Hi dear friends,
Today’s discussion topic was something I wanted to talk about for some time and visiting Lashaan @bookidote ‘s blog yesterday decided me to take the plunge!
Lashaan has written an incredible (as usual because man, can that guy write a review!) review about “A Little Hatred” by Joe Abercrombie (you can read it HERE). In my comment I told him that his writing style for that review was “knightly” and I meant formal and beautiful.
And there we go to today’s topic: is your review’s “writing style” influenced by the book you are reviewing?
I mean if I write a review for a dark erotic with lots of dirty talking or a review for an historical fiction with old English etc. my prose will not be the same!
I will speak about characters, plot and feelings but in a totally different way!
Here are some excerpt of my past reviews to illustrate:
When I review a dark and very twisted erotic book like “Siren” by Jaimie Roberts, I will use words like “sick”, “twisted” and be straightforward.
“ I don’t know if I must head to the nearest psych ward because this book was SICK with a big “S” and even if I thought stopping reading it about a million times I just couldn’t and I went on and on and on… and it must say something about my deranged mind, right? Or maybe it has to do with Jaimie Robert’s talent…
It’s NOT the kind of story I usually read. I love dark reads but I have some limits others don’t have and let me tell you Jaimie pushed all my buttons again and again and again and… with this story.
Did I like what I read? Honestly no. It was painful. It was not liking that I felt but rather a horrified fascination. It sometimes felt bad it sometimes felt like a release the same way some BDSM addict gets off on a hard spanking or caning. In my opinion, this is not a story someone “like” as it would be too meek, too shallow. It’s a story that will either disgust you plain and simple either suck you in and won’t let you quit or either amaze you because Jaimie did she dare in this one! Anyway, it will challenge you and provoke extreme emotions. You’ll either hate it or praise it.“
If I have read a funny book I will try to have readers taste the “situation comedy” and will alter my pacing. Here is an excerpt of the review for “Moti” by Leylah Attar
“Moti works for Joseph Uncle and at the beginning of the story she is at a dinner rehearsal for her cousin Isabel’s wedding. The only problem is that Moti is prone to accident or rather “incident” and it will have her fired as the maid of honor.
Pause: that scene with Moti choking on her food and then falling backward, below the dais being stuck with her legs at an angle impossible for her to stand up discreetly already had me laughing so hard that I nearly peed my pants. And that was only the beginning.
Resume: Moti’s fate has been foretold by an old Indian woman and she has to marry a three thumbs man who will be her true love or her mom will die. Moti is also predicted to die drowning and her mom, Dolly, has always forbidden her to swim or enter any kind of pool.“
If I review a contemporary using many depictions to show the land, the food, the emotions etc. I will try to show my readers too!
Here is an example with “Stolen” by Lucy Christopher
” Gemma is sixteen and has been kidnapped by a man, Ty, at Bangkok airport while travelling with her parents. She’ll wake up in the middle of nowhere. The sand is everywhere, the heat is scorching and the white light is blinding. Her captor took her in Australia’s Sandy Desert. He wants to keep her “forever”. He is lonely and wanted her company.
Written in such a way you feel the heat of this dead and thirsty land, I was in Gemma’s head and experienced everything alongside her: her family memories, her fear of Ty, her rage and desperation. I learned to see the hidden life of this arid land, to recognize the beauty of a starry night sky. I touched the soft fur of a camel with long eyelashes and sweet eyes. The earth sang and told a story. The slow pace allowed me to savor the story, to soak up this land’s wonders.“
And if I read an hitorical fiction or YA set up in Victorian era I will also use a more formal prose!
Here are to examples with “The Beautiful” by Renée Ahdieh and “To Best the Boys “by Mary Webber
” Renée’s writing is once more exquisite. Totally different from the Wrath and the Dawn and perfect to make us live and feel that particular era in history!
From the first sentence you will see New Orleans around 1870, when that buoyant city was cleaved between proper and corseted young ladies abiding by strict etiquette and daring exotic beauties masquerading as nymphs clothed in translucent veils. You will encounter severe nuns, strict matrons, meek young ladies as well as defiant young women choosing to wear men’s clothes and proclaiming their lust for women.
From balls to appalling murders, from handsome detective to rakish rebel heir, from convent to places of debauchery you will experience New Orleans contrasted faces, understanding why Céline fell in love with that city like none other.”
“There is something to say about proper and polite dialogs hinting at a time where young ladies called their male acquaintances “Mister” and the young gentlemen replied likewise with “Miss Tellur” even if you’ve known each other for a long time!
It was also a time when showing a hint of an ankle had your old spinster of a neighbor scandalized and praying for your lost soul.“
In short I think that my reviews imitate the author’s writing …to some extent as I am not as gifted as they are!
Now, am I the only one? You know the odd duck among swans? Or do you also alter your prose too? And if so, how?
Thanks for reading!