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All the Stuff that Annoys Me in Reviews

Hello friends! Today’s post, while it wasn’t written with negative intentions, I’m quite scared to put out, as it contains the stuff I dislike in other bloggers’ reviews. I’ve seen post like this around and wholly enjoyed them, even found them helpful/informative, so I’m hoping this will have that effect as opposed to hurting anyone’s feelings. Bloggers work so hard, I’m in awe of each and every one of you, no matter if you do any of the things mentioned in this post. Heck, I used to do some of these! And if you like them, that’s 1000% valid and I’d like to hear why.

(1) reading a blog makes my eyes fall out

I’m pretty sure this is a common one, but if the text is hard to read I get so annoyed I’ll probably hit exit as soon as the page loads. I use my phone and laptop a lot, so my eyes are tired as it is, I don’t need to read light blue on white, or red on black writing. That said, I’m fine with small font – probably because I can always enlarge the screen, so that’s easy to work around. But hard to read colors are a huge no.

(2) unmarked spoilers

I don’t even have to explain this one – it’s just a shitty thing to do, not only on y’all’s blogs, but on social media as well. I know you are excited, but ruining others’ reading experience because you didn’t bother to mark spoilers is not cool. At all.

I probably won’t be popular for saying this, but I thought some advanced reviewers overshared the plot of The Wicked King. I know y’all are excited and want to talk about it and share your thoughts, but a lot of us would like to go in not knowing much besides the blurb. People were talking about the main ship as well as about hating (or thinking they should hate) certain characters by the end of the novel. That tells us way too much about what will happen to these characters, and is so unfair to the rest of us to share these details before the publication.

(3) the review is basically a description of the plot and doesn’t contain the bloggers’ opinion

Oh boy, this should have been at the top of my list, because it makes me quite-quite frustrated. I appreciate that a lot of bloggers choose to recap the blurb at the top of their reviews – that is super useful, because I can read a review without reading the blurb of the book first, and if I already know what it is about I can just skip over this part. What is a problem for me, though, is when the review contains nothing of the bloggers’ own thoughts, it is simply a spoiler-free recap of the plot. 

(4) not mentioning, or worse treating a character’s sexuality as a spoiler

I’ve seen people hype up lgbtq+ books without ever mentioning that they are, in fact, lgbtq+ which poses a problem for readers who are looking for books that represent them. A good example is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – I barely saw anyone mention that Evelyn is bisexual, excepting the people I follow on twitter. That’s… wrong. You don’t have to tell who the love of Evelyn’s life is, because that may be considered a spoiler in the beginning of the book, but the fact that she was a bi-icon? Please, don’t leave that unmentioned.

let’s chat!

How do you feel about these issues? Do any of them annoy you, or do you don’t mind/like them? What pet peeves do you have in others’ blogs or reviews?

21 thoughts on “All the Stuff that Annoys Me in Reviews

  1. Great post! I agree with all these things. Not marking spoilers will usually cause me to block people on social media. And it is so frustrating to read reviews only to discover the whole thing was just a recap of the plot 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a really interesting post and I liked hearing your thoughts. I personally don’t like it when reviews are a blurb of the book either– I like to hear people’s thoughts and how it made them feel. But I know some said they like a recap and to know more about the plot so they can decide if they like it– I guess it it personal preference but I’m with you.
    And yes spoilers– nope. If it is a book I know I am going to read I usually avoid reviews in case of a sneaky spoiler that I could infer from the review. I know it can be hard but blogger some make an effort to avoid any spoilers!!
    Great post!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think a recap can be good as long as the blogger’s opinion is there too, but without that, yeah, I don’t like it either. I do get that others do, however, and that’s totally fine too.
      Haha, yes!! I do that too a lot – it’s usually twitter that ruins some of the surprises for me. 😦
      Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I see a lot of reviews that feel more like an expanded summary of the synopsis than ac actual review. That always puzzles me because it’s like, “What’s the point?” LOL I can read the synopsis for myself. In a review I am hoping for a little more info and the reviewer’s opinion and how the story/characters made them feel.

    I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (it was my top read of 2018) but I chose to not include Evelyn’s sexuality in the my review. It wasn’t included in the book’s synopsis and the way it was revealed within story made it feel very much spoilery to include in a review. Had it been known up front (included in the synopsis or discussed from the very beginning) I would have had no issue including it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly – it feels like those kind of reviews waste my time… and the blogger’s too, tbh, because seriously, what’s the point? I do like short recaps, especially if there’s no blurb or if the blogger likes to write their own blurb. And I understand some ppl do like these reviews, so it’s all good.

