The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration - Part XX


We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions.

BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett




What makes you add a book to your TBR?


Uma says...
For me too it’s a combination of factors. I think reviews and recommendations from from other reviewers, either on Goodreads or in the blogosphere is the biggest reason for why my TBR has grown like Jack’s beanstalk! Another big reason why my TBR is currently exploding is that I have a habit of going through book lists on Goodreads and looking for ones that I think I’d enjoy. I also end up browsing on Amazon for hours looking at both book reviews and the prices so I can make a proper wishlist.

Amy says...
For me too, it’s a combination of factors. Typically, it’s because I love the cover and premise (those often go together - but while I’ll rarely add a book just because I love the cover, I will add it if the premise sounds good but the cover happens not to be).  And then there’s the author: if it’s an author I love, I’ll immediately add the book because I can trust their writing and storytelling.  I know I’ll rarely be disappointed in those cases.  
 
Recommendations also go a long way.  Thanks to Waiting on Wednesday , my TBR has probably doubled in size, and when my close bookish blogger friends recommend a book to me, I’ll usually add the book to my Goodreads TBR automatically; if they know me well and know my tastes.    


What makes you most likely to buy a book?



Uma says...
Here too, it’s a combination of factors - premise, cover and money. Premise because I have to actually read the book and not just showcase it prettily on my shelves (I do that at times), Cover because I like to oggle at pretty cover and also ‘cause I #bookstagram; and money because no one’s giving out books for free (Except authors and publishers who actually value my opinion. LOVE you guys.)

If it’s the sequel to a book I’ve already read and loved, it gets moved higher up on my wishlist; same if it’s one of my favorite authors or if the plot makes me want to eat it (I swear I’ve never eaten books).

Amy says...
Cue sobbing.
I literally never buy books BECAUSE THEY’RE SO FREAKIN’ EXPENSIVE. (And I’m usually broke most of the time). So this obviously plays a huge factor in the books I plan to buy, and I’m a lot fussier when it comes to deciding which one to take a chance on.
If I’ve read a book already but want to own a copy, that’s probably at the bottom of my priority pile. Books that I’ve only heard amazing things about and ones with excerpts and premises I’ve already fallen in love with, get top priority. But still, I can’t say when - if ever - I’ll actually get the money to buy them. Those are just at the top of my wishlist.    
 
Because of my shortage of cash I’m forever comparing prices of the books I want to buy and rearranging my online wish lists, etc. By the time I finally click “buy”, I’ve most likely spent months prior to it deciding. I never buy spontaneously; I can’t afford to.      


Are you comfortable rating a generally disliked book highly? Or vice versa?



Uma says...
I have a LOT of unpopular opinions and let’s face it, we all do because we’re not all potatoes. My unpopular opinions are mostly me not loving a book that almost everyone else seems to adore. And while it’s scary to admit to a group of chocolate lovers that you don’t like chocolates (I belong to the chocolate-loving group mind you), I think it’s perfectly okay! Isn’t that why we rate and review books? To get our personal opinion about it heard?
 
Also, rating seems much easier compared to reviewing when it comes to unpopular opinions. It’s VERY scary. Okay so I’m not a fan of the Throne of Glass series. ( Don’t you dare throw things at me! ). Like I LOVED books 1 and 2 but the series just spiralled down for me after that. While I’ve rated the series, I haven’t written a review for books 3, 4 and 5. Why? Because it’s scary as hell writing a negative review for an extremely loved series and I honestly don’t know how to go about with it! All you guys who aren’t scared or intimidated by the task, you’re awesome and really brave! I do plan to write those reviews soon but *gulp*

Amy says...
This is SO subjective. I’m often been shocked that some bloggers have loved books that I’ve found to be terrible, and vice versa. But reading is subjective, and I think all reviews should be honest; no matter the peer pressure or contrasting arguments.
 
I mean, that is WHY there are reviews in the first place. This is where you can vent your frustrations or your praise and that’s what people want to see: An honest expression of your thoughts on a particular book and your “contribution” to the book’s overall reception.
 
But this doesn’t make it any easier when you see a review of a negative review of a book you’ve loved, or vice versa. It’s hard to accept that, and I’ve personally struggled to see why, for example, someone would rate Fifty Shades of Grey 5 stars when I wouldn’t even give it 1. I’ve frequently felt awful rating a popularly loved book less than average, but at the same time I feel defensive of my opinions and want to get them out there.  It’s overwhelming and intimidating, but I think it’s important to state your honest opinion so that others can see the good and bad bits of a book.


To see my answers make sure to visit the other collab posts!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion post! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!