I love Saturday discussions.
So reviewing then, this is why we are all here.
What then is the most important thing in reviewing?
Honesty, or at least it is for me. There is nothing worse than reading a review which is just a lot of politeness and not a lot of truth.
Opinions are valid. You can agree or disagree. It doesn't matter. What matters is having something balanced and fair to say. I hear from other bloggers, publishers and authors that what is important is the quality of the review.
Beyond honesty, people often mention this thing called a "Reviewer's Voice". I have read on various blogs that it can take years to develop one of these. I guess that can be true if you can't quite find what you feel about a book. Personally, I review from the heart. (Corny much?! but absolutely true) Why? That is the type of person that I am. I am a very passionate, happy-go-lucky and enthusiastic person and thus this is what you get from my reviews or at least what I intend you to get. (Does this sound like a CV??!) I do not try to be anyone other than myself when I review thus I think I have my voice. I'm actually quite fond of it.
When I think back to the reviews I've written, there are two which really epitimise my "voice". Firstly, the review I wrote of When I Was Joe by Keren David. I literally tried to type out my soul with that one and I am still proud of what I wrote. The second, is my review of Fang or rather the whole post that I did with reasons to love and hate Maximum Ride. That is still my voice and my passion but used in a very different way to create humour and also to laugh at myself for feeling so strongly about something of which the quality is questionable. I doubt anyone else remembers it to be honest but I do because it was a joy to write.
But there is another review which follows me now wherever I go. It is a review that had honesty and passion for an entirely different reason. I am no longer always thought of as The Bookette. I am the girl who wrote THAT review of Swoon. How do I know this? Well, it was mentioned several times at the online conference and not with derision but with admiration because I had taken that review as far as I could to the truth of the book and braved talking about the extreme level of its sexual content. Now my opinion is not shared by everyone and this is what I love about book blogging because we are all free to have opinions. I know some people worry about receiving mean comments from honest reviews but in my experience you gain nothing but respect by sharing your true opinion. Yes, not everyone will agree but that makes an interesting discussion.
So what is important to you when it comes to writing or reading reviews?
Have you identified your voice? What type of voice is it? Funny, sarcastic, professional?
Do you have one review that really captures your voice? If so, link it using the widget below and I will stop by them all and have a read.
This is where you have to be confident about sharing and not think by linking you are bragging. You are not. You are participating in a discussion about reviewing and voice.
So let's see those links and add your thoughts on reviewing in the comments lovely people.