Have you ever went through your old reviews and thought, "Man, I was way too harsh on that book," or "Man, I went way too easy on that book," and you wish you could go back and just rewrite your review or leave a note at the end saying that your entire review should be taken with a grain of salt, or that it's just not a "you" book, but you're just too damn lazy to do so?
If you have thought that, then I know how you feel. And if you haven't
LIAR! prepare yourself, for the thoughts will come. And they will consume your thoughts. (Whoa! Blythe's being overly dramatic! Everyone, get your cameras!)
I've had my fair share of ratings or reviews that I want desperately to change, but then again I really don't want to do that, either, and not just because I'm lazy. The problem with me, and how I write my reviews, is that right when I finish a book, I hop on the computer to write my review. And if I'm reading a book at night and I'm nearing the end, but I'm too tired to write a coherent review, then I will save the last chapter to be read in the morning so I can write my review. I find my way of reviewing to be both a blessing and a curse. I find it to be a blessing in that it is more convenient for me, and for my readers, and I'll never have to worry about catching up on reviews because I'll always have them done. (Though of course, there are some books that I just can't bring myself to write reviews for, most recently Lucid, which left me so incoherent I couldn't put you through the torture of reading a review form me. See! I care.) However, I also find it to be a curse in that when I immediately write a review upon finishing a book, all of my feelings are way too fresh. This may not be so much of a negative thing to some people, and it isn't always for me, but then there are those books that leave me angry upon finishing, that I just fill my review with expletives and a complete and total bias against the book, and then I publish it. But then I feel guilty for it, reading my review and just thinking, "I was way too harsh. People might read this review and cancel the book out because of it. People who might actually like this book." And that is what inspired me to write this post, but of course I wouldn't have even thought of writing this if it weren't for the wonderful Christina at A Reader of Fictions (she's my go-to girl for gifs. We have arguments entirely in gifs. Because that's how adults argue, in case you haven't gotten the memo.) So, below you will find a couple reviews that I personally would change. Some may surprise you. Or not. I don't know what surprises you.
1) Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
I'll be honest, I felt guilty about my review for this after posting it, and it is the main reason behind this entire post's existence, really. My review for Through to You, and more importantly how critical I was in it has been nagging me quite a while. I know that a review seems like a silly thing to have nag at you for a while, but it's true. My review of this was, in my mind, so critical that I almost considered rewriting my entire review so that readers don't rule out the book because of how critical I was. And that's a big deal, because anyone who knows me knows I'm far too lazy to go back and rewrite a review months after I originally wrote it. But I think this section of this post dedicated to Through to You could be taken as my rewrite for my Through to You review
that rhymed, and, that being said, there are things I'd like to clear up, and specifically what I'd change:
You know how I went on and on
and on about how the synopsis for Through to You gave away too much, and that practically "nothing" happened throughout the first half other than Camden's moodiness? While I still find both those things to be at least partly true (but the synopsis giving away the entire first half was definitely a problem for me), that may not be a problem for you. I had people - people who liked contemporaries! - tell me how they crossed Through to You off their TBR list because of my review, and that really makes me sad. What I didn't mention in my review was that if you like contemporaries (particularly ones with tons of angst), you will probably like Through to You. I don't like angst, which is why Through to You was less than an ideal read for me, but if you enjoy angst, you will probably love Through to You.
As well as adding that Through to You was not a book for me because of its angst, but it will be for some readers who like angst, I would also change my review so that it actually focuses more on the positives Through to You held, rather than just barely brush upon them in the last paragraph of my review. And while I certainly can't go into full depth on the positives here because my memory of Through to You is a bit hazy, I can say that it is better than I made it out to be. I was just so dead-set on the negatives that made the book a miss for me that I couldn't even bother to focus more on the positives, which is also sad to me. So, if you were one of the people who decided to pass on Through to You just because my review was critical, go back and read the (many) positive reviews. Does Through to You sound like something you'd like? If yes, then go read it, because what it does well, it does damn well, and what it doesn't do well might not even be a problem for you like it was for me.
2) League of Strays by L.B. Schulman
This is pretty much what I was talking about when I said that some things in this post may surprise you. Whether or not I'd actually change anything in my review is uncertain, because, truth be told, every single thing in my review portrays exactly how I felt about League of Strays upon finishing, and even now. If there were anything I would change in my review, it would be that I would make it a little more... what's the word... oh yeah, "professional." I hate that word when describing reviews, because reviews are people's opinions, and I'd hate to call anyone's opinion and how they portray it unprofessional, but I am using the word professional because apparently that is something my League of Strays review is not, as told to me by many, many people. But if I were to rewrite my League of Strays review now, I doubt it'd be any less vitriolic. There would most likely be the same amount of "fucks" and "shits" in that review if I were to rewrite it now, because that book just infuriated me like no other. I got a lot of ... criticism, to say the least, because of that particular review, saying that my amount of passion for the gay community and how it was portrayed in League of Strays was "unnecessary," and I beg to differ. I'd rather not turn this post into a lecture on my stance on gay rights, but in my opinion, fighting for someone else's rights can never be "too passionate", and I don't believe in any way that the amount of passion I have for the gay community, and against that book, is unnecessary. I have my valid reasons for disliking (understatement alert) League of Strays. It thoroughly offended and infuriated me, and the reaction I got from my review, for the most part, did as well. But the thing is, I don't regret anything in my review. I don't regret one 'fuck' I wrote in that review, or my edits which were 'dramatized with gifs', or my outing most of the trolls to all be the same person, or even the fact that I still get messages from people telling me I'm a bitch because of the fact that I wrote that review. I don't regret any of that, because through all the drama, I've met such amazing people who have grown to be such amazing and important friends of mine. And if writing that review made such amazing people come into my life, then I regret absolutely nothing, and will gladly accept the criticism I received in return for the entrance of those people in my life. So whether or not this book deserves to be on this list is a paradox, because while I'd make my review more "professional" (ugh, that word again), and less ... swear-y (not a word and I don't care), at the same time I don't want to make any changes to it whatsoever, because I wouldn't want the outcome, and the relationships I've made since the publication of that review, to be any different. So to the people who supported me during that whole little fiasco, thank you, and to the trolls (and the people who showed that they didn't support me, but not in a troll-ish manner), hi there... Welcome to my blog. I hope you don't throw things at your computer screen because reading words written by me makes you seethe. Wait - scratch that. I kinda hope you do throw things at your computer screen. I hope
EVERYTHING nothing breaks. And to the Goodreads trolls who message me telling me I'm a bitch and then just promptly leave, again, thank you! I embrace my bitchiness and wear it with pride. Next time, do us both a favor and try trolling harder. Calling me a bitch will do nothing (except of course boost my ego and lower your troll skill, you crappy troll, you).
This post has gotten ridiculously long, so I think it's time to stop it where it is, and perhaps make a continuation of it eventually. *looks into sky* Why, I could see it right now... Ratings/Reviews I Would Change... Part II.
*ahem* So, has this ever happened to you? Have you ever read some of your old reviews, and wished you could change them? (And not just because they suck, because trust me, I know the feeling. I physically cringe whenever reading my old reviews. Someone needs to lock them away from me. They only make me weep.) Leave a comment below telling me if you've ever had a situation similar to mine, and with what book! And, as always, thanks for reading! (And a side-note to any new blog readers reading this very post: Yes, I am this dramatic. Though if you plan on returning to my blog for more of my insanity, I suggest you get used to my dramatization of almost everything. It's kind of a regular occurrence around here.) (See that right side-note right there? Damn... I've really got this welcoming new readers in a non-intimidating or threatening manner thing down! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go congratulate myself with a cupcake.)