Talk To Me 07: When reviewing gets hard

I love getting into the groove of writing reviews. I read a book, power up my computer, and type away. For books that I do review, this is what I end up doing. Adding in watching YouTube videos and goofing around, of course. I’ll have a review whipped up nice and quick, then move on to the book.

But sometimes, that groove doesn’t like me. It kicks me out. I am left to type away at the speed of treacle (molasses) and writing a review feels arduous. I know what you’re thinking “Ana, just take a break and move on to the next book.” But I can’t! I have to write out the review before moving to the next one, or else I might forget some things I want to add.

So what sort of feelings bring out this transformation from Normal Ana into Sloth Ana? What kind of books could possibly to this?

Books that I absolutely loved

Okay, okay, hear me out. I try to balance the length and content of my reviews, and I have two sub-categories to this one.

Too much to talk about: I don’t want to overwhelm someone with me going on for ages on ages about a certain character or scene. Trust me, I can go on for pages about a character that I loved, but I want to keep my reviews relatively short and to the point. I end up with way too much to talk about and I just don’t know how to narrow it down!

Too little to talk about: I’m sure we’ve all had those moments when we enjoyed a book so much that it just left us speechless. It was so good and you want to shout about how great it was, but you can’t really pin down why you loved it so much. I get all incoherent and no one wants to read a review that’s basically just me going “LOVED IT *FLAILS* LOVED IT *SQUEALS*” in one paragraph.

Books that I really disliked

This works for the other side too.

Too much to talk about: I really don’t want my reviews to turn into rants but sometimes I’ll go off the deep end. Angry Ana takes over and I end up with a review that is way too long because there was just so much that I disliked. Editing this and trying to make it into a more reasonable one is a task for me.

Too little to talk about: Sometimes I’ll just come across a book that doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t know why but it just put me off. I don’t like writing a review like this because it just doesn’t seem fair. I want to try to write something that makes sense that isn’t just “Hated it. Bye!”

Books that everyone else loved but I didn’t

On my old blog, I confessed that I am chicken of posting bad reviews of books that everyone practically raves about. After hearing so many good things about a book, about the things I should be squealing over, I put the book down and go “… Is something wrong with me?”

When it comes to writing these reviews, I struggle to find a way to express my negative feelings about the book. I want to give my reasons why I didn’t like it, but I don’t want to come across as a complete butthead either. Writing reviews like these are the worst for me, even worse than the previous two.

What about you, dear reader?

Do you have a hard time writing reviews too? Is this true only in particular situations or for certain types of books?

Let me know in the comments!

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23 thoughts on “Talk To Me 07: When reviewing gets hard

  1. This happens to me too! But only usually when it’s a book that’s just so-so or fair. It’s like I’m torn between pointing out all the good points or the bad points, and I know I should do both, but it’s hard to just pinpoint exactly what I liked or didn’t like because I’d think the book is just an okay read – so it’s hard to be sure if I liked it or not. I also feel really bad about writing negative reviews so that’s one thing that makes me a slow reviewer. But it’s nice to be honest.

    Great post! 🙂

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

  2. I totally agree and writing reviews on books you love, when you want to talk about everything is tough too because there are so many spoilers. Plus, I am often way too passionate about books and fangirl when people haven’t even the slightest idea what I am talking about!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  3. I have a hard time writing reviews of books that have been popular with everyone else. I feel like I’m going to get a lot of negativity. I also find it hard sometimes to write a review of a book I love. I never want to come across as too fangirly! Not that there’s anything wrong with that! 😉

  4. I always struggle with reviews of books I loved! I just can’t find anything to say aside from “I LOVE THIS GO READ IT NOW OMG OMG OMG!!!” Those are soooo hard! I want to share my love for it, but I know I need to explain what it was that drew me in but I also don’t want to give away spoilers, and just aahhh! It’s hard!

    I also have the opposite problem of wanting to talk TOO much about the books I don’t like, especially when it’s one that everyone else loved. I suppose I get a bit defensive and feel the need to really explain, down to the last detail WHY I didn’t like it. This usually comes off kind of ranty and maybe makes it sound like I disliked the book more than I did. I try to find the balance, but a lot of the time the bad stands out more than the good.

