My Book Review Philosophy or Why I Review Books the Way I Do

By Ruth on December 3, 2012 in book, review
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Since I have so many new blogger friends and readers, I thought I would take a moment to share with you my philosophy of reviewing books.  I tend to review a book a day–crazy, yes!  And I know that my reviews tend to follow a certain format, and there are things you will always see in my reviews, no matter what.  And I figured it would be worth my while to just share from my heart.  Not because there have been problems–there haven’t.  But sometimes it helps to know where someone is coming from.
As I have become a better blogger, I honestly do not accept every book review invited I receive.  I used to accept almost every one of them no matter what, but I have become more discriminating.  I just don’t have the time to review all the books I would like to.  On occasion, I accidentally accept a book for review that I wouldn’t normally read, or sometimes I accept the book because it is different.  Something captures my attention, and I know I want to review it.
As I read the book, there are several things I keep in mind.  At the forefront of my thoughts is whether I have connected with the story or not.  I look at the story, the characters, the meanings, the themes, and the premise behind the book.  I can usually tell you what rating I will give the book after I have read 25 pages or less.  But  honestly do read the book–even if I have to somewhat speed-read it.  In fact, if I really like the book, I often go slower, and I have to tell myself to hurry up so I can get the review published on time.  I am generally reading the book the day before (or of) the review date.
One thing I will always report in a book is the appearance of inappropriate things.  In other words, I will report on the use of profanity, sex scenes/terminology, violence, morality, etc.  Sometime the elements I list don’t even bother me.  It truly depends on the story and the way the author has used these elements in the telling of the story.  I try very hard not to let these elements affect the rating of the book, but there are times that I have no choice but to let them do just that.  When profanity is on almost every other page and the bedrooms scenes are detailed for a good five or six pages, I have to admit that the enjoyment of my book has been somewhat infringed upon.  
One thing I can guarantee every single book I review is that I generally do not give books ratings below a three.  I have given books a rating lower than that on occasion, but especially when I have been asked to review a book, I feel that I must find the positive in the book no matter how much I did not like it.  I have to admit that it is sometimes a challenge.  
Book reviews are very subjective, and the way I see a book may be completely different than how someone else may see it.  I believe that every person is entitled to his/her own opinion.  I feel that I absolutely must be honest in my reviews–even if it  “kills” me.  It would be the easiest thing in the world to just lie and say I liked a book to make everyone happy.  But then that sacrifices my integrity.  I honestly never mark a book down for one element.  And if you actually read my reviews, you will see that is the case. I appreciate every comment that people make on my blog, and I love the fact that most of you appreciate my honesty.  You can criticize my review–I often learn a lot when you do.  But please READ my review before you do.  
Feel free to comment on this with your own philosophy or anything else concerning this post.  Thank you so much, my lovely readers, for being so supportive!
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