From the cover of The New Yorker Magazine, Nov. 6, 2006
Malinda Lo recently wrote about inadvertently finding a review of ASH and realizing she probably couldn't write reviews anymore. I started thinking to myself about the way I write reviews.
"Self," I thought, "what is it that we do when we review books?"
"Well, Aerin," she replied. "We try to figure out who's going to buy them."
"True, true." I pondered a bit. "More like a puzzle than a critique process, isn't it?"
"It really is. Matching the book into the perfect buyer-shape hole. I mean, you tell me all the time that any author has to work really hard to get published.."
"...despite our little issues with SM, who we tend to think is a show-off," I muttered.
"She does have a right to be."
"Fine. So, when we're reviewing, we're gauging our enjoyment of a book, and trying to determine, based on past experience, people we know, etc., who would be the most appreciative audience."
"Did you just say et cetera to me?"
I ignored my Self and continued. "And, of course, if glaring inconsistencies or plot devices, poor grammar or language use interrupted our enjoyment of said title, we will probably mention these things."
"You know, people who contact you to review their books will probably want to know how you work. You should write a post."
"Hmm. Point taken, Self. You are a very wise woman."