Book Review Quotes

5 04 2012

Book Review Quotes

I’ve been thinking on this particular topic lately, as I read through my Google Reader and sift through the many amazing posts and examine the writing styles of all these great bloggers.Sometimes, in reviews, people will add in quotes. Now, these quotes are usually directly from the book and (usually, not always) writer uses them to prove some sort of point — here’s why the writing was bad/good, here’s why this theme was explored, etc.

Here’s an example of a quote (this “quote” is completely made up):

And I found Gerald’s constant whining annoying. It detracted me from the story and made me dislike him, which impacted my reading as (of course) he is the main character. He whines often, and far too much, and complains in the most troubling of situations for what seems to be no reason:
“Gerald!” Melanie screamed. “Get up!”“It’s too hot,” he said.She rolled her eyes. “GET UP.”He didn’t. He matched her eye roll and said, “Get me some water.” Gerald snorted and walked away.Melanie grunted, trying not to scream (53)

The quotes can be formatted any way the blogger likes, and usually a page number is affixed to the quote to show that, yes, this was actually in the text.

Not every blogger does this. Some simply don’t use them, or only use them when they feel the need to prove a point (like complaining about Gerald above) and some use them all the time.

These quotes can show a lot of things, like the writing, the characters, and more, if the excerpt is chosen carefully.

But does it help? Does it change your mind if you wanted to read the book on Gerald so, so badly, and then you read this quotation? Does it change your mind if you find the writing sloppy or the characters poor or any other thing that the blogger comments on? Does it change your opinion on the book?

Or are review quotes simply there, enhancing the review but never doing much to change your mind?

For me, I’m not sure. I think it depends on the content being discussed — like if there were obvious instances of slut-shaming, I would be against reading the book, or if it showed that there was a topic I disliked (romance, moralizing) I would remove the book from my TBR.

In the end, however, it’s up to every blogger, every reviewer, if they want to add quotes sometimes, all the time, never, whenever they feel is best. Everyone has their own reviewing style.

How about you? Does this impact your reading experience in any way?

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