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Lifted from [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll;

Andrew Wheeler on What Makes a Good Review?

Most books deserve mixed reviews; as the saying goes, a novel is a long piece of prose with something wrong with it. An honest reviewer honors that, dredging out the clumsy bits in the books she loves and talking about the elegant moments in the books she loathed ...

That makes me feel good about the YA review I just sent in about 10 minutes ago. I really liked the book, but didn't give it a star because it had some throwaway relationships that should have been better developed, or at least had an acknowledgment of why they were so shallow. I mentioned that flaw in the review, just as I try to say something positive if I can about a book I didn't like.

This is a very good article about reviews and reviewing, and not just for those doing the writing, but for those reading reviews as well. It hits many points [livejournal.com profile] rosefox has always emphasized, including encouraging her bullpen to think about the appropriate market for whatever we're reading, and if we're not part of that market, to try to see the book through those eyes anyway. She trains us up right, and I think it shows in how many of us start working for her and end up reviewing for other editors, too.

Date: 2011-09-20 05:36 am (UTC)
rosefox: Me with my hand over my face. (blushing)
From: [personal profile] rosefox

You should send Andy's article to the PW reviewers mailing list. I'd love to see some discussion of it.


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