Thursday, April 5, 2018

Discussion: Why Do You Review?


This Week’s Topic: Why do you review?

I love reading and I like to read reviews. I think they fill that void in my life, that could be filled by an IRL book club, and I noticed that there are several different kinds of reviews. 
  • There is the rant, where essentially the reviewing goes on and on as to why this book was complete garbage and every copy should be burned. 
  • There is the book report.  These reviews tend to be very long, because they essentially retell the book, the whole book, and then have a few sentences at the end that contain an opinion about the the book. 
  • There is the analysis, which looks at the book in a very academic way. 
  • There is the fangirl/fanboy review, where the reviewer just gushes about all the ways they loved this book. 
I always wondered, what are the reviewers trying to accomplish when they write a certain kind of review?

I was writing Amazon and Goodreads reviews well before I joined WLABB, and I would credit my co-blogger, Kiersten, with encouraging me to review the books I read. She said to me, that if I enjoyed a book, I should share my thoughts as to why I liked it. 


So, I started reviewing books, and if I had to pick a category, I would say I am a fangirl reviewer, and this is why: I don't finish books I am not enjoying, and I don't review DNFs, therefore, any book I finish was something that gave me some pleasure and enjoyment. I write my reviews to share this excitement I have for the book, and also sort of as a thank you to the author who wrote it. My reviews tend to emphasize the positives of the book, and point out all the things that won me over, because I want other people to love the book too. 


Now it's your turn!


Why do you review? 
Let us know in the comments!

64 comments:

  1. I think I am a combination of everything except the book report reviewer. It really just deopends on the book and what comes out -- I don't choose to do a type of review when I sit down -- whatever comes out in terms of style, I just go with it lol I like pointing out things that don't work for me. Sometimes, as I am writing something clicks and i get the choice, or I get a comment that makes me think about what I wrote differently. The negative isn't always a good choice for a review you're posting but good things can come of sharing that, I think.

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    1. I don't choose the type of review, but I tend fangirl, because I only really write public reviews for books i liked. I would rather push a book I liked, than deter someone from picking up something that didn't work for me, because I often thing the things that didn't work for me lean towards the nit-picky side.

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  2. I'm definitely a fangirl reviewer. I love talking about the books I loved and gushing over all the good stuff - romance, drama, etc. I actually started reviewing because almost no one I know IRL reads, and I desperately needed an outlet to talk about books with other people. I do still occasionally post a review for a book I didn't like, but I still try to be as positive as I can be, and honestly, books that don't work for me are most likely due to the characters so I can definitely see other people still loving them. I just can't bring myself to be a rant-type of reviewer; though, I do like reading rant reviews. I actually wrote a 2-star review a couple of months ago and went on one huge rant but deleted it in the end because I felt it was just too mean.

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    1. I feel like there are too many ranters across social media, and I just don't want to add to that noise. I really respect people, who can respectfully review a book that didn't work for them, but I am not a fan of the reviews that are rude. Maybe the book didn't work for you, but someone worked hard on that and was brave enough to put themselves out there.

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  3. I'm more of fangirl I think? I don't know, I just write away everything that comes to my head even if it makes no sense. I'm personally not a rant reviewer nor do I enjoy reading ranty reviews. Life is already too negative, I'd rather focus on the positive stuff now! :)

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    1. I agree, that you tend fangirl. And I am with you! I like to highlight the positives, because there is too much darkness and negativity out there.

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  4. I would think I tend towards fangirl reviews. I have to really not like a book for it to be ranty. I try to stay towards the positive too. I just like to get my thoughts out there and share them. I love to read reviews but I don't like reading long reviews TBH and will skim those. So my reviews are pretty short.

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    1. I have noticed the really LOOOONG reviews are the "book report" type reviews. Of course they are long; they are retelling the book. I find reviews that stick to more opinion or reaction concisely covey what was good/bad about the book.

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  5. I think I'm kind of a mix of the different types; it really depends on the book. I tend to give a brief synopsis of the book and then a little of my feelings on the characters, pace, and writing. If I didn't like a book, I can sometimes rant on the reasons why, although I do try to even it out with things I did like.

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    1. That is one of the reasons why I started my pro/con format, and I never start of end with a con, I bury it between pros, because like you, I want to even it out.

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  6. I think my reviews are a mixture of analysis and fangirl. I started reviewing because I was flying through books really fast and not actually thinking about them. Reviewing is a way to force myself to slow down and process what I’m reading instead of just racing on to the next book.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. My co-bloggers are much better at analysis than I am ( they all had lang comp together). I am not a writer, so I don't really harp on craft, but I am human, and therefore tend to comment on how it made me feel. I never thought about it, but processing what I read is important too. I tend to need more time with the heavier book

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  7. I think I am more of an analysis type of reviewer. I almost always do a recap of the book but I try to keep it at one paragraph only. I am trying to be less biased and get to the people that might really enjoy this book, especially if that is me. Great topic!

