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Reviewing Strategies

I know a lot of you guys are book reviewers one way or another (be it through a blog or Goodreads or whatnot), and I've been wondering for a while how others write for reviews. My personal process is a bit unimpressive when compared to others I know who write detailed notes and post-its on each page.

I always read books without making notes as I read along, because actually taking out a pad and jotting down notes when I'm in the middle of a story just... feels wrong to me, although I don't know why. However, I do make mental notes about character, pacing, plot, etc.

Then, once I finish a book, I use the Goodreads private notes feature to write out those mental notes. These are usually quick phrases that make extensive use of caps, exclamation marks, and other overly-expressive techniques I would really never use in an actual review. For example, a recent book I read had the following notes: AWESOMEEE CHARACTERS, but seriously, what's up with the pacing? good themes though a little generic, romance was amazing (!!!), ending = meh.

The book gets placed in a special to-review shelf, and I don't return to it until approximately a month later, when it's time for its turn on my blog. With music playing in the background (usually Panic! at the Disco because oh, how I love them), I transfer the unsophisticated ramblings on my private notes to what is hopefully a polished review.

So, how do you go about writing reviews?


barmybex said...

I can't take notes as I read, like you, it feels wrong to me.
I finish reading a book and make some mental notes. If i'm home and at my computer I will load blogger and write my review straight away. If I'm out or just not near my laptop I will write the review when I get home. But they are always written on the same day I finish them.
I read so much that if I didn't I would just get confused - I like my emotions to be fresh, so I remember exactly how the book made me think/feel/ act.
Very occasionally I will go back to a review and change something, but usually I leave them.

Interesting post :D

We Heart YA said...

Like you, we prefer to read straight through. We only mark (or type out, if the book doesn't belong to us) lines if we particularly like them. Then when we're done, we capture our thoughts formally or informally at our private GoodReads account. If all 4 of us like a story, we'll add it to our public GoodReads account. That's about it... We don't do book reviews on our blog, but we do often mention books that we like in the context of our posts.

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