18 June 2014

I Don't Write Reviews...

I did something weird the other day. I finished a book (no, that's not the weird part...ok, maybe it is) and I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. I almost never do that. I'm sure there are several reasons for this. I think because with most things, I tend to be neutral. I never love or hate anything (with a few exceptions, usually on the love side). If you asked me what my favorite author, band, movie, or TV show was, I probably couldn't answer you. It's hard for me to pick favorites. And honestly, I could count the number of movies I actually despised on one hand. For books, it's even harder. 

If There Be Thorns (Dollanganger, #3)I'm going to go off on a tangent here, I'm sure, but I find it amusing. The book I just finished was If There Be Thorns by V.C. Andrews, the third book in the Dollanganger series. I got into the series when Lifetime premiered the movie version of the first book, Flowers in the Attic back in January. I just decided to watch it one night and then started the book not too long after. The movie was pretty good considering its length, but the book (of course) was even better. After finishing the first book, I immediately started the second, Petals on the Wind. This I did not get through quite as fast as the first. I just couldn't connect with it--it seemed to drag on forever, so I would often just stop reading it altogether. I took so long, in fact, that Lifetime managed to make a movie out of it--a really, really bad movie. Seriously. I think I could forgive all of the changes they made from the book if it actually turned out to be a decent movie, but no...just, no. 

Where was I? Oh, right! I wasn't even sure if I wanted to continue reading the series, but the description for If There Be Thorns seemed too interesting to pass up. I started it on the plane to Las Vegas and read the whole thing in about a week (I'm actually a slow reader, so this was an accomplishment). I absolutely loved it. It kept me constantly turning the (Kindle) page, gasping at certain moments. I loved the change in voices, as there are two narrators whose voices are very distinct. The first two books were written from one character's perspective, Cathy, and the third changes completely, switching back and forth between her two sons. I thought Andrews' ability to craft these voices was incredible. It was something I hope to achieve in my own writing, since my narrator has a very different voice from my own. 

Here's the thing, though. I didn't write any sort of review after I rated the book. I never write reviews, good or bad, or anywhere in between. I just don't think I'm any good at it. I struggle to come up with anything to say. If I like the book, that's pretty much all I can think of. If I find faults in it, I feel like I don't have the right to point them out, whether it's a book by a well established author or someone new. Especially someone new, actually. I wouldn't want to ruin their day by writing even a sentence that trashed their book. So I don't even bother. 

I have an idea, though! Especially because my Kindle is full of books written by bloggers I know that I haven't even read yet. I'm going to start a recurring post on my blog, probably once a month, that will feature at least a snippet of a review of whatever books I've read by writers I know. They'll probably be short, highlighting what I really liked about the book, and hopefully I'll post these on Goodreads and Amazon once they're posted here. I won't call them reviews, though. I'm thinking of calling it "Hey, I Read Your Book!" and the first installment will be towards the end of next month. I'm thinking maybe the last Monday of every month, and I don't really have enough time to finish any books this month. But look out for it in the future! Maybe this will help me with my review writing phobia. 

I still need three people for the Writing Process blog hop, so if you're interested (and haven't been picked by someone else--this thing is spreading!), leave me a comment with your email and I'll get in touch with you. Thanks!


  1. I'm not good at writing reviews either, but I've found it easier the more I've done.

  2. I'm a compulsive review writer on Goodreads. I don't care to write them on my blog or on Amazon however. I started on Goodreads years ago, well before my first book came out, and I can't seem to stop. But if it's a book I don't like and can't finish, I pass up the review option. One thing I still don't understand is the trashing of books by reviewers. I think it's cruel and mean-spirited and especially damaging to those published by a small press or self-published.

  3. Reviews can be hard to write, but they do get easier the more you write, just like anything else. Sounds like a great new feature. :)

  4. I love the idea of your new segment.

    I used to post a monthly book review on my blog. It's much more sporadic now, though. I think my last one was back in March or something. My positive reviews are always short variations of "Hey, I really liked this book!" When I review something I didn't like, I try not to trash it, but I also want to be honest. I'm sure Karma's waiting just about the corner for me...

    I love the Writing Process bloghop. It's been a lot of fun.

  5. I also don't usually write reviews, although I have left some comments on Goodreads. Short things, mainly for my own memory.

    However I will never accept books and post reviews about them.

  6. I wrote over 100 reviews for movies before I started getting into books. It really is a different beast to master. When it comes to books, I don't rate them, as I do movies and games. I also won't rate my books, just to be fair. But I will spotlight books on my blog and tell people what I thought of them.

    Whatever you chose, it will be the best for you. :)

  7. I used to write a lot of reviews for the books I've read over the years, but lately I drifted away from doing it. I found it harder and harder to write something unique for the books that I would read, so ultimately I decided to take a break. Only recently got back into it.

    Father Nature's Corner

  8. It sounds like a great idea to do something good for the community. Especially because, like you, I have loads of books by friends to read, I want to help them out by posting a review, even though it is something I struggle with. Luckily, I haven't read any I really disliked, because in that case I don't review!