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    1. I do a little blurb too - one or two sentences. I have to give you props for trying to be less biased. That's really hard.

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  8. This is an interesting discussion! My reviews tend to lean toward the analysis style, I think. I feel like I'm one of the few people who genuinely loves reading and writing reviews. Articulating my thoughts on paper (well, online, but you know what I mean) helps me gain a better understanding of the book and why I felt the way I did about it. I also of course love connecting with others about the books I read! I love hearing that one of my reviews introduced someone to a new book they think they'll love.

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    1. My biggest joy is someone trying (and liking) a book I reviewed. I think I work out my feelings about the book as I write my review. I have even found that I liked a book more than I originally thought after I had to sit down and organize my thoughts about it.

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  9. I tend to choose books I'm going to like - I guess I'm good at that? LOL - so I'd say most of my reviews are in the fangirl category. At the same time, if there were things I didn't like, I'll point those out too, but I'm never trying to hate on a book because if it interests someone else? I say go for it! We all have different reading loves and styles, you know? I love actually reading book reviews though because it gives me a better idea of what a book is about (some summaries are bad at this) and I find many recommendations this way.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Same here. I don't DNF too often and a book I finish is at least 3 stars (which is good). I find it hard to pinpoint my dislikes, and when I am able to figure out what bugged me, it's usually something too specific, which would be spoiler-like and I can't share it anyway.

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  10. I don't know if I DO review books! I tend to jot down a few things that the book got me thinking about, rather than talk much about the book itself. Summaries exist by the thousand, and one person's heart-wrenching adventure is another person's cliched snoozefest, so I never really feel compelled to present a reasoned argument for my overall recommendation or dislike. Instead, I share that overall response and some of what connections or ideas the book inspired in me. Weird, I know, and I'm glad there are so many people who do more thorough reviews! I also tend to only be interested in reviews after I've read a book, so I already know about the plot and the characters and what not. I just want to find out what stood out to another reader. This is the total opposite of the point of reviews, of course, so y'all just keep doing real reviews!

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    1. I think your reactions are a type of review. I have read your reviews, and definitely could make some decisions about a book from them.

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  11. When I first started writing book reviews (before I even created my blog) I was a book report reviewer. Which, looking back on now, seems very boring having to summarize everything you just read in a paragraph or two. My emotions didn't play a part in the review. That was probably because of the way writing was hammered into me at school. It was only after I started reading other peoples book reviews on a consistent basis that I realized that I could and should let my personality and fangirling shine through in my writing. My blog has made me realize that there's a time and a place for different types of writing styles and that it doesn't have to be 100% serious 100% of the time :)

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    1. I absolutely think a reviewer's personality makes me want to read their reviews. I am a feeler when it comes to reading, so I am all about the emotion. I also tend to read character driven stories, so plot is not as important as how I felt or how much I liked the characters. So, I think the type of story I review plays in a big role in why I tend to be a fangirl.

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  12. I guess I would be more of a fangirl reviewer but I do write negative reviews using the same review style. Even with a negative review, I try to talk about what worked and what didn't work in the book. I really started writing reviews to help me remember what I thought about certain books. I try to write the kind of reviews that I like to read. Just a few paragraphs that touch on some key points from my reading experience.

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    1. I have read your "negative" reviews, and you are really good at respectfully presenting your feelings about a book that didn't work for you. That is a good tip - write the type of reviews you would like to read. I switch up formats often, but I think the feel is the same - which is largely fangirl.

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  13. I believe I am a combinations of reviewier. The one I know I do not do that I think is Book report one. Though I try and tell a bit of the story but nothing that will tell you how it ends. Sometimes I tell you thing really like and some I do not. I allow my reviews to come out the way they want. I also tell about the author as well or how I like her books or that series if I have read a few of her books. Not always good and not all bad in my reviews. I do try and tell my experience with the book and let other decide for themselves.

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    1. I have read reviews that were so frustrating to me, because I feel like they reveal too many details. That is probably why I stick with my feelings. I would love to be more specific, but I don't want to give away anything important.

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  14. I think I'm the same way. I try to avoid the book report model, even though sometimes I do summarize or recap the book too much? I've tried to step back from it a bit. So I'm probably in the analysis/ fanboying stage! I tend to also just review books I liked, so yeah...

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    1. A lot of people do an intro paragraph with a little re-cap. I have am taking about those reviews that are 5 paragraphs re-cap and like 2 sentences of opinion. It's so much easier to review books you like, isn't it?

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  15. I like to say my reviews are more book talks than actual reviews. I'm in no way smart enough to academically analyze stuff & I definetly don't book report (although I do write negative reviews-- but I wouldnt call them rants.... mostly). I don't know if I would say you're a fangirl, but whatever you do, it works and I like it!!!

