Jul 25, 2011

Posted by in Question | 15 Comments

Question – What Is Easiest For You to Write?

We book review bloggers write book reviews.  Lots of them.  If you hang out on Twitter and follow some book bloggers, you will see on a nightly basis tweets that resemble this:

I am SO behind in my reviews.

I need to write seventeen reviews but I just can’t seem to get the words out!

I know I need to write reviews but I just want to read!

OMG I don’t have my review written…and it’s posting frikkin’ tomorrow!!!

Eventually, we all write what we committed to, but the truth is some reviews are just easier to write than others.

I find that reviews for books that I rate a certain way are easier to write than others that I rate differently.  For example, I find reviews for books I give 2 stars to are hardest for me to write.

Reviews for 3 star ratings are often quite tricky for me too.  They are fiddly because when I give a book 3 stars, it is because I really truly did enjoy the ride while reading the book, but I just can’t see myself ever wanting to read it again.  And sometimes there are no clear reasons why I didn’t click with the book.  I just didn’t.  Try writing that in a review.

Also, I sometimes have issues writing reviews for 5 star books.  Those reviews often start out with:  “OMGOMGTHISWASSUCHANAWESOMEBOOK AND YOU HAVE. TO. READ. IT.”  But then I reel it in and write a more coherent and appropriate review.

So all this leads me to my Question this week:  Bloggers, Goodread-ers, Shelfari-ers, Library Thing-ers, what is easiest for you to write?  2 stars, 3 stars, 4 stars, more?

  1. I was just saying something about this yesterday. I hate to write reviews of books I didn’t like. I’m with you on this (again), my easier reviews to write are 4 and 5 stars.

  2. I LOVE to write my 5-star A+ reviews. When I truly love a book, I can gush about it forever.

    I HATE writing reviews for books that I didn’t like because I truly believe that “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all” but I have to make it clear why this book wasn’t for me without being mean about it. That is so hard to walk that fine line sometimes. I only hope that I am staying successful at it…

    the longer I do this, I actually feel like, the worse I am getting at it. *eeks*


  3. MichelleKCanada says:

    What a great question. I totally agree with you on 3 star ratings. It doesn’t mean that the book was bad, I just probably wouldn’t read it again. I did enjoy it though.
    I just struggled with a review for Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts and said that exact thing in my blog just today. I truly struggled what to rate that book. Settle for 3.5 heart rating.

    I love writing 5 star review because the words flow out of me so fast that I cant keep up to type. The only time I do struggle with 5 star is if there is just so much content in the book and I don’t know where to start. For instance, my favourite book of all time is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve never reviewed because I just don’t think I could do it justice. Sooo much happens in that book that I’d be afraid of way to many spoilers.

    4 star reviews are pretty easy for me to write because I think most of the books I read fall into that category. I usually explain what held me back from the 5 star rating.

    2 star are harder to write because I really hate hurting feelings. Someone put a lot of work into their book and a 2 star is low rating. If I do grant a 2 star or a 1 star sometimes I find I am really frustrated about the book and my biggest worry is coming across sarcastic. If I say something in my review about why I didn’t like it, I try to follow up with a cut and paste line from the book to demonstrate it.


  4. Books with 3 and 4 ratings are hardest for me. These are usually good – really good books for me but for some reason I have some difficulty putting my thoughts down in a review. I usually have no problem articulating my thoughts in a review (most of the time) for books I give a DNF, 1, 2 or 5 rating to.

    Another type of review I find difficult to write is for books in a series – a series that has an ongoing storyline with the same main characters (i.e. the Mercedes Thompson series, Chicagoland Vampires series, etc.). I’m usually at a loss for those types of reviews.

    And I’m one of those people behind on writing reviews. LOL

  5. If I loved a book, I am happy to gush. If I hated it, I might feel a pang of guilt, but at least I have something to contribute when I tell you why I didn’t like it.

    The worst reviews for me to write are for the books that were just ok. They weren’t bad, but I’ll probably forget about them in a couple of weeks. It’s hard to come up with much to say when I’m not moved one way or the other.

  6. All of them! And I hate ratings too since some that I rate a 3 I could read again, while others not. Bleh for ratings!

    But ok books I truly love are hard to write reviews for cos I want to say all these smart things about it and it just comes out …drooool, I love this book!!! 😉

  7. I HATE writing reviews for books that I give 5 stars too and sometimes I dislike 4 star reviews! Because I feel I can never do them justice or explain why I gave them that rating and how much I love them and that other people should read them. All the rest are fine unless I didn’t enjoy the book but am still trying to be diplomatic because I always feel that just because I didn’t enjoy the book doesn’t mean other’s won’t and I try really hard never to write a totally negative review because I think it’s just mean!

