All Those Reviews That I Write!
A few weeks ago we posted our habits for reading reviews, this week we decided to do one about writing reviews. We all have our own styles and habits, and I actually find it very interesting how others go about writing reviews so differently, too. Like, I’m in awe when someone can read a book and write a review months later. Or how some have the most difficultly with 5 star reviews.
Let’s start with that, actually: reviews that are the hardest to write. The most often I hear is people who find it hardest to write reviews for books their really loved, and for those they truly hated. This is actually the exact opposite of me. Books that I truly loved or hated have me passionate on either side of the totem pole. It’s when I can find the most to say about a book either by gushing or complaining. I have all of these emotions stirring in me and it gets my review juices flowing so easily. My love/hate for the book needs to be shared urgently! RAWR! For real, I even get all giddy when I write 5 star reviews! When it comes to writing 3 star reviews, however…. meeeh. I wasn’t blown away by anything in particular, it just was, that is all. Those reviews are the most difficult to come up with things to say for my review. Most of the time I feel like they’re robotic and repeat a lot from my other reviews of the same genre/rating. They don’t have a caused-by-passion motivation, if you know what I mean.
When do you find yourself writing a review for a book? Does it need to be immediately after turning the last page? Do you let it sit for a day or 2? Or do you wait so long you’ve forgotten the minor details? I prefer writing mine right away and in most cases I do – at least within 3-4 hours of finishing a book. If I let it sit more than 2 days, I find my reviews suffer. Not only does my terrible memory get the best of me, but the emotions that the book brought to the surface are long simmered down. I also usually have at least 2 books on the go, a 3rd when I have an audiobook, too, so if I wait too long some books tend to blend together – especially when the genres are similar (it’s why I try to mix up the books I read together). Only once did I get lazy and kind of forgot to review a book, then when it got time to get it posted on the blog for the release day I could not remember a single thing about it. Even after a long chat with someone who had just finished it, it was as if I hadn’t even read it at all. Ironically, the book was called Unremembered.
As far as actual content, I add in mine what I’d want to know if I was a reader checking if a book would be to my liking. This varies from book to book and genre to genre. For instance, with a contemporary I’ll talk more about the emotions and relationships, but a zombie book will have me talking about plot and pacing/suspense etc – what I deem important for fellow readers to know. I’m personally not a fan of reviews that reads more like a very long synopsis – it’s fine if that’s your review style, I just prefer to know very little about the actual story beforehand. As such, I try to include no more than a quick sentence or two about the story-line; just enough so that you can situate yourself for the review. Then I will do a break down of the character and world building, the writing, the pacing, the plot as a whole, and anything that stands out or feels important to formulate expectations. As for length, I’ve noticed mine are normally 500-700 words. I try to get to the point and keep them in that range because I feel an overly long review would cause more skimming and might become a little overwhelming. Though I rarely notice the length when I read others’ reviews – I’m just anal when it comes to my own I guess >.<
The hardest part about writing a review – the very first, and the very last sentence! Those suckers don’t always come easy!
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XOXO, Book Girl