Thursday, March 13, 2014

Reviews—Does Size Matter?

In Literary Exploration's discussion post about the art of reviews, she mentioned that she doesn't usually read long reviews because she already has so many to read. This really got me thinking. I looked at all my reviews and realized that 'oh, jeez, my reviews are really, really long.' Ultimately, I'm at a stalemate. I really don't know what to do with my reviews. So I came up with a new reviewing/rating system.

I'm going to use five aspects that I think make up a great novel—plot, characters, writing, world-building, and emotions (emotions meaning how the book made me feel)—and give each aspect 10 points. I'm going to rate the novel that I'm reviewing/rating on a ten-point system for each aspect. Then I'll add together all the points that each aspect gets. For example:

Plot: 7
Characters: 6
Writing: 9
World-Building: 4
Emotions: 10

Add all these points together, and they equal 36, which can be rounded to 35. On my "rating scale", this is three and a half stars. As for the actual review, I'm going to talk about each aspect in turn. The goal is for my review to be no more than 7 paragraphs, at the most. In my opinion, it's fairly easy to read 7, short and to the point paragraphs. I want to be done with elaborating and adding extra information that doesn't necessarily need to added in a review.

The only drawback is now I feel like I'm not explaining what I thought about the book enough for the people that read my reviews. I feel like I'm skimping on the actual review.

But on the other hand, I completely agree with the post. This is my face when I see a review that's 10 or more paragraphs long and to the point that it's more like a 6th grade essay rather than a review.

I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I will not read a review if I haven't religiously followed the blog for over a year and know I will find said reviewer's review insightful and entertaining. Sometimes the review is simply too long for me to handle. And this makes me feel like a bad person! (I honestly hope I'm not the only one.) Also, if I haven't read the book, I probably won't read the review. I might post about this later. 

Basically, I just made this post to ask you what you prefer, you know, since you guys are the ones who will ultimately be reading my reviews. My recent reviews are written in the format that I talked about above and the ones earlier than Ignite Me are written in my usual rambling and long review format. (Who am I kidding? I didn't have a format. I just sat down for about an hour and wrote an honest review.)

So what do you guys think? Does the size of a review matter or is it the content? Would you like my reviews to be lengthy and in-depth or more to the point? 



  1. Hmmm, I think it depends though, because the length doesn't really matter that much to me when compared to the content of the review. I hate super long reviews that go in circles and don't really have anything substantial to say, but I really hate short reviews too that feel pretty much half-baked. I personally like reading reviews that are entertaining and insightful and obviously had a lot of effort put into them, no matter how long they may be. I like your rating system though, and I should make one myself, as I tend to just write whatever I want (and become guilty of writing long reviews that people complain about haha!). Great post!

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

    1. Thanks so much for your insight! I've found that when a review says things that I've already heard in a not-new way, I tend to allow my eyes to glaze. I need to work on this, because I believe that reviews are an important part of a blog's content.

      I think after this comment I'll try my best to not be repetitive, and I'm going to try and keep it to the point yet explore every concept to my best abilities.

  2. Well, yeah some of your reviews ARE a bit long, but I think overall, your reviews are pretty okay. And I actually have the complete opposite problem, I always feel like my own reviews, if I wrote about 5 paragraphs, are too short but in reality, they're perfectly fine like that. I mean, there just are some books where you have a lot to say so your review is just going to be long. And I think if someone is really interested in reading a review, they will, no matter its length. However, if you're feeling like you have to read a review because of whatever reason, then you'd like it to be short of course. Personally, I won't ever "censor" anything, I'll say what I have to say and if that is a lot, then it's simply a lot and the review's going to be a long one, and if not then not. :)

  3. I don't read long reviews, I usually skim them. If something stands out while skimming then I'll go back and read the whole thing. For me, I just want to know was the book good, why or why not, and is it something I will like.

    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

  4. I don't like really long reviews, but lately I've seen some that are super short -- like 3 sentences -- and I don't like that either. I consider those mini reviews and I only do those I DNF. If you finished the book, you should be able to say a little more about it, you know?

    But maybe not. Sometimes I struggle to have something to say too. It's's okay occasionally, like my DNFs, but I don't get much out of them as a review reader and I wouldn't be interested in reading a blog that ONLY did those short reviews.


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