Google+ YA Romantics: WDYT Thursday: Are You an Early Review Avoider?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

WDYT Thursday: Are You an Early Review Avoider?



Welcome to What Do You Think Thursday, a periodic feature in which I pick a topic, tell you what I think, and invite you to discuss.

When I was a newer blogger, I'd often get comments on my reviews that went something like this: "I haven't read/reviewed this book yet, so I'm going to come back and read your review later."

I don't get comments like that anymore, which means that one of two things happened:

1) I don't post as many early reviews as I used to. This is possibly true, though I haven't done any kind of statistical analysis.

2) More people have become like me: they don't avoid early reviews.

I used to be an Early Review Avoider. I think I was afraid that if I read another blogger's review before I read the book, I'd be influenced by their opinion -- that I'd somehow absorb their opinion instead of forming my own. (There also seemed to be more incidents of blogger plagiarism going on a couple years ago, so that spooked a lot of us, I think....) 

So while I used to like to go into reading and reviewing blind:



I don't anymore. I definitely scan early reviews, especially if I'm torn about whether to request a book or not. That's because:

1) I now have a better understanding of my reading preferences. I've become better at reading early reviews and using them to decide if a book is for me. And, hey, if I change my mind and miss out on requesting a review copy, I can always buy the book after it comes out.

2) I've read so much YA that I've developed RAS (Review Amnesia Syndrome) and a related disorder, SAS (Synopsis Amnesia Syndrome). Between the time I request a book and the time I read it, I often forget what the book was about, why I wanted to read it, and what anybody thought of it.

3) I've become comfortable having an opinion on a book that goes against all the reviews I've read. Most often, that means I perfectly okay liking a book that others are sort of "meh" on. Like this one, for example. 

But that's just me -- every reader needs to do what feels right to them. I don't think there's anything wrong with avoiding early reviews, or not reading reviews until you've figured out what you think of a book.

Where do you come out on this? Do you find early reviews helpful, or avoid them like the plague? Let me know in comments.

31 comments:

  1. I enjoy reading early reviews. It helps me decide if a book is worth my time. I usually forget the book description and the review by the time I read the book, but I always know it came with a good rating from fellow bloggers.

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    1. That's good to hear. I'm going to try to write more of them. Hoping to start September books by July.

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  2. I like reading other people's reviews as they can change my mind when I'm not planning on getting a book or help me decide if I'm on the fence. There have also been a couple of times when I've read reviews and decided that I'm definitely not buying those books and so I think reading reviews helps me to make better choices when deciding what to read

    Charlotte at Read and Drink Tea

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    1. I also use early reviews to find out about things that are red flags for me: lots of POVs, narratives that jump around in time, cheating plots, etc.

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  3. I read early reviews if I'm about to request a book that looks interesting to me or to help me prioritize my TBR pile.

    I forget reviews/summaries/ & even if I've read the book lol so I'm not worried about undue influence.

    I don't post early reviews anymore because I found that people not in the blogging community (meaning people who don't have access to ARC's) had told me they felt left out or turned off by all the bloggers posting about a book that they can't read for another 4-6 months. Or the forget about the book by the time it's released.

    I do post *Pre-Squee* posts for books that I loved and I think are worthy of pre-ordering. But it's just usually bullet points and not a full review.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  4. I enjoy reading early reviews. They help me decide if I will like a certain book before I get too excited about it. I don’t have the experience of writing early reviews; however, when it comes to other reviews, I avoid reading other opinions until I’ve written down my thoughts. I find that if I read a negative review too soon before I read the book, I start picking out the negatives aspects that I normally wouldn’t have noticed. If I read a negative review months/weeks before, however, chances are I won’t remember, and it won’t change my opinion.

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  5. I actually like early reviews, I usually read a couple of reviews before I pick a book up, so having early reviews helps me to figure out whether I will like it and if I should pick it up. As long as it's spoiler free.
    And then by the time I actually read and review the book, I've forgotten what the review said anyways so then I can review it honestly.
    I'm always going to say honestly what I think of a book no matter what, because isn't that why we blog? But I wouldn't want my opinions on a certain book to subconsciously start changing according to what someone says. So, I will read reviews before I read an book, but not between reading and reviewing.
    Olivia @ Fluttering Pages

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    1. Yes, in between reading and reviewing I also just think about my reaction without reading anyone else's. Unless my opinions are set in stone.

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  6. if I have the book in reading pile then I won't read the book. I make it a point to ingore posts about it. I try not to a RAS or SAS with my books . But i know it happens but with a book I am questioning ..of course I will read reviews on it. I tried not to post my reviews early or the month of just to let readers know about it. if I read a book and it's on goodreads then I will read all the reviews :)

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    1. I need to do more early reviews. I'm really behind!