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    1. I was not all into my english class analysis, which is why I stick to talking about how I felt reading the book. I do think your reviews read like you are talking to us. I am like an older fangirl, so my gush is controlled. XD

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  16. There had been so many instances that I had to squeal over a book, I just couldn't contain my thoughts. I needed an outlet for it and because a few of my friends are fond of reading, I had to find another one. So I started writing reviews about books where my thoughts could finally be free to express and share it with other people reading the same book that I did!

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    1. I really miss having my daughter to talk about books with. I usually go my first reactions in a fangirl way, and then when I write my review, I organize my thoughts better, but I try really hard to capture my feelings, because I want people to understand how much I loved a book.

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  17. I have definitely seen reviews and reviewers that fall into all of those categories. I think I'm a combo of them all, though it's super rare that I rant about a book. I primarily enjoy, for the most part, what I read.

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    1. The ranters turn me off, because they often tend to be overly mean. I don't finish books I don't like, so if I rant, it will be a positive rant.

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  18. Great post. I've seen all those types of reviews you listed. I'm not a fan of the book report nor big on the rant. As for myself I'm a little of both the fangirl & analysis review. It just depends on the book and arthur how I ended up writing my review. I do review the DNF titles, but I share what did work, but what didn't work and made me stop. I also let everyone know that even though the book didn't work for me it might for them. I don't discourage people from reading what they might like. I just share what I found enjoyable and what I didn't. I started review well because my husband suggested it four years ago after seeing me read and read and read. He was like why not review and start a blog, so here we are. ^_^

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    1. I enjoy fangirl and analysis type reviews. Some people can really pick apart a book in the best way, and can make me see things I might have missed, and fangirl reviews are just fun to read. They usually can get me excited about a book, and I love that feeling. I agree. I would hate to be the reason why someone didn't pick up a book. I think that is why I stick with talking about the things I liked, and I try to be clear about that. If someone also likes those kinds of things, they may want to pick it up.

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  19. I hope I am more fangirl/fanboy in approach for my reviews! Great topic idea.

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    1. I know I am. They are the best and easiest to write.

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  20. Lol, is it bad that the way I do reviews doesn't fit ANY of the categories you've listed?? I guess I have my own way? When I review I share both good and bad, although I am never mean.
    Although I know it's not entirely a good thing, I do not read other people's reviews often, mostly because I'm scared I will run into a book report, and it will ruin the book for me if I decide to read it myself. And sorry to say, but book reports are not reviews at all. The point of a review is to give your opinion on why you liked a particular book or not, (and what did you like/not like about it) not to basically tell me the whole book.

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    1. These are just patterns I noticed. I am sure there are tons of other types of reviews out there. I only read reviews by trusted reviewers prior to a book, and I like to read a ton of reviews after I read the book, because I hate spoilers. Glad I am not the only one, who feels a review should be more opinion than recap. Those reviews make me nuts!

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  21. I tend to write long-ish reviews but they're NOT book reports (what's the point? LOL)...I just have a lot of opinions 😂. (I'm trying to cut them shorter lately, but it's HARD). Now you made me wonder...I hope people don't have a look at one of my review and run away screaming because they think it's a book report LOL. I also try with all my might to avoid spoilers, though it's hard not to give things away when they're the reason why you loved or hated a book.

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    1. I totally understand having a lot of opinions. Sometimes it's hard for me to filter them, and trying to gauge if something I am talking about is a spoiler or not. It's a struggle.

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  22. I think my style depends on the book. I will definitely fangirl, but I will also definitely rant hahha. I try to avoid the book review though, because no one wants to read my summarization of a book. I would describe my general style as... random word vomit, so take that for what it's worth :D

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    1. I always feel like you are talking to me when I read one of your reviews, and am disappointed when I can't just talk back to you. XD

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  23. Interesting topic. I think I'm probably a mix of the styles you listed. I like to give a short summary that teases but doesn't spoil the plot, then I like to do a mix of analysis - what worked and what didn't work for me, and then fangirling if it was a book that I really loved. I'm not much of a ranter so I don't usually review a DNF book.

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    1. I think it's hard to review a book I had really strong negative feelings about, which is probably why I only send DNF reviews to the publisher. I just don't like to put that much negativity into the world.

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  24. The kind of review I write depends on how I felt about the book. I started my blog way back when as a way to get more book recommendations. I try to be very honest in my reviews so folks can get an idea of my reading tastes. I think it helps others find books as well if they have a good sense of how their tastes align with mine.

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    1. With the bloggers I follow, I can tell, for the most part, what kind of books they tend to like, and I consider their thoughts towards those kinds of book more than towards books I know they don't tend to like. It's great when that comes across in your reviews.

