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Online Teen Forum Review Essay

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The Book & Reader forums is a place designed for users of all ages to discuss books. Within the forums of this website there is one forum described as being intended for children and young adult books. This forum seems to receive a limited amount of traffic. A search using the forum’s search feature revealed that since the beginning of the year there have been 33 posts. While some of these posts were written by adults, I also a detected several that appeared to have been written by teens. The forum does not require members to post their age; however, in older posts I noted that several teens mentioned their age. Posters are only able to be identified by as much information as they are willing to share, so it is difficult to determine…show more content…
Also, individuals on this forum often reply to original threads started years ago. Unlike some forums, this is actually encouraged by the staff members, but it makes following a thread difficult at times.
Compared to Traditional Reviews The reviews I read on the forum were less concerned with a succinct, comprehensive overview of the book like one would expect in a professional review on a site like Kirkus. Rather, they focused on an emotional attachment to the book as a reason to review or recommend it to others. For example, in a discussion on Charlotte’s Web, one individual explains that she hated the book because she was forced to read it several times in elementary school (evie, 2004). Although the opinions on the forum were hardly reviews in the professional sense of the word, I was surprised that they so frequently included some sort of visceral reaction to the book. Often there was little explanation concerning the particulars of the story and the author chose to focus instead on the fact that a main character made them angry or that the ending was unexpected or happy. It is difficult to determine which review has the greater authority. If an individual were simply trying to discern whether the plot would be interesting, then certainly a professional review would be more authoritative. However, the conversational reviews I read between friends reminded me of the power of a personal opinion. While
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