A letter to Shannon Hale

Hello Ms. Hale,

I love all your YA books, not that I have read any, but I have seen the beautiful covers and read the blurbs and I know I will love them whenever I get the oppurtunity to read them. I really loved your post on How to be a Reader and it made me think a lot. So for this Weekly Geeks I will attempt to answer all the questions as nicely and as precisely (considering my love for rambling thats very tough) as I can.

Here we go.

1. 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:
To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt (The link will take you to my GoodReads review)

Why did you react negatively to the book?
Because it was boring and because I couldn’t really connect with the characters. I had high expectations and I had read really good reviews for this book.
What was it about the story or characters or style that hit you so strongly?
The plot as a whole was not bad. I liked it. The problem was the execution. I absolutely disliked Vale. There was nothing to like in him. I love rogues in romances, but Vale just didn’t fit the image. He was not attractive to me in print.
Also, the heroine seemed to have split personality. I mean really, I can understand how she transformed into a s*x goddess in the night but I just cannot accept that she can be entirely different in the day. And besides she fell in love with him without even knowing him and she loved him from the sidelines for 6 years. Hello?
Are you reacting to any fears or insecurities?
Nope. I’m not reacting to any fears or insecurities. It’s just that it takes a lot for me to NOT like a romance book and ‘To Seduce a Sinner’ did just that. Romance for me is a breather between 2 books, a refresher and when it doesn’t give me even one percent of that, I am really disappointed. I literally slogged though this book. This could possibly be the first romance book I had to slog through and trust me that’s saying a lot. That’s enough trashing for a day. Sorry. As I said this book does have many good reviews.

2. Write a new review about a book you loved, keeping in mind these questions:
I won’t write a new review because I feel my review does say it all. I’ll reply to these questions instead. Let’s consider another romance book, albeit YA.
GoingTooFarGoing too far by Jennifer Echols (The link will take you to the review on my blog)

What was it about the story that resonated?
I think the most important thing in any romance is the chemistry between the main characters and the chemistry in Going Too Far was sizzling. It wasn’t just about romance though, it was about letting go your insecurities and your past and facing the future with new hope and how 2 people can bring out the best in each other.
Would you have loved this book as much ten years ago? Five years ago?
Well, it’s Young Adult and I’m 27, so I would have loved it even more a few years ago, but I loved it now as well.
Will you keep loving it in the future?
Yes, because even though the book was a light read, it wasn’t frivolous. It can appeal to all readers.
Where are you in your life that this is the story you wanted and needed?
I don’t think I wanted or needed the story in my life other than for entertainment purpose. I just loved the book, that’s all there is to it.

3. Six questions for those who review books on their blogs or other sites.

Do you find that the anticipation of reviewing the book has changed your reading experience?
Yes, definitely. I was always bad at paying attention to details and even though I’m not too good now, I do make an effort for my readers or those who might like to know the details.
Are you rating the book even as you read? Or do you wait until the end to sum it all up?
Yes, most of the time, it’s just that one or two lines to write in the review keep coming in my mind. But mostly I don’t remember them after I have finished the book, so I do end up writing the review from scratch.
Does knowing you’ll be reviewing it (or rating it) publicly affect which books you pick up in the first place?
Rarely.
Does the process of writing the review itself change how you felt about the book?
Yes, sometimes. When I write a review I dwell upon things that I might not have thought about while reading the book but are somehow there in my mind. But that doesn’t change the rating drastically.
What is your motivation to assign a rating to a book and declare it to the world?
I did not rate books before. But then I found that I looked for ratings in other’s reviews so thought why shouldn’t I rate them too? Sometimes you just can’t express how much you liked the book, a 5/5 stars really helps. Sometimes, although you loved the book you can tell there was something missing. A 4 stars says that well.

Let me know if you’ve done this Weekly Geeks too. I would love to know your answers 🙂

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13 thoughts on “A letter to Shannon Hale

  1. I love this week’s WG questions, and I love hearing what the other readers have to say on this week’s topic. Looking back at my reviews, I think I’ve only rate one or two negative reviews but that’s because most of the books I read are good and most of them I bought are recommendations from fellow bookbloggers, so I know I wouldn’t go wrong with that! 😉

  2. I began keeping a reading journal a couple of years before I started my blog. I wanted to get more out of my reading than I had been–remember details that were easily lost and have a way to look back on my reading and reminisce. The process has made me a more careful reader, much like it has for you. Your response to the final question is spot on for me too. That’s it exactly! At least for me. 🙂

  3. Well, i went and read this article you have pointed to.. and yes it made me think too!It is SO TRUE that the ratings reviewers give definitely influences my decisions! sometimes a good rating makes me write a comment w/o reading the whole post is it is too long or something that i won’t like…
    hmmm! something to really think sbout! 🙂
    I like your answers! interesting!

  4. I’ve been meaning to answer these questions for a long time. I’ll have to try and find the time this week! I think there are as many useful ways of reviewing as there are bloggers, really. Ratings or no ratings, short or long…it can all work well depending on how it’s done.

  5. I get the impression that you are a character driven book type of reader and something with a faster pace.. I like the fact that you appreciated the positives of the book although it wasn’t for you..

    Loved your response to the question..

    Hope you had a great reading week…

    E.H>

    • Not necessarily character driven books, I’m more of a plot person, but good characters definitely add another dimension to the story.

      I’m okay with not liking the character if that is what the author intends to, but I don’t think that’s the case here.

  6. Very interesting and I think I agree with Nymeth that it ‘depends’! I like ratings for myself more than I care how others rate books – I hope that makes sense. I appreciate and respect that others don’t agree with the idea of giving a rating and I do fear that my giving a low rate might influence someone but hey – there are SO many books! Most readers are discerning and thoughtful and it sometimes is just a big mystery why some books fall into our path and why some or loved and not loved. I’m starting to ramble… I’ll stop now. anyway, thanks – great post.

  7. I like how you connected this post to Shannon Hale’s post. I do tend to “rate” books as they go along, in that I’m asking myself if I’m liking it or not, or if there’s any symbolism, etc. As for actually reviewing a book, I think I’ve always mentally reviewed books, so writing them down and posting them on my blog hasn’t changed my reading practices that much.

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