By: Celine | March 28, 2014 | (26) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.

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Hello, Midnightians! The time for a discussion has come yet again and today, I’d like to talk about how I review. Of course, the reviewing process is different for everyone! Some might want to review a book immediately after they’ve finished, while others will want to sit on it for a few days. Some review all the books they read, others only their review copies.

I am quite particular when it comes to reviewing! I always have to review a book soon after I finish, but never immediately. I want to have the time to think about the book and what I thought of it, if there were things that bugged me and what I loved, but I NEED to review something soon after I’ve read it. Because if I don’t, I keep procastinating (something I’m extremely good at, as it turns out) and in the end, the review never gets written. Case in point: A.C. Gaughen’s Scarlet, which I read earlier this year and loved. I have a draft somewhere with a few sentences jotted down that explain what I felt about it, but I never got to reviewing it. I believe I read this book at the beginning of the year, in January, and I did plan on reviewing it. However, I just couldn’t find the time and then I was busy reviewing other books and life just got in the way. I know that I can delete that draft, because by now, I’m sure I will never review Scarlet.

Another thing: I never plan what to say in my review. That is, from time to time I write down a list of issues I want to adress in my review, but in the end, I always ignore that list. What I do: I just start writing. Think up an introduction and then just write down whatever thoughts I have in my head. Usually, those are not the same thoughts I wrote down on the list. Sometimes I check the list later and think, “Oh, right, I wanted to talk about that”. But, to be honest, I never edit that point in. A) Because I feel like it wouldn’t fit in anymore – I always write my reviews in one go and they sort of feel like a story to me: they flow in a certain way and I don’t want to disrupt that flow. And B) because I’m really, really lazy.

Which brings me to my next point: I never edit my reviews. Nope. Never. I know that many people edit and tweak their reviews until they’re perfect and I respect that a lot, but I myself just can’t do it. This again has to do with the story thing: I wrote it down the way I had it in my head and I’m not going to change it. I do read them through to check for typos or weird sentences, but I never edit actual content. Weird? Probably. Should I take on editing my reviews? Again, probably. Oh well, I’m afraid I just can’t be bothered. Once I’ve written my review, I’m done with it in more ways than one: I brought the thoughts in my head onto paper (or, well, a computer) and now my head is empty and can be filled with thoughts about other books.

Then for my last quirk: music. I LOVE music, as do my parents. Which means that there is always music playing in this house: the radio is on pretty much non-stop. I know that many people don’t like to read or write reviews with music on, because it distracts them. Thankfully, I am not one of those people. I have no problem reading or writing to music, and it actually makes for some awesome book/music memories (by which I mean that when a certain song comes on, I immediately think of the book I was reading when I first heard that song). What I, however, cannot do, is read or write during the advertisements. Or when people are talking in general. People in advertisements usually talk in such a way that it’s impossible to ignore them, which also makes it impossible (for me) to get any reading or writing done. Overall, I am a good multitasker – in class I have no problem with writing things down and listening at the same time, while also looking at the blackboard and/or the teacher – but when it comes to writing reviews, I can’t do it. Fun fact: while writing this discussion post the advertisements came on and I had to take a break because I couldn’t write any further.

Well, that’s for me and my strange ways (though not as strange as Mel, who writes reviews on her phone O.o). Oh, and I just want to say that this post was in no way meant to show anyone how to review – I just wanted to explain my own ways, and hear yours, of course! So,

How do you review? Are there any specific things you do while reviewing?

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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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26 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (27): How I Review

  1. Sometimes, when I’m writing up a review, I’ll be eating because I love food! Like you, I’m ALWAYS listening to music. I don’t understand how people can live with so much quiet. If I’m feeling really lazy, I might just switch on the TV and multitask. :3 I TRY to edit my reviews but my laziness usually takes over! ><
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…Getting Over It: Different Country, Different Publisher?My Profile

  2. I always write my reviews straight away because I have a memory like a goldfish. I also am a chain-reader. I’ll pick up the next one in the next few hours, soooo, I need to have the last one cleared off my mind. And I HAVE to edit my reviews, because…I…er….rant? I admit it! I do a lot of venting in my review and then I edit and cut it back so you guys don’t really find out just what a big meanie I really am. XD lol I LOVE music too!! I always have it on low in the background. I think your review process is really awesome. 🙂
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton (emphasis on strange)My Profile

    • Celine says:

      I recognize that! I’m definitely a chain reader as well. I just always HAVE to have something to reac, haha. I admire that you edit your reviews because I’m WAYYYY too lazy for that, LOL. Thank you!

  3. Glass says:

    Celine, I do the same thing – I have notes all over my room, but in the end I completely ignore them.:/
    Mel writes her reviews on the phone? O.O Really? I don’t think I’d be able to do that.

    I’ve noticed that I have more ideas at night, that’s the easiest time for me to write. I’m not a morning person.
    Glass recently posted…Mini Review – Unravel by Calia ReadMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yes she does! I think it’s weird, but Mel insists that she’s just fabulous, haha. I’m the complete opposite of you – at night I really can’t do anything besides sleep! (Which is actually quite weird when you co-blog at a blog named YA MIDNIGHT Reads, haha) Although I can see why you would get most of your ideas at night 🙂

      • Melanie says:

        Pst. I AM.

