Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.
This week Billy asks: What is your preferred format for reviews? Do you tell the story or do you focus on characters and the reason someone would like the review?
My goal with reviews is to convey to the reader what I thought about the work in question. As I have noted before, every reviewer has their own subjective biases which they cannot escape. The key when reading a review is to find a reviewer who generally shares your own subjective taste, and read what they have written. To that end, when I write a review, I don't just want to tell the reader what I thought about a particular work, I want to tell them why. When I review something I include enough about the characters and the story in order to give the reader the ability to understand what I'm saying, but I try not to explain the story more than I have to in order to support my opinion. It is a fine balance to strike - giving enough information about a story to adequately review it without giving away too much - and I'm sure that I've missed the mark on more than one occasion, but I still keep trying, every time I sit down to write a new review.
As to the specific elements of a work that I focus on, that depends entirely on the work itself. Sometimes I like or dislike a work because of how the characters are drawn. For other works, it is the quality of the plot that sticks out. In others, it is some other element of the story that is notable in one way or another. Each book, movie, or television episode strikes me as good or bad mostly in its own way, and so what I choose to highlight in one review or another is almost always going to be idiosyncratic to my tastes, and unique to the work in question.
Previous Book Blogger Hop: Article 134 of the UCMJ Is the General Article
Subsequent Book Blogger Hop: 136 kHz Is the Lowest Band Frequency Amateurs Are Allowed to Transmit
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