How (not) to write a book review- for dummies! #likeaboss

(emphasis on the dummies part)

Okay so a while back I did a post about how (not to) criticise a book blogger. And now I thought it would be fun to do a connected post… this time on how to actually write a review! Disclaimer, I do believe in the “your blog, your rules” mantra (phrase courtesy of Drew), but I thought it would be entertaining to address some of the ways we as book bloggers *may make mistakes* (I know, shocker, we’re not all perfect deities incapable of blunders 😉). And if you think I’m letting myself off the hook, this will be a confession post of sorts, cos I’m gonna admit to doing a ton of these!

shocked face

  • spoilersNot putting any spoiler warnings- just lay on all the spoilers! No one will mind. In fact, the best thing to do is to put a helpful tag at the top that says, “this book contains” with all the spoilers. That way, no one will miss it!
  • Don’t tell people what it’s about (*coughs awkwardly*- yeahhhh I’ve done this- though, in fairness, I try to put a one line synopsis these days)
  • I will automatically tell you it’s good because: it’s my taste, it’s got diversity, it’s by a minority/woman/by another human being. In fact, I’m not going to tell any information about this book except give you a laundry list of worthy traits. This is not a review, this is an opportunity to virtue signal.
  • guiltUse lots and lots of exclamation points and ALL CAPS and bold and italicising (guilty as charged of all of these)
  • *Insert nitpicking rant about things that will interest no one but the reviewer or people that read said book and hold the identical opinion* (guilty again)
  • Say something disagreeable and then beg forgiveness immediately after (c’mon we all do it- it’s like a retroactive “no offence but…”)
  • Complain about the book for the entire review- but gotsta get those arcs, so give it 5* regardless! (to be fair, I’ve only ever seen this on booktube a while ago, but it grates on my nerves to this day)
  • guilty judgeJustify the rating to the point of absurdity. Just keep going and going and going- repeating all the points until the reader is exhausted and has no interest in what you have to say anymore (*ahem* yeahhh I have been known to waffle)

Annnnd that’s all I’ve got for now! I’m sure I’ve sufficiently offended plenty of people/exposed my failings to the world- so I’ll let you be the judge now- do you have any awkward blogging faults? Or is your blogging technique perfection? (in which case, TIPS PLEASE!!!)

Spotted: Gargantuan Orangutan on the Set of Game of Thrones!

the orangutan times

BREAKING NEWS: A presumptuous primate was seen in Northern Ireland, ahead of Game of Thrones returning to the small screens, wandering around the sets in search of dragons- J. Ourno reports.

It’s journey appeared to start in the usually tranquil Dark Hedges aka The King’s Road:

It then went onto the Riverlands and even invaded the legendary Winterfell.

Locals were perturbed by this monkey madness saying: “I don’t care if they say Game of Thrones has been good for tourism- if we go letting any old ape into Northern Ireland, soon we’ll have all sorts of monkey business and gorilla warfare going on. Where will it end?”

We managed to catch up to said orangutan, who had this to say: “I only went on a day trip. Personally, I thought I fitted right in and don’t know what all the fuss was about 😉 I think it’s all bananas!”

orangutan at winterfell.png

Sky, HBO and the production team for Game of Thrones were unavailable for comment.

HOW (not) TO READ REVIEWS

I’ve been doing this nearly four years and I’ve received a lot of advice in that time- some of which has even been good 😉 Nonetheless, thanks to all the bad advice, I now think I also have a good idea of how not to approach a book blogger. So, I’ve compiled a “useful” list, for all those not in the know, of all the best ways to make a reviewer irate.

NB *please note, this is all in good fun, take this satirical piece seriously at your own peril* 😉

im-right-youre-wrongCorrect the reviewer on their opinions because their opinion is wrong and yours is right and soon they’ll understand that. Don’t be constructive and give reasons for your disapproval- it’s preferable if you use ad hominems like “you’re thick as pig shit” or more pretentious terms if you can manage it. Remember you can use a thesaurus on the internet and it doesn’t matter if your insults make sense- just try to find the longest word possible (like floccinaucinihilipilification or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… although that second one’s more of a compliment 😉 )

pretending to readWhen you critique a review, don’t bother to actually read the review– remember your opinion is valuable and the reviewer is bound to listen to you, even if your suggestion makes no sense in the context eg “in the future you could write what genre it is” in a review that states as much in the first line- this will leave the baffled reviewer reading and rereading their work, trying to figure out what the hell you meant- which is what you want!

angry inside outAsk the reviewer why people are reading their review– make sure you say this in an as aggressive tone as possible- preferably in ALL CAPS example: I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE READ THIS TRASH!

 

I'm offendedGet insulted on behalf of the author for negative reviews– particularly if the author is a millionaire. Remember to take any criticism levied extremely personally- cos your hero’s honour is at stake and you must defend it! If they knew you existed, said author would probably thank you (or, you know, not).

angry catCritique the blogger’s layout– cos why not- if it’s offensive to your eye then it must be bad and if you don’t like the images they used, they have to know about it dammit.

