Ever since I became a book blogger, I have been fascinated by the art of writing book reviews. They account for a very high number of my posts, and are the most common type of post that you see across our community.
I am particularly interested in the methods and the thought processes that go towards book reviews, how long they take to produce and formulate in our minds, and the amount of work that goes into writing them.
When I first started writing reviews and had very little experience in blogging, I took something of a relaxed attitude, approaching them almost as if from the point of view of a literary critic. After a while, I realised that they were not quite personal enough, and offered little more than a basic overview of the story.
From the beginning of 2018, my reading has taken on a new sense of direction and as such, I have noticed a sharp development in the way I review books. I have also been inspired by the way other bloggers review books. As a result, the entire process of writing reviews has become one of my favourite activities, even if at times it can be stressful!
For me, this process begins at the moment I first open the book. I analyse the writing style and take stock of the story, hanging on every word and keeping track of almost everything I think and feel as the plot develops.
Lately, I have found myself thinking of lines that I could possibly include in a review, while still reading the book! For the ones with more complex or wide-ranging plots, I have taken to scribbling down notes and brainstorming words that describe each vital element of the book.
When it comes to actually writing the review, I treat it really seriously because each one feels like a test of whether I can be a half-decent book blogger, not to mention the fact that I can be a perfectionist.
Most of the time I have a kind of structure in my head about what to say and in what order. Every word is of the utmost importance. There are always a lot of thoughts circling around my mind and it is just a matter of reassembling them into to an honest, coherent, and very personal analysis.
I usually try to incorporate as much detail into the review as I possibly can while remaining fairly concise, and making every review unique to each particular book I read.
And sometimes, this can be difficult. There have been a couple of times where my struggle to find the right words has led to anxiety. Because of this, a few reviews have taken me literally hours to write. On the other hand, I love it when the words flow very quickly; when that happens it really helps my self-esteem.
There are some books that are simply very difficult to review. Some of them we love so much that it is hard to know where to start, which is a great problem to have! Others contain lots of twists and we do not want to give away any spoilers. It is all part of the fun.
Ultimately, I write book reviews in the hope that those of you who read them will enjoy, and perhaps even feel inspired to pick up a book that I really liked. I would not put so much thought into my reviews if it were not for my fellow bloggers, another reason for me to feel grateful to the community.
How do you approach writing book reviews? What methods do you use when putting them together? Please let me know in the comments!
Happy reading 🙂