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Jedi Mind Control

Reviewers can have a lot of influence on readers. In fact, some might go so far as to say that reviewers can use Jedi mind control! Well, not really, but it is true, at least for me, that my reading experience is affected by reading reviews before the book.

Sometimes it might be as simple as making me more excited to read a book. For example, I haven't read TEN THINGS WE DID (AND PROBABLY SHOULDN'T HAVE) by Sarah Mylnowski yet, but this morning, I read what feels like a billion raving reviews for it, so now I'm pumped to get it from the library and tear my way through it.

On the other side, there have been times when I've removed a book from my to-read list because of a slew of bad reviews, or times when I kept it because I still felt that the summary was interesting, but I wasn't exactly eager to start it. It's times like these when I think about the huge impact that bloggers and reviewers can have on readers.

One interesting thing to look at it is hype. We all know those "big" books that get very hyped-up in the blogosphere, where it feels like every other post in your Reader feed is about such-and-such novel, to the point where you know that book's cover better than your own face. Sometimes it gets a little annoying to constantly hear about the same book, but as I'm sure we can all attest, hype is effective.

I've picked up certain books I initially decided to pass on just because its cover is plastered everywhere. When review after review raves about it, it's hard to resist. Of course, with all the hype, there are always a bunch of reviews that say something along the lines of, "Despite all the hype..." or "I just had too high expectations..."

So my question to you guys is, what do you think about the reviewer-reader relationship? How much do reviews affect your perception and experience of reading books? What about hype?

4 comments:

We Heart YA said...

Reviews and hype definitely play a part, as you say. For the SUPER hyped books, we usually try to wait until the hype dies down, so we can enjoy it on our own terms instead of having everyone else's thoughts ringing in our ears.

The fun part of reviewing/hyping -- and this is why it's so valuable to readers and writers -- is when a book that might otherwise have sailed quietly through the night gets picked up by a blogger/reviewer who just loves it, and recommends it to everyone, and then suddenly we're all on board. Those hidden gems are what make this so wonderful.

Short Story Slore said...

If blogs are reviewing a book I have never heard of, then I'll thoroughly read some of the reviews and get a feel for if the book is right for me. It also helps to follow blogs where you trust the blogger and their opinion. But if I plan on reading a book and I've already read a couple of reviews, I'm not going to continue reading reviews - I don't want other opinions to clout my reading experience too much.

kaye (paper reader) said...

To be honest, hype doesn't do too much for me. If I'm excited about a book it's because the book genuinely has something about it that made me want to read it. Take Divergent for example - the first time I read about it I knew immediately that it was a book for me. It didn't matter that it was everywhere, I liked it because it fit me.

My favorite part of book blogs are finding the books I've never heard of but that make me go - hmm, that's something I think sounds neat.

Trish (Just a YA Girl) said...

Book hype huh? As a new blogger I have experienced the effects of the Book Hype. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) is talking about a particular book and then I buy it and I'm like "meh". Sometimes the hype goes the wrong way. But other times, it leads to something really great. So I like the hype. It gets you pumped to read some books.

I'm a new follower by the way. I stumbled onto you blog and read some of your reviews. I love them :)

~Trish Just a YA Girl

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