Glowing Reviews

As a book blogger I actually find it really hard to write lengthy glowing reviews. If I love a book I can succintly wrap up why I love it in four paragraphs tops and often I feel like I’m stretching myself thin even with that. When it comes to listing all the things I enjoy about a book or putting it into witty phrases – or (let’s be honest here) any phrases at all – I stumble and find myself at a loss to say anything. Like a teenage girl with a crush I am completely tongue tied to explain even the beginning of why I like this boy book so much. It’s just hot!

For example, the book An Assembly Such As This is the only book that has ever given justice to the concept of a Jane Austen spin off. I’ve read dozens, but this trilogy (completed in Duty and Desire and These Three Remain) caused me to not only become a die hard Jane Austen fan all over again, they reminded me of why I loved reading so much and I wondered that I ever could have left it for as long as I did. None of those reviews really convey how much those books impacted my life and how honored (yes, honored) I was to read them.

Those reviews, and others like them, are the shortest I’ve ever written. Why is writing something positive, about books that more than deserve the gushing fangirl praise, so difficult for me to do?

As for books that I don’t like, that’s another story. My longest and most thorough reviews are about books I dislike. It even gets to the ridiculous point that after I have thoroughly spent myself going over every page, every paragraph, every line that I didn’t like I will then find something positive to say. Finally, at the bottom of the pile, there is something good to write about! I only find it easy to do after I have completely vivisected the book and poured vitriol over its remains though. Not good.

Some books deserve it, especially books written by women for women that encourage or validate male dominance/violence/abuse against women. But, that’s a post for another day.

It’s the new year and I want to try and be positive about my reading and my book reviews. I want to be able to write just as fluidly about the things I like as I do the things I don’t. I’m not sure how to do that.

What about you? Is it easy or hard to write glowing reviews? Any tips on how to give voice to the positive aspects of a book? Do you find yourself writing something positive after all at the end of a harsh review or is it just me! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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