Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why I Hate Book Reviews

(NationaalArchief)
Although I write reviews from time to time, I don't enjoy reading them. This may seem like an odd confession, considering that my blog professes to be about books. But unless I'm consulting a critical review for information about a not-for-pleasure book, I tend to avoid them. Book reviews, especially ones written from a more personal reader's perspective, tell too much. Even with spoiler alerts, they usually go way beyond a basic plot synopsis.

You might be thinking that an extensive discussion of a book is kind of the point of a review. But after I read one, I feel like I've practically read the book. I've learned the key elements of plot, setting, and characters. But worst of all, I've absorbed the reviewer's experience. The anticipation of reading the actual book has evaporated.

But I love talking about books. I love getting recommendations and giving them. I understand communities like Goodreads exist where that's what you do. But I'm scared of Goodreads.

So instead of reviewing amazing books, I'm just going to virtually hold them out to you, saying, "Oh my god this was awesome read it now" (All in one unpunctuated breath).

Megan Abbott's "Dare Me" is about the intensity of teenage female friendships and competitive cheerleading. If you're making a face about the cheerleading part, take a little leap of faith and check it out. It's one of the most real books about being a teenage girl I've ever read. It kept me up all night, which is the highest praise I can give.

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