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  25. I don't think I have a specific category but I try to point out the things I loved or disliked about a book. If I don't enjoy a book, I don't think of it as being negative but as helping the right reader find the right book.

    Really, it depends on my mood.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I always find it easier to pinpoint what I loved, because I find the things that didn't work for me tend to be really specific and would be a little spoilery. There is a good way to express negatives, which is not ranting, though people seem to love rants by the number of liked they get on GR.

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  26. I fangirl review, or I rant. My reviews are basically just my thoughts and and be long or very short. I admire those long beautifully written odes to bookdom but they're just not me. :)

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    1. When the reviews are too long, I start skimming, because they usually have so much superfluous detail or too many story details. My training is technical writing, so writing something with so much opinion is hard work for me.

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  27. I think I fall into a combo of categories? Part of why I review is to help other readers find books that are right for them, so I try to include as much info as I can (w/o spoilers) and explain the reasons *why* I liked or disliked a book, and my reviews do tend to be on the long side. But I'm one of those readers who likes using reviews to figure out if I'll like a book or not, so I guess that's why I review the way I do. But another part of why I review is to help authors by getting more people to read their books and also because I feel like, if someone writes a book that has affected me in some way or given me enjoyment, they deserve to know! But I do also write negative reviews sometimes, so that's not the only reason, hence the "helping readers" part :-)

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    1. Sort of same here. I want people to find certain books. That is why I feature books I like and not books I didn't like.

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  28. Well, this is a thought provoking one. To be hoenst, I started reviewing because I love books and no one i knew was as avid a reader as me, or they didn't read the same books as me so I wanted to talk about them with folks. Turns out writing a review isn't enough to get a conversation going but I am totally cool with that, I just want to flail about how good (or bad) a book is. I tend to review books I liked/loved so I'm probably more of a fangirler than anything. Sometimes I don't love a book but I still want to talk about it as it makes good points or covers something I feel like folks should hear about. I never thought about my reviews before, I'm gonna be thinking about my intentions next time I write one. Maybe that'll help me figure out where I'm going with my book rambles.

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    1. Boom! My job is done if you are thinking about things (sorry, that's the former teacher in me) XD I have found it's hard to discuss a book in a forum like this, because I am always afraid of saying too much. Whereas, if I was part of a book club, I would be in a closed space with people who have all read said book, and I could speak freely about it. It's still fun to flail, and if someone reads a book I liked and likes it too, that's my reward.

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  29. I read a lot of self-published and indie books, so when I come across a great one I want everyone to know about it, so they can also love and support that author. It's a good feeling when one of the authors you helped promote does well. Other than that I LOVE it when a hyped book doesn't deliver, and I can tell everyone about my disappointment, because it shows that just because a book has been published by a Big Five, or one of their popular imprints, doesn't mean it's going to be a stellar book; and that giving indies a try is a good option. I was surprised by the number of bloggers who won't touch indies. I also enjoy reading reviews of bloggers whom I have gotten to know their reading tastes, so I can suss out weather I should give a title a try, or not. 📚

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    1. A lot of the romance authors I love are self-pub or indie. I still read their books. I don't care who publishes the book, but I get almost all my review copies via Edelweiss and NetGalley, which tend to be laden with books from the big five. I wouldn't say I look at who the publisher is when I request, though. Makes no difference to me. But, if I enjoy a book, I like to share my positive review as a sort of thank you to the author for creating it.

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    2. I have gotten all of my self-pubs and indies from EW and NG. There are a ton of small independent publishers on both sites. I won't deal with authors directly. I have heard too many horror stories about that. Ha ha. 😁

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    3. Most of the authors who reach out to me want me to review a book in a genre I don't really read. The one time an author asked me to read a book, which I REALLY wanted to read, I had no time. I felt bad, but I still hope to read the book.

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  30. Interesting! If I didn't like the book a lot which is rare, there is a rant review. (Aka my recent Shatter Me review.) My reviews are quite analytical I think? And is geared to the people who read it, for them to be able to find out if the book is good for them or not. But the true reason I review is so that I remember what I read xD It's the reason I started in the beginning - I didn't want to forget my first thoughts and opinions on what I was reading.

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    1. Do you hear that? It's the sound of my heart breaking because I love the Shatter Me series. XP

      I have heard a lot of people say, that they review to kind of keep a log of their thoughts on a book. I review all the books I read on GR. Non-review books tend to get shorter reviews, that may be just my reaction to the book, but I like having that snapshot for future reference too.

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  31. I only review books where I feel like I have something to say. If a book is a three star read for me, that means I read it all and enjoyed it but it may not have been special enough for me to want to talk about it. I tend to review books that either make me mad or happy or make me want to look into an issue further.

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    1. I am pretty much like this when I feature books on my blog. I want it to be a book that I am enthusiastic about too.

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