Some thing in life come naturally and some do not. For me, book reviews often fall into the “not” category. I find that when I really love a book, it’s hard for me to articulate the things that made it wonderful without falling into cliches or stumbling over my own enthusiasm.
I spent the weekend writing short reviews of ten of my all-time favorite middle grade books for my blog launch on Monday. (Yes, I finally joined the 21st century and have my own blog! And yes, I’d love it if you clicked here to come follow! You could win any of those ten favorite books. 🙂
There was one book that had me in tears as I tried to put into words why I loved its main character so much. Books with lots of humor or adventure were easier to review, but the ones about family or being different or being kind–those were trickier for me.
Maybe that’s why I’m such a fan of Goodreads. It’s much easier to give 1-5 stars for a book. Review optional!
Sites like Goodreads have received some criticism, however, for allowing reviews and ratings before books are published. While there are often advance copies available for books, most of these early reviewers have not actually read the books they’re rating.
Case in point: Reached by Ally Condie. This is the third book in a trilogy and there is quite a bit of speculation as to how it all will end. There were no ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) this time in order to keep the ending under wraps, which means that only a handful of people have actually read it. Yet it has 899 ratings on Goodreads right now! 800+ people who are judging it before reading it! The majority of them are 5-star ratings, so these are a happy, hopeful bunch of pre-reviewers. And I don’t think they’ll be disappointed. But still! I can’t wrap my brain around the idea of rating a book before I’ve read it. I have enough trouble rating and reviewing them after I’ve read them!
So I’m curious: How soon do you rate or review a book? How do you feel about judging a book by its cover, or its author, or the earlier books in the series? Have you ever rated before reading?