Monday, March 12, 2018

Bookish Banter: How do You Review?

A little Bookish Banter to get us through.  Bookish Banter is a little bit of banter about our bookish thoughts as we have a friendly discussion over a nice cup of tea. 

How do you plan and write your reviews?


So I have a notebook that I write anything blog related to. I write reviews, wee reads, blog schedule, challenge, books I want, ideas. Anything and everything blog related. I use many pretty colored pens. Used to I would write rainbow, every new thing on a list was a different color, every part of a review was a different color.

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Now I got a pack of 100 different colors, and I do wee reads in shades of greens, my reviews in shades of purples, lists are still rainbow, movie reviews are pink.

And I love writing everything out. I am very much a list maker, so the more lists the better.

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So back to reviews I guess. In my blog notebook, whenever I start reading a book, I put the title, what I'm reading it on (Book, kindle, audio) and the date I start it. Then I put the date I finished it and then start writing the review. That way I can have a stack of 5+ reviews waiting to be posted, and I won't forget what I'm trying to review.

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So then when we do our weekly wrap up and we put down what we're posting during the week, I just pick 4 reviews I already have and just type them up and schedule them. And once I have them scheduled, or posted, I write the date at the top that it's posted. I also have dozens of sticky notes that I write "not on blog" "Drafts on blog" "Scheduled"
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I do the same thing with wee reads. I usually record me asking Finn the questions, or I type them up rough draft on wordpad on the computer, and then I write it in the notebook nicer. And then when it's time I put them on the blog!

So that's it. That's my process.


I don’t have any method to my madness. I feel that if I did, my reviews wouldn’t be such a ramble, but I am a rambling kind of person… so my reviews contain ramble.

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I sometimes will take notes while I am reading or listening but often cannot as I listen to a book while at work. I find doing reviews gets quite overwhelming to me since I don’t always have time to review a book as soon as I finish. Another issue with listening to audio at work. Sometimes I can finish 2-3 books in the same day at work. So I try to take notes but find its hard. The notes do help. I try to get to the reviews shortly after I finish a book but find it doesn’t always work out for me. So as I write my reviews… I ramble.

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When writing reviews I try to address things that are important to me in a read. First off character development is my most important aspect of a story. I love to know my characters. I find I read to make friends. I like to experience and grow with the characters. I love the relationships between characters. I like to have banter and swoony moments along with deep and emotional connections. I also love to have strong characters with a bit of sass. I love snarky. I love my characters to be everything I wish I was in life.

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I also read to experience things I cannot in real life. I like fantasy and sci-fi and historical reads for this purpose. Great writing on the setting is important to me. I want to live it. I want to see it. I want to belong. So this is important. Also pacing. I am so ADD so great pacing is so important to me. Then there is the ending. An ending can change an entire book so I will address endings in my reviews if they angered me, didn’t resolve for me, a cliffhanger, or such an epic ending that I can’t breathe when I am done reading.

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The plot is the least important to me. I believe a plot is ground work for the story but everything else I have mentioned is what makes the story. The plot is there just to support it. So I don’t normally mention plot unless it is extremely unique.

That is all I do for my reviews. I ramble about what my overall review is then I go into the details of what lies behind my overall review. I leave a lasting remark that the book had for me then rate. Rating is a difficult thing for me. I really go on my feel. How was it while I was reading… a book I couldn’t put down, a book that had me so into it I forgot where I was or who I was. A book that I can’t handle the wait for the next in the series. Did the book give me  book  hangover? Did I care to finish, did I enjoy the journey?

When I review I just sit down with no plan except I know what I rated it. Then I just type and ramble. So how do I review… chaotic rambling. That is the only plan I go in with.

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How do your process, write, ramble, review?



  1. Jenn - I struggle with being more detailed with my audiobook reviews, because I listen to them at work too and cannot be stopping to jot down some notes. I usually read electronically, so I highlight and take notes right there (I use stickies for those rare physical books I read). I am a character driven reader, so plot doesn't usually figure too much into my pleasure of a book, but the ending is so important to me. I feel like it's something the reader earns by plowing through all the pages that come before it.

    Ash - Wow! You're like next level. I just use google calendar for planning.

  2. I use post-it notes as I read to mark things I want to remember when I write my review. I don't know that I could write a review based on an audiobook, I don't think I retain as much. I generally write my reviews right after I finish the book, so it's fresh in my mind. I have a paper calendar that I plan all my blogs posts out on, so after I write the review, I just write it on the calendar.

  3. I have a book journal and I note down things about plot, characters, funny quotes, writing style etc as I go along. I use these notes as the basis for my reviews.

  4. I'm 100% rambler. I have no idea going in what I'm going to say. I find myself kind of explaining the book then delving into the things I liked or didn't like. I do talk a lot about the characters I find. Whether I related to them or if I connected. Otherwise I open up the window and just type.


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