Beyond the Blurb | Criticizing Reviews

Here’s another addition to my discussion post, Beyond the Blurb. I want to talk about criticizing reviews. I find this topic contentious. We bloggers all have different opinions on the same book or of the same author. Sometimes we’ll disagree, and that point is where situations will get dicey. I don’t have a problem with the different opinions. I draw the line when people start harassing others because of their opinions though.

Maybe not all of you have seen the hostility bloggers receive once they post their review. Unfortunately, I have, and I don’t see this trend disappearing any time soon. So when does critiquing a review drift more into criticizing? Making your complaint personal doesn’t help. Yes, we all read the same book, but how we read it and what we see will differ. For example, you may see misogyny as nothing more than a horrible plot device in a book, but I may see it as a way to show how our world is mirroring fiction. When you attack someone, you aren’t helping your side. And you aren’t building up your opinion. Instead, you weaken it.

I’ve seen bloggers attacked for not speaking up. Now I see why those people came after bloggers. But becoming one, I see the dangerous line we walk once we hit the publish button. But we have an avenue to stand up where some people may not have that right to do so.

I would rather have people come to me and ask me why I didn’t talk about these problematic scenes than have them attack me. I’m still branching out into the diverse world. I’m still learning, and I want to support diverse authors and their books. So I may not pick up on something that you may blatantly see. Having an opinion in 2018 has turned toxic. We pit ourselves against each other. And somehow this toxicity has drifted into literature, which has been trying to combat the problem.

Several books have suffered because of this issue. Veronica Roth’s Carve the Mark was one of the most anticipated books of 2017. But when the reviews came out during the release, bloggers were borderline harassed by other readers. They obviously didn’t pick up on the ableism and racism in the book, or they simply didn’t believe they were offensive. Some of the reviews that talked about those concerns persuaded me not to read the book. But what I didn’t expect was the firing squad who lined up those chosen few reviewers and fired hatred.

If you have a red flag about a review, talk about it. Don’t criticize, and don’t belittle that person. Your point won’t come across to anyone. But your anger will, and it won’t help your cause.


What are your thoughts on this topic? When does someone cross the line when critiquing a review? When does it become criticizing?

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag


Another month and another tag. I wasn’t tagged specifically, but Amy and Nikki @ Bursting with Books sparked my interest in this tag. And you know my love for these.

I need to find more because I’m running out of tag posts! 😭


How long have you been a blogger?

Two years this July. Holy God, I’m getting old.

At what point do you think you will stop?

Why would you ask me that?! Well, I’m not sure. Perhaps if my life gets too hectic, then I may stop.

What is the best thing?

Finally opening up to people, learning new things from the book community, reaching out and connecting with authors, and finding new friends, books, and opinions.

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

The never-ending stress I put on myself if I don’t get to posting or commenting. I think I’ll always struggle with that constant feeling.

I tell myself that I come first. My blogging group will understand if I need a break.

How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

HA. Typically 90% of all my images are either book covers or graphics I made. Once I change my blog name (I keep mentioning this but never do anything about it), I want to get into Instagram, so I hope to start using my photos.

Who is your book crush?

The men of ACOTAR, except, and this is a big except, Tamlin the Tool™. But most recently, I’ve fallen hard for Elian in To Kill and Kingdom, and I may be prematurely (but desperately hoping) crushing on Riden from Daughter of the Pirate King (Thank you, Kathy, for telling me to read this series).

What author would you like to have on your blog?

My QUEEN, Leigh Bardugo. But recently, I’d love the debut author of Everless, Sara Holland, to be on my blog. And I think I’d die if Maas was on here as well.

What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

LOL. I practically live in my pajamas, particularly the ones I got for Christmas. They have little polar bears and snowflakes on them, and to top off this look, I wear a robe with a polar bear head on the hoodie. Not a real one though. That’d be cruel, and I’d hate myself.

I thought I can only ramble in real life, but here I am, rambling online. 😶

How long does it take you to prepare?

