Reviewing with Heart


A couple of days ago I read Lauren’s post in which she discusses reading, rating, and reviewing, and how following either her head or her heart can alter the “bookish process” as she calls it. After reading that post I began to think about how I’m a lot like Lauren, in that when I read, rate, and review, and form opinions, I tend to follow my brain for some jobs, and my heart for others. So I decided to write a post similar to her’s, discussing my thought process when it comes to reading and reviewing.


I read fully with my heart. I read for enjoyment. Becoming a book blogger and reviewing books hasn’t changed that for me at all. It’s actually pretty rare where I’ll read a book and not enjoy it at least a little bit. That’s because when I read I’m totally into it, and I’m having fun, because much like blogging, reading is a hobby. I don’t over-analyze or criticize the writing while I read, because for me, that would ruin the story. Even if it’s the worst story in the world, I could probably pinpoint a part that I enjoyed. Of course there are things that will stand out as negative sometimes, but I try not to focus on that and let it take away from the parts I’m enjoying. That’s just how I am. I love a story. And most of all, I love reading them.

If you’ve noticed, I don’t DNF many books, and the majority of the books I read are rated 3 or above. Now I like to think that’s because I’m getting good at choosing what I’ll like, and what will be a good read, but it’s also because as I said before, I can pretty much find something to like. Now you’re probably thinking, well, does this mean her reviews aren’t reliable?


Reviewing is where I get to be the composed and intelligent blogger and the crazy fangirl at the same time. I review with my head and my heart, but depending on the book one will most likely dominate the other. For some books, I don’t really decide on a rating until after I’ve written my review. While I write about a book, I can kind of gauge the quality of the book and the enjoyment I felt from reading it based upon how many fangirly paragraphs I write, and how many nit-picky ones I write. So if you’ve been reading this blog a while, you’ve probably noticed how my reviews don’t have a particular style to them. Sometimes I’ll be serious, sometimes I’ll go on crazy rants of rage or excitement. It just depends on me, and the book.


Ratings are where I solely use my brain. This is for a couple of reasons. The first being that someone may visit the blog, skim the review, and miss out on a point that I made. I want the rating to accurately convey how I feel that the majority of readers would think of the book (which I would assume to be more along the lines of a serious and more analytical view). Also, ratings are more universal. There’s Goodreads ratings, other bloggers ratings, etc. Each mean different things specifically, but the accepted star rating system is 1 to 5, 1 being bad, 5 being amazing based on the quality of the book. For example, I’ve written fangirly reviews for books that I’ve only given a 3 star rating because while the story was there, the writing wasn’t.

So how do you read, rate, and review? Who wins out: your head or your heart?


5 thoughts on “Reviewing with Heart

  1. I love this! Glad I could inspire the post 🙂 It’s a fun topic and I’m always curious to see how others feel too. My biggest thing is always reading what I want, when I want. Liking what you read and reading for enjoyment is my #1 priority, so the rest usually reflects that!

  2. Great post, Emily! In general, I tend to be a very analytical person, but I have occasional surges of immense emotion. I definitely read with my heart. Reading, to me, is meant to be a way to escape reality for a few hours at a time; I read because I love to read, not because I know I’ll be writing a review later. I never write a review immediately after finishing a book. I like to simply allow my feelings to sink in. My reviews tend to be on the analytical side, probably because I’ve grown so used to writing opinion pieces for newspaper, where every review and column needs to be balanced and informative. The true sign of an amazing book is when it makes me lose my analytical side completely, when the review becomes less about the merits and failures of individual elements and more about pure, enthusiastic fangirling.

  3. I read with my head but have the feels with my heart. For me, if I don’t pay attention to the things going on critically enough, every book is a five star and I’m missing lots of problems. However, I also love to get the feels and that’s obviously straight from the heart.

    As for reviewing, it’s all about the head. I rate right after I finish the book, before I write the review. It’s really easy for me because usually, I know what it gets [because I’m so critical throughout the novel.] I do use my heart and try to be nicer in my reviews when it comes to rant reviews but at the same time, I want my thoughts to be unbiased and fresh.

    GREAT post!!

  4. I am mostly half heart and half head with most points. Although my review is slightly more head and my ratings are more heart. I want my ratings to adequately convey how much I enjoyed the book. With reading it’s certainly about how much I enjoy it, but I also can point out things I don’t like even with books I love. However the more I enjoy the book the less likely I am to care about small issues. I will however mention those things in my reviews. It’s certainly an interesting topic.

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