I am sure that almost all of you either read or run a blog like this, because our community is a pretty casual one; we bloggers have practically unlimited freedom with what we post and are able to review books in our own special way, including cute GIFs and expressions of enthusiasm if desired. This is a luxury that professional reviewers do not have, and I love the overall informality we hold. It allows us to get to know each other better, which is great for building friendships and obtaining book recommendations from a person who shares similar tastes rather than a faceless man behind a Kirkus review.
But, as much as I love this fantastic blogging style, it is not my own. And, because of the seemingly overwhelming amount of fabulous bloggers who are loved for their relaxed writing, this makes me a bit insecure.
I am not saying that I never talk about my opinion of the novel in question in a book review, because I do. My reviews are personal in that I do talk about myself as much as the next blogger-what I thought of the book, how I connected to it on a personal level, how I related to the main character-but I always feel that my lack of common language, slang, and, usually, contractions, will somehow alienate people. I know this is ridiculous, and that someone who likes my blog is not going to turn her back on me because I emphasize using italics instead of ALL CAPS or say will not instead of won't. I simply think that there is something comforting and engaging, though, in a blog whose reviews read like a casual conversation with your best friend.
Take Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner, for example. I adore her blog and love how she does things like post about her butt and include personal confessions of her own teenage pranks in her review of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. She is completely fun and open with everything she posts, which is a fantastic blogging style, and she has seemingly thousands of readers to show for it.
But it is no better than my own, as I frequently have to remind myself. We have vastly different approaches to writing, but they are of equal merit and we both chose them for one reason alone: they fit our personalities and visions for our blogs.
My reviews are quintessentially me. They reflect my thoughts, my writing style, and the way I want my blog to be viewed, and I have wonderful blogging friends I have gotten to know even with a reviewing method that is a bit more traditional. The YA book blogosphere gives us so much opportunity to blog the way we want to blog, and I sincerely hope all of you take advantage of that. All posts that were written with thought, effort, and care have immense value, so find your style, love it, embrace it, and never let anyone else change it.
Let's discuss: What are your review-writing tendencies? Do you ever question them? Do you prefer casual reviews, more formal reviews, or like both equally?