Monday, September 6, 2010

How reviewing helps

As you all know, I'm a reviewer for YA Books Central.  One thing I love about being a reviewer is I get a chance to read books in my genre.  I love finding out what's coming out, what trends to look for, and mostly just getting a chance to read!

A big thing I've learned by reviewing is how this helps me with my own writing.

Examples: Great writing motivates me to get back into my writing loft and write.  It pushes me to find better and more unique ways of expressing myself.

Some great books that have given me that extra kick I need include:

SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvar
Maggie's writing is delicious and very yummy.  Read the candy store scene and tell me if you don't feel that sexual tension building!


Another example of lush, rich writing set in the deep South.

FALLOUT by Ellen Hopkins

What I love about Ellen's writing is how it speaks to you with such a big impact.  One of her books, BURNED, spoke to me as I could relate with her main character.  I felt as if she knew what I'd been through.  Powerful writing.  Tell me if that doesn't motivate you to push yourself to the next level with your own writing.  I know it does for me.

The same can be said about reading books that aren't really that great.  And this is all subjective too.  Books that I feel are disappointing, make me want to 'prove' I can do better.  Once again, I'm in my writing loft, writing.

Finally, reviewing is a great way to connect with other publishers and authors.  I love getting emails from authors thanking me for reviewing their books. 

So whenever you feel sluggish and need an extra kick in the pants, pick up a YA book.  Read it.  See if I'm not right.


  1. Ooh, I loved Shiver and Beautiful Creatures--now I have to read Fallout. I can relate to your point about how other writers' work can inspire us to the next level--or at least to one-up them! :)

    - Kate

  2. FALLOUT is the third book. Start with CRANK. This story is based loosely on the life of Ellen's daughter who was a meth addict. Very strong, powerful writing. Love her novels.

  3. I agree that Shiver and Beautiful Creatures are great books. Haven't read any Ellen's books. Must add them to my ever growing list.

    I know what you're saying about learning from reviewing books. A good novel inspires me to improve my writing too.

  4. I've reviewed a number of books on my blog - not because my blog is a reviewer blog, but judt because when I read a really good book, I want to share it with everyone. I was so surprised once when I got an email from one of the authors I'd reviewed thanking me for the well-rounded look at her work. I totally agree that reviewing adds more polish to your own work.

    Nice post!

  5. I think it's so cool to receive emails from other authors. Or to have authors you totally love email you back.

  6. Authors really appreciate careful and considered reviews of their work. Online reviewers are doing such a great job.