Hi everyone, and welcome to the What Does the Bookworm Say? feature hosted by me, Thuy from Nite Lite Book Reviews, Crystal from Books Unbound, and Kimberly from The Windy Pages.
Today, our topic is about how we sit down to write reviews. Well, I have a bit of a confession to make: I don't really have a process. I've only just recently realized, after getting serious backed up on writing reviews since I was in unable to post for 2 1/2 months when I was in Europe, that I need to write more in my initial reaction to the book to give myself some sort of clue later as to what really caught my eye. But when it comes to reviews, I'm definitely more of a pantser (this means I write by the seat of my pants, not at all how I'm writing my novel now). So, how do I write my review?
- When I first sit down to write a review, I get the basics down: Goodreads rating, published when and by whom, any associated URL found on Goodreads, the series number with a link to the series on Goodreads, and the genre according to what I believe it to be.
- The synopsis, also from Goodreads, comes next. I change that from normal to italics. That way, it's easier to tell that it's the synopsis and no part of my review
- I then edit the book cover to put in the review. All I do is add a frame that normally includes two colors that coincide with the colors on the cover.
- I add the review-only photos that I use, like My Thoughts and My Rating and the apples that I use. I add all of those in before delving into the actual review. That way, I have some sort of skeleton to work with and then I build around it.
- Sometimes, like when it's a series, I will put out a general warning before the review that there may be spoilers from the previous book(s). This may not necessarily be true, but I'm not willing to risk something getting spoiled for someone.
- Finally, FINALLY, it's time for the review. What I usually like to do is talk about the plot and if there's any world-building involved and how I feel about all that structural stuff. The next paragraph is usually about the relationships, whether they're only friendly or hot and romantic or somewhere in between. My final paragraph normally ties my feelings together and how I saw the book as a whole. I talk about the balance of all the things that make a great YA book.
- Next is the spoilers. I don't always have this section, but if there's something I feel like I need to get off my chest and talk about, I'll put it in this section so that people that haven't read the book yet will hopefully skip it, and people that have will want to discuss it.
- Then is my rating of the book. I use a rating system of apples 1-5, and then a special one reserved for books that just blew my mind.
- I also have a section where I quickly say who I would recommend it for. It's difficult with a series because I really only recommend the second or third (etc.) books if they've read the previous in the series.
- I end it with books like the one I just reviewed. I look a lot at the recommendations Goodreads gives on the sidebar, but I know there are other series that I've read that fit better, and I want people to get my suggestion from actual experience of reading the books. I don't want to endorse a book that I one day may end up hating.
Are you a book reviewer? If so, how do you review your books? Let me know in the comments!