Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In the Book Reviewer Hot Seat: Reader Rabbit

Next up for the hot seat, Reader Rabbit! Erm, or should that be hot seats--I see there are actually two of you! Okay, well this should be interesting... But just in case, let's also give away a book--just leave a comment to be entered to win Shift by Jennifer Bradbury! (Deadline to enter is June 29th, winner announced June 30th).

What's your handle? Reader Rabbit 1 & 2
What kind of books do you review? We primarily review YA but we'll review anything if it sounds good.
Approx # of books reviewed? About 40 and counting!
Where can we find your reviews? Readerrabbit.blogspot.com/ or on Chapters.ca
Reading turn-ons: Strong, well-developed characters, and descriptive writing. Any genre's good, though.
Reading turn-offs:
RR2: Annoying, and unrealistic characters, who get on my nerves. And then I want to shoot them. *waves gun, enthusiastically*
RR1: Ummm, RR2?
RR2: Uh, sorry *hastily puts gun away* Maybe not to that extent.
RR1: Agreed and slow moving plots can really put me off.
RR2: Slow beginnings are okay, though. Some of the best books I've read have slow beginnings.

Class of 2K8 books reviewed:
RR2: May I take this opportunity to gush enthusiastically about Shift? *gushes*
RR1: Ooh, yes, we loved Shift. One of the best books I've read this year.
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Read my Lips
And expect reviews of A Difficult Boy, Bewitching Season and The Lucky Place are coming up soon!

Yay, we can't wait! We love the crazy handles book reviewers come up with—tell us how you came up with yours! A little bit about how you got into book reviewing would be cool too.

RR1: Do any of you remember those old Reader Rabbit Children's games...we were avid players. (LALAA WE'RE TOTALLY ORIGINAL)
RR2: *hums Reader Rabbit theme song*

Describe your grading system and how that translates to the reader?

RR1: Basically we average the score that we think the book deserves in rereadability, originality, characterization and it all adds up to how much we like it, out of 10. We're planning on changing the system soon so that all the categories are separately scored per review so look out of that coming soon...

That should be interesting! How do you pick the books you review? Or are they picked for you? Do you ever read books that wouldn't normally interest you—and if so have you ever been surprised by what you've read?

RR2: If we're sent a book by an author or publisher, then we'll review it for sure. Other books we might review because we have something to say about it, or we just want to recommend it, because we think it's great.

What are the best ways to find new books? Any advice for authors about getting their book noticed by reviewers?

RR1: The best way to find good books are to read our blog, of course.;) Ha, just kidding. But that is one way.
RR2: Another way is to read authors blogs. They often have recommendations. Or I suppose you could ask your librarian. Or, if you're anything like me then you may just stare at the bookshelf and choose whichever book pops out at you the most.
RR1: Advice? Hmm..well, sending us a review copy works…or really, just write a really good book. Good books speak for themselves.
RR2: Or if you want to be sure that we'll read it, then, you could just wave it in our face. That is a sure way to get it noticed.
RR1: That too, I suppose.

And don't forget to send carrots, right? Sorry, bad interviewer. Moving along, if you really aren't feeling a book—will you make the ultimate sacrifice and finish it for the sake of the review?

RR1: For sure, especially if someone has taken the trouble to send it to us for reviewing.

If you really love a book—will you read it again? If so—what are some of the books you just had to read more than once?

We adore rereading. I swear I've read every single book on my shelf at least 10 times, so I'll pick the ones I've reread a gazillion times!
RR1: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
RR2: Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
Both: All 7 Harry Potters <3>Great choices!

Do you have a basic philosophy on what should be included in a review—or does it depend on the book itself?

RR1: Well, we always include a summary, and some points on why we thought the book was good or bad.
RR2: But, really it depends on the book. Some books we'll have more to say on than others.

Tell us about the last time your jaw dropped open, you laughed, or you cried while reading a book.

