I often see bloggers commenting on how far behind on reviews they are, or how they’re unhappy with their current reviewing process. While this is less of a tip and more of a look into how I blog, I figured it had the potential of being helpful for someone looking to revamp or rethink their review process.
While reading, I jot down little notes and page numbers for quotes that struck me – whether it showed a character trait I liked, a plot point I enjoyed/disliked, a reflection that I felt truly spoke to the person’s feelings at the moment – whatever I think will help me to better explain why I felt a certain way toward a character/plot element. I usually reference the page number and then a little blurb to explain why I made note of that page number. I don’t stress taking notes, though; I don’t want to make myself feel like reading is a chore, or that I have to read super critically and catch every little thing that I liked/disliked.
Finishing a Book
Whenever possible, as soon as I finish a book I try to jot down my initial reactions. For my upcoming review of Siege and Storm, that looked a little something like this:
- Too much focus on Alina’s struggling relationship with Mal; not enough focus on what the Grisha were doing to prepare for war with the Darkling.
- Not enough Darkling. Can there ever be enough Darkling?
- Loved Alina’s hallucinations and how creepy yet thrilling the Darkling continued to be.
- Loved Sturmhond, although I’m not as smitten with him as others.
- Loved the twist with Sturmhond; didn’t see it coming at all.
- Loved watching Alina struggle with her new power and her hunger for more.
- Disappointed by the ending; pretty anticlimatic, although I did enjoy coming to the slow revelation of exactly the repercussions of Vasily’s naiveté.
I usually do this on my computer, because I can get my feelings down faster. If I try to manually write out these initial feelings, I get ahead of myself and my page ends up as a jumble of crossed-out words/thoughts, as I left one half-finished thought for another! [Read more…]