      I brought up Evelyn in particular because I saw some bi readers/bloggers on twitter say they didn’t know Evelyn was bi until they picked up the book, and they’d have loved to know it when looking for books that represent them, especially because there’s not much bi rep in the adult contemporary genre. And Monique mentions it pretty early on that Evelyn might have been bi, so I think it’s ok/good to mention the rep in this case, without mentioning who Evelyn’s love is. But your choice makes sense too. πŸ’œ

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  4. It’s funny, because I actually designed my blog around the idea of creating spoiler-free reviews presented with minimal bias, so I hate it when people don’t mark spoilers. That’s why I add a sentence or two at the beginning of every review detailing if spoilers are, or are not contained within the review. And if I come across something that might be a spoiler that I need to mention, I mark them the best that I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am going to be honest, I don’t tend to talk about representation (race, sexual/gender identity), because I feel like it’s not “mine” to talk about. It doesn’t mean I don’t value reading about characters, who are different from me, I just feel because of who I am, my input on that is not welcome. I will chime in on mental health rep, because I have 30 years of experience in therapy and two inpatient stays under my belt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree with you Sam! I don’t review/discuss in detail the rep, because it’s absolutely not mine to do so – imo, it’s much better to link in ownvoices reviews. But I do try to mention if there’s some kind of representation/diversity in a novel, especially if it’s OwnVoices, or a big part of the book. I’ve seen many people look for certain types of rep, and if my review mentioning it can help someone find it, that’s great, I think. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Back when I started my blog, I knew I wanted something colourful for its design, because I wanted my blog to represent me. But I was also aware that I had to make it readable, so I used a light (if not white) background, and a dark (if not black) colour for the font – plus I looked for one that was not standard, but not too fancy either. I hope I succeeded πŸ˜‰. I agree about red on black (or even white on black for that matter) being a huge pain in the butt…so thanks, but no thanks.

    As for your other points, I hate N.2 and N.3 too, and avoid them like the plague, so I suppose we’re still friends? πŸ˜‚ And I always mention it if the book has queer characters…but I’m surprised to hear there are people who don’t…? though i read Sam’s comment above, and I understand where she’s coming from.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I 1000% think you did a good job! I actually think the look of the text itself does little for the blog – it’s the header, background etc. that really make a blog a pop, imo, and you do that well!

      I fully agree with Sam in that I don’t review/discuss diverse characters in detail, because they’re not “mine” to analyse, but I do like to mention/highlight if a novel has any type of rep, especially if it’s ownvoices.

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  7. OMG YES to falling eyeballs – I already stare at a screen a lot? I don’t need it any worse? This is especially true with super light fonts – at please bold it. I’m also not a fan of describing the plot – TELL ME YOUR FEELINGS PEOPLE. I’m not too bothered with spoilers UNLESS it’s a major spoiler like XYZ dies at the end; that’s just not cool. Minor isn’t a huge deal for me if it’s relevant to the review.

    I usually don’t talk about representation – especially whether it is accurate or not, unless I am represented; it’s just not my place to tell (unless I know it’s extremely hurtful and offensive, then yes, I’ll find a way to mention it). I do try to incorporate them in my tags, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly!! To be fair, I did made a font mistake before haha, but yes, I definitely think dark on light is the only good choice. Also yes – I’m reading reviews to hear what the book’s like, not what’s it about.

      I 1000% agree – I don’t think it’s a good thing to review/discuss in detail the rep if it’s not yours, but I do try to mention what rep a book has for people who are looking for it, and if I can/if the rep is influential in a book, I do want to link to ownvoices reviews in the future. I haven’t really done that yet, but it’s a plan haha. And I think incorporating it in the tags is a great thing!!

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  8. I definitely agree with making sure it’s easy to read your blog visually because how can people understand and appreciate what you’re saying when they can’t read it! Not just because of headaches but just because it’s hard to read visually? I totally understand that so much. I also agree about the spoilers thing. At least make it very clear that you are going to have spoilers in your post or else people will not realize it! I love everything about your list.

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  9. Wait, Evelyn was bi?? I’ve read SO many reviews on this book and not even once did any of them mention that. That’s… shameful. And it’s on my TBR so now it’s even higher!
    Anyways, hi! I’m Aditi, and I found you through Lais- I really enjoy your content and I wanted to say hello! Ill definitely be binging your posts and reading all the new ones 😊. Have a great day!

    Like

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