Do you…

6 Dec

Do you ever feel stupid after you post a review of a book and then go to another site and read their take on the same story? I do. Sometimes I read an entirely different response than mine and other times I think, “Damn, that’s exactly how I felt.”

Today I was blog hopping and I read a few reviews that thoroughly analyzed the stories they were reviewing.  I found myself agreeing and second guessing my origional opinion of the stories, as they were ones that I’d also read. Then I began to wonder if I should do more with my reviews. Should I go into great detail with a literary theory? Should I read deeper into the story than I do and find meaning in everything? Or, do I just keep on the way I do?

I read for enjoyment and give my first impression of the book, not an analysis. Maybe I will occasionally throw one in to work my brain, I don’t know. What do you think? Leave a comment.

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12 Responses to “Do you…”

  1. amateurish December 6, 2007 at 3:51 pm #

    I have felt exactly that same way. Sometimes I see other reviews and think – wow. I’m really five and diming it over on my blog, but I realize that trying to write something out of character is worse than writing a few entries that seem more “intellectual” or controversial but don’t represent you.

    If all I can say is, “I liked it…don’t know why. Just do…”. Other times I might have a lot of specific things I want to say, but I try not to force it.

  2. Jaci Burton December 6, 2007 at 4:19 pm #

    I think you should always be yourself. State your opinions in your own way. It’s refreshing and honest. I wouldn’t try to be like anyone else. You don’t want to be a cookie cutter version of every other reviewer out there. I like reading everyone’s unique takes on a book. 🙂

  3. Susan Helene Gottfried December 6, 2007 at 4:40 pm #

    I really try not to think that much, but OMG, I found a link to Jeffrey Overstreet’s blog, where he reprinted some of my review and commented on it. Yikes! I was afraid he’d rip me apart — and that was NOT a good feeling.

    But then I read what he had to say and breathed a sigh of relief. It was really interesting, in fact. (I posted the link in my giveaway post, if you want to see it for yourself)

  4. tedmgreijer December 6, 2007 at 4:50 pm #

    I think that originality is a vital ingredient when it comes to reviewing, though nevertheless, that it is recommendable to write in accord with appropriate styles (depending on what one’s take on the book is going to be). What I find most interesting about reading a review or an analysis, is when the author explains in what way this particular work of literature reveal something about life that is worth thinking about. Literature is after all something through which we attain knowledge about the world, so in what way is a book valuable, and why is it worth reviewing at all?

  5. Holly December 6, 2007 at 5:32 pm #

    Sure, that happens to me all the time. Most often when it does, I get writers block from it, because I second guess myself so much.

    Now I just focus on writing my reviews the way I write them. Sometimes I have little or nothing to say other than, “I liked this one” and sometimes I feel the need to outline all the reasons why the story did or didn’t work for me. I figured if I need to add something later I can.

    But I do love Blogland and the way it makes me reconsider my feelings on certain books. It’s wonderful, IMO, to write a review, then see a review for the same book on another site and think, “Wow, I hadn’t thought of that…good point” or whatever. I think that’s what makes review blogs so popular (I’m talking in general here, not about a particular blog), because we can see varying degrees of responses to something we either loved or hated.

    I do occasionally wonder if I’m all alone, however. It seems I love all the books everyone hates, and hate the ones everyone else loves. But such is life, right?

  6. scooper December 6, 2007 at 7:29 pm #

    Thanks guys. You all seem to be on the same page.

    I was talking about this at work and my coworker said, “It’s your blog. Change your style if you want to.”
    That made me think. Yes, it is my blog, but I read because I enjoy it. I blog because I enjoy it. I don’t think I’d have as much fun or as many posts if I did an in depth analysis of every book I read. I also enjoy the quickness of it all.

  7. Tia Nevitt December 6, 2007 at 9:08 pm #

    Susan, I’ll check out Jeff’s post. I still have his book on my reading list.

    Scooper, this is part of the reason I love reading other people’s blogs. I discovered your blog when I was searching for reviews of Thief With no Shadow, and you pointed out some things for me to watch for, since I had not yet finished that book.

    I’m going through some angst where I have a review written that pretty much shreds the novel, and I’ve never posted a negative review before. I’m going to sit on it a few days before posting, and I’ll probably end up rewriting the whole thing.

  8. scooper December 6, 2007 at 10:00 pm #

    Tia- If I know that I’m reviewing a book that I hated, I try to sit on it (for a minute). I try to include all the reasons why I disliked the book, while keeping in mind that somebody liked the book as it WAS published.

  9. Kimberly Swan December 7, 2007 at 11:06 am #

    There are times when other reviews surprise me, but it’s really that individual’s opinion. Sure it’s based on facts, but it’s the facts as we each see them. If the way you review works for you and keeps it a pleasant experience, then stick with it! I love reading your reviews, and a big part of that is that they’re honest. 🙂

  10. LesleyW December 7, 2007 at 4:06 pm #

    I’ll just agree with everyone else. 🙂

    I think you should write your reviews the way you want to. I think sometimes I overexplain stuff. Or sometimes I’ll re-read something and think I could have written that better, but it was the way I expressed myself at the time.

    Sometimes reading other blogs, I wish I could be funnier.

  11. Sue December 9, 2007 at 5:30 pm #

    To thine own self be true… ‘Nuff said 🙂

  12. Rosie December 14, 2007 at 12:49 am #

    Hey Scoop, I know I’m very late to this but I think Jaci was the most right on in her comments. One of the most important things to me about reader reviews is the originality of the voice and opinion of the review. I’m in awe of how well some people out there write their reviews, but if I think about it too much I freak out.

    I think you have a unique voice and perspective and I enjoy your reviews.

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