Books That Are So Good I Struggle to Review Them

Do you ever sit down at your computer to write a review of a book you absolutely loved, but you find yourself struggling to do the book justice? This absolutely happens to me, and those are the books that I am going to share today.

I just finished A Natural History of Dragons for a read-a-long that I am cohosting, and I am struggling to put into words why I loved it as much as I did. The best I can come up with is that it is a Jane Austen novel with dragons. I really need to come up with more than this for our live discussion on March 2nd! There is just an essence of this book that cannot be explained unless you have read it.

I often struggle with reviewing memoirs that I adored. It can be tricky to review memoirs in general because it is always in the back of my mind that this is someone’s life. Crying in H Mart is so beautiful and heartbreaking and I don’t know how to adequately describe it to you.

There is something about magical realism novels that makes them difficult for me to review, and that is especially true for The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina! The magic is so subtle and unique that I think explaining the plot could be confusing to readers or sound too out there, even though Zoraida Cordova handles it beautifully.

All of Becky Chamber’s novels are so quiet and character-driven, so reviewing them can be difficult. There is not a lot that happens in A Psalm for the Wild-Built, so I struggle with how to get across the reasons why I love it as much as I do.

The Ones Were Meant to Find is one of the weirdest SciFi novels I have ever read. So much of what I love about this book lies in the twists, which makes it so difficult to review. I also know that this will not be a book for everyone, and it can be hard for me to pinpoint what kind of reader will enjoy this one.

I actually have struggled to review all of Awaeke Emezi’s novels- they are all so unique! Pet is their first YA novel and it is an absolute delight. I think you have to read it to understand what makes it so special. The premise of a monster coming through a painting is so wild, but it works!

Punching the Air is written in verse, which is a way of storytelling that is difficult to review. The experience of reading this book is what makes it special and memorable. I usually tell people to read an excerpt to get an idea!

Piranesi was the best book that I read in 2021, but I don’t think I have ever spoken about it in a way that does it justice. If you have read this book, I think you can understand why! I have never read a book quite like it.

There is something about Transcendent Kingdom and Yaa Gyasi’s writing, in general, that is so special. This book takes on so many themes that I feel as though my review would be pages long in order to do the book justice!

Plain Bad Heroines is a big book and is a mix of so many genres- I never know where to begin when talking about it. It is also a book I know is for a very specific audience!

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33 thoughts on “Books That Are So Good I Struggle to Review Them

  1. I’ve been seeing Psalm all over the place! I still haven’t read any of her books yet. It was a goal last year and I failed. lol I just bought Crying in H Mart because I was so over the long library wait. They did away with fines and now things take soooo long. Great list!

    My Top Ten

  2. I really need to read A Psalm for the Wild-Built and Plain Bad Heroines, so I’m kinda glad to see them on here!

    My post!

  3. Piranesi was very hard to review, such an unusual book, and I didn’t even try with The Ones We’re Meant to Find. Twisty books are hardest to review because you don’t want to tell too much. I loved Crying in H Mart and Psalm, and also Transcendent Kingdom.

  4. This is such a good prompt, and I totally agree about Piranesi. Any time I recommend it to someone and they ask, “Oh, what is it about?” my brain stutters. I *know* it’s amazing, but I don’t know how to describe *why* it’s amazing — especially without giving away the entire plot.

  5. Yes, in fact, I have never reviewed my favorite book of all time – The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje – because I’m just so intimidated by its beauty (and what do I have to say that others haven’t already said)!

      1. Warning – it is VERY poetic, and he doesn’t bother explaining things, you have to feel the book to get it. Not for everyone, but… for me… just WOW!

  6. I totally hear you on the reviewing of memoirs! Just like you, I can’t shake that this was someone’s lived experience, so it’s tricky when I didn’t like it, but it doesn’t get easier when I loved it. I really want to read Crying in H Mart!!

  7. I live near a beach. When I can’t find the right words, I disconnect from routine and take a walk near the water. No music, no phone, nothing but the memories of the story and a calm scene. I’ll do it to encourage new thoughts and words into the space. It works most of the time. -Michael

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