We’ve all seen those “how-to” posts on writing reviews. Do this, don’t do that, make sure you blah blah blah.
I hate those posts. Why? Because there are no rules. There are no guidelines. Your blog is YOUR space, and yours alone. Not anyone else’s! No one should ever, ever tell you how to review (or how not to). I cringe every time I see posts like that. Here are a few lines of “advice” I’ve seen that really annoy me:
Don’t be sarcastic.
Excuse me? Telling me not to be sarcastic is like telling me to stop being…well, me. I am a sarcastic person by nature. I am very vocal about my opinion. When I don’t like something, I will be honest, sometimes brutally so. But guess what? That’s my prerogative, because it’s MY blog. I don’t think it’s okay to be rude and bash the author, but there is a huge difference between sarcasm and bashing. HUGE. I will rant about a book, how much I hated it, how much I hated the characters; but never do I bring the author’s personality into it. You will never hear me say anything like the author is a moron or the author should just not write books because he/she sucks. Ever. Now, if I see horrific behavior from an author, then it’s fair game to call them an idiot. But not because I hated their book. In fact, I know perfectly respectable, kind, friendly authors who have written books I didn’t like. It happens sometimes!
Again, if I didn’t like something, I’m going to complain about it. LOUDLY. (Isn’t that the point of reviewing? To give your opinion?!) This goes hand in hand with the sarcasm.
Along with this one is the “don’t complain that you should have DNFed.” Why not?! I’m not so much like this anymore, but there was a time when I wouldn’t give up on anything, in hopes of it getting better. Yes, I probably should have DNFed in the beginning instead of forcing myself through, but what if there’s a chance it will get better? It’s called hope.
Put your sarcasm in a spoiler.
What?? I have no problem with people doing it, that’s just what works for them. But don’t tell me that I should, too. I reserve spoiler tags for…um, spoilers. It makes no sense to me to cover up my personality in fear of offending someone. If they have such a problem with it, why are they reading the review in the first place? If you don’t like me for who I am, go somewhere else. I won’t be apologetic for that, thank you very much.
The main thing is this:
Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to blog.
If you’re sarcastic, let that personality shine through! Maybe it deters a select few people, but who cares? If they don’t like your voice, then they don’t have to read it. Simple enough.
It doesn’t matter whether you type in all caps, use exclamation marks every sentence, let some snark bleed through, or are completely calm and collected. It’s about finding your style. Do whatever works for you!