Thursday, February 24, 2011
On Reading Reviews
I've always approached my own book reviews as me talking to some nameless, faceless reader out there in the ether. I do not write book reviews for authors. I'm writing them for readers. Frankly the idea of an author looking at one of my reviews as a way to critique their work, or make it "better" somehow, slightly horrifies me. I mean, really - what do I know about writing? Holding up this blog as Exhibit A - yeah, not a whole helluva lot. Over the years I would say my review style has evolved somewhat. Frankly, I wrote better reviews when I was with TRR. They sounded more "professional," for lack of a better adjective. These days I'm definitely more "chatty" in my reviews. With apologies to All About Romance, I like that "back fence" feeling in my reviews. I like it when a little of the reviewer's personality comes through.
Lori (who I swear, is my Harlequin Ho Reading Twin), Lynne Connolly, who I rely on to wade through all those Greek tycoons in the Presents line for me, and SarahT at Monkey Bear Reviews. These are the readers I tend to be the most "in sync" with. Certainly there are a lot of resources out there these days for category romance reviews, which I really appreciate!
With historical romances, erotic romance and single title contemporaries - my review reading is more scatter-shot. I skip reviews for authors that I've discovered just don't work for me. I skip pretty much all historical western reviews because I buy 90% of that sub genre no questions asked (doing my part by voting with my dollars), and I just flat-out don't read a lot of single title contemporaries. I discovered this past year that when I want contemporary, I want category. Go figure.
How about you - have you noticed any of your own personal quirks when it comes to how and why you do or don't read reviews?