Just a quick discussion post today, friends. I’m struggling to keep up with all the ARCs I requested and going through a bit of a reading slump where I don’t want to read any of the books I “have to.” Oh well! I am a book hoarder and apparently that extends to digital copies of books, because I just keep requesting more ARCs, so the pile just keeps getting deeper and heavier and burying more firmly under…
ANYWAY, back to the actual purpose of this post. I want to know what you look for in a book review. Personally, I look for some hints as to the quality of the writing. When it comes to historical romance (especially Regency romance) I want to know if there are any glaring anachronisms – that’s my pet peeve and will make me DNF a book so bad if a Regency romance has, say, a gentleman and a lady alone in a room with a closed door and NOBODY EVEN CARES. That just would not happen. DNF. Done. Also if the book seems like it just goes on and on and never actually goes anywhere.
I also like to see some thoughts on the world building, especially in fantasy and sci-fi novels, as well as an assessment of the characters. Are they flat cardboard cut-outs, or are they fully developed, multi-faceted characters? What are they like? Would I want to be friends with them? (I’m much more likely to want to read a book about characters I’d like to be friends with… or about characters I love to hate!) Are there interesting side characters? Is the dialogue fast-paced and witty? Is the tone dark and gritty? Is it definitely going to make me cry, or have a stupid silly grin on my face that makes my husband ask me what on earth I’m reading? (Yes, as you can tell, that happens a lot…)
Another really useful fact is if a book is part of a series, and if I need to read other books prior to reading this one in order to really appreciate it. Many romance series, for example, are really individual stories than can be read as stand-alone novels that are interconnected (at varying levels of complexity) to the other books in the series. You can totally read Lenora Bell’s Disgraceful Dukes books in any order without missing out on a lot. I would not advise reading Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses series out of order as there is an ongoing plot/chess game with three of the side characters that would really confuse you as it weaves in and out of the books leading up to the ones that actually deal with said characters (and you’d have missed out on a LOT of important back story once you finally do read their books).
So that’s me! Not too demanding in what I’m looking for, eh? Heh. OH! And I HATE spoilers! If it’s a plot point I can’t learn from reading the blurb on the back of the cover, in the first few pages, is obvious, or doesn’t actually spoil anything – then I don’t want to see it!! *covers eyes*
What about you? What do you look for when reading a book review? What do you hate to see? What do you wish reviewers would include more of?