How do you handle that as a blogger who is used to critical thinking and analysis? Do you pretend you never read the book - never to be reviewed or added to your Goodreads shelf?
Do you write a review but maybe apologize and make excuses as to why you enjoyed it or are you bold and proud of any book you enjoyed?
Conversely - have you read a classic, that is considered a literary gem but you just didn't get it? Are you embarrassed to admit that or do you review it anyway?
My answer: YES to both!
I'm not a literary critic or a professional reviewer. Yes, I was an English major in college, but it's been a while since I wrote an essay.
I review YA, and in my opinion, reading YA is an emotional experience as well as a literary one. Thus, while my reviews take into account the quality of a book's writing, that is probably not be the deciding factor in whether or not I enjoy a book.
If I think that a book is beautifully written, I usually point that out in my review. Like I did here. And here.
If a book is not working for me, I try to figure out why. Once in a while, the answer is "bad writing." More often, the problem is in the plotting, or the pacing, or the tone. If I can't connect to any of the characters, I get bored and don't really care what happens.
I'm not embarrassed to say that I have found some classics and so-called "literary gems" incredibly boring.
But there are lots of classics that I've happily read and re-read. A few of my favorites are House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Washington Square by Henry James, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.
Finally, my review -- any review -- is only one opinion. Others may disagree, and that's great. I love reading a book and then finding out that someone else has a completely different take on it. That's one of the things I love about blogging.
What do you think about this topic? Tell me in comments!