On what is a book review

I’ve been reading Philip Reeve’s ‘Mortal Engines’ and am very close to finishing it. I was gripped by his world straight away, and wanted to tell you all about it, but have been holding off until I finished the book. This is purely out of habit – for the last few months I have been waiting until I close the back cover of a book before I write about it. This seems silly, now that I think about it, but I’m sure that a lot of people writing about books do this, but they are probably writing reviews, where you need an overarching understanding of the book in its entirety. But, I’ve been thinking to myself, I don’t caljwahar I write ‘reviews’ – I’m more jotting down thoughts that occur to me when I’m reading or have read a book. Is that a review? What are the confines of a review? When is a book review not a book review?

And I also got thinking about when you are ‘allowed’ to write about a book. If you read the first chapter of a book and absolutely love it, is it too soon to write on a blog ‘I love this book’? Do you need to have read a whole book before you write that you enjoy it, or don’t enjoy it? Do you have to have read the whole book to past judgement on it? We can say ‘I love this tv show’ without having seen the whole season. Can you do the same with a book? Is there a point when you are allowed to have formed a solid opinion of it? After the halfway mark? After a certain number of chapters? Pages? Do you have to wait until the climax?

I don’t think there are really any answers for this, other than my saying ‘I like this book’ and disclaiming that I haven’t finished it yet. I really really liked it in the beginning, and my admiration of it has dropped a little bit (there was one crucial scene which I think might have been done a bit better) but I still have the climax and denouement to go. Maybe I’ll save what I do like about it for a proper post about it. My post on poor ‘Mortal Engines’ has sort of been hijacked by random musings. Sorry! I’ll get back on track soon!


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