Before I started writing book reviews, a quick browse on Goodreads assured past-me that it would be easy *laughs hysterically* What could be so hard about writing out your own feelings and opinion, after all?
Then I started blogging and was introduced to a new world of pain. While there were a couple of reviews that came to me very easily; for every one of those, there’s three that took me half of forever to type up. While I’m relatively new, so I only have about 40 reviews under my belt, here are some reasons why I find certain books more difficult to write about! (Also some suggestions on how to get over the writer’s block, for those who suffer the same predicament)
THE BOOK WAS BORING:
A book I adored? Sure I can type for pages exulting the ways in which it blew my mind.
A book I disliked? Of course, I can rant about it in 500 words or more.
A book that was so boring I mentally checked out at 30% and was primarily skim reading? Oops. There’s that blank word document I hate looking at again. In such times, I wish one sentence saying ‘3 stars. It was OK’ was socially acceptable.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Highlight quotes or tab the pages that describes the world, the characters, great quotes. They are so invaluable to kick start a book review when you draw a blank.
You could also group all the lacklustre books together and make a post of mini reviews, I have not done this before but I am sorely tempted.
THE PLOT WAS TOO COMPLEX:
I try to give a little summary of the plot in my reviews, just to help my readers our (though I assume they are all bloggers and thus completely aware of the book I am describing, most of the time XD) When the plot is overly complicated and makes my brain explode a little, I get so daunted by the review writing process. I have great difficulties being concise, so my summaries – already unwieldy – becomes insufferably long. Just thinking about writing it makes me tired.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Use quotes from the book to help you out. Better yet, make an infographics when things gets a bit too hairy for you to go into details, like I did for my review of Spark!
THE DREADED SEQUEL:
For the most part, I feel very redundant when I write reviews of sequels. I’ve only written two in the short history of this blog. I’m always worried of sounding redundant or recycling too many points I have already mentioned in my previous books. This is an area I need more practice in, teach me your ways, fellow book bloggers.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Write the review of the sequel in a completely different format! Perhaps a list of things you loved/didn’t like? Or a nice selection of gifs? Or just highlight new characters/setting/plot points that you adored. Anything fresh that will differentiate your new review to the old one.
THE BOOK THAT GAVE ME TOO MANY FEELS:
Sometimes, a book reduces me to a puddle and I absolutely cannot string together coherent thoughts. Contemporary books do this to me a lot, this is why I avoid them for the most part.
Other times, I love a specific part of the book so much, that’s all I want to talk about! This happens when I find a new book boyfriend. Then I feel bad that I neglected to mention other things such as plot in the review. Perspective, I need it.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Remember, your fellow fangirls would love to see all your emotions pour out onto the page so bust out the gifs, the CAPSLOCK, and the exclamation marks!
If the book really inspired you, you could do something special in the review e.g. Write a letter, write some poems (as I did for Bone Gap), base the review around graphics (as I did for All The Bright Places).
THE BOOK I HAVE AN UNPOPULAR OPINION ABOUT
I am but a meek baby blogger, so I try to be nice, I do. Whenever I dislike a book the general blogosphere love, I actually debate for ages before posting it. I AM A WIMP. I DON’T WANT TO HURT FEELINGS. Extra awks if my friends are in love with it, it gives me flashback to the Twilight days of highschool.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Voice your opinion proudly, everyone loves the black sheep 😉 As long as you are fair in your review, no one will have beef with you.
Of course, there’s always just plain laziness. In which case:
You are not obliged to write reviews of every single book you read, I promise :D!
What about you? Do you have any reviews that are extra difficult for you to write? What are some tips you would recommend to fellow reviewer? Please share the wisdom!