So, here I am, staring Medicare squarely in the face and at the same time trying to learn new tricks.
When I discovered Romancelandia-or whatever the hell they call it-about five or six years ago, I didn't realize how much of a learning experience it would be. Essentially, I've been taking a college-level night course in all sorts of things, taught by people who sound much more educated, if not smarter than me, many of them with a string of letters after their names. They dissect. They opine. They scatter opinions around like confetti. They're really into psychology and sociology and their reviews reflect the serious shit that's found in romance books. They go on and on until my eyes glaze over.
This is all IMO, of course.
I've come to rely on reviews to find new and engaging authors. But I prefer a nice, short review, not a thesis. You know-the good stuff in the book, the bad stuff and why the reviewer thinks this way.
With one exception. SB Sarah. I don't care how long her reviews are; in fact, the longer the better. She writes the best and funniest reviews and I'm never bored. I also never think she's talking down to me or trying to slip in a new curriculum.
It's romance books, damn it!
I read them to escape, to relax and let someone else worry about stuff, or to laugh and cheer the protagonists on. I read them to ohhhh or euwww at strange new creatures or worlds. Instead of 'take me away, Calgon', it's 'take me away, Romance'. Keep the really serious stuff for woman's lit.
So, now I've become picky about what reviews I read. I like Jane's at DA. I've bought a lot more Harlequins than I ever thought I would because of her short, concise reviews. I like Kristy J's reviews; it's like sitting down and talking with an old friend. Same with Sarah T-I've discovered a lot of mystery books through her.
A reviewer, IMO, ought to be interesting and to the point or she does a disservice to the book she's reviewing. I don't want a synopsis (hate the damn things). I don't want a 'this book is great-read it'. How the hell does that help?
There must be some neutral meeting point where the two extremes can blend together to make a concise, entertaining review. And since I vowed never to return to school after getting my ADN in my forties, I stand by my original statement (I'm sure there's one somewhere). I don't want to dissect Romance like we did Oliver Twist in high school.
It's Romance, damn it!