Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Book Reviews!

Amie Grosshans

This semester we are required to write three book reviews and post them to our class Google site.  We can read any YA books we want, but one of them has to feature a minority and/or LGBTQ+ character and one has to be a non-fiction or an informational text.  There are two parts to the reviews: the first is a very short blurb, two or three sentences, that explains the gist of the book, and the second is a more thorough review.  I have written one review so far and am working on the second.  Surprisingly, I had a much easier time writing the small blurb than I did the full review.  For me, it was fun to think of how to condense the book down to two or three sentences.  It forced me to think of the overarching theme of the book and what the main character is experiencing.  I knew I only had a limited amount of space to use and that helped me focus on the most important details and themes.  I love playing with words, so I really enjoyed working and reworking my sentences to capture the essence of the book.  It was a fun challenge.

            Writing the second part was a bit trickier.  Not only did I have to explain the plot, but I also had to evaluate the pros and cons of all parts of the book, including the characters, the plots, and the writing.  I have to do all of this without giving away too many plot details, either.  That’s harder to do than I thought!  Since it’s not possible to go over all the themes of the book, I had to narrow it down to a few of the most important ones.  I also had to consider the target audience of the book and how they would read and receive the book.  Would they find the characters believable or not?  Would they relate to the plot?  Would they find the book easy to read or struggle to get through it?  This was tricky because I had to push aside my personal opinion and think about the larger audience.  It was definitely good to get out of my head a bit, though.  My next task is to find a non-fiction/informational text.  I have a few ideas, but I don’t think I’ve hit on the right one yet.  I’ll keep searching!