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Reflections of a Reviewer: My Personal Journey

Updated: May 8

By NB Youth Ambassador Devangana Sharma

As a young Digitally Lit book reviewer with a year's worth of experience at Digitally Lit, my journey has been exciting and rewarding- marked by development, learning, and a growing love for literature. I've improved my review methodology this year, widened my audience, and realised how much talent local authors have. As I got used to writing reviews, I initially ran into some difficulties. It was a delicate balancing act between giving away enough information without giving anything away. Additionally, it took a lot of practise and skill development for me to learn how to convey my ideas clearly while summarising a book. Seeking advice from everyone I know, each criticism and piece of advice I got helped me become a better reviewer by providing me with an opportunity to learn.

As I gained more confidence, I was able to find my voice. Each book review has a taste of myself. With each book review my writing style evolved to my personality, likes, and dislikes. Finding my own writing voice helped me to connect with reading and writing more.

Being exposed to a wide variety of authors and genres was one of the most important advantages of being a book reviewer. My role encouraged me to venture outside of my comfort zone and discover new literary horizons even though I already had my favourite genres. I experimented with genres I never imagined I'd like and, much to my surprise, found undiscovered gems that quickly became personal favourites.

My main objectives as a social activist have been to address various social problems and encourage constructive change. I have used my platform as a book reviewer to call attention to publications that address important social issues, such as, mental health, diversity and inclusion. I've helped to increase awareness and spark fruitful debate in the community by reviewing and praising these works. Promoting local authors has been an essential part of my journey so far. Supporting local talent enriches the literature out in the real world, based on the diverse books that local authors provide, their talent contributes to economic growth in the society.

As an artistic contributor, I have gotten to use a diverse set of artistic mediums. This includes visual arts, writing, including digital photography. Having the opportunity to bridge my artistic skills with one of my favourite hobbies- reading. I have created so many “pieces of art” using literacy to show my passion for activism.

I try to highlight books that encourage empathy and understanding through my reviews. Reading literature has the unique power to immerse readers in various worlds, cultures, and viewpoints. I hope to inspire readers to broaden their horizons, confront prejudice, and develop empathy for others by recommending diverse and culturally varied works.

In conclusion, my journey as a book reviewer, social activist, influencer, and artistic contributor with Digitally Lit has been full filling and valuable experience. I have seen the transformative power of art in creating positive change by using literature as a vehicle for advocacy. My dedication to promoting local writers and cultivating a literary scene has deepened my faith in the effectiveness of group initiatives to build a more sympathetic, open, and compassionate society. I am excited for all the new and brighter experiences with Digitally Lit as a Correspondent on Bridge to Publishing B2P): Reclaiming the Indigenous Narrative of Atlantic Canada and a Youth Ambassador for Our Stories Matter: Celebrating Nova Scotia’s Stories with the World.

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