a call on whether the negatives are something I would care about!" YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES.

    My reviews used to be pretty short, but I think they've grown lengthier. I've found that I have more to say, and there are more topics I need to touch on. I try my best to keep it short enough to read without being boring, though! (I can probably still work on that, haha!)

    Also, reviews always definitely need to be venom-free! Personally attacking the author in a review is something I definitely do not stand for. There's a difference between a negative review and a venomous one!

    P.S. I totally looked at the first letters and thought they spelled something out. Ha! >.<

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  10. I agree with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your incoming updates. Just saying thanks will not just be adequate, for the wonderful clarity in your writing.It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. Dich thuat

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  11. Oh gosh. Now I'm very much, er, a little worried that my reviews may be quite a novella sometimes. I'm not very good in telling why I love/hate a book too sometimes haha. Hopefully my reviews had not bored you so much, hun. ;)

    On a side note, I LOVE your points! <3 I'm always on the lookout for venom-free reviews which explain clearly why the reviewer hate/love the book. Although it can be entertaining as well to read a gushing review once in a while. :) Wonderful post, Pooja! I missed you! <3

    PS: I'm IN LOVE with your blog's new look! The header and the background, so pretty! <3

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    1. Hihildaa <3333

      Um, NO. Not at all! I LOVE your reviews, they are SO cute :D I always love the way you have a quote at the end and get us interested in the story <33 So glad you're back!!!

      I've missed you too and glad you like the new look :D

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HI. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment. :)