    You can never tell you struggle to write reviews unless you follow you on twitter because they always sound so good!

  8. Oh that’s a great question Julie! What is easiest for me to right…well DNF and 1 stars are definitely easy for me to write because I know exactly why I didn’t click with it and I can get that out there. 3’s are probably the hardest, like you said…I enjoyed it while I read it but I have no real feeling of wanting to read it again yet I think people should give it a try…5 & 6’s are only hard for me because sometimes I don’t know where to start and others I have a tendency to go on forever and end up giving away the big event of the story. LOL. It is the inbetween ones that are the hardest.

  9. I know I am one of the “I am so far behind on reviews” twitter people! I need to stop whining about that! HA! For me it seems to be more about my mood than anything else. Sometimes I feel like writing and expressing myself and other times I just don’t. There are times though that even if I want to write I can not express myself. Usually that happens when a book gets a 2 or 3 rating. I feel the same as you, a 3 is a good rating. It means I liked the book. It is hard for me when I did not love it or hate it, it was just good. That is such a difficult thing for me to explain.

  10. Bookaholic Cat – I’m just always worried to come across as a bitch when I write reviews for a book I didn’t enjoy. LOL

    Christi – It is tricky when you can’t really say anything nice – and I too feel I must at least try to find something!

    Michelle – I’ve been giving more and more 3.5 star ratings lately! lol I just want people to know that just because I gave it 3 stars, it does not mean they should stay away from it. 🙂

    Book Vixen – You are SO right about series reviews! There is only so much you can say about one character and you can’t go into the story too much because you might give too much away. Very tricky.

    Jen – Yeah…the ‘just okay’ books are tough. Trying to put your finger on exactly why is the hardest part. lol

    blodeuedd – “drooool, I love this book” LOL! Been there. 😉

    Ally – It takes me forever to write reviews! I often talk too much and then have to reel myself in during my ‘edits’…and I usually edit myself at least twice! lol As for being diplomatic in reviews, wouldn’t be easier if we didn’t need to be sometimes? lol

    Deanna – That’s a good point about the DNF and 1star. You would know exactly why you didn’t like it. My issue with writing those reviews is having to find something I enjoyed about the book – because there just has to be something…right? 😉

    Shannon – Review writing block sucks. And it’s annoying. LOL

  11. The ones I find most difficult are the reviews where I feel the author has something unique or important to convey yet it had all sorts of my personal stumbling blocks (ex: draggy read, too short, too long, too, too,etc.) It’s not that I didn’t like it, I just want to not have to review it. Fortunate for me there are only a few books I’m required to review so this isn’t always a problem.

  12. I don’t write book reviews as such, but as an intern, I review submissions and write editorial letters. The best books are definitely the easiest–usually the shortest too, lol.

    The more ussues with the sub, the longer the report, and the longer it will take me (I report on the subs that I say no to purely because the managing ed may still acquire them, or ask for a revise and resub). For some, I’ll literally zip down the comments I’ve made and refer to issues by page number. (For others, I summarise). I do find it a cathartic exercise, but needless to say, writing a bad report isn’t the nicest thing to do! I dread to think of someone doing the same to my own book…

  13. Yeah, I think 3 to 4.5-star reviews are the easiest for me to write. With the 5 stars, usually I have to work hard to get past the WOWOWOWOWOWOW! Factor! LOL Below 3 stars, and I feel like I have to tread carefully. I don’t want to offend anyone – especially the author – but I want to be honest. It’s tricky!

    I have found, though, that if I’m going to write my best review, it has to be ASAP after I finished reading. Otherwise, I don’t remember it well enough. I do have a book-review journal I use to write notes when I KNOW I’m not going to be able to review immediately (vacations, read-a-thons, etc.), but sometimes that doesn’t even help much.

  14. I am usually about 3- 5 reviews behind the amount I have actually read but I try not to let it get any more than that otherwise it would take me forever to catch up. I think most reviews take me about 2 – 3 hours to write no matter how AI rate them but I find it easier to write reviews for books I have given 3 stars or less to than ones I rate higher. I think because when something about a book doesn’t quite work for I am clear about the problem though I spend ages trying to articulate it with as much tact as possible. I find it much harder to explain why I loved a book, especially as I believe in avoiding spoilers. I am just never confident that I can explain why exactly it worked.
    Like The Book Vixen posted, series are often really hard too, I just finished Hexed and Hammered after loving Hounded, but I’m worried my reviews for all three will basically just sound the same – loved the characters, loved the plot, loved the writing style, so i am putting them off in the hope I get inspired.

  15. I find the hardest reviews to write are ones that I REALLY loved… the 4.5 or 5 Star reviews. Because for me, what makes a book that good are the intangibles, the emotions, etc. And I have a hard time articulating those “feelings” into a review.

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