Turns out according to this post I am more of a book Cheerleader than reviewer.
In case you don’t want to read the entire thing I pulled the pertinent bit:
“Some of the takeaway gems from this panel included the importance of making disclosures where necessary (if you’ve got a “we’ve had dinner together as friends” relationship with someone whose book you’re reviewing, then you better mention it); know who your audience of readers is; and if you only ever post positive comments on books and offer little depth into what the book’s about or what makes it work or not work, then you’re not a reviewer. You’re a cheerleader. Most importantly, though, that doesn’t devalue your work. It just doesn’t make you a reviewer.”
At first this kind of angered me a little. To say that there is a way to review and that if you do it differently than how they think it should be done, that makes yours not valued as a real review. Instead it makes it this other thing. I wasn’t very comfortable being this other thing. I wanted to be a reviewer.
Except then I started to really think about who I am, and what I like to read, and why I like to read it. I am an aspiring author, who loves YA and primarily reads for escapism. I don’t read for the big issues. Sorry. I do read for a romantic story line and awesome stuff to happen. And every now and then you come across those writers who have a stunning mastery of words, and how to string them together beautifully and create a new world with a romance and awesome stuff happening. Man those are my favourites.
So when you combine those elements of who I am what you get is the type of reviewer that prefers to champion a book. I would prefer to walk away from a book finding the things to love in the book rather than finding out why it didn’t quite work for me as a book and then subsequently having a huge guilt fest over trying to eloquently write that out. It progresses into a downward spiral of always looking for what doesn’t work as opposed to what does and then not wanting to read anything ever again because I just can’t love what I am reading.
Books are my escape. They are not my prison.
Also man the extra words involved with being all eloquent and stuff. I only have so much time in a day. Heck for the most part I end of skimming those long wordy book reviews that do a fine job of detailing the many characteristics of the book and read down to the last paragraph that sums up either this is awesome or this is not. I really just want to know either you liked it or didn’t and why. Short quick and sweet.
So I have begun tailoring my reviews to reflect that. 5 things I love. And what this book is not section, if needed. And every now and then when a book doesn’t click with me on this profound level, I tend to write a review that basically obliterates the book. I feel guilty about it but I feel worse for having wasted my time trudging to the end because if I am going to rip this book a new one I absolutely need to know it doesn’t get better.
I would rather love a book than hate it and I would rather walk away finding things to like than delving too deeply into the why not to like it. Good experience Vs. Bad experience for me. If this makes me a cheerleader then by all means hand me the damn pompoms.