Saturday, July 14, 2012

Discussion: How Do You Write Your Reviews?

Since my kids are away for the summer (*shouts: I miss you boys!*), I’ve had more time to read lately.  However, I’m falling behind on writing my reviews (about 4 books now).  That got me thinking on how long it takes me to write a review and other peculiarities that we might have when reviewing a book.  I had a discussion on what you, as a reader, like to see in a review (you can see it here) and this week I want to discuss how you go about writing a review.
I consider myself a fairly fast reader, and as you all know I love reading (don’t we all?).  The last couple of years have been amazing for Young Adult books, and there is never shortage for something that I just HAVE to read RIGHT NOW.  I also love having a blog I have to make time for that as well.  A big part of having a book blog is posting book reviews.  It takes me anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to write a review.  These are some of the things I do (and don’ts):
I don’t like to read other peoples reviews before I read a book – If I’m interested in reading a book, I might browse a review to get to a recommendation to read it or not (stars, grade rate, etc), but I don’t want to accidentally read any spoilers.
I don’t take notes – I should probably change that.  Sometimes I read a wonderful quote and then I can never find it again.  I’ll try to do better on that one.
I like to write my reviews a few days after I finished the book – I want to capture an accurate picture of my opinion and my feelings about the story. 
I tend to procrastinate if I don’t like the book – No one likes bad news.  For some reason I feel bad when I don’t like a book AND have to write a bad review.  I try to always delineate the reasons why I felt that way, and highlight anything positive about it. Thankfully this doesn’t happen often.
I don’t post reviews of a book I didn’t finish – I know some reviewers like to post the reasons for not finishing a book.  Personally I don’t feel it’s fair to my readers and to the author to express my opinion on a book I didn’t finished.
How do you write your reviews?  Do you take notes? Do you read other reviews before writing your own? How long does it take you to write a review?

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  1. I skim reviews when deciding whether to buy a book, particularly if it's a new (to me) author. But then I don't look at them again until I'v efinished reading. As to writing my own reviews, I try to do it within a day or two of finishing the book - and I do make notes as I read, to speed up the process. Like you, I don't publish reviews for DNFs.

  2. My approach to writing a review varies almost from book to book. The reviews I write the fastest are those of books that provoke a strong reaction in me, be it positive or negative. though most often I take some time to get some distance. I find it most difficult to write the review of a book that was okay but nothing really special - that's when I procrastinate a lot.

    Taking notes is a good idea. I take them some times and I find it easier to write a review when I do. I need to make that a habit with each book, perhaps.

  3. I don't really have a set procedure for the way I write my reviews, but I don't like to read reviews beforehand. Well I do, but sometimes those reviews will affect the way I see a book... if that makes sense? And I try to write my reviews right after I finish a book or I at least write down a summary of my thoughts so it's easier!

    And I don't post DNFS... well actually I haven't had a DNF since I started blogging, so I don;t know.

    Great topic! I love getting to see how other people write their reviews.

  4. If you read on a kindle you can underline your favorite quotes then go back to them later. I recently posted my first dnf review and it wasnt as bad as I thought. Luckily i dont read many dnf.

  5. I am exactly the same!

    One thing I do which helps me more than you'd link, I set my layout up.
    From image, information, rating, and outside links.
    I usually do a little intro and then go in depth. I always try to note at least one negative and positive traits, sometimes two.


I love comments! Please leave me one and I will try to reply as soon as I can. Liza


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