Friday Blog Hops #18

Follow my book blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee’s View & Alison Can Read.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don’t like love triangles or thin plots? Tell us about it!

Honestly, my biggest pet peeve is people who won’t give something a chance because of a certain aspect. Perhaps they won’t read a book because it’s categorised as young adult, or maybe it has a girl with purple hair and they really hate purple, I don’t know. But I’m a firm believer in give it a try, you might be surprised.

I do have a few niggling things, however, and yeah while I wouldn’t call them pet peeves, my enjoyment of a book is definitely dampened by thin plots, way too much romance, flat characters, and dull dialogue. If an aspect of the novel is hard to believe then it doesn’t become enjoyable.

Saying all of that, I do tend to avoid books with the plot of, “So-and-so is the new girl at school and she has no friends, she’s definitely an outcast, that is until mysterious guy shows up and they fall in love in a whirlwind fast pace. Then weird stuff happens.” I’m sorry but that is SUCH an overused plot and I will avoid books with any variant of that as a blurb.

TGIF is hosted by GReads!

Q.Writing Reviews 101:
What’s your process for writing book reviews? Any tips or suggestions you would recommend to other bloggers?

My process is basically to get down everything I want to say. I might start out with a basic review, and then go back through my notes (yes, I take notes while reading, it’s how I meat out my reviews) and add anything I missed. Then I will go through and make sure everything flows well. I’ll make sure my criticism is placed well and I will try to put that somewhere around the middle of the review. I do do honest reviews but there’s no need to make my criticisms sound harsh. Then when I’m happy with the flow I read over it a couple of times to double-check spellings/typos, check I’m happy with the flow and the way things are worded and I’m done. Sometimes it takes me a few hours and sometimes it only takes half an hour, it really depends. Usually on how distracting Twitter is.

The best tip I can give is always be honest. You don’t have to be harsh to put criticism in your reviews and any decent author will appreciate the feedback. And if there isn’t any criticism to give then great! But you will be respected more as a reviewer if you are honest.

This week I interviewed Matt Hofferth who is also giving away an ecopy of his book, The Binder’s Daughter. I also reviewed it. Check it out, he is wonderful! Always nice to read about lesser-known authors, right?

14 thoughts on “Friday Blog Hops #18”

  1. I can understand your point of view. I agree but sometimes we can have some surprises. But I’ve read some books which were pretty much alike… It becomes boring at the end.

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  2. I really liked your reviewing tips – and your plot pet peeve made me giggle! It is so overused, isn’t it?

    Brilliant stuff, good lady!

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with the over used plotting. As soon as I stumble across something along those lines in a book I want to chuck it across the room – really, it has been used, it has been done, move on and think up of another device to use.

    Enjoyed your answers 🙂

  4. I have always been pretty open minded about what I read, but I will admit to being a cover snob – if the cover’s not pretty, I usually don’t give it a look without having heard good things about it first (shameful I know).

    I am getting pretty sick of the loner-new-girl-meets-dark-emo-mysterious-paranormal-boy-insta-love plot that’s becoming more and more prominent in YA lately too!

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    1. Ha! I can be a cover snob too but I try not to be. With me it’s more that I’m more likely to pick up a book that catches my eye than one that doesn’t unless the other has received rave reviews.

    1. And that’s exactly why you should leave yourself open! 😀 Never know what you’ll like until you try it. I don’t tend to like sci-fi but there have been a couple I’ve quite enjoyed.

  5. Good answers! I have to admit a few years ago I sort of was one of those people you didn’t like! I didn’t want to read YA books anymore because I was sick of all the teen drama and angst. Then some online friends told me I had to read Vampire Academy, that I would like it. And I did! It so brought me back to reading YA! So now I am more open to reading YA books, as long as the plot sounds good and there’s paranormal aspects, my same criteria I have for adult books!

    Here’s my Friday Hops

    Have a GREAT weekend!

    Old Follower 🙂

    1. Haha, it’s not that I don’t like them, don’t get me wrong! I just think it’s silly to limit yourself 😀 I’m the same with YA to be honest. Teen drama and angst does my head in and there is a fair bit of bad writing around but that goes for anything. My criteria is “Is it well written? Does the premise interest me? Great!” 🙂

  6. Honesty is something that I have seen on everyone’s answers. Probably because no matter how you approach reviewing, honesty is perhaps more important than anything else.

    It seems that a lot of people also take notes while reading. I don’t. I find that I get pulled out of the story if I try to take notes. Occasionally I will stop and mark a quote or passage that I like, but that’s about it.

    And YES Twitter is so very distracting. 🙂

    1. Sometimes when I get really into reading I don’t bother and just write a quick “gripping”. It’s only when I think of a good point that I note take!

      1. Um, also…ALSO. I agree with the last peeve you mentioned, even though I’m pretty sure one of my favorite books this year would quality. Oh. So, it’s more like, “This is my pet peeve unless it’s done well, then it’s all okay.”

  7. I agree about being honest in your reviews. The authenticity is what draws readers to your blog time and again – and I’m sure the author appreciates all feedback, if it’s given politely and respectfully 🙂

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