Book Reviews vs. Reactions- is there a difference?

I find that I’ve been having a hard time sitting down to write a review when I finish a book.  I didn’t expect to have this problem when I started this blog, but here is why:

I read for fun.  I don’t dissect a book as I read it.  I don’t really even know how to discuss the more technical successes or failures of a story.

My opinion is my opinion.  I love books other people hate.  I hate books other people love.  I don’t like defining a book as good or bad.  More often it is just not for me.

My opinion changes.  Once upon a time, I loved Twilight.  I swooned over 50 Shades.  GAG! Some time passed… my new-mom hormones balanced back out… and now I HATE THOSE BOOKS!

My reviews are not always relevant.  I read books late.  I wait for a series to finish before jumping into it.  I read old books- books that I bought and forgot about, never got around to, or that I found cheap at a thrift store/library sale.  I plan on reading Jurassic Park soon.  I think it’s basically accepted that it’s a very good book.  Me reviewing it seems kind of pointless. I just started ACOTAR for the first time (gasp! I know right!?), and 99.9% of the bookish community already knows what it is about, has read it, and (likely) enjoyed it.  Again… a review from me is pointless when the rest of the world has been there, done that.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!  I can’t blog every day.  I can’t find the time to review books as I finish them, and by the time I sit down, I’ve read something else and don’t feel like going back.

There are other ways to share my thoughts and opinions of a book.  In my opinion, a reaction to a book is different than a review of a book.  Often, my Currently Reading and monthly Wrap Up posts include how I felt about a book.  My opinions are purely subjective.  My emotional state, my mood, my kids’ behavior, the weather, the amount of dishes in the sink… all factors that can affect how I relate to a book.  It is so personal.  Like I said, I don’t read books technically.  I read to lose myself.  I just don’t feel like I can be unbiased enough to assess the quality of a book… BUT I can’t tell you how I felt about it, and how I personally connected to it.

Never say never.  I’m not saying that I am never going to post anymore book reviews on my blog.  But I’m not going to stress about not getting to them anymore, because I am going to accept that they just aren’t my cup of tea.  Actually tea isn’t my cup of tea either…. I’m a coffee drinker.

I will definitely give my opinions in the form of a star rating and short reaction in my reading wrap up posts.  Just know that my star ratings are completely selfish and subjective, and have more to do with me, the reader, and whether I found what I needed from the book.

Also, I am going to make more of an effort to make notes on Goodreads and not just select a star rating.  I typically open up the Goodreads app on my phone as soon as I finish a book, so I think I am more likely to include a line or two there than to make the time to sit down and compose a full blog post for every book I read.  And then I can link to that when I wrap up my month.

I don’t even know if any of this make sense or if I’m just rambling.  I guess I just feel like a review is more of a critical break down of a book, and a reaction is more of a personal opinion/reflection.

What do you think?  Is there a difference?  Can a book blogger blog without blogging book reviews? (Say that ten times fast).

6 thoughts on “Book Reviews vs. Reactions- is there a difference?

  1. I completely sympathize! Sometimes I come across a book that I don’t want to dissect (mostly because I’m lazy) and would much rather write a couple of lines of reactions. And some books I feel *shouldn’t* be dissected but enjoyed as they are.

    But I feel like book bloggers definitely can be book bloggers without blogging reviews! 😀 I like reading reactions to books as much as traditional reviews because it showcases more of the bloggers’ personality.

    So just do what works for you and I’m sure people will still love it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Completely understand! Instead of getting all critical of a book I decided I’d ask myself 5 question while reading and discuss that instead. I still let the reader know if I liked the book or not and if I’d recommend it as well as rating it. I think it’s a review just a more fun approach. Like you said I started blogging for fun and I’m not about to break my head trying to sound all knowing (ie contemplating choices of words and what that really means) while writing a review.


  3. Allie Bock

    Hi Alex,
    Your post really hit home for me. I am having the same troubles you are with writing reviews. Then with work and life taking up so much time, I don’t feel like I have the time to write an in-depth review. Thanks for posting this and I am still going to read your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think that we should follow any rules. Blog doesn’t always have to be very critical. I like to make it fun and attractive. For me recommendation is still a review if you rate it and get into details🤗 I feel you as I am new book blogger and sometimes feel lost on how should I be doing it. 👏📚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: March Wrap Up: Part II – Aurora Librialis

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