True story, I was going to write this post about a month ago. I had it scheduled, and partially written (let’s not even try to pretend I had finished it), and then I saw that Kaitlin at Reading is My Treasure had posted this post with kind of the same idea. The difference was, that Kaitlin’s review process was impressive, and well thought out, and kind of awesome in general. So not only did I not want to post because the post ideas were so similar (I know, not like we are the only two people on a book blog who’ve discussed how they review, but two days apart seemed rather silly!), but because she has her act together. And I do not.
But the more I thought about it, I realized that maybe it doesn’t matter that I am not as organized (read: not organized in any way) or that I don’t have a set reviewing style (unless winging it counts as a “style”). It might just be fun for us to see both sides of the reviewing spectrum: from organized, to a slovenly mess, to everything in between. So, I am going to show you what happens when I attempt to review!
Part One: Reading the book
This is fairly obvious, because how could I review something I hadn’t read? So I pretty much always read in my bed. It is comfy, and it makes me happy. Also, this picture is staged, I am not reading. Why is my hair such a mess if I staged it? I have no excuses, other than I simply didn’t look in a mirror.
Anyway, so I read. And as a lot of you do, I jot down a few notes while I read. But when I say “jot down”, I mean scribble some random thoughts that I know my mind will absolutely lose if I don’t write them down. For some books, especially those that I know I am not writing reviews of anytime soon, I write a bit more. For some, I am lucky if there’s one comprehensible thought on paper.
See? Lots of thoughts on Falls the Shadow, but Pandemic didn’t seem to require the same amount of note-taking. For comparison, these are about the same rating, in relatively the same genre, so there wasn’t anything drastically different about either.
Part Two: Writing the Review
At some point, generally about two hours after I plan on publishing the review because my children have finally fallen asleep, I leap into a panicked state and run to the computer to get myself together. No worries, my desk is in as many shambles as my reviews and
my hair. I sense a pattern.
So here is how the process goes:
1. Go onto Goodreads to get all the book info. Spent an inordinate amount of time playing around on Goodreads, checking what friends have added, looking up random books that have nothing to do with the one I’m reviewing. Finally stop playing around long enough to get the information into the post.
2. Assemble the post “basics”, the stuff that requires a minimal amount of intelligent thinking. If I’m having an exceptionally good week, this part may already be done! (This is quite rare, but it does happen!)
3. Sit around for a long while staring at this part of the post, the part that provides me with a nice allotment of anxiety. What am I going to say? Is anything going to make sense? Am I going to sound like a moron? Then I will just start looking around the room.
4. Hop on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. Check my email. Check the day’s news. Maybe I will pin some Hunger Games stuff on Pinterest, maybe I will tweet someone. I will visit other blogs, and comment on your posts! This can vary, but rest assured that this has less than nothing to do with the book review. Step 4 is better labeled as “procrastination”.
5. Write the review! I will reach an inspired moment at some juncture during which I will be able to form thoughts that make at least some sense. I generally write the review in one sitting, because once I start, it is best not to stop. I don’t know how long it will be before another bout of motivation comes along. I wrap it up, do a quick scan for mistakes, and hit “schedule” before I start second guessing every word I’ve wrote. And then I am pretty pleased with myself.
So, fellow reviewers, do tell: How do YOU review?