Warning: Random post at 1 in the morning that has little substance and will lack cohesion.
So I was reading (aka stalking) some book review blogs, along with reviews on various books on amazon.com, and I found something that greatly interested me. And this idea is by no means unique, it's just that I felt now was a fun time to write my thoughts about it.
The idea is hard to word properly, but it's basically: One person dislikes something about a book(s), series, or author(s) for a specific reason, yet another person likes those books for those exact reasons.
A really big/main/obvious example is Sarah Dessen. Anyone see that coming? It's what a few people call the Dessen 'formula', and the reason all her books are so successful is because they follow the integral formula that is essentially the same for the majority of her books (minus Dreamland). It is the girl with troubled life &/or troubled family goes through self-growth with the help of a dream boy (sa-woon, lol), included are metaphors, cute scenes, and again, amazing boys.
Now, I am on one side of the fence saying: but that's what is so great about her books! She manages to write a captivating story with a lovely storyline and never fails to make me smile. The books are similar and I like that because the similar aspect (ie the formula) is just so swoon worthy. I like the fact that all the boys are so dream-esque (Eli, Wes, Dexter, etc). I like the fact that the girl and the boy don't coast through with the perfect relationship, I like the fact that the girls are sometimes insecure but still realistic. And above all, I don't mind that the books are similar. Would I like something refreshingly new the next time around? Sure, but continue down this path and I won't complain too loudly either. Anyways, I think her books get better because her writing improves. The books are still charming, fluffy, romantic, and they make me smile.
Yet on the other side of the fence are people yelling: "It's getting boring! Write something new! Have a new plot! Different characters! The formula is getting old, and Dessen fails to recapture the essence of her earlier books!" A perfectly reasonable complaint, just one I don't agree with.
The bottom line is: this is all perspective. Your opinion. Do you like the formula? I do. But you might not, and you're entitled to your opinion. And in these cases, no one is wrong, because a review is an honest opinion, right?(what an awkward sentence...) That's why the Dessen book reviews on my site are positive: I like the stuff she writes; but on other people's blogs, they will be negative because the reviewer thinks the formula is old and boring.
My question to you is: Do you like the "Dessen formula" or would you prefer something completely different?