What an odd thing to wonder, isn’t it? But I’ve been thinking about it more and more. Sometimes reviewing a book is a piece of cake, and other times, it’s way trickier than that. Like… well, a whole cake.
It usually comes down to two things. You go by how the book makes you feel, or if it’s ‘technically’ well-written, well-structured… you name it. It is kinda a weird thing to wonder because also, most of the time if a book is well-written then it makes you feel like you’re in heaven, duh. But obviously, that’s not what I mean. I mean the books that are whole cakes. Those books that do everything ‘by the book’ but still miss the mark and you just can’t give them those precious stars. Or those books that you adore but are actually a pile of cliches? Admit it, we all have those.
But, how do you decide which ‘side’ is more important?
Let’s get problematic, even. What if this book is an offensive piece of trash to a group of people but is actually beautifully written? What if this is the best representation of a minority out there, but on the other hand, it’s very boring?
How do you decide?
How do I decide?
I try to take both sides into account. Sometimes, I won’t enjoy the book, so I praise other aspects instead that I consider some other people will like. I lean towards being positive that way. Unless the book really, really made me mad, then I won’t have a lot of mercy. But more often that not, if I don’t enjoy the book, I try to think about people who might, and what saving graces the book has.
Are you an emotional, or a technical reviewer?