RR2: Hey, I never cry.
RR1: Uh, yeah, you do. You totally cried when you read The Book Thief.
RR2: Uh, no I didn-oh, fine, I did. But it was only a little. And, you cried when , when…
RR1: HA, you can't think of anything.
RR2: Well, you laughed when you read The Squad books. You laugh when things aren't even funny.
RR1: But Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Squad books are great, so check them out!

Did you know Book Chic almost cried reading Alive and Well in Prague, New York? Just sayin'. Is there any character in a book that you wish would come to life? Or any place you wish existed?

RR2: Oh, yes, I wish that Eugenides from The Thief would come to life. (I mean, who doesn't?) And Flannery from the Basic Eight so I can figure out how mentally stable she really is.
RR1: *dreamily* I wish for Edward. No explanation necessary of course.
RR2: Uh-huh. Well, for places I was going to say Bayern from Shannon Hale's books, but then I realized that Bayern was real.
RR1: uh…no, it isn't.
RR2: Uh, look over there, I can see Enna Isilee galloping across- oh
RR1: yeah.

Focus rabbits! What books do you find yourself recommending over and over and why?

RR2: The King of Attolia, and The Book Thief because they ROCK.
RR1: Uh, I don't think that's a good enough reason…
RR2: But it's true. Besides, I bet you can't do any better than me.
RR1: Bet you I can. *smugly* I do everything better than you.
RR2: Oh, yeah! Well, what about that time when you-
RR1: *whispers* Be quiet or I'll tell them about that other time-
RR2: I mean, do continue.
RR1: Harry Potter because-
RR2: You don't need to recommend that. Everyone's heard of it.
RR1: *elbows*
RR2: Owwww…
RR1: Anyway, Twilight because Edward's in it.
RR2: Typical. Jacob's better! UNITE, JACOB-FANS, UNITE!
RR1: *ignores RR2* And Fearless by Francine Pascal. They're so entertaining and the story just absorbs you with its quick pace.
RR2: Well, The King of Attolia because I love the way that the author allows you to figure out things on your own and I love the surprises that she throws in (and then you go back and realize that were she was hinting about it all along). It has a little bit of romance, quite of a lot of trickery and believable characters. The Book Thief, on the other hand- hey! Are you listening?
RR1: *snores*
RR2: ahem.
RR1: Wha-? Umm…that was brilliant. Wait, what were you talking about again?

Okay, this should wake RR1 up, our Extra Scandalous Question (note the capital letters! That means wake up!!)—really bad reviews—do you ever fear giving them? Ever had an author get upset with you? (It's okay—you can tell us, just don't name names!) And what advice do you have for authors who get a bad review?

RR2: Yes, I hate the idea of giving a bad review because I can hardly imagine the time and effort spent on such an enormous task. You'll notice that on our blog there are very few negative reviews. This is mainly because our blog was created to recommend books and we don't like to review books we don't like because we know that a book we may hate may be loved by someone else.

So, chances are the negative reviews seen on our site are reviews of books sent to us for review-as per our policy we review every book we receive. And if we dislike a book, we will give an honest review.

Advice? Hmm...just to not take it personally- remember that it's only my opinion. It's nothing personal. And I may hate a book that the rest of the world may love. Besides for all you know, I was grouchy the day I read it or maybe it was just personal taste. Either that or I spent too many hours listening to RR1 worship Edward…

Note: This conversation is (almost) entirely manufactured. In case you're wondering, this blog is not written by one schizophrenic-there are actually two of us. And we are not as crazy as we sound. RR1 is not an Edward-worshiper (well, not that much anyway). RR2 has never touched a gun in her life, and plans to keep it that way, and also, she does not hallucinate. (At least as far as she knows).

