Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Choosing to review

It feels like a long time since I posted a review. It's not that I haven't finished a book since The Madman's Daughter--I finished 3 actually. But none of those three were books I cared to review.

For reference, here are all the books I finished in 2013. (Yes, I know some of you might find this list pathetically short.) The bold books are the ones I reviewed.

1. “Hold Me Closer, Necromancer” -- Lish McBride
2. “Silver Phoenix” -- Cindy Pon
3. “The Crown of Embers” -- Rae Carson
4. “The Road” -- Cormac McCarthy
5. “The Monstrumologist” -- Rick Yancey
6. “Incarnate” -- Jodi Meadows
7. “A Storm of Swords” -- George R.R. Martin
8. “Throne of Glass” -- Sarah J. Maas
9. “Code Name Verity” -- Elizabeth Wein
10. “The Madman’s Daughter” -- Megan Shepherd
11. “A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill” -- Lemony Snickett
12. “A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Austere Academy” -- Lemony Snickett
13. “Letters from the Ledge” -- Lynda Meyers

Currently, I'm reading A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4) and Ghosting (Kirby Gann). I only read a couple chapters of Ghosting and do plan to review it when I'm finished. I don't plan to review A Feast for Crows (though I must comment that I don't like it nearly as much as the other books in the series. Two of my favorite characters have yet to make an appearance!)

Why do I review some books and not others? I'll start by saying that "to review" is my default state. It doesn't matter if it's good, bad, or mediocre, if I made the effort of reading it, then I usually want to say at least something about it. Half the fun of books is having an opinion on them, after all.

So why do I choose not to review some books. Let's look at specific cases:

A Song of Ice and Fire: For the most part, I love this series. But the books are all just long chapters of a really long story, and it wouldn't feel right to review them individually. Maybe I'll review them when I finish the series (or at least catch up on the ones that are currently published.)

A Series of Unfortunate Events: My roommate recommended these books to me. They're fun and clever, but not really my thing. The books are a little too ridiculous for my liking, but they're meant to be that way. It would be like criticizing cotton candy for being too sweet.

Letters from the Ledge: When I write a review, I would like that review to start a dialogue. When I review a traditionally-published or well-known book, there is a pretty good chance that someone else has read or has at least heard of the book. These people often come equipped with opinions of their own, so that I can discuss the book with them. When it comes to self-published books, that dialogue is less likely to happen, since fewer people have heard about the book. If I liked the book, I'll definitely recommend it, but if I came out of it feeling 'meh,' (as I did with this book), then I won't waste my time.

What about you? Do you review every book or only a select few? What makes you decide whether or not to review?

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