So, my dear ducklings, I found myself with quite a conundrum on my hands the other day. See, while I was reviewing a book and I was thinking, “You know, I really, really, really enjoyed this book…Buuuuuuuuuut, technically speaking, the book could be better. So how do I rate and review the book???”
Here’s the thing: I’m a very analytical, critically minded reviewer. While I’m not an English major, I have taken many a writing course and know a fair amount of literary analysis. So I rate and review things largely based on technique. But here’s what I’ve been realizing: literature, as an art form, seeks to evoke emotion and if we disregard how it makes us feel in the process of analyzing it, then we cannot say we have truly been fully analyzing it as we have ignored an essential element.
Now I’m not saying we should evaluate literature solely on how it makes us feel. After all, technique is the vehicle by which emotion is conveyed and it is my opinion that if a work of art’s technique is not strong, then it’s ability to convey its message and emotion to full capacity is crippled. But I’m saying that it is my personal philosophy that in all things–and perhaps especially in analysis–we should strive for balance, for equal parts reason and emotion.
But where does that leave me as a reviewer? From what I’ve seen, book bloggers seem to be split into two camps–those who review and rate a book based on how it made them feel and those who rate and review books based on technique. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other. The question then becomes not if we can write a balanced review based on emotion and technique, but how to do so.
That’s a question I honestly can’t answer, largely because how you write your reviews is up to you. But what I can say is that I will be striving to write more balanced reviews.
Do you rate and review books based on how they made you feel, their technique, or both? If you rate and review books based on both, how do you do so?
This Post Has Been A Part Of The 2016 Discussion Challenge!