Elizabeth: Honest Review?

eight ladies writing, justine covington, favorite websitesI’ve been reading on-line reviews lately which, in some cases, is a lot like slowing down to look at an accident on the side of the road.  You know you shouldn’t do it, but something just draws you in.

I often scan the reviews on Amazon or Goodreads for books I’m considering buying.  I’m rarely influenced by them, unless they happen to mention any of my no-buy triggers, but it’s interesting to see the range of responses a book may get.  Looking at the high and low reviews it often seems like they are talking about completely different books.

My recent foray into review reading was over on Goodreads, where I was curious to see what people thought about a series I am in the midst of reading.  I had a very strong emotional response to many of the books in the series and I wondered whether others had as well.  (They did.)  To be completely honest, I was also looking for some mild spoilers about the next book in the series so I could decide whether to continue reading or take a break.  The story I just finished had packed a major emotional punch and I wasn’t sure I could handle another dose quite so soon.

Based on the reviews – some of which were wonderfully written, some of which were witty, some of which were just plain mean, and very few of which contained actual spoilers – I decided it was time for a little reading palate cleanser.

Conveniently, as a “street team” member for a number of authors, I often have Advanced Reader copies (ARCs) of upcoming books sitting in my inbox, waiting to be read.  Even more conveniently, the most recent ARC I had ready and waiting was about as far from the series I had been reading as it is possible to be and still be book.

Palate cleansed. Continue reading

Michaeline: #ThatDress: Or how we see light and words

White dress with lavender scarf . . . right? (Or is it a gray dress with a pink scarf? Or a blue dress with purple scarf? Or . . . ?) Via Wikimedia Commons

White dress with lavender scarf . . . right? (Or is it a gray dress with a pink scarf? Or a blue dress with purple scarf? Or . . . ?) Via Wikimedia Commons

Today’s blog post is a result of a smash-up of some critique work I’ve been doing this month, and The Dress controversy that I stumbled upon on Twitter yesterday.

If you haven’t heard, somebody posted a picture of a dress. Some people saw it as blue and black, others saw it as white and gold, and it seems like only a few people saw it like I did: pale blue with a tawdry sort of brown lace trimming. Argument ensued — passionate argument where all parties thought they were right, and were befuddled that others didn’t see things their way. This article on io9 sums up the controversy quite well, I think. (-: They also provide the “right” answer.

But this blogpost isn’t about the “right” answer – it’s about what people saw. Continue reading