Well, as long as the review is shorter than the title of this post, it’s all good – start with an attempt to make people smile! 🙂
A while ago I reviewed an epic fantasy book called The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu, I absolutely loved the book and would even go as far as to say it’s one of my favourite books of the year and a must-read for fantasy fans out there. Quite surprising really as I didn’t even finish the first book in the series – The Wall of Storms is the second! But I digress and have ventured off on a tangent, apologies dear readers, I’m getting old and well, when you get old your memory starts to go!
Anyhow, I digress, even though I loved the book I was really struggling to write my review, I sat there on more than one occasion staring at my laptop and willing the words to come but alas, they wouldn’t and I might as well have been sat there with drool running down my mouth locked in a padded cell for all the constructiveness I managed to achieve.
If you’re wondering I did finally manage to write my review, it ended up clocking in at 1900 words, a behemoth of a review that in the end came to me at 4am in the morning before I started work!
The opposite of that is a book I reviewed last week that I really disliked, yet I managed to write a near 1700 review in an hour – it would have been less but I end up getting sidetracked and procrastinating!
For those interested the two reviews canbe found below:
- The Wall of Storms (book I loved but the review took ages to write).
- Into The Guns (book I really disliked but I thrashed out the review).
Am I the only one who finds writing reviews for books I like far harder than writing them for books I didn’t like?
After I’d written my review and after I’d read the reviews on Goodreads (there was only a couple at the time), I was searching Google for other reviews to see what other people thought of the book and I came across one review that really got my attention and NOT in a good way either!
The review in question caught my attention as it was 158 words in length! Shocking right!?! The actual review was very poor and merely stated that the blogger didn’t like the book. The review was dated and posted about 3 weeks before the books release and while it didn’t say it was an ARC the early review makes me think it was – but that’s just purely conjecture on my part and if it was then the reviewer should hang their head in shame.
I really think that it’s irrelevant as to whether the person liked the book or not as a review of that short length is just shameful. For those of you who say, but they didn’t like the book, well, the reviewer could have elaborated on the reasons why the book wasn’t for them. “I don’t like it” isn’t a valid point for a grown-up just like “I liked it” if they enjoyed the book isn’t without them explaining the reasons why they actually disliked or liked the book.
Now, a five-year old child who decides to take a dump/drop a deuce in their pants instead of using the toilet could get away with saying to their parent “I don’t like it” when referring to the toilet but even they might say “I don’t like the toilet because the monster might get me”. Likewise they might say “I liked it, when I did it in my pants it felt all squishy and soft” but at least they’d be giving you a reason why unlike the review I read.
Yes, there’s a reason I used the above references, as that 158 word review reminded me of a steaming pile of, well you can guess! – No it wasn’t just the length but the content to.
And so no-one takes offence to the above, here’s a picture of The Simpsons as everyone likes The Simpsons! 🙂
And, it got me to thinking, and this is one of the main points of my rambled incoherent babbling. What is the ideal review length? But I’ll get to that in a while, first I’d like to ask you all:
Would you write a 150 word review or do you think that it’s far to short and is in fact disgraceful?
Onto review length. We all have different review styles and lengths, some short, some longer, some in essay format, some split into sections and some also that use gifs.
Since I started blogging the reviews I write tend to vary in length from around 800 to 1900 words and I don’t have a predetermined length in mind when I start writing. I just write what feels and comes naturally until I have the review I want, be it 800 words or double that. Do you have a fixed length for your reviews? Or are you like me and just keep writing until you have the review you want irrelevant of what the length ends up being?
I’m not a fan of the very short reviews, no offence to anyone who writes them (as I mentioned earlier, we all review differently) but I just personally feel that between 300 – 350 words is to short for a book review, for a novella or short story then it’s a perfectly fine length but in my opinion, for an actual review of a book it’s not long enough to get everything in that you need for a decent well-rounded review.
I think anywhere between 500 – 2000 words seems to be the standard variable length for reviews. And, I like reading reviews, no matter the length or style or even if it’s a book I’ll never read but for me reading a well thought out and well written review is enjoyable.
I do think reviewing is sometimes like authors writing a book. Books vary in length and so do reviews and while one author could write and tell a story in 400 pages it could well take a different author 800 pages to write the exact same story. That’s the same with us bloggers, it could take one blogger 500 words to get all they want in a review and another blogger may take double that for exactly the same review!
To conclude and also to answer that age-old question that has plagued both men and women since the dawn of time, does size or in this case, review length matter?
And the answer, on a whole is no, it doesn’t. Obviously something like an 150 word review explaining nothing and giving no reasoning behind the opinion on the book is far to short to be helpful to anyone. But, as long as you as the blogger writing your own review can say that, yes, you have written everything that you wanted to include and that you are pleased with the review, then content (might be another post in the future, we shall see) rather than length is more important and be it 500 words or 2000 then the length of a review doesn’t actually matter.
So, does size matter to you? Do you prefer to read short reviews? Long reviews? Or is length irrelevant when reading a review? And, what dear bloggers is your ideal review length when writing your own reviews?
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