I’m speaking as a reader now, not a writer. As most of my past blog posts will prove, I’m a shopper. Especially when it comes to books. And while I’m shopping for books I always check out several online book review sites to see whether or not I’m going to make a purchase. And I don’t always base my purchases on the most excellent book reviews. Oddly enough, I sometimes purchase based on less than stellar reviews simply because I have a feeling I’m going to like the book much better than the reviewer did. This is a gut feeling with me, and I’ve never been wrong.
Here’s a list of my favorite review sites:
Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/This is a review site written by Elisa Rolle, and I like the international flair. I’ve also met Elisa in person and I know she’s a smart, dedicated reviewer. I also know she has the love.
Top 2 Bottom Reviews – http://michelenjeff-reviews.blogspot.com/?zx=3b9855d42663a466 I love this site. It’s on top of everything when it comes to m/m fiction and I actually link to it here on the blog. I also know they have the love when they read and review a book.
Joyfully Reviewed – http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/ Whenever I’m in doubt, I know I can’t go wrong reading the reviews on this web site. And because I like to read books that aren’t always m/m fiction, I get a lot of good information here that I normally wouldn’t have access to on my own.
Coffee Time Romance – http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/ As the logo says, “Your one stop shop for books and authors on the web.” I like the style of this blog/site. It’s a fun place to go, filled with smart reviews and lots of color. You can’t feel bad after checking out this site. And, it’s all about the romance.
Gerry B’s Book Reviews – http://gerrycan.wordpress.com/ Even though Gerry never gave me a five star review for anything, I like his book review site a great deal. He gave me a three star review, which wasn’t glowing, but I “got” what he was saying and I knew he “got” what I was writing. I respect Gerry, which is important. I think Gerry’s reviews come from the heart and I think he reviews with a touch of old world style we don’t find often on the web. I check it out often, especially when I’m thinking of reading a historical. I don’t normally read historicals and I’ve learned I can get a lot of info just by reading Gerry’s reviews.
Reviews by Jessewave – http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/ As the title suggests, this is a review site that focuses mainly on m/m fiction with adult themes. One of the things I like most about this site is that it focuses a lot on some of the new self-published authors out there. Again, I go to Jessewave to learn who is publishing what and where. And I’ve never been disappointed.
These are just a few of my favorites…sort of the top six. But there are a few more I’ll post about in the future.
What I don’t like on a review site is boring and drab. And I despise snark unless it’s done with flair. And so far, I have not seen any snarky review sites that are actually written by people smart enough, rich enough, or have enough style to be snarky. Quasi-snark is a put-off for me. Being witty isn’t something you can fake. You either have it or you don’t. And most of the time these so-called witty, snarky review sites comes off as mean, and they become havens where other mean people slither around.
Another thing I don’t like on a book review site is too much information. I’ve been in publishing for a long time. I don’t need to know detailed, technical publishing information on a reader review site. It’s boring, and I don’t think most readers care. I want to know about books; I want ratings and reviews so I know how to purchase. I don’t want to read recycled links to other publishing posts in PW by a blogger somewhere in the middle of nowhere who is really a frustrated publishing professional who missed his/her calling in life. And, many times, after reading a few of these publishing oriented posts on these review sites, I’ll check out the facts with a good friend of mine who has been a NY literary agent for over thirty years, and most of the time the facts are either misleading or wrong.
So, if you’re looking for good online review sites, there are plenty of them out there. Especially for romance books, like the sites I listed and linked to above. And if anyone has any they’d like to mention, please feel free to comment. I’m always looking for something new.