Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weekly Geeks

Ooooh … good one, Weekly Geeks. :)
Your description is here:
Okay On to the questions:
Find a negative review that you have written. In your post, link to or include the original review and then rewrite it to answer these questions:

I'm going to use Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult for these questions.
Review here:
Why did you react negatively to the book?
Because it felt like a rehash of My Sister's Keeper, the ending was manipulative and the storyline didn't make sense to me.
What was it about the story or characters or style that hit you so strongly?
I think it was that the story was repetitive, mostly. I thought the characters in themselves were fine, but it was like they were reading off someone else's script. (My Sister's Keeper).
Are you reacting to any fears or insecurities?
I don't think so, no.
2. Write a new review about a book you loved, keeping in mind these questions:
What was it about the story that resonated?
Would you have loved this book as much ten years ago? Five years ago?
Will you keep loving it in the future?
Where are you in your life that this is the story you wanted and needed?
Okay, I'm not sure if all these questions were answered, but I've reviewed The Graveyard Book, because I didn't do it properly first time around. It's a short review, though, because it's late and I'm sliding into incoherency :)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Bod is a very unusual boy. It's not that he survives the man Jack with the sharp knife who murders
his family that's unusual, but being raised by a graveyard full of ghosts.
Riffing off The Jungle Book, The Graveyard Book is a wonderful fable about growing up, and family, and the nature of good and evil, and what it means just to be human.
I didn't review this properly when I read it – I pretty much just said I wanted to keep it as a pet and take it with me everywhere. Oh. And make every single person I know read it. I loved it that much. It was my favourite read for 08, and is now one of my favourite books.
Each chapter reads like a little self-contained story, although the whole comes together extremely well to add up to a charming, and scary wee book. The themes of the book – family, growing up, leaving home, are timeless, and in Gaiman's skilled hands, they feel new all over again.
I would have loved this book when I was 12, and I'm pretty sure I will love it forever. Timeless tales well told will always be welcome. :)
At the end of her post, Ms. Hale posed six questions for those who review books on their blogs or other sites. Write a letter to Ms. Hale explaining your position on each of these questions, then return to her post and leave a comment with a link to your post. And remember her request to speak freely, but kindly and respectfully!
Do you find that the anticipation of reviewing the book has changed your reading experience?
I don't think so, no. I like to think I approach all the books I read in the same way, although I do anticipate some more than others.
Are you rating the book even as you read? Or do you wait until the end to sum it all up?
I wait until the end. Because the end of a book is what can make or break it – it can validate everything that's gone before, or shatter it, strengthen it, or weaken it. So I always wait until I've read the last pages before rating.
Does knowing you'll be reviewing it (or rating it) publicly affect which books you pick up in the first place?
No; not at all. I read almost anything, and generally speaking what I read shows up on my blog reviewed. I have little reading shame :)
Does the process of writing the review itself change how you felt about the book?
No; never. I get frustrated with myself sometimes if the words aren't coming out the way I want them to, but I can't blame the book for that.

What is your motivation to assign a rating to a book and declare it to the world?

I only recently developed a rating system for reviews, one that I felt good about, which ranges from 10-1 and each has their own comment. 1, for example, is “blind rage at the time stolen from my life”.
If you review a book but don't rate, why not? What do you feel is your role as reviewer?
If I review a book on my blog and it doesn't get a rating, it's probably just because I've forgotten to put it on the end. My role? To read and enjoy, and then get as many people as possible to read the books that turn me into a babbling fangirl. :)


Anonymous said...

Great post! I've never read Handle with Care but I admit to not being a Jodi Picoult fan. I find all of her books repetitious and after reading a few of them, they all seemed to have the same storyline, just tweaked a bit.

Kerrie said...

I had a chuckle about your 1-10 rating system Maree. I do believe that assigning a rating does help, even force, you to hone your ideas about a book.

Ana S. said...

I wait until the end to make up my mind about a book too - the way things are wrapped up can definitely change everything.

And lol...keeping The Graveyard Book as a pet is not a bad idea ;)

Kristen said...

I'm impressed that you answered all the topics this week. Funny too because I just finished Handle With Care and had a completely different experience with it.

gautami tripathy said...

I seldom rate any book. Somehow that doesn't work for me.

Weekly Geeks: Reviewing and rating