Discussion: What Do You Review

Some book bloggers strictly review novels. Some review mangas, comics, short stories etc. Some incorporate tv shows, movies, animes etc.

This all depends on the blog, and the bloggers focus.
I review mostly books and a bit of everything else every once in a while.
I think people should just review anything they want, even if it is a book blog.
What do you think?
But that’s not my main point.
My main point is: which books do you review?
Do you review all the books you read? Only arcs?
Only positive reviews?
How do you decide?
I try my best to review every book I read – even negative ones, though that isn’t common with me. I haven’t done any DNF reviews, but I feel like I should.
Now, I don’t think you should bash books in negative reviews, but a negative review on why you specifically disliked a book and why others may or may not agree with you is perfectly valid – books blogs are for consumers and readers more than anything else in my opinion, even when we are sent arcs- that’s why we need to have honest reviews.
Only writing the positive ones feels a little less honest, even if we aren’t flat out lying about specific books.
What do you think?
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23 thoughts on “Discussion: What Do You Review

  1. Hi! That’s a very interesting point.

    I love that you try to review every book you read. Would this be a fantastic world if all of us did the same? Author’s delight πŸ™‚

    Personally, I only read fantasy – unless someone I respect suggests a book in a different genre. For me, it’s all about feeling the book I’m reading, and as an epic fantasy geek, well, that means I am limited in my choices.

    From then onwards, it really doesn’t matter if it’s a novel, a short story or an arc – if I like one book I’ll read the next in the series. But now comes the meaty point – should we just say what we feel? Or is the whole point of a review to motivate the writer? Make them better authors through positive feedback, and/or positive criticism?

    I have something to say along these lines. Generally, I would agree that encouragement is the key factor, the main purpose of a review even, which means saying nice things, even if your point is a negative one – qualify the criticism in a positive way. There are authors that want the negative stuff too and I think the key is just presenting it in a digestible way so that it remains positive and encouraging.

    Where I draw the line is with certain attitudes – when reviews are asked for you can sometimes tell what an author is about, and believe me when I say I have come across a few that will systematically reject negative criticism. I mean OK, as a debut author myself, I know how hard it can be to swallow certain comments, but there are some writers who will through them back in the reviewer’s face.

    Bottom line for me is that I won’t lie, but I will make my criticism chewable, and if it is just too tough to chew, then I won’t review at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never saw it that way before – reviews from the author’s perspective I mean. I tend to see reviews as a way of sharing my thoughts with other readers, so they can make a decision over reading the book themselves easier.

      Like I said, even in negative reviews, I like to point out positives, as generally, me not liking a book doesn’t mean its terrible, it just wasn’t for me.

      You raised some excellent points. Thank you for your lovely, well thought input to my discussion!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I review only what I read. I don’t review movies or shows as I’m usually reading πŸ˜‚ I review everything I read – the books I liked, the ones I didn’t, ARC’s, a wide variety of genres – basically I’m all over the place! But if I’ve read it – I will talk about it! πŸ˜‚

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  3. I used to review every single book I read here on WordPress, but I’ve since cut back. I try to write at least a short review for Goodreads, but on my blog I focus on specific types of reviews: a review for an amazing (preferably diverse) book that I think deserves more attention, or a review of a really problematic book that I think needs to be called out.

    I really hate giving negative reviews though. I try to be balanced in my discussion, because, as a writer, I know the work that goes into writing a novel. I know that authors may have good intentions but end up writing something problematic. Even as a writer though, I appreciate negative criticism. I hate when I have friends read something I wrote and all they have to say is “I liked it.” That doesn’t do me any good! Writing is always a work in progress, and we can always get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I review everything I read, I don’t review TV shows or movies. Very rarely will I review music. I don’t post reviews on my blog until the end of the month. I even write reviews for DNF books, because I like letting people know why I didn’t finish the book. I think it’s better to let people know why you didn’t finish a book rather than just saying I DNF’ed it, I know you DNF’ed it, but I want to know why you DNF’ed it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I review mostly books, but every now and then I include movies and TV shows as well. I even talk about events and video games sometimes πŸ˜› I just love reviewing haha!
    I don’t review every single book I read, because I don’t always have enough to say. I read some very short books sometimes, and while a lot of them bring up interesting discussions, some don’t, and I don’t want to write a review if I have nothing to say πŸ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m always very honest in my reviews. I usually review every book I read – novels of any genre, and graphic novels, etc – and writing a negative review is really hard but I think it’s important. If I’ve taken the time to read a whole book and found it flawed, I think it’s important to put that review out there (but never ever tag the author in a negative review!!!).
    I haven’t done any DNF reviews so far, but if I did DNF a book I think I would still post a review saying so. That fact that I am unable to finish the book is a very valid review, especially if I can explain why.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Daniel Casey says:

    I do commissioned reviews but also try to write review-essays on books I’m reading on my own, especially if there are indie or literary. There’s too few serious reviews of poetry collections and hardly any of poetry chapbooks. That said, most literary fiction gets ignored or only superficial Goodreads/Amazon review that aren’t more than the ‘like/dislike’ variety. I read roughly 300 pages a day & to me it feels like a reader’s responsibility to write something meaningful in response to work that moves. I review NetGalley arcs, book mail sent from big publishers, and my own purchases. I strive to only write something useful, which eliminates the worthless praise reviews, the indifferent, and the negative for negative sakes. Quite simply, detailing what is well done and poorly done in a work is vital, so a “positive review” and a “negative review” feel like hollow terms to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I tend to review everything I read, and I tend to read a lot of different things πŸ™‚ This will include mangas and GNs. I do admittedly avoid most DNF reviews. I will approach a brief post on why I failed to complete a title if I feel I have enough insight to share. If it is a review request, I contact author or publisher with feedback opposed to posting a DNF. The main thing is honesty. If I cannot provide honest opinions without attacking the author’s hard work, I forgo posting a review.

    Great topic for discussion!

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  9. hmm I review only the ones I have the most to say about- so I don’t review everything I read, especially not the ones I’m meh about. And I don’t do DNF reviews, it just doesn’t feel like I can give a fair assessment. I definitely agree that it would be less honest not to do negative reviews at all.

    Liked by 2 people

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