Writing a review of a book I have read without spoiling major plot points is hard. Just so incredibly, stupidly difficult that sometimes I throw up my hands, close out of my depressingly empty word processor, and say “FORGET IT. I CAN’T WRITE THIS!” You would think that after writing 175 reviews I would have a handle on it, but no.
Last time I felt like this blog was no longer fun I made some big changes. I stopped confining myself to just reviewing YA books and reviewed anything I read. When I started to travel I added posts about where I had gone and what I saw there, still mostly from a literary and sometimes historical point of view.
This blog has grown with me and I feel like once again I must throw off the self-implemented restrictions. Yesterday I wrote a review of All Fall Down by Ally Carter. Something that should have taken maybe an hour at most took all day. I just couldn’t talk about it without giving something away. I have found that happening more and more whenever I try to write a review. I have gone back through my reviews and I have noticed that whenever I had a hard time I would revert to the same type of topics, characters and setting, because no matter how good or bad a book I didn’t want to spoil it for my readers. Never once did I talk about plot even when I really wanted to.
After writing 175 reviews I have finally come to the realization that I cannot continue like this. I am sick of skirting around the main topic of a book just because I am terrified of spoiling someone else. Why continue forcing myself to write something that I do not enjoy? These are not the types of reviews I want to write because they are not the ones I like to read. Honestly, I don’t even read reviews before I read a book. I read reviews that discuss plot points and what worked and didn’t work AFTER I have already read the book because after I will understand what the reviewer is even saying.
So, I think the only way to solve this is if I do a little bit of both ways of reviewing. I might try to start a review by doing my now run of the mill response of why I liked the book or not without spoiling anything and then under a “BEWARE OF SPOILERS” sign or something I can actually discuss what I really want to without the fear of upsetting a reader. If, however, I only feel comfortable writing about the book while also discussing plot then so be it. I will just try to always remember to add the spoiler warning. Maybe I will have a tag as well just in case.
I hope you can all understand the change in reviews and I hope you all still enjoy them.