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Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Ranting and Gushing

Well, it’s just after 4 am here in my cold little living room in Ireland and I can’t sleep. So I thought I’d share a few thoughts, you don’t have to care, just let me ramble.

Firstly, I would like to address the whole review idea. I’ve noticed a few posts lately about how some authors aren’t getting reviews and what a true review is. Well, when it comes to reviewing books, I try to choose books that haven’t been reviewed a hundred times, or won’t be reviewed a hundred times. For example I loved Dark Lover by J R Ward but that book has tonnes of reviews so I won’t add to that number. But a book like Lara Adrian’s upcoming book, I will review, because she is not as well-known as Ward. I do tend to break this rule when it comes to my favourite authors though. I mean ‘The Perfect Stranger’ by Alison Kent will have no shortage of reviews when it is released but I had to do the gushing thing because I loved it so much.

And then there is the question of what exactly is a review. I know tonnes of sites and blogs that give you a synopsis of the plot, and sometimes the reviewer will say if they liked it or not. This is of no use to me as a reader. I can read the synopsis from the back cover if I want to. And I need reasons why a person likes a book. Why did it work for them? Was it because the hero was a tight-ass, if so then this is not a book I will like. Is it because it is littered with sex but is lacking in chemistry, well I’m not really interested. You see what I mean? I need back up, proof. If there is no proof evident in a review as to why the reviewer enjoyed or disliked the book I will completely disregard the review and say what a waste of time. So if you are a reviewer like this, especially one who is constantly saying ’I didn’t enjoy this’ but have no proof to back it up, please stop. Because it is dreadfully unfair to the author.

Okay, after that I would like to talk about authors, particularly romance authors. Where do you all get your generosity? Does it come with the gift of writing? I know, I know, you get dozens of author copies but still. You have to pay postage and packaging, sometimes overseas. And there are often times when an author is giving away gift certificates to Amazon and B&N. I have been on the receiving end of this generosity quite a few times, as have a couple of my friends. And I think I speak for all romance readers when I say thank you.

And just one last thing. I discovered blogging by authors only a year ago. And from there I discovered romance readers’ blogs. It’s like a community. And I can’t tell you all how grateful I am to be a part of this. I have friends who love romance novels but don’t have the same passion for them as I do. They don’t share the same need to tell other readers what books to watch out for. So to find such a large community of authors and readers of romance, from the sweetest to the hottest is a big deal for me. I feel like I’m part of something very special and it really feels wonderful.

Okay, now I’m done with my gushing. Thank you all for listening. And please bear in mind that it is 4.30 on the morning so if I don’t make sense in this post it is to be expected.


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Lara Adrian said...

Hi, Maria!

How nice of you to mention me on your blog. Thank you! I hope the ARC has arrived. If not, it should be there soon. I hope you enjoy it, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness in helping me get the word out on my series. :)

Shelli Stevens said...

Thanks for visiting The Novelty Girls! It's great to hear from readers. And that's great that you remember the title of that SWV book! LOL.

Can I just say how jealous I am that you're in Ireland? Sigh. Been there once; loved it.

Hope you got some sleep!

nath said...

Hey Maria ;)

well I agree with everything you've said :) Except, me, I'll review every book I'll read (well if I have time). it doesn't matter if it's been reviewed many times, it hasn't been reviewed by me :) So perhaps I can offer a new view or opinion. As for reviews with only the synopsis, I don't like it either. i need more, more, more! I'm curious ;) if reviewers could provide the ending as well, I'd be happy.

Also, lucky you! Getting books and stuff.. guess I haven't been lucky so far :P

Kristie (J) said...

Great post. I prefer to - well I'm not sure whether I'd call it reviewing or not - but writing about lesser known books too. I do do some of the better known ones, but since I read more lesser known authors than many, that's what I prefer to focus more on.
And ditto to what you said about your friends and discussing books. I have one friend who reads romance, but I think she's forgotten what she read within 2 or 3 days. She reads, but she just doesn't discuss. It's very frustrating because I'm her supplier and I supply only the best. But then we don't talk about them after. That's why I just adore other reader blogs. Not to mention the incredible thrill of discussing romance books from readers all over the world like in say - Ireland!
And I can't say enough thanks to some authors who have sent me books too. There are a few in particular who I consider Very Special People for taking the time and energy to send me books that seem to arrive at just the time I appreciate them the most.
You did a pretty good 4:30 am gush.

Larissa said...

What a sweet post! And you know, we SO appreciate the readers...I know there are always back-and-forths between authors and reviewers, but what it comes down to is that we need them.

I can't wait to start getting books to give away! (Red Sage only gives one author copy, so I won't experience my first handful of free books until September!)

And like Shelli, I am SO jealous that you live in Ireland!!!! I lived in England for a year and have been back for visits, and I feel like I'm home when I'm in Britain. Dh and I are planning a trip to Ireland this fall...hope it goes through!

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