Confession: I don’t like writing reviews.
Actually, I hate writing reviews. It’s not because I’m lazy (okay, sorta) or that I hated the book (usually not true); I simply struggle with getting my thoughts out of my brain and into print in any kind of cohesive form – likely because I want my thoughts to be original and my own. Whereas this post is probably going to be a bunch of word vomit that I spew in 5 minutes. When I finish a book, I mark it as complete on Goodreads and then struggle with what rating to give it, then sit and think about the book. What did I like or dislike about it? Characters? What about the setting?
One-Star reviews are the easiest to write.
It’s easy to tell when I disliked something, and to verbalize why I disliked it. “This book was terrible because the characters were dirty floozies with no self-respect, and also, PlotHoleVille.” That’s simple. The bad stuff sticks out, so I am able to write it. Fortunately (or unfortunately??) I rarely end up reading books I actually dislike, which leads me to:
Three-, Four-, and Five Star reviews hurt my brain.
I actually struggle the most with 5-stars, because I’m so pumped by the book that I become verklempt and unable to articulate anything. One time, this resulted in a single gif as my review (plus a few words). What could I possibly say that others hadn’t already? I was stumped and felt like I had nothing to different or new add. I want to gif them so badly. Four-stars is a similar struggle. 3 isn’t so bad except….I would rather an author write something I detest over something I am a little indifferent to, or just okay with. “Well, it could be better but it wasn’t bad.” How much more generic can I be? It’s also hard to write them without spoiling major plot-holes, because most likely the reason I felt “okay, but meh” about it was some twist in the book, and reviewing that would ruin it for other readers. I have 5 books sitting in my drafts with reviews either not written at all or not completed. They stare at me, tauntingly, as if to say “Slacker!” But I simply can’t make myself review them, even though I really liked them.
So I don’t like writing reviews, period.
I still write them because I want to get my thoughts out there, but it’s always a struggle. Every review you see from me was likely a bunch of words I wrangled together in my brain, through several iterations, before I felt it was good enough for public consumption. Reviews are the most challenging posts with the least amount of gain (whereas discussion posts grab the most engagement among all blogs I’ve seen – and they are the easiest to write, at least for me).
I used to subscribe to a minimum word count in my reviews.
My goal was 500 words, give or take, but when I was indifferent to a book, it was really hard to come up with 500 words that detail why I just didn’t care about it. So I threw my rule out the window and now I just write what I feel like writing. Maybe it’s only 4 sentences. Maybe it’s 1200 words long because I’m fangirling superhard. Or maybe it’s just a ridiculous gif.
I’m a meat & potatoes kind of girl.
If I could review all books I read in one sentence, I’d totally do it.
“The Winner’s Curse rocked my socks off my feet. The end.”