Reviewing Contemporary Romance...

Have you ever had a hard time reviewing Contemporary Romance? Like you don't know what to say? What to include in your review? How to review a delicate subject, like for example, abuse? Drugs? Or is it just like reviewing other genre? Like Paranormal Romance? Post Apocalyptic? Fantasy? Sci-Fi?

Why am I asking about that? Well, that's because I am having a problem with it. Reviewing Contemporary Romance is a bit hard for me to do. Unlike reviewing other genre especially the fantasy kinds (e.g. Paranormal Romance, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi), because I could totally blame or praise how the world was built. How it made me imagine all the things described in that world. I could say I could easily picture the world that the author built or how it was not consistent with the world building.
Contemporary (From Urban Dictionary)
  1. Belonging to the same period of time:
  2. Of about the same age.
  3. Current; modern: contemporary trends in design.
  4. A person of the present age.
I asked some fellow bloggers if they also find it hard to review Contemporary than Fantasy novels or if it is a lot easier for them. I got mixed response. Although I only got a couple of people who answered it, I think I could say it actually depends on the reader and reviewer. Before getting to a conclusion, here's what they told me about the topic.

Alison of Alison Can Read:
Thanks for asking! Here goes...
I don't think reviewing Contemporary Romance is more difficult than reviewing other genres of books. What separates an easy book review from a hard book review for me is how good the book was. Good books and terrible books are easy reviews to write (although terrible books are a bit more challenging since I don't want to resort to petty insults). Mediocre books are the hardest to review. I have to establish why it was good but not great, bad but not terrible. Often times, it's hard to quantify what makes a book just "okay."
I'd love to help you!
I never thought about this question before but now that your brought it up, I think that yes, it's harder to review contemporary romances than paranormal or dystopian. Or at least, I find it hard to make my reviews of romance novels different from each other. I feel like I just keep on repeating what I say about every single one. Unlike with paranormal and dystopian novels, which usually also have their own romance elements in them, I can critique a lot of factors and components. I can comment on the world building or how realistic the new world is. With contemporary romances, everything is grounded in reality and there's no need for the author to introduce any world to the reader, which makes assimilation to the novel's setting easy. However, I do read more contemporary romances because of that same reason, that I don't have to exert much effort into making up and imagining this new set-up and world in my head. I can see everything clearly with a contemporary romance and for a visual person like me, it certainly helps.
Thank you!
Deniz of Closet Geeks and Slow Mo:
yes i do review contemp romances. i wouldn't say its harder. It's different. I read loads of fantasy, paranormal or steampunk. And in those the world building, character building and plot are ideally balanced. So i always always do ponder over all three aspect and mention those in a review. In contemporary romance for me character building is most important the plot second. So obviously I mention those in my review. For me writing style is most important with both, if i don't like it i wont like the book. So its a given that if i love a book i liked the prose.
In general though I think I look at contemporary romances way more subjective than other genres. Its less about the craft of putting a novel together and more about how it made me feel. (most of my romances are the cute and fluffy kind btw). So my reviews are also accordingly really how I felt about the romance. I think they are kinda less "professional" and I did try to be more objective in them, but decided against it. I think the way I look at them now, is my honest reaction to the book. It might not stand up in an intellectual forum - then I'm not reading contemporary romance to intellectually dissect it :)
does that make sense?
Jayne of Fiction_TheNewReality:
No, actually I prefer reviewing Contemporary Romance more than anything else. I've read so much Dystopian, and I try not to compare. But it is hard when some themes show up so often that one book just might be the point where I say "okay I've had enough with dystopian". So reviewing Dystopian or Paranormal is actually a bit tougher for me than Contemporary.
Based on this responses I got, I really could say that readers got different tastes. One might find it sooooo easy to review a Contemporary Romance novel, on the other hand, like me they'll find a hard time how to review it. Personally, I find hard to review  it because I can't entirely blame the setting and world building because it is or was set in a present world. Maybe I could, like say the author did a great job at description because it made me imagine all the things she said. Imagining is easy, especially for me. I got an overactive imagination that sometimes my mind exaggerate things. 

It's just that sometimes when I review Contemp books, I end up lecturing my readers. Or giving somewhat an advice on how to make life easier based on the topic of contemp I read. In addition, I somehow end up hating some characters in the book and it could lead to me rating it lower. Or the subject is something I do not like. I agree with Dianne, that it is hard to make Contemp reviews different with one another. See what I mean? It is super hard to review the contemp. 

How about you? How do you review Contemporary book? Where do you based your opinion about the books you read? Is it also hard for you? Share your thoughts please! Comment below to let us know what you think. :)

Thank you for taking time reading this post! <3


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