Feb 23, 2013

Random Rambles: The Perplexed Reviewer

You ever read a book that frustrated you, annoyed you, left you flabbergasted... but when it comes time to review, you're not really sure how you feel about it? Maybe that doesn't make sense, so let me just elaborate a little bit. This book has some inconsistencies, rushed relationships and underdeveloped characters but at the same time the writing is fluid, the world-building is creative and intense, and the whole core of the story has a flair of originality. How do you rate something that has elements on either side of the bookish spectrum?

My first instinct is too meet somewhere in the middle. The good ole, reliable "It's OK" rating that's as good as shrugging it off and leaving it up to other readers to choose whether or not they want to take a chance. But you know, there's something else that bothers me... This author will be fabulous one day, which is something you can tell by the writing style and world-building, so...

Can we give half a star for potential? I guess that depends on how that potential made you feel about the book you just read, not just how you feel future books might turn out to be.

It's not really a black and white process, rating and reviewing a book. It's personal and sometimes it can be really difficult to find the words you want to say, especially when you're feelings about the book are all over the place, both negative and positive.

I'm just glad it's not all left up to the stars, the rating system that we all put in place. They don't really say it all, do they?  They are just there to put a visual to your overall opinion... It's times like this that I wonder if the rating system is valid at all, unless you're giving all or nothing. Unless you know you loved it or you know it just wasn't a good read.

Because when it meets somewhere in the middle, there are elements to which you want to give two stars and there are other aspects you want to go the whole nine yards for and give them a glowing five stars.

*sigh* I guess that can only mean that I'll be creating a new rating system...

Happy Reading Everyone :)


  1. Great discussion topic! I have that problem too sometimes, and that's one reason why I don't rate books on my blog. I put a star-thingy there on goodreads, but not on my blog. I like to explain this stuff in detail in my review - what I liked, what I didn't, what I thought had potential, etc.
    Sometimes I also get the I-shouldn't-like-this-but-I-can't-stop-reading syndrome. Like, I know something isn't terribly original or the relationship dynamics are just not okay, but the writing is so hooking and fluid and there's some good dialogue, so I can't stop. I have to know how it ends, even though I know that on one level, it's really not a good book.
    *sigh* Reviewing can be confusing...

  2. @Carmen B. I know what you mean! I call those "guilty pleasures" because I know it's not something that's going to blow my mind or make me think, but it's just fun anyway..

    I've been thinking about not actually putting a rating on my reviews .. that's a thought... or maybe adding ratings on the different aspects... *pondering*...


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