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.