I came across a comment recently on a Goodreads review that I was reading which made me a little bit nervous. This comment was from someone who had read the review I was also reading and it said something along the lines of (paraphrasing here): “This review was so great and the perfect length! So many reviews on here are too long and I’m like, TL;DR!” After searching what exactly this abbreviation meant – it turns out, it means, “Too Long; Didn’t Read” – I went back to check the length of the review, which ended up being around one small paragraph.
This immediately struck me as interesting. I’m one of those people who feels that my reviews have to be super long, otherwise they won’t seem legitimate. Oftentimes, I will finish a book and set to work to right a brief review (sometimes at like 10:00 at night), and soon enough I find that I’ve written two entire pages of thoughts and feelings about whatever novel I’ve just finished. I thought this was a good thing for the longest time because it made me feel like the review was worthy of posting on my blog or Goodreads, but this comment that I found gave me pause because it made me think that perhaps my reviews are so long that no one wants to read them. This upset me somewhat, but I also recognized the validity of it because I myself often skim really long reviews, rather than reading them conscientiously.
So, all this to say that I decided that it was time to challenge myself and make a bit of a change. For this reason, I’ve chosen to start a new initiative for the rest of the summer in which I will be trying my hardest to only post a 5 sentence review for each novel I read until the end of August. This is going to be extremely challenging for me because I tend to be pretty verbose (as I’m sure you already know), but I think it will be a useful exercise in developing my writing skills and making sure that my reviews are concise and meaningful. I also want to see if I get more interaction on Goodreads with these shorter, more bite-sized reviews, and I think this is a worthwhile experiment.
For that reason, you may notice longer than normal times between my reviews this summer – it’s likely that I’ll combine a few reviews into a larger “Summer Book Reviews” post, so that my post is more worthwhile to read than a mere 5 sentence paragraph. All that being said, if you’re interested in becoming my friend on Goodreads, you’ll be able to see all of my 5 sentence reviews in real-time, as they go up. And, I am really excited to give this a try because, of course, writing something short and sweet is easily as difficult (if not moreso) as writing something long and elaborate, and is a serious skill in its own right…this isn’t my forte whatsoever, so I’m curious to give it a try – wish me luck!
Let’s start, then, with my first 5 sentence review, for a book I just finished today…
180 Seconds by Jessica Park
180 Seconds is a novel that totally blew me away and was so unexpectedly enjoyable that I nearly finished it in its entirety in one day, and stayed up way past my bedtime on a Sunday night to do so. The relationship developed between Allison, a scarred young woman who has suffered throughout her life at the hands of the foster care system, and Esben, a social media savant, is well-paced and full of witty and flirtatious banter as well as heartfelt moments of personal growth and maturity. I was particularly struck by how Jessica Park tackles the prevalence of social media in our current culture, and emphasizes the positive results that can come by being so connected to the world around us and to individuals from all different walks of life. Although there were bitter and sad moments throughout the novel, the message was overall incredibly uplifting, and each one of the characters, from the main characters (Allison and Esben) to the secondary characters (Steffi, Simon, Kerry) undergo significant and realistic/human changes. I would highly recommend this novel to millenials who are curious about how to use social media to its full potential, but also to romance readers who are interested in a unique take on how social media can strengthen interpersonal relationships.
❥❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)
Girl with a Green Heart