TO REVIEW OR NOT TO REVIEW?

toreviewornot

Mondays are for deep discussions.

We’ve all been there. At least I hope I’m not alone in this #ForeverAloneAgain You read a book and by the time it comes down to writing a review, suddenly, you can’t. Lately I’ve been having that problem a lot. Some books you can read and by the time you’re done you’ll have nothing to say; not just positive feedback or negative, but anything at all. It was good. I enjoyed it; I liked that one part and then it was over. Those forgettable books are difficult to review since nothing stays with you but you sort of have to review them anyway – it’s kind of the whole point of being a book reviewer. Is it not?!

But, don’t we get a few outs? Can we read a book and have nothing to say about it and move on? Do book reviewers have to review every single book? Even if the review is a paragraph long and has no useful information?

Truth is when that Goodreads challenge is almost over and I have a couple of books to read to reach it because otherwise I’ll be beating myrself up for not doing it and it will be there, on the sidebar of my profile mocking me for not being able to read a few more books –  JUST A FEW MORE BOOKS DAMN IT – then I novella after novella like a crazy person or going through the year’s books and leaving reviews like it’s so good, I liked it, and truth is you did like it, but I’m only reviewing because I need that even number more than I need my next book. No, wait, I don’t mean that. I DIDN’T MEAN THAT YOU PRECIOUS BOOK, I’M SORRY, I LOVE YOU!

Going through my very first reviews, let’s say they were embarrassingly non review-ish. I have my moments; some of my reviews are super long because I have a lot of things to say and some are just embarrassingly tiny because I don’t – doesn’t matter if I liked the book or not, what matters is that I have stuff to say.

But when I don’t? What happens then? Is it okay to not review? Does that apply to ARCs too?

I’m sure if I go through my shelves I’ll find books I haven’t reviewed – and for the life of me I won’t even remember them after all these years to review. It’s the reason why I’m reviewing in the first place; to see, years later, if I liked it or not and the reasons – mainly so I won’t have to read it again and remember I’ve read it a few pages in. #BookwormProblems #ItHappensOkay #DontJudgeMe

When it comes to ARCs I feel the pressure of reviewing. I feel like a special snowflake; the author trusted me with this gem and I had the privilege to read it so I have to review it and spread the awesomeness.

Don’t get me started on my Amazon reviews – nobody’s definition of fun is copy pasting reviews to cross post them, okay?! And Amazon has a thing about my curse words so it won’t accept my reviews on the first try unless I edit them but some reviews need some fucking colorful words in it, okay, Amazon?!

So, do tell. Do you review all your books and have you felt like you had to review a book because it was an ARC?

Kei

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14 thoughts on “TO REVIEW OR NOT TO REVIEW?

  1. Oh boy, reviews are a touchy subject with me right now. In the past I have always loved writing reviews. And I did so quickly. As soon as I finished a book, I wrote the review. Sometimes immediately but if not t was *always* within a day or two. And then, earlier this year, something changed and I didn’t feel like writing a review immediately so I decided to let it wait. And then I let the next one wait. And so on. Since then I’ve written a sparse handful of reviews but I still have FIFTEEN BOOKS dating back to May that I have yet to review! I have never done this and it’s killing me! But I’m also feeling so sluggish about my reviews and not at all happy with them so I keep putting them off. Oh, the pressure. #thestruggleisreal

    But to the question you posed, I absolutely think it’s okay to not review every book. I don’t think there’s any requirement to review every single book that crosses my hands. Sometimes, enjoy it or not, I simply don’t have a lot to say about it. The only exception to this would be an ARC. Love it, hate it, have nothing to say about it… doesn’t matter. I will always, always review ARCs. I feel like I made an agreement when accepting it. The author/publisher provided that as promotion/marketing in exchange for a review. And I could never just accept the book and not follow through with my end of the bargain. I’d feel like I was stealing. LOL

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  2. I literally *just* commented, like, 2 minutes ago, on another blog about how there are some books that I enjoyed… and they were good… but nothing really stood out and I don’t know what to say about them, and how those are the hardest reviews to write. But to answer the question, I don’t review every book I read. So it’s not a problem for me if the book isn’t a review copy. I just don’t review it, simple as that. But if it *is* a review copy, then yes, I have an obligation to review it, and I will force myself to figure out something to say about that book, even if it’s only a couple paragraphs. But those really are the hardest reviews to write.

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  3. Even as a book blogger, I find that it is acceptable to sometimes simply enjoy a book for the mere entertainment factor, without the pressure to post a review. UNLESS, a prior commitment for a review was determined. I often find that I don’t post reviews about audiobooks. I’m usually listening while doing a zillion other things and not giving my full attention to the book. In those cases, when I enjoyed the book I’ll rate the book on Goodreads and Amazon but not include a full written review.

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  4. Great post! The ratio of books I read to the amount of reviews I write about them is actually very small. I write review on books I feel like I have something I want to talk about in them. Although if it is an ARC and I didn’t give it one or two stars then I feel obligated to review it so I can spread the word about it (also because authors spend money sending books out so if I like it I like to review them to help out the author). If I know my review is not going to be positive I typically send an email to the author and fell them the book wasn’t for me and ask if they’d still like me to publish a review.

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    • That’s so thoughtful! Usually I request and accept ARCs I know I’m not going to hate but books from netgalley I request have not always been enjoyable. Sometimes I totally forget the story especially if it’s an ARC I got months ago which I didn’t like and didn’t write a review as soon as I finished.

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  5. I can’t really speak to ARC’s since I don’t normally request them (so maybe this comment is useless lol) but I don’t feel the need to review everything. I mean kind of I do just because I’m book blogging, but in the past year I have read a few books that I didn’t feel like reviewing, so I just didn’t. It works for me.

    As for ARC’s I can see where there’s be more pressure to review, certainly. But even then I don’t think the world ends if you don’t once in a while. And lol about curse words- yeah sometimes there’s just not another good way to get that point across. 🙂

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    • I only accept ARCs if there’s enough time to read and review (normally more than two weeks which is plenty) but netgalley ARCs don’t have an arrival time so they tend to allow come within days of one another. That really puts me on speed reading mode but there’s no speed reviewing, it takes time.

      I’ve certainly become more picky with requesting ARCs.

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  6. I agree. There’s a time when after reading a book and there’s an urge inside you to do a review already but your body and mind were not properly working. It’s a problem especially when you are part of a blog tour and there’s a deadline. But, we can’t do anything about it. We choose it so we need to do it. 🙂

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