Thursday, January 9, 2014

Writing My ReViews : The Highs and The Lows

For a while now, I have stayed far away from writing a 'negative review'. I feel that any and every book has something valuable to offer.  What has changed this year is the clarity to actually be honest on a full spectrum, not just tell part of the story.

As a result I have revised my rating to include the high reviews and the low reviews, thanks to the wonderful article Emlyn Chand has written.  She was my inspiration for revising my rating and finally putting forward a new GoneBookserk Era.

This is what I mean.

I'm not one to bash a book, nor will I ever be.  I have written mostly very positive reviews. As of January 2014, this is the breakdown of my ReViews.

As you can see, I literally only wrote ONE 1Star Review!  Not to mention what's not included in this chart, all the books I never finished! As a result I have upgraded my review rating to include a broader spectrum of reviews.

I am particular about which books I rate as 5Stars.  These are books that specifically align with me, speak to me, offer me a chance to grow beyond myself, and utterly leave a lasting impression on me.  They become my most memorable Books

Most of my reviews will still fall in the 3Stars and 4Stars, and that's just because I have such a high affinity for a large variety of genres of books, but also because I read a lot of books that strike my interest.  The majority of books that end up in my hands inevitably become compatible with me and my tastes.

Sometimes though, there are books that less than impress me and those will fall in the 2Stars and 1Star category.  The New ReView Rating has been specifically configured to include more options for these two ratings.  A lot of the books in these two ratings will be books I could barely get through, had challenges with, or just literally didn't finish.  These are the books that don't necessarily fit well with me.

I do want to mention, that this is not necessarily a "negative" area of the review spectrum.  It just means I'm representing my true voice about these books as much as I am representing my voice about the books that I love the most.  Emlyn Chand, on her post about negative reviews, said it well, "I'm not compatible with 100% of the books but when I find a reviewer whose tastes matches mine, it makes the whole process that much easier."

Some readers will identify with the higher end of reviews and will appreciate the praise of those books.  On the same note, I think that readers who identify less with a particular reviewer might pay more attention to their lesser end reviews (the 2Stars & 1Stars) because it's possible that what didn't for that reviewer, might work for them.

Additionally, the 2Stars and 1Stars reviews will do a few more additional favors to reader and authors alike.  It will highlight some of the weaker points of the book, and therefore alert the reader to consider specific elements of a book before starting.  This will INFORM readers as well as authors about the book as A WHOLE!

"Read as Readers, Write as Writers, Review as Reviewers." - Emlyn Chand.

Yes!  Every perspective has its value.  It's a perspective, after all, an opinion, a viewpoint.  It is not the end-all conclusion label about a book.

In summary, I will be giving a whole spectrum of reviews.  That doesn't mean they're necessarily "negative reviews".  I'm stating my experience.  I'm voicing my own journey with the book.  Ultimately, it's a story about the compatibility between the book and myself.  For a reader, that informs whether that books is for them or not.  For an author, that facilitates a point of growth, if they choose to look at it that way.

