A blogiversary is an opportune time to reminisce on those awkward firsts. As book bloggers, it is no rarity for us to be humiliated by our first review. Many of us have buried it in the past, starving it of SEO and hoping no one encounters it. While I do not dread mine, I can see how much my review style has changed for what I think is the better.
Looking back on my first review of Atomic Summer, a self-published tale of young friends, I wince a bit. Firstly, I wrote my own blurb. Up to now, I have no idea what led me to do that! Rather than using the book’s official blurb, I wrote what I erroneously called a ‘synopsis’. The author of the book, who was likely the only person who read the review, must have been amused by that.
Self-created blurbs aside, I can also see how my review style has significantly changed. My debut review reeked of technicalities. I only criticized literary elements, with no sort of personality at all. It read as though a scholarly paper, and did not stimulate discussion. As a Literature student, I fell into the ‘over analysis’ pit, giving the Atomic Summer review monotony for readers. I love literary critique, but I discovered (soon afterwards) that it would not provoke one’s thoughts unless a Literature enthusiast. I have observed that most readers prefer “the feels” over “the figurative language”, and I wanted to encompass both nonetheless. Now my reviews are both technical and emotional, formal and informal. This has helped me to reflect my personality in my reviews with no doubt of sounding too personal. While I do enjoy literary criticism more than the next person, I decided that emotional revisits would balance my reviews better so no one gets overwhelmed. Can you relate to that?
Book blogging is certainly a positive outlet for growth. Whether it is with writing or socialization skills, I have not found a book blogger who has not developed in some way. Retrospectively looking at my first review I can certainly attest to that.
Happy blogiversary to my dear friend and spouse, Octavia! <3
A ginormous THANK YOU, to Chrys! You are always in my corner and I’m so damn happy I have a fabulous friend like you!