In the Reviewer Spotlight: Christy B.

Welcome to the Reviewer Spotlight, where dedicated book reviewers share their thoughts on reading and reviewing historical fiction! Today's guest is Christy B.!

Why do you read historical fiction?

     When I read, I want to be transported to a different time or world than the one I’m living. It’s good to escape reality.

What are you reading now?
     Obedience by Jacqueline Yallop.
What makes a great read for you?
     Characters that break gender roles. Meaning: men who don’t have to prove their masculinity every five seconds, and women who take control of their own lives. 
What’s your biggest turnoff?
     The typical Regency romances that include men who can’t take no for an answer, or who have something to prove and women who don’t have a brain cell in their heads. Oh, I could go on and on.
Where do you stand on the fact vs. fiction debate within the genre?
     I’m all for stretching fact to make a good story. If it’s a good story, I don’t even notice if a fact is wrong until someone else points it out. Just as long as there is a good balance between fact and fiction and the facts aren’t twisted unrealistically, then I’m good.
Are there any subjects that are overdone?
     Tudors and the Regency.
Are there any subjects you’d like to see more of?
     Edwardian era, or more specifically: the Belle Epoque. Also, WWI.
Do you read any of these historical fiction sub-genres: mystery, inspirational, fantasy, romance? Why or why not?
     I read most sub-genres except for inspirational/Christian. I’ve gone off on mystery, fantasy and romance kicks, but they all have to be historical. Contemporary just doesn’t interest me.
What’s the last historical fiction book you read and loved?
     While England Sleeps by David Leavitt. It takes place during the 1930s and is about the love affair between two men named Brian and Edward. It was very heartbreaking, but it’s staked a permanent place in my heart.
What’s the last historical fiction book you read and hated?
     It’s been a while since I’ve read one I’ve really hated, but I guess I’d say The Black Dahila, although that was a while ago. Can’t even describe how much I hated it.
What’s your favorite time period to read about?
     Georgian and Edwardian.
Who are your favorite historical fiction authors?
     Jennifer Donnelly, Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley
How often do you read?
     Every single day.
Do you read print books, ebooks, or both? Which is your preference?
     I read both, and I don’t really have a preference. I am usually reading both a physical book and an ebook at the same time.
Do you have a favorite place to read?
     In bed, at night, when the house is quiet.
Where do you post your reviews?
     Goodreads and my blog.
Do you write a review for every book you read?
     No, I don’t like feeling obligated to do that. If I’ve read a book I’ve really loved, but don’t feel like writing a review, I’ll usually write a few lines about it because I can’t not.
Do you read other reviews of a book you’ve read before you write yours?
     Sometimes, if I’m stuck, I’ll skim others’ reviews for an idea to inspire me.
Do you read your friends’ reviews of books you’ve also reviewed? If so, do you find that your thoughts tend to be similar or dissimilar?
     Oh, yeah. It’s one of the first things I do when I finish a book. Most of the time, ideas are similar.
Do you have any pet peeves about book reviewing in general?
     Spoilers. I’ve come across a few reviews while I’m reading a book and just get so angry. There’s no warning or anything. I feel like throwing the book out the window and saying, “What’s the point?”
Have you ever stopped following someone because of a review they’d written?
     Can’t recall ever doing so, but it’s not something I wouldn’t do in the future.
Where do you think readers can find the most trustworthy reviews?
How much weight do you give to reviews when choosing whether to read a book?
     A bit. Sometimes, if I really like the sound of a book, I’ll just ignore reviews if most of them are negative. However, I just bought a book that I bought based on both good and bad reviews. By reading both, I concluded that this would be a book I’d really enjoy.
What do you like best about being a book reviewer?
     Meeting people with similar interests to me. Oh, and getting new books ahead of release!

Thanks for stopping by, Christy!
Check out Christy's Blog or find her on Goodreads!
Stay tuned for more
Reviewer Spotlights!


  1. Wonderful review! I love getting the nerdy details from other readers/bloggers about what they love.

    I'm going out tonight to find While England Sleeps -- sounds amazing!

    I too echo Christy's thoughts that Regencies and Tudors are a bit overdone -- I love more unusual settings in my hist fic.

  2. Great responses, Christy.

    I said in my interview that I would like to see more Regency historical fiction, but after reading your response to what's been overdone I realize there are tons of Regency Romances out there! I wish authors would write more non-romance historicals about the period, though.

    Definitely agree with your comment about hating it when reviewers include spoilers.

  3. To build off of your answer of hating spoilers - I hate it when 90% of the review is summary of the story. I read a review for what the person thought of the book and an analysis of the good and bad. If I want a summary I will just read the book blurb. If I'm reading the review I'm probably already aware of what it is about - at least to some degree. Great interview!


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