  5. I totally have to be in the absolute right mood to write a review – I find them the hardest things to write for the blog, discussion posts and the like just come much more freely.

    Funnily enough I find books I DIDN’T like easiest to write about. Books I loved and books I had no real opinion on are hard to write about. I either gush and flail about the book without really explaining why, or just don’t have much to say. And it certainly is intimidating writing about ‘popular’ books if you didn’t enjoy them!

  6. Some days the words just flow and others it’s like pulling teeth and I can’t sit down at a computer for weeks or even think about reviewing! It’s so odd how things ebb and flow!

  7. This definitely happens occasionally to me, too. I always try to write reviews right after I finish a book, so that helps me a lot with remembering what I want to talk about. But there have been times where I struggle with having too much/too little to talk about…both with books that I really liked and books that I didn’t like. Usually I just try to write through it, though. Like just babble and say everything I want/can think to say about a book, and then go back and edit it into coherent thoughts later.

  8. I am SO with you on this post!! I have the exact same issues with some reviews. I don’t want to gush and sound dumb and I don’t want to rant and sound mean. And then sometimes I just don’t have much to say. Just yeah it was ok or great or whatever, but words aren’t coming to me to explain why. I also kind of hate to write negative reviews about books that were super popular bc I get nervous that I am going to hurt someone’s feelings. Like if I say “who in the hell would like a guy who acts like that!!” and the whole reason a blogger liked the book was bc they were crushing on the guy…. well that’s awkward!!! But in the end I want to be honest and share my true opinions, so I just try to find a way to do it without offending 🙂 Also when I write a ranty review I tend to go back and delete entire paragraphs… that always helps! Fab topic 🙂

  9. Yes, so true! It’s so hard when you’re just kind of “meh” about the book. I totally understand about feeling bad when writing negative reviews, and I was pretty scared back when I first started. You’re right, it’s nice to be honest instead of trying to fluff up a book. 🙂

    Thanks, Kimi!

  10. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m afraid of when I post a negative review. I’m afraid someone’s just gonna rush in and be like “YOUR BLOG SUCKS THIS BOOK RULES.” Ugh. 😐 Nothing wrong with being too fangirly indeed. 😉 Thanks, Chrissi!

  11. Haha, yeah! It’s so difficult when you HAVE to talk about something that you loooooved, but it’s totally a spoiler. 😦

    I totally understand feeling defensive and the need to explain. I think it’s also better that way because at least it shows your objective thoughts on the book instead of just “This book sucks, bye!” I sometimes get ranty in the comments if I find someone else who shared my thoughts on it. 😛 Thanks, Angie!

  12. Definitely! Discussion posts and other stuff like features flow out of me better. 🙂

    Yes, it’s so intimidating! 😦 But based on some comments I got on another book that everyone loved but I hated, I realised it feels so good to find other people who share your thoughts on it. 🙂 Thanks, Rinn!

  13. I’m trying to develop that habit of reviewing right after I finish a book too. Definitely helps with book amnesia!

    Definitely a good practice there! Just get all the raw thoughts out and then go back to edit it. 🙂 Thanks, Miranda!

  14. Oh, definitely! Sometimes I just look at a love interest and go “Seriously?! ICK!” but then I can’t say that in the review because some other bloggers may actually really like that love interest. It’s all about saying things intelligently instead of making it sound like a flaming attack. 🙂 Thanks, Michelle!

  15. I have a hard time writing a lot of my reviews. XD and I totally agree that it’s either too much or not enough. I feel like I ramble too much. And it’s definitely hard when you don’t like a book that everyone raves about. You feel like you’re missing something. I also have this problem where I feel repetitive. Like I don’t have enough words to describe different books.

  16. I ramble too much too, haha! 🙂 Exactly! I feel like I missed something super duper amazing about the book that everyone loves but I didn’t. Now, I just kinda go “Eh, different strokes for different folks.”

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