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My comments on certain blogs do not seem to be going through for reasons I haven’t been able to ascertain. If you don’t see reciprocal comments on your site, that is why. I am doing my best each week to say hello to everyone!
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, it’s rare for me to love a book so much that I can’t review it properly.
I’ve been reviewing books for so many years now that I can write my way out of nearly any dilemma, from figuring out diplomatic ways to word constructive criticisms to gushing about a story for paragraphs on end without giving away any important plot twists.
There are a myriad of ways to discuss most books with kindness and without spoilers.
With that being said, there has been one recent exception to this rule.
It’s a novella I’ve wholeheartedly recommended to everyone I know who has ever so much as glanced in the direction of speculative fiction.
The storytelling was so tightly woven that I didn’t even mind the fact that it seems to be the beginning of a serial.
Normally, I strictly avoid tales that drop off at exciting moments and make you wait for the next instalment to see what happens next.
This one figured out how to pack so much world building and character development into the first instalment that I don’t mind waiting for the sequel, especially since it has had such a hopeful vision of what humanity’s future might look like.
“A Psalm for the Wild-Built” by Becky Chambers couldn’t have been better.
I adored the protagonist, a non-binary tea monk who was so restless and dissatisfied with their life they decided to leave the safe zone where humans had lived for generations to see what they might find in the wild forests that covered all of the places humanity had abandoned.
The world they lived in was such a safe, harmonious place. There was no more war or environmental destruction. Everyone lived simply and no one went without what they needed to survive.
I spent the entire novella wondering what the main character would find on their journey. I yearned for it to be something wonderful that they could bring back to show everyone.
There are so many other things I wish I could say about this novella, but I really do have to be careful about giving away thrilling plot twists to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.
Maybe someday soon I’ll figure out a way to discuss this short work in greater detail and properly review it before the sequel comes out this summer!
54 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books Too Good to Review Properly
I always think novellas are cleverer than full length novels as you have to compress so much into less space. Great review, I”ll have to look out for this one!
Thank you, Lisa!
Novellas are always a challenge! I found Psalm hard to review too (although for the opposite reason: I liked the world-building but formed a very dim view of Dex, which made it hard to get behind their adventures). Trying to write a critical review of a book by an author you typically love and a book you know most people adored feels very awkward, as it turns out!
Yeah, I can totally see how you would struggle with something like that. Good for you for knowing your limits.
Interesting that in all your reading there has only been one that has been so tricky to review!
I know, right?
I would have thought I’d have a dozen answers to this prompt. It’s impressive that so many folks had 10+ books to discuss!
You have expressed yourself very well with this and it makes me want to read this even more now!
Thank you, Greg! I hope you love this book if you read it.
Most of the time, my problem isn’t having NO words but just not having the RIGHT ones to properly convey what I’m trying to say. I always want to express myself perfectly, but that definitely does not always happen!
I’m not much of a sci-fi/fantasy reader, but I did enjoy the first novella in the Murderbot series. It was the perfect length for me. I don’t think I ever reviewed it, but I get you on the difficulties of trying to properly review books in that format.
Thank you, Susan! And thanks for stopping by.
Even though you didn’t originally review it, I think you gave it a great review just now.
Aww, thanks. 🙂
I loved, loved, loved A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and want to read everything by Becky Chambers!!! So, I definitely need to add this to my TBR, especially now knowing there’s a nonbinary character.
I hope you love this book! The sequel comes out in July, FYI.
Great post! I didn’t write a review of this book either, and basically for the same reasons. I loved it and thought it was beautiful, and I just couldn’t figure out what to say about it.
Thank you. I’m glad you get it.
I have been seeing this book everywhere! I’m totally going to pick it up but know that a lot of people had a tough time reviewing it. Novella’s are always so hard to review.
Yes, they sure are sometimes! I hope you love this book.
I just added A Psalm for the Wild-Built to my TBR. It sounds beautiful. Your “non review” has hooked me.
Thank you! I hope you love it.
Wow, this sounds really good!
Novella’s are so tricky! If I love them, I always want them to have been longer, a full novel, which then feels like a criticism. I’ve only read Chambers Long Way to a Small Angry Planet so far, but I really would like to try more. A Psalm for the Wild-Built has been on my radar, between the cover and the cool, new premise.
Yes, they sure are! I love reading them, but writing a spoiler-free review is tricky for sure.
I hope you adore A Psalm for the Wild-Built.
Oh, I loved Psalm for the Wild-Built also. I know I reviewed it, but I don’t remember at the moment if I was happy with the review I wrote for it.
My TTT: https://bookwyrmknits.com/2022/02/15/top-ten-tuesday-books-too-hard-to-review-properly/
I’m glad you loved it, too! I just left a comment on your post. 🙂
I like that you ended up turning this into a review, lol. A Psalm for the Wild-Built sounds really interesting. I might have to look into reading it thanks to your review.
Heh, thank you! I hope you like it if you read it. But no pressure of course. 🙂
This is high on my priority TBR! I think I’ll save it for Novellas in November!
I have difficulty with commenting on blogspot blogs. I find that using my laptop for comments on those blogs works better than my iPad.
Thank you. May you enjoy it!
I’ll have to try commenting on blogspot blogs from other devices to see if it helps. Thanks for the tip!
Sounds interesting! I don’t read many novellas.
I’m glad you found an exception to the pattern you’d found yourself in!
Nice work. I had to change the topic this week.
Good for you for changing the topic! Sometimes certain topics just don’t vibe with certain participants. It’s happened to me, too. 🙂
That’s really impressive that you’ve always been able to review everything you’ve read. I’ve been eyeing that Becky Chambers’ novella and now I’m even more intrigued since it has proven challenging for you to review. It sounds fantastic!
Thank you! I hope you like this book.
This just sounds incredibly interesting!
It sure was!
Oh I really need to pick this up!
I hope you like it!
I loved this book! I reviewed it because I got it as an ARC, but it’s definitely a tough book to describe and not reveal too much.
Yay! So glad you loved it. I wish it were easier to talk about without sharing spoilers. 🙂
I still haven’t read a Becky Chambers book (I know!) but this one is definitely high up on my list cos I’ve heard amazing things about it. I can tell by your review how much you enjoyed it and hope I do too! 😍 Great post, Lydia!
Thank you. What a nice thing to say. 🙂
I’m really looking forward to this one!
Check out my <a href="http://never-anyone-else.blogspot.com/2022/02/top-ten-tuesday-books-too-good-to.html" TTT
Novellas can be tricky to review, for sure! For me, some books give me so many thoughts and feelings I feel inadequate when I try to put them into a review. You’re very lucky not to have this kind of writer’s block. 🙂
Thank you. Yeah, novellas definitely can be tricky. I’ll be cheering you on if you review any in the near future! (But no pressure, of course. 🙂 )
Oh my, this one sounds so very intriguing.. Love the cover, the title, and your thoughts on it as well.. I am going to look for it
Yay! I hope you like it.