Reviews. I’ve been thinking about the ones I read in media — newspapers, magazines and the like as well as the ones from the fabulousness that is the blogosphere and how they’re different and what I find I want from reviews in general as a reader:
Hear me out: I am a temperamental long review reader. Some days, I am happy to meander through an author’s history and how it influenced their writing and other days, I just want to know what the book is about. I find online newspapers and magazines are the biggest culprits. It’s a big part of the reason I look for user reviews than “official” reviews these days. They just don’t give me what I want.
But, if there is a long review I do enjoy, it’s one that tells me the details of the story without spoiling it for me — the pacing, the characters I hate and will love to hate, the plot and the contrivances or the joy that comes with a lack of those and something that is simply an excellent plot.
I need to know, like I said above, the ones I will hate or love to hate, but more that that, I need to know if these characters are relatable — and even the most gruesome story has t have characters readers can relate to, right?
Consistency is something else that’s important to me — do characters swerve to cater to a plot change or does the plot help the characters evolve?
This one I’m torn about, but the thing is, sometimes, I need a plot overview because the blurb gives me nothing. And, these days I sometimes feel like that happens more often than not (sadly).
This is one that’s growing in importance to me — I somehow came across a spate of books whose pacing turned me off the book entirely, and made me ruthless about DNF-ing. Because I really do have better things to read than forcing myself to slog through the slowest book in the world.
Last, I need to know if it left you in a sobbing wreck by the end or tense and grinding your teeth (in a good way) as you read through to the conclusion. Is that weird? I can’t decide, but I do know if a book has you doing anything — including being utterly giddy and gushing (in whatever way you do so) — then it’s worth adding to my TBR.
So, what about you? What do you need from book reviews?