Yeah, right....we believe you (erm...both). We also believe you love Shift by Jennifer Bradbury--so much so we are giving a copy away--all you have to do is comment to be entered to win! (deadline to enter is June 29th--winner will be announced Monday June 30th)

"(Shift) is riveting, from the start to the finish, once I started I was unable to stop until I'd consumed the entire book.So basically, anyone (boy, girl, alien...) should pick Jennifer Bradbury's debut (Class of 2k8 baby!) up." Reader Rabbit


Laurel said...

This is great. So few people are willing to give really bad reviews. Nice that you're willing to risk stalkers.

Heh heh heh...


Chelsea said...

Ha! I love the RR's. So funny. And they both have great reviews.

Shift looks amazingly good and I'd love to be enetered! =)

Little Willow said...

Hi there, Reader Rabbits! I love The Book Thief as well.

Keri Mikulski said...

Great interview! :)

Madison said...

Teehee. You guys are great.

Bayern is real, though. It's in Germany.

Anonymous said...

That was so, so funny. Great interview.


Jessica Burkhart said...

Oooh, Edward AND Jacob fans. Must be fun in the RR1 and RR2 hoursehold! :) *go Team Edward* LOL

Anonymous said...

Great interview!!!

Anonymous said...

Silly, silly rabbits. Loved your interview.

Anonymous said...

Great interview- absolutely hilarious. Such a good read. :) I love your guys' site!

Oh, and lol at the mention of my almost crying, haha.

Anonymous said...

Oh, RR's great! The book sounds fascinating. I look forward to reading it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Interesting. I remember Reader Rabbit, which we bought for my son. I grew up myself long before that. Even at 49 I still read YA books on occassion though, and I have great fond memories of such writers as Walter Farley and Jim Kjelgaard.

Marissa Doyle said...

OMG my daughters had all the Reader Rabbit games!

And Rabbits (of all descriptions) RULE!!!

Marissa, who has a spoiled rotten pet rabbit

Sydney Salter said...

Thanks for the insight--and now I've got even MORE books on my to-read list! --Sydney

Anonymous said...

I agree with Laurel in congratulating you on your integrity. Great interview. :)

Erin said...

Oh my that was hilarious!!

Yay Attolia and Bayern. :)

daphne grab said...

the attolia books are some of my absolute favorites- i can't wait for the next one!

awesome interview you guys!


Amee said...

Haha, I love your whackiness!

Great interview!

Kyle said...

I borrowed Shift from a friend and I loved it too! Haha I don't like characters that get on my nerves either.

I would love to win Shift!



Lenore Appelhans said...

YAY for rabbits. I love it when a book makes me cry.

Rachael Stein said...

hehe yeah. i love you guys, you're hilarious!

Liviania said...

I love Megan Whalen Turner! But you have to tell people to start at The Thief.

Kiki said...

Heh, I just found a new review site to read, awesome!
Thanks for the great interview.

The Compulsive Reader said...

Ah, The Book Thief was a wonderful book. Great interview, you guys!


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Loved the interview. It was fun to see two people, instead of the normal one.
I really want to read Shift too. It looks awesome!! :)


Anonymous said...

Awesome interview, runny babbits!
I love it.
I especially loved your explanation of handling bad reviews. Nicely done.

Elainareads said...

Great interview! I really enjoy your blog.


Bunny B said...

RR's funny :P

Anonymous said...

hahaaha, I love this interview!!! Its very funny!!

Grace L

Meredith said...

I love the crazy conversation between RR1 and RR2. That made me laugh!


Breanna said...

Haha, great interview. I read Reader Rabbit a lot.

Please enter me to win Shift! I've been wanting to read it for a while now.


Anonymous said...

Twilight series and Harry Potter are THE series to read.

I really love your team name. And the pictures with the little rabbits ?. So cute. haha.

Carmen T

Nurin said...

Thanks so much for the chance to take part in the interviews class of 2k8 ;)

Amy said...

This interview had me laughing out loud! Now I have to read Shift!

Steph said...

I love RR -- she's my BFF <333 GREAT interview!!