Review Reading Made Complicated!
Do you find yourself avoiding certain reviews or hiding from Goodreads when you want to be completely unswayed about a certain book? We’re wondering how many share the same habits for reading reviews – hence the reason for our topic this week! I’m particular about which reviews I’ll read and when. For instance, if I know I will be starting a book in the next couple of weeks, I’ll avoid reading reviews on it. I love going into it with zero expectations. A lot of the time I don’t even refresh my awful memory by re-reading the blurb, making me blind to the plot and even the genre in some cases – when I’m really good about not peeking on Goodreads, which is hard! I find if I go into a book after having read negative reviews, I’ll start it with a grim attitude and it will make me have less patience towards any quirks that may not have bothered me had I not been told to pick them out. Likewise, if I go into a book after having read rave reviews, I’ll be disappointed very easily if it does not meet my now high expectations.
However, the biggest reason for me to avoid reviews shortly before starting a book is because many have some sort of spoiler since everyone has a slightly different definition of what is considered a spoiler. Like, one may not think it’s a spoiler if the thing mentioned was revealed in the first 10% of a book, but I hate to know any type of unknown before I’m meant to. Although, I find even book blurbs contain spoilers nowadays. I read a book once without reading the synopsis, and when I found out what I thought was the book’s big surprise/twist I was flabbergasted and I LOVED the book partly because of this; however, I read the blurb afterwards and I saw this “surprise” mentioned in it and it made me realize how very different everyone else’s experience with the story would be. I was kind of disappointed they wouldn’t have the same amazement at its discovery as I had had, too. On the other hand, I’ve read a book or two where I was completely lost on certain aspects of the plot because small key explanations were mentioned in the synopsis as a heads-up – which I personally find irritating.
I’m not going to say I don’t ever read reviews before I read the book. I do, especially if I happen upon a review from a trusted friend/blogger, but I won’t be seeking them out – like, say, siffle through Goodreads for its reviews. In fact I’m often seen putting my hand physically in front of the average rating on my comp screen if I have to open the book’s page to add it as my “currently-reading”. I do often find very early reviews important, though. I skipped September Girls due to the reviews I saw that assured me there was no way in Hade’s I would put myself through such torture, and I also requested some ARCs I had initially skipped over because of some amazing early reviews like Golden (which I still haven’t read *slaps self*). Plus by the time I read the book I’ve likely forgotten the finer details of those reviews so I don’t have specific expectations, which works out.
Weirdly – and by the higher amount of comments/views my reviews for older books on the blog have I think many share this preference – I love reading reviews of books I’ve already read the most. I love to see how my take on it compares to others’. It’s always fun to see how things are perceived differently by other readers with different tastes. Plus, some of the best times is passionately arguing over a book you loved and someone else hated (or vice versa), right? *snicker* What I often do, as well, after I read and review a book is go through Goodreads and read/re-read my friends’ reviews. I just enjoy seeing everyone’s thoughts when the book is fresh in my mind.
There you have it! And wowza – who knew reading reviews could be so complex? >.<
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XOXO, Book Girl