Friday, May 22, 2015

FF Friday: In Which I Reveal My Secrets (Of Book Reviewing)

Feature & Follow is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week’s question: How do you write your reviews?

Answer: Not very well.

Better answer: I usually wait 2-4 days after finishing the book so that I have time to think about it and let everything sink in. Then I start by writing my own synopsis because the ones that come with books often suck. Seriously, I sometimes wonder if the summary-writers even bothered to read the book before writing the synopsis.

Next, I write down all of my thoughts about the characters, plot, dialogue, pacing, world-building, structure, theme, tone, and writing style. No spoilers. I think about how this book compares to the author’s other books and to similar books in the genre. Then I try my hardest to organize my thoughts into something that people can actually read. My first drafts of reviews are usually hot messes.

I point out the positive and negative aspects of every book. I never want my reviews to sound like I’m bashing a book, so I attempt to write two positive comments for every negative comment. I also try to start and end the review with something positive. An exception to this is my DNF reviews. For me to DNF a book, I have to really, really not like it. Those reviews always come out more negative than positive.

Finally, I keep my reviews between 200 and 600 words. Short reviews don’t look legitimate, and I have a suspicion that nobody actually reads long reviews.

That’s it. You now know all of my reviewing secrets. Go forth and review books.


The follow part: If you are a book blogger and you leave a link to your blog in the comments below, I will follow you on Bloglovin’. I’d love it if you also followed me. If you want to be friends on Goodreads, TwitterBookLikes, or G+, that would be awesome, too. Click the links to go to my pages on those sites. I’m looking forward to “meeting” you.


  1. I try to not write it too soon, as the emotions will likely affect what I write. However, sometimes I need to write it soon so I can get the emotions out. Old follower!

    Lizzie @

  2. Hopping through. I've never done DNF reviews. I don't have anything against them. I think usually I'm so annoyed with the book, I don't want to write anything about it.
    My FF

  3. I'm such a perfectionist that it takes me a while to think of what to write and then I just hope that I can get it down the way I had it in my head.

    My FF:

  4. I try to talk about the same things you do, focusing a little more on characters because to me they can either make or break a book.
    New google+ follower :)

    Joana @ The Boundless Book List

  5. This sounds so structured! I feel bad about my process now! But I do think in my case it's better if I write down the review maybe a day after reading the book, tops. I have the worst memmory ever so if I let days or weeks go by I will forget a lot of stuff. I know it. Your post makes me realize I should be more organized with my thoughts on the books and not talk so much based on my emotions towards the books!

  6. Great answer. I always try to be positive with my reviews too...but for me I read like a book a day, so I try to do my reviews within a day or so of reading it. That way I have it fresh in my mind.

  7. Hi! I also like to write reviews a couple of days after reading a book to let all my thoughts sink in and gather themselves!

    Old follower! :)

  8. I think it is good that you wait a bit of time for things to sink in before breaking out into your review. By that time I have already started my new book as well! I usually only wait a day or two, and sometimes if the book was slow or wasn't amazing then I don't even need to! Only if the book has me thinking about it and truly blown away. Otherwise it would be an emotionally impulse written review.

  9. Whoa. My "process" is very very different. More chaos, mostly. Sometimes I write it directly after finishing, sometimes two months after (though in that case I better have taken notes, otherwise, memory holes take over and prevent me from finishing).