Bookserk by Author

Milan Kundera (4) Jane Austen (3) Stephenie Meyer (3) Suzanne Collins (3) Bernhard Schlink (2) F. Scott Fitzgerald (2) H.G. Wells (2) Herman Hesse (2) JRR Tolkien (2) Jules Verne (2) Khaled Hosseini (2) Paulo Coelho (2) Sam Kean (2) Stieg Larsson (2) Sylvia Day (2) A.G. Howard (1) Adam Johnson (1) Alafair Burke (1) Albert Einstein (1) Alexander Soderberg (1) Alicia Hendley (1) Amanda Hocking (1) Andre Dubus III (1) Ann Patchett (1) Aravind Adiga (1) Azar Nafisi (1) Barbara Kingsolver (1) Becky Aikman (1) Camilla Lackberg (1) Carl Sagan (1) Cat Hellisen (1) Charles Webb (1) Charlotte Bronte (1) Chinua Achebe (1) Chris Prentiss (1) Chrisanna Northrup (1) Christopher S. Stewart (1) Clare Clark (1) Clive Barker (1) Coltaire Rapaille (1) Dai Sijie (1) Daniel J. Levitin (1) Daniel Kahneman (1) Daniel Pink (1) David Foster Wallace (1) David Levithan (1) David Sedaris (1) Debra Driza (1) Domenica Ruta (1) Don Miguel Ruiz (1) Douglas Adams (1) Elie Weisel (1) Emily Bronte (1) Emlyn Chand (1) Enid Shomer (1) Epictetus (1) George Orwell (1) George R.R. Martin (1) Greg Graffin (1) Gretchen Rubin (1) Harper Lee (1) Haruki Murakami (1) Herman Koch (1) JR Moehringer (1) Jane Eyre (1) Jennifer Egan (1) Jodi Meadows (1) John Eldredge (1) John Englander (1) John Kenney (1) John Steinbeck (1) John T Cacioppo (1) Joyce Carol Oates (1) Judy Blume (1) Julia Glass (1) Karen Thompson Walker (1) Karol Jackowski (1) Kate Chopin (1) Kate Walbert (1) Katherine Boo (1) Lauren DeStefano (1) Lisa See (1) Lois Lowry (1) Lou Marinoff PhD (1) Madhulika Sikka (1) Maggie Stiefvater (1) Margot Livesey (1) Marissa Meyer (1) Martha Stout (1) Mary Roach (1) Mary Shelley (1) Meg Howrey (1) Megan Abbott (1) Natalie Babbitt (1) Nujood Ali (1) Oliver Harris (1) Paulo Giordano (1) Poet Charles Swain (1) Poet Margaret E. Sangster (1) Priscille Sibley (1) Ray Bradbury (1) Rebecca Dean (1) Richard Francis (1) Robert Louis Stevenson (1) Robert M. Pirsig (1) Rudyard Kipling (1) Sarah Gruen (1) Sharon Lebell (1) Shirley MacLaine (1) Stasi Eldredge (1) Stephen Chbosky (1) Sue Kidd Monk (1) Susan Cain (1) Susanna Calahan (1) Tara Conklin (1) Tea Obreht (1) Terri Giuliano Long (1) Thrity Umrigar (1) Victoria Hislop (1) Virginia Morell (1) Voltaire (1) Zora Neale Hurston (1)

Bookserk Globally

Bookserk by Publishing House

Harper Perennial Publishing (8) Random House Publishing (7) Crown Publishing (6) Little Brown and Company Publishing (6) Harper Publishing (4) Knopf Publishing (4) Scholastic Press Publishing (4) Vintage Publishing (4) W.W. Norton Company Publishing (4) Anchor Publishing (3) Atria Books Publishing (3) Free Press Publishing (3) HarperCollins Publishing (3) Penguin Books Publishing (3) Riverhead Books Publishing (3) Ballantine Books Publishing (2) Bantam Books Publishing (2) BarnesNoble Classics Publishing (2) Broadway Publishing (2) Harmony Publishing (2) Harper Paperback Publishing (2) Hyperion Publishing (2) Katherine Tegen Books Publishing (2) Simon and Schuster Publishing (2) William Morrow Publishing (2) Algonquin Books Publishing (1) Amber Allen Publishing (1) Amulet Books Publishing (1) Berkley Trade Publishing (1) Blue Crown Press Publishing (1) Createspace Publishing (1) Crown Business Publishing (1) Del Rey Publishing (1) Dover Publishing (1) Ember Publishing (1) Faber and Faber Publishing (1) Farrar Straus Giroux Publications (1) Feiwel Friends Publishing (1) Five Rivers Chapmanry Publishing (1) Gallery Books Publishing (1) Grand Central Publishing (1) HarperOne (1) Hill and Wang Publishing (1) Hogarth Publishing (1) It Books Publication (1) MJF Books Publishing (1) MTV books and Pocket Books Publishing (1) McGraw Hill Higher Education Publishing (1) Nelson Publishing (1) Pamela Dorman Books Publishing (1) Pantheon Publishing (1) Plaza Y Janes Publishing (1) Plume Publishing (1) Pocket Publishing (1) Puffin Publishing (1) Quill Publishing (1) Reagan Arthur Books Publishing (1) Science Bookshelf Publishing (1) Signet Classics Publishing (1) St. Martin's Press Publishing (1) Touchstone Publishing (1) Virago Publishing (1) Washington Square Press Publishing (1)