As I continue to review more and more books “professionally,” (I like to think of my reviews and blog as a professional endeavor and not just a frivolous whim) one of the most difficult things that I’ve found is how to come up with different ways of conveying my opinion about the books I read.
I never have any issues with writing a synopsis. Actually that’s one of my favorite parts of writing the review, as each one is different, because each book is unique. Even the short summary is fairly straightforward. Although trying to write it without giving away any spoilers and actually saying something about the story can be tricky at times.
But when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of the review – did you like it yes/no, was it original yes/no, were the characters adequately developed yes/no, was the writer’s style good yes/no, did the plot make sense yes/no – this is where things become more complicated the more I read and write.
As each book, for the most part, is unique, each review, I feel, should be just as original. However, there are only so many words in the English language, and there are only so many ways to describe the very same subjects. If something is entertaining, you can say entertaining or captivating or gripping or riveting. You cannot always classify the book as delightful or charming or beguiling. And if something is unique or original, those always seem to be the best ways of saying it.
I certainly don’t mean to complain, as I do this by choice and because I love the books that I read. But the last thing I want is to appear redundant and I’m sure the last thing anyone would like to see is some cookie-cutter review with an “insert author’s name” here in front of it.
I hope that as time goes on, my reviews continue to remain fresh and don’t appear as if they are just a re-hashing of the same old crap. Especially as I like to read books in a series, it will be interesting for me (and hopefully for readers of my reviews) to see if this holds true.
But please note, if I do say something is entertaining, I truly mean it. Even if I’ve said another book was. If it was captivating or gripping or mesmerizing or enthralling, I will also say it, only if it is in fact true. And if I loved it or thought it was amazing, I will describe it as such. There can be many fantastic or amazing books out there.
And if I say something is unparalleled, at that time that is exactly what I feel. Something may come along later to take its place, but I will not go back to that first review and alter it to say that it is no longer unparalleled.
So please, lovely readers, if I do become boring, predictable, or overwhelmingly redundant with my reviews, just say so in the comments and I will try my very best to make a change. If reviewers can’t take criticism, they shouldn’t be critiquing others!