When I was a young girl, I remember most of my friends having a stack of books, or a milk crate full, and some yet, maybe a shelf or two, but me? I had a whole book case, shelf after shelf of books, all to myself. Nancy Drew, Goosebumps, R.L. Stein, Babysitters Club…books, lots of them. It only got worse when I started working at Borders Books in high school. There were times my mom would get after me for reading when I should be sleeping, catching me with my flashlight and a book under the sheets. I’ve gone to midnight release parties for Harry Potter books, author signings for my favorite authors. My favorite genres: mystery/suspense, psychological thrillers, some sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction and non-fiction, contemporary fiction…most of the big ones really. I. Love. Books.
I started a Goodreads profile not long after they launched, not so much for the social aspect so much as a way to keep track of what I’ve read. Sometimes I’ve been half-way through a book before I realized I had read it already, yikes! I needed some organization. To be honest, I still don’t cultivate the social aspect of it, but there are some people I follow because my book tastes are similarly aligned with theirs. Not just similar genres, but what we like in a book’s plot, characters, etc. So I write reviews so that people who find their tastes similarly aligned with mine will get my honest opinion, and hopefully help them decide whether to spend time and money on a story. My opinions are my own, I’m not paid for my reviews in any way. If I like it, I’ll tell you why; if I don’t, I’ll tell you why not.
I’m not an English major, so my reviews are not critiques so much as just feedback from from an average reader’s standpoint. I try to be respectful, of both the reader and the author. I can appreciate how much hard work, time, and little pieces of the author’s soul go into writing a book, even if it’s not my favorite. Similarly, I know that the reasons I don’t like a book may be a reason someone else does like it. We are all entitled to our opinions, and these are mine.
The Child Finder
By Rene Denfeld
The Clockmaker’s Daughter
By Kate Morton
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
By Rebecca Skloot