Ahahahahaha. Reviews may take no more than an hour, but processing my thoughts and my emotions, which want to control what I write, may get in the way. And I may get distracted by the cats on Instagram or my little fur brat, so it really all depends.

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

I absolutely love it, but with differing opinions, you’ll always get in heated debates. One issue I have is the harder shippers. Another major issue is the fact that some readers (bloggers included) who see a character as strictly straight or gay. Excuse me, but bi exists, and we should respect it, especially homoromantic and hetroromantic.

Yes, since I thrive in chaos, I’ll discuss my opinion in one of my upcoming discussion posts, and I’ll probably get filleted for doing so.

What do you think one should do to have a successful blog?

Whether you strike it big once you start out, or like me, you’re still building your followers, be honest with them. Make sure you have time to make posts. And don’t be like I used to by not commenting on other bloggers’ posts. Yes, I’m more shy than a church mouse sometimes, but the blogging community has given me a way to find my voice again. So contribute to this community, and it will give back to you.

Who do you tag?

YOU. Anyone who wants to do this can. You don’t have to do the post. But to keep to tradition, here are my picks:

  1. Nina @ The Cozy Pages
  2. Marline @ Merline Reads
  3. Lena @ The Printed Girl
  4. Amber @ Step into a Book World
  5. Kaila @ The Traveling Inkwell
  6. Kay @ Hammock of Books
  7. Poulami @ Daydreaming Books
  8. LaRonda @ Flying Paperbacks
  9. Ianthe @ Pagefuls
  10. Cassie @ Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile

Anything but Books Tag


Kathy @ Books and Munches did this post back in February, and I’ve been looking for another tag to do. They’re so bloody addictive.

Btw, this admission means that you all can tag me in tag posts. I’ll do them all. (What have I done?!)


Name a cartoon that you love.

Undergrads, Animaniacs, basically anything from the 90s

What is your favorite song right now?

Ahahahaha…Oh, boy. I must show my inner music nerd. This answer will get embarrassing. Okay, so I cannot get enough of trailer song for Avengers: Infinity Wars and Thor: Ragnarok. I get all giddy when I hear both.

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

I could play around on InDesign for hours. In college, I learned how to use both InDesign and Photoshop. I prefer the former.

What is something that you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Even though I measure in at 5’2″ and ¾ (where I come from, that last part is important), I was a reasonably fast runner. I used to do track running until my teachers never bothered to train me, and I kept injuring myself.

Another thing I love to do is to write. I have the inklings of a book stirring in my mind and waiting to be let out.

What is your favorite, unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

Learn random food combinations.

What is something unusual you know how to do?

Because of my proofreading course, I know how to use a pica ruler, which infuriated me at the beginning, but I learned to love it.

Name something that you’ve made in the last year.

What is your most recent personal project?

I’ve decided to volunteer for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. I understand how hard it is once you get that diagnosis. There is no support system for a hidden disease, and I want to change that stigma.

Tell us something that you think of often.

What the bloody hell am I doing with my life?

Why am I buying more books when I have more waiting on my shelf?

Will people judge me if I look at every single copy of a book in a store so I can find the best copy?

Tell us something that’s your favorite, but make it oddly specific.

I love to learn how to survive certain situations. In easy terms, I like to find how to be a better survivalist. Actually, that sentence doesn’t explain anything. Okay, let’s fix this. So one show I loved watching was a 1000 Ways to Die because it taught people what not to do. And I’ve recently watched an online video that teaches you how to survive animal attacks, like sharks, bears, etc.

I’m normal. I swear.

Tag Time!

  1. Darque @ Darque Dreamer Reads
  2. Karalee @ Tales of Belle
  3. Ashley @ Thrifty Bibliophile
  4. Holly @ Nut Free Nerd
  5. Rhea @ Book Chanted
  6. Kaila @ The Travelling Inkwell
  7. Jenn @ Bound to Writing
  8. Christina @ The Bookshelf Corner
  9. Danielle @ Life of a Literary Nerd
  10. Jasmine @ How Useful It Is

You aren’t obligated to do this post. And you don’t need to be tagged in order to do it. So go have fun and let me know your answers!