There has been much debate recently about blog reviews and their trustworthiness. Becky has an excellent summary of the whole affair over at Becky’s Book Reviews. This week’s question is inspired by this debate.
This week’s question:
What is the purpose of a book review?
Is it to make an audience aware of a book they might have overlooked? Is it to steer an audience away from a book that may waste their time? Is it bad to only write one kind of review: positive or negative? Is it good to think about who might like a book, even if the reviewer finds it unsatisfying?
I’ve been pondering all of these sub-questions myself. I haven’t weighed in on the great blog review debate, because I feel like I’m so new to the whole litosphere that I can’t make a well-educated statement. For my book reviews, I will say this: I won’t review a book I didn’t finish, and I won’t finish a book I don’t like. It follows, then, that I will only review books I like. There is a great range, however, in my depth of appreciation for a book. Some books (Millicent Min, anyone?) I adore. Others I like but don’t love (The Last Dragon). I don’t write traditional reviews. When I write a review, I start with a quick summary. I then try and get to the larger themes of the book, what the book means on a universal level. Lastly, I recommend the book for certain reader groups. I am not looking to be unbiased or provide critical analysis; that’s just not what I do here. This is a personal reading journal, and so my reviews are personal reviews. If you are looking for objective reviews, you should probably go someplace else.
Last week’s question: How much can we know about the author herself based on the content of the book?
This question provoked a lot of discussion. You can find answers at the original post, Tea Cozy, Cats and Jammers Studio, And if I come to ledges… , Andrew Karre’s Flux Blog, Finding Wonderland, and Bri Meets Books.