So I just read an interesting article over at Huffington Post about blog reviewers. You can read it here. In it, the author claims that blog reviewers don't go in depth enough to really take the place of professional reviewers--we're too short, too informal, and not as analytical as professional reviewers.
Well, I have to kind of agree.
I'm going to make a confession here: I hate reading reviews of any kind really. Just give me a description of the book, maybe throw in an accompanied , "It's really though provoking!" or "It really analyzes such and such." But other than that, I generally don't care what others think. Is that mean of me? I know it's pretty hypocritical, seeing as here I am writing reviews myself.
So that's why when I started doing this reviewing thing, I realized that I had to write reviews that I myself would want to read--and that is, short, easy to follow, and above all, professional reviews, like that's found under the book at Amazon.com. Anything else I can't really stomach. No personal pronouns (a teacher I had once told me, "No one cares what you think!"), and please, for the love of God, do NOT write "This book was so adjective, adjective, adjective. The characters were so adjective, adjective, adjective. This book will appeal to anyone who likes such and such." Boring. (And just to cover my bases here, yes, I probably have been the creator of such reviews...but we all need to work a little harder at being better than that.)
And, I am deathly afraid of a spoiler. I hate spoilers with a passion. Lots of blog reviewers inadvertenly give away spoilers, and don't think they're doing so, which drives me insane.
So, for those reason, I pretty much had to agree with the article. For someone who is looking for in depth reviews, maybe blog reviewers aren't the best place to go. Now, before anyone goes and bites my head off, here's the other side of the arguement:
Blog reviewers are totally powerful. I get hundreds of views per day on my website, a lot of them teens looking for something to read, and many teachers and librarians just looking for what's cool and will appeal to their students/patrons. I've also been on the receiving end of many comments such as, "I read your review and bought/pre-ordered the book right away!", which I am sure the publisher and author appreciates. There's a difference between "book reviews" and selling books, and I believe blog reviewers fall into the lattter category...something that article didn't really give us credit for. And let's face it: In YA, word of mouth is everything.
As for me...I'm trying to find a happy medium between the two. I enjoy writing reviews, and helping publishers sell books. I know that my writing had improved, and that it still has a ways to go. I also think that blogs could step it up a notch and write better reviews without becoming boring...it's just a matter of how willing and passionate you really are.
So what's your opinion? (C'mon, I know everyone has one!) Chew me out, tell me what you think, or just comment.