How I Write Reviews

Today I wanted to explain to you guys how I write my reviews and how my rating system works, in case any of you are curious. My reviewing process is fairly standard but I hope it might enlighten you as to what’s going on in my head when writing some of my posts.

 

Step 1


Of course, the first thing I do is read a book! I try to review every book I read so I don’t have to worry about which ones I specifically want to talk about on my blog. I just get to talk about all of them! Whilst I’m reading my book, I’ll take notes about the characters, notable plot points and anything else that catches my interest. I write all this down in a little notebook, separating the notes into categories. Occasionally, I forget to write notes whilst I’m reading and if that happens, I’ll write notes straight after I finish instead. I also flesh out any notes I already have so they’re nice and detailed for when I write up my review.

 

Step 2


Then I begin writing the review! I usually like to have sections of my review devoted to each category from my notes. I often dedicate a lot of my review to characters because I enjoy talking about them the most and they’re a very important aspect of a novel for me. I used to write my reviews on paper first (to stop myself getting distracted by the other things) but recently I’ve converted to going straight to my computer instead.  I’m not great at writing long reviews and I actually prefer to have my reviews on the short side. This prevents me rambling on, spouting out spoilers and getting repetitive.

 

Step 3


Now I’ve finished my review! This takes about 30-60 minutes. Then I have to add all the technical bits, such as the summary and general information on the book, to my post. I also have to make the featured image for the post, which tends to be one of my favourite things to do because I’m a bit obsessed with photoshop. I’ll do some last minute editing and grammar check to make sure everything’s all right and then the review is ready! My reviews are generally written about a week before they need to be posted so they can sit in my schedule until the right time.

 

 

What My Ratings Mean


I’ve been trying to be more objective on my reviews, focusing on technical details such as characterisation and writing, to give the books I read a more fair review. However I am often swayed by my emotions about that book, which is important too but I don’t like that to affect my review too much.

I’ve always used a 5 star rating and it worked ok. But, recently, I’ve started using half stars as well and I’ve preferred this. It allows me to give a more fair representation of my feelings, as I like having an in-between to place some of the books I read.

  • 5 stars – Absolutely outstanding! Loved this book will all my heart!
  • 4.5 stars – Really, really awesome!
  • 4 stars – Really great! But has some small issues.
  • 3.5 stars – A great and enjoyable read, but didn’t feel all that connected to characters/plot.
  • 3 stars – A good book, not the best but not terrible.
  • 2.5 stars – Various issues, such as a lacking plot, but I made it through.
  • 2 stars  – Lots of annoying tropes and issues, pretty bad
  • 1.5 stars – Kinda awful, nothing I really enjoyed
  • 1 star – Terrible, no, no, no, don’t waste your time reading this

 

How do you  rate and review the books you read?

 

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20 thoughts on “How I Write Reviews

  1. I try so hard to take notes while I read, but reading five different books at the same time makes things a tad too complicated. I like my book reviews better when I do manage to make notes throughout the reading process, though – I can tell which ones I’ve used notes for and which I haven’t.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a good idea. I’ve had in my psych class that there are two ways of evaluating how you think about something: one is when you experience it, and one is when you look back at something. For the first one your emotions are very important, for the second there are three things important: the beginning, the end and the peak. So I think you can decide whether you rate it based on how you experienced it, so directly after reading, or you can rate it based on how you think about it when later looking back, but both are different. I think I prefer the first one, so your initial opinion after finishing the book. Sorry for me rambling haha.. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I’m terrible when it comes to reviews 😅 I try to take notes, but it never seems to work for me, haha. I do tend to focus mine on my feelings more than technical aspects, but I do try and add some technical elements in as well. I really need to get better at writing reviews in advance and scheduling them.

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  3. I find star ratings a little mysterious, even when people explain their rating systems. What if I totally dislike a book, but objectively recognize that it has fluid prose, wonderful characterization, and a nicely-constructed plot. How do I decided on stars? It’s very stressful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My advice would be to pick a clear font and have it 20px+ so it’s readable and condense the description of your rating to a short sentence so it fits. And if you want to write more about the rating create a separate page. I hope that makes sense, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem! The size would just depend on where you plan on using it but it shouldn’t matter if you make it too big because it can be shrunk down. I’d recommend 500px as a minimum but it might be worth just trying different sizes to see what looks better.

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