Between being very busy and being fonder of creating stuff than of reviewing other people’s stuff, I hadn’t thought I’d enjoy being a reviewer very much. To my surprise, it’s been very good for me. Knowing that I need to make time to write a review motivates me to read books and watch movies that I’d otherwise probably put off. Writing reviews also helps me pay closer attention to what I’m reading/viewing, to think about it more critically, and to remember it better. So…I’m quite glad to be a reviewer for the site and hope to do more for it in 2014.
For my three favorite reviews in 2013…I thought it would be most fair to choose one favorite for each of the other reviewers. Here they are.
Gravity Falls, Season 1
For Megan, I chose her review of Gravity Falls, Season 1. The writing is solid and precise. The review does a good job of setting up the story without giving away “spoilers.” Megan’s review made me want to track down and watch a show that I hadn’t previously heard of—let alone wanted to watch—and that, I think, is one important key to a good review: to make readers want to try something new.
>> Read the review
Twilight Graphic Novel 1 & 2 by Stephanie Meyer and Young Kim
For Douglas, I chose his review of the Twilight Graphic Novels 1 & 2. I must admit, I hate Twilight with a passion. The writing is terrible. Bella is irritating. Edward is creepy, straying too often toward abusive. The storyline does absolutely nothing for my moderately-feminist sensibilities. And the only way I could stand watching any of the movies (only made it through one-and-a-half) was with the blessed relief of Riff Tracks.
So why, you may wonder, did I choose this review as my favorite of Douglas’ reviews? Well…he doesn’t like Twilight, either. But he gives the graphic novels a fair chance to stand on their own and, while he’s quite forthright about shortcomings that carry over from other versions, he also does a great job of highlighting strengths the graphic novels have that other renditions of the story have lacked. He gives the graphic novels a fair, detailed-without-giving-too-much-away review. Like Megan’s review, this review of Douglas’ makes me want to check out something I otherwise would not have considered.
Am I going to rush to order my very own copies of these graphic novels? Nope, no way. But if I find them at the library, I’ll give them a chance.
>> Read the review
Lio: There’s a Monster in My Socks by Mark Tatulli
For Joe, I chose his review of Lio: There’s a Monster in My Socks, for the simple reason that it was so much fun to read. It was clear that Joe very much enjoyed the book, and that he enjoyed reviewing it. With little word plays (“this book delivers it in grave-digging spades”), succinct summaries of what makes the book and the comic strip so enjoyable, and links making it very easy for readers to check out the series or track down a copy of the book, this was a very fun, helpful review.