After thinking about it, I realized that it’s easier to explain why I hate a book than why I love a book. The truth of the matter is that when I read a book I adore, words just don’t seem adequate enough. I know that what I say will influence people’s decision to read the book, and I want them get a sense of just how much I love a novel because I want them to feel the same way. And even though negative reviews are still influential, it’s not the same. When I write a negative review I’m not trying to stop someone from reading a book, I’m just weighing in on it. With a positive review, however, I’m trying to convince them to read a book.
Furthermore, when I fall for a book it’s not because of one small thing, it’s because of the novel overall – the characters, the story, the voice, the feel of it. My thoughts when I finish a great book are usually “I love this novel” or “Everyone needs to read this” or “Darn you, (insert author’s name here), for leaving me hanging like that.” I don’t think “This was amazing because of this, this and this.” So when I go to write a positive review I first have to break apart my feelings and find the why, and then I have to put it into reviews. I have to take a feeling and turn it into a coherent review, which is a lot harder than you’d think. This whole process can sometimes take hours. With a book I dislike, however, the ranter in me immediately ticks off all the things I had an issue with as soon as I finish. Thus, when I go to write the review I’ve already written it in my head. All I have to do is fine tune it.
It’s ironic, really. I can read a fabulous book that brings me to tears, but writing a review for it is all sorts of difficult. Yet, I can absolutely abhor a book, and write a thoughtfully-written review in fifteen minutes.
So, what about you? Do you find yourself breaking a sweat writing positive reviews and flying through the negatives, like me? Or is it the other way around?