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  7. I don't really like to read reviews for books I haven't read yet because I hate to be spoiled. I probably should read more reviews for books I'm interested in but haven't yet read but it's a hard habit to break! Great post!

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    1. I do try to hide spoilers, especially if they're major. But I agree that's a concern for some.

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  8. I don't care about a review influencing me. But I do really hate spoilers. And many reviews seem to be full of spoilers. So while i glance at a book's ratings on goodreads prior to reading I rarely read the reviews until after I finish. But i do read a lot of reviews after i'm done.

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    1. I am the weirdo who does not care about spoilers. Sometimes I seek them out to help me make my mind up. I just peeked at the end of a book to help me decide whether I wanted to keep reading it....

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  9. It depends on the reviewer. There are a couple bloggers I trust implicitly, so reading a review by either is actually a great help to me and weighs heavily on my final decision about buying the book or not. You're one of those reviewers, of course :)

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  10. I will totally read early reviews. Gives me an idea of if I will want to try it or not. I will skim them sometimes though to avoid spoilers if there are any.

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  11. I adore early reviews - I like getting a glimpse of the awesome books coming up in the future - or the ones to avoid. Also, I'm a weirdo in that I enjoy spoilers and knowing what's going to happen, so early reviews really aren't an issue for me.

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  12. Great points! I tend to avoid early reviews for books I KNOW I want to read (say Truthwitch, SoC etc.) If I'm iffy about a book then I will read early reviews to see if I'm interested or not. Great topic of discussion!

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  13. I have SAS too! But anyway, I don't really avoid early reviews, because that way, I get to know which new releases are awesome and I add them to my TBR pile- because if a new book comes out and I haven't really read any positive reviews on it, I don't think it ever gets on my TBR pile- unless the summary/cover is really interesting or its one of my favourite authors.

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  14. I like to read reviews before I pick a book and then again when I started forming a strong opinion about something. I really couldn't care less what other people think, they can't influence me. I just like to see if I'm the only one.

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  15. I am like you. I didn't use to read many of them - mainly because of that plagiarism situation, and everyone claiming that reading early reviews was indirect (interesting topic, too!) but now? Yes I read them. Especially since I am a LOT more picky about what books I read, especially for review. Like you, I am pretty good at figuring out if I would like the book based on early thoughts.

    Great topic!!

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  16. Oh gosh, I have the review amnesia as well.. it must be related to the childbirth amnesia-- because so many women do it more than once :D

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  17. I like reading early reviews, it does help me if I want to read the book in the future too. I don't personally write super early reviews though, usually 1-2 weeks before the release date. Wonderful topic<3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  18. I love early review. I am like you though. I am not afraid to differ in opinion. I think that I know what I like but i also really appreciate my fellow bloggers points of view. It helps me to decide if I even want to read it or not. Great topic!

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  19. I like to read early review on new authors or new series by authors I've already read before.

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  20. I actually look for early reviews of a book, especially if it's written by a reader or blogger with similar tastes. I like to know if the book is worth reading or not. And most reviewers are pretty good about not giving spoilers.

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  21. I enjoy writing and reading early reviews! After loving two books that I thought I would hate because of negative early reviews, I've realized that it's always better to try a book out before exacting judgement, so early reviews only help me know what to expect which oftentimes ameliorates the reading experience. Besides, I do it all the time anyway haha.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  22. I will read early reviews from bloggers I trust! If I am seeing an overwhelming trend in a certain direction, then it may sway where the book is located on my TBR. It can make a book I didn't know much about a must read for me or it can make me realize a book that everyone was excited about may not be what it seemed to be (I know this happened with Tumble & Fall) for example.

    When I read early reviews though, I go out of my way to avoid reading ones with spoilers. That's just a no no.

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  23. You are totally right about being spooked by all the plagiarism a few years back. That was INTENSE and I was always afraid of reading a review if I was going to write my own. But, like you, I just wrote reviews so often that I developed my own voice (which is crucial to getting past the fear of unintentional plagiarism) AND I developed a self-awareness for my own reading preferences. I LOVE early reviews now. I love the excitement for something I know I'll love, and I love reading all the spoilers for books I know I'll hate. Viva la spoilers.

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  24. What a great thoughtful post Jen! Yup, I used to be like you, but I have the most terrible memory so chances are that my thoughts from a review of a book that I'm picking up would have disappeared by the time I do. Sometimes, when I do actually retain those thoughts, I actively look for it but it gives me more to react to in my review you know? Definitely comfortable with my own opinions even though sometimes I can be a black sheep. Great topic Jen!

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  25. There are some books I avoid reviews for completely. Like Soundless. But I think I just have known which blogs I trust, which ones bash a book just for the sake of being snarky, and if I disagree with someones review, I like knowing that I could still like it anyway. I only read early reviews from bloggers I follow (trust). I stay away from all other reviews on GR.

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