 

 

 

you need to shut up.gifAnd my favourite: if you don’t like what a blogger has to say- harass them on twitter. This will not only show the world that you’re a *good person* but is a great way to change someone’s mind (also mind you don’t listen to any counter arguments they offer because you are a GOOD PERSON and they are a BAD PERSON). I have to add that this is an incredibly convincing tactic, cos I’m sure “YOU’RE WRONG, I KNOW YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCE BETTER THAN YOU DO!” has convinced many people in history (particularly when coming from strangers).

Annnd *ouch*, I think I’m feeling the sting of my own sarcasm after that. What do you think of this list? Have you any other “helpful” criticisms to levy at book bloggers? Don’t be shy! And Happy April Fool’s! 

RIP Mad Hatter (a eulogy to my recently departed laptop)

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So I know that for those of you not following me on twitter, this might come as a bit of a shock, but my laptop passed away last week. After battling various viruses, undergoing numerous operations, the Mad Hatter has finally succumbed to old age (well it was 8 years old in acer-computer years, which means it was roughly 200 in human years 😉 ).

I’d like to say the bastard died in its sleep, but unfortunately he took the “do not go gently into that good night” approach, stuttering out of existence in the same way he lived: loudly and with as much fuss as possible (it’s probably thanks to all that damn poetry I’ve fed it over the years). Finally, however, it decided to go to sleep, with the thoughtful message that it would not be turning back on again.

As you might have gathered, we were not friends- in fact I was mildly abusive to him- but someone ought to deliver his eulogy- someone that knew him best- and that someone was me. I was the one to piece this Frankenstein’s monster back together and he repaid me in kind by crashing on me while I was doing my dissertation. Ahh good times.

Anyway, I think it’s time I addressed the Mad Hatter directly: we went through hell together- mostly due to your monstrous unreliability from the early days- and a little big part of me is glad to see the back of you, but I still shed tears at your passing (of frustration). May you rest (in pieces) and find solace in your eternal slumber under my bed (until I start rummaging through you trying to see if I can salvage any last bits from your hard drive).

Alright- I think that about sums it all up. Sorry I’ve not been active online this last week- I scheduled my posts and then everything went kaput. But it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. For where there is death, there is also life… welcome to the world Harry Potter!

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Monthly Monkey *MINION* Review

My sister dared me to do this months ago and I always sometimes follow through with dares. All for the lols, take this seriously at your own peril 😉

monthly monkey minions 3

Nowadays you can’t go anywhere without minions. You can get regular toys or plushies from this fad:

minion plushie 1

Or get one all dressed up…

minion maid plushie

Or three for the price of one stuffed into a banana…

minion plushie

Okay this one I like- 5/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana 

Of course, I have noticed the distinctly banana flavoured note to these toys:

 

But sometimes it goes too far- I wanted to eat some bananas and what do I get? Minions!

banana minions

So I went to get some of my fave banana flavoured tic tacs and what do I find?! MINIONS!

banana tic tacs

This monkey *BLOWS A RASPERY* at the cheek of it! You may take our jokes, but you will never take our bananas! I fling my banana peels at you!

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Incidentally, while we’re on the topic, there are also lots of memes… *claps like Pewdiepie* (also subscribe to Pewdiepie btw 😉 )

minion meme review

Not bad. Plus it seems like a suitably bookish note to end on 😜

Alrighty then, hope you enjoyed this fresh batch of nonsense! If you’d like any of these products, well, I’m sure they’re on ebay somewhere #nonspon 😉 And if there’s anything you’d like to dare me to do in the future, I might just do it in 6-8 months 😉

Discovering More of My Old Writing

Hello all! I just have a quick, fun post today… where I embarrass myself with more of my old writing 😉 Sound like fun? Good!

I found this tucked away with some stuff from Year 9, so I’d guess I was around 14 (ooh look at me guesstimating the approximate age of the piece through contextual clues- I sound like a proper little archaeologist- don’t I? 😜 ) Anyhoo it was just on a little scrap of paper, can only rightly be called “Untitled” (otherwise I’ll give the whole plot away 😉 ) and though it’s not as epic as the previous childhood masterpiece I shared, it’s good for a laugh regardless. So here we go…

humpty dumpty writing.jpg

Oh I was very punny. Also I like how I went back and annotated this piece later. But mostly, ouch at the spelling- and at poor Humpty’s fate tbh 😉 Teen me had a point- he cuts a pretty tragic figure! What do you think? Am I right? Or am I on shaky ground here?

Humpty dumpty falling of the wall

Let me know in the comments!

A Critical Review of The Tiger Who Came To Tea

*Insert usual “this is satire” disclaimer here: sometimes my brain just comes up with this and I can’t be held accountable 😉 *

In times of Trump…

And of Brexit…

What we really need is to come together and invite tigers into our homes… to steal our food and make our water bills impossibly high…?

Wait a minute… I don’t think this book is actually being inclusive. In fact, I think The Tiger Who Came to Tea is actually bigoted propaganda for the BNP… or something…

Oh my goodness, Judith Kerr ran away from the Nazis to start her own genocide against tigers!!! This is racist bilge and we must burn it… Cos that worked out so many times before…

nazi book burning

#MakeCensorshipGreatAgain

tiger who came to tea censorship

Oh boy- I just know I’ll get in trouble for this one- I really shouldn’t be allowed near children’s books, should I?