I love to review. Pfft, that’s even an understatement. WITH ALL THE BREATH AND SPARKLES AND CAKE OF MY 206 HUMAN BONES, I ADORE REVIEWING. I love it because I get to sprout my opinions and analyse why I liked a book or not. It also helps me remember said book. I have, what they call in the outer planets, a “Swiss Cheese Memory”. Ergo if you tell me your name is Hamish, I’ll probably call you Ferdinand two minutes later.
I’ve googled bad memories (as you do, because Google knows everything) and there’s many possible reasons for my Swiss Cheese Memory. For instance a) I could’ve been dropped on my head as a child (which is highly likely because I had 4 older siblings and who trusts siblings? no one smart) or b) I am actually Swiss, or c) I am actually cheese.
Either way: writing reviews = I remember the book a lot more.
I also think about how I’m going to review a book the ENTIRE time I’m reading it. I rarely take notes, because I read so fast, so I can manage to hold onto those slippery eelish thoughts for 24 hours. There is like a constant running commentary in my head over the book. Myself basically can’t shut up.
Basically like this:
- Me: Oh I like opening. That is a NICE opening. Tentative 4-stars.
- Me: And that character is now my favourite thing after that incredible line. Solid 4-stars.
- Me: Daaang CLICHE ALARM WENT OFF.
- Me: And, you know what? That was just awkward writing. 3-stars.
- Me: I’m not even sure what’s going on with this flowery prose. Solid 3-stars unless something amazing happens.
- Me: OMG CUUUUTENESS. Is it going up? Is it?
- Me: HA. Do humpback whales fly? It is not going up. It is descending to the depths of the Marina Trench.
- Me: The whales are angry. I repeat. THE W.H.A.L.E.S. ARE ANGRY. Minions, summon my gifs of indignation. Stars are going kersplat!
And of course it can go the opposite direction with me shrieking about how much I love a book. Most books swing the pendulum a little bit as I read. I’ve rarely read a book that I thought was 5-stars the ENTIRE way through. (Unless it was written by Maggie Stiefvater. My biased love towards her prose knows only 5-stars.) But if I feel like 5-stars for 90% of the book? It gets one. Life is too short to wait for “perfect” books! 5-STARS ALL AROUND!
In fact, as we speak (as we type? as you read the words which I’ve put before your eyeballs and demand you consume?) I’m listing my reactions step-by-step to reading Winter by Marissa Meyer! Since it’s a monstrously long book and I’m listening to an audio, I’m pausing after every few chapters to write my current emotions. And already I’ve noticed that some sections had me disappointed, while others have me gasping like a suffocated half-murdered onion. My opinion fluctuates the ENTIRE time reading.
But I usually know what I’m going to rate a book before I finish! Some books are tricky beasts and the ending will surprise me. Like my love from Princess of Thorns only blossomed to infinite love and obsession and 5-stars during the finale.
I analyse while I read. I can’t stop! I’m not sure I want to stop. Once upon a million years ago, when I was a humble worm of books with no blog, I just read for the pleasure of reading and never analysed. Do I miss that? Do I wish I could just turn off and zone into a book? IT IS A GOOD QUESTION. But I think…for me: nope. My running mental commentary and I are very happy together and will likely continue forever fuelled on cake crumbs and critical opinions and infinite love of books.