        I am a night person, especially last year when I did most things at night time. That even included exercising. I tried to play piano at night but my family has to sleep, I guess. 😛

  4. You know what Celine, that is a great post! I’ve noticed that your review sound story-like and less of a set placed template. I tend to prefer to review books the day after I’ve read the; in most cases I finish the book before I go to sleep, so with that sleep, things that I may have forgotten I disliked come back or the opposite and it’s great. I would probably forget to write the review if I left it any longer. True Fact: I almost didn’t review Kingdom of the Wicked for May because I’d left it 3 days after finishing, madness! I also get very distracted by TV or when people talk to me when I’m typing reviews, the amount of arguments I’ve had with my Mum to be quiet when I’m reviewing is never ending, it’s shocking but honest. I like having music playing though, it’s a nice thing to help me think with, and I always refer to my notes when I’m reviewing. I’ll finish a section, read my notes and add or take away things, but once I’ve finished and closed it and proofed it, it’s left until posting day. Great conversation starter Celine! 😀
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Five Friday Favourites #8 – Favourite Book CoversMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Haha, you’re completely correct! Usually, I do try to say something about the characters, the romance, etc., but I always end up just typing whatever pops up in my head next 😛 And I can see why you would get distracted easily! I also dislike it when people start talking while I’m reviewing, but my parents never get why I’m grumpy when they do that, haha.

      Thank you!

  5. Candace says:

    I do have to write up my review right away. It be a few hours later, but preferably the same day. If I don’t then my review sucks cause I’ve lost all the feels I had for it. Usually anyway. I write up my review, check for mistakes, and then wait a few days and reread the review and edit if needed. Usually I’m editing mistakes though, not my actual thoughts.
    Candace recently posted…Young Adult Review: Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie CrossMy Profile

  6. I always find it interesting to see how people review books. I need to review the things I read much faster, but sometimes I just don’t have time and I tend to read more than one book at the same time. However, I pretty much review like you. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to include in a review, but mostly, I just sit down and write it out and that’s that. 🙂

  7. I’m almost the same as you are! I sometimes make notes while I’m reading and I do look at that list before I start writing my review, which is almost always immediately after finishing unless I can’t because I’m on the bus or something. I do have different sections in my review, but most of the time I only really do 3 of the 5. I start with an intro, then (sometimes, not always) a short summary of what the book is about and at the end my conclusion. In the middle I just write what I want. I just keep writing until I’ve said all I wanted to say. Same for my rating, I rate a book the way I feel like rating it. I never calculate. 🙂
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Review: Far Far Away by Tom McNealMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Oh, I’m definitely a feels-rater as well! I never calculate when it comes to ratings, I just go with whatever my feelings are. I also wonder at how people can rate logically and how they even take into consideration what other books have gotten the same rating and whether that’s appropiate! I could never do that, haha.

  8. Sometimes I type up a review as soon as I’m done reading the book, but sometimes I let it stew for hours or days before I can gather up my thoughts for a particular book. I do make notes, bookmark favorite lines/scenes, sometimes I bullet point things that I didn’t like. As for my rating, I don’t calculate, I just go with my gut. 🙂
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Book Review 148 : Maybe Someday by Colleen HooverMy Profile

  9. Eugenia says:

    I usually write up reviews pretty soon after I’ve finished a book – usually straight away if I have time or maybe the next day. I notice that sometimes the more I wait to write a review that more I actually end up saying and it ends up looking like the length of an essay. I do the same thing in that I might write down a few ideas of that I want to write about, but usually I just go with the flow. Using post-it flags in a book from quotes I might use also works for me. Just go with the flow! 🙂
    Eugenia recently posted…Review: DisruptionMy Profile

  10. I agree with you, I love reviewing books right after I rad them or else I’ll probably never do it and after a week i’ll forget what I wanted to actually say and just ditch the review. I usually think up a list of issues but I start writing as soon as I open up a new post and sometimes I’ll just go back in and randomly add stuff if I’m feeling like it. But I’m with you, I never edit for content! I read it over just to make sure it’s technically and grammatically correct, but otherwise I totally wing it and just publish it no matter what. Thanks for sharing, Celine! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Wild Cards by Simone ElkelesMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Sounds like we’re very alike when it comes to reviewing! I’m also really good at ditching reviews when I’ve waited too long to start writing one, haha.

      Thank you!

  11. Alise says:

    You review almost exactly the same way I do! I can not focus at all if music is not playing, it just focuses all my thoughts for some reason. I usually go for Pandora 🙂 I skim over my reviews super quick for spelling errors but I almost never fully edit them or look them over. Probably should do that.. ha! Great post 🙂
    Alise recently posted…Review: Scarlet by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  12. Oh yay! I’m not the only one who jots notes and just forgets about it later. :3 I usually make a quick check of my review so it’s error free, but most of the time if I have one, I never even notice.
    But for me it varies. Sometimes I just HAVE to write it down ASAP. Sometimes I wait a few days, which is typical of me since I have to balance high school. But hardly more than about a week or two. :3
    Although during Spring Break I had to do it immediately – I was reading too fast for my own good, lol (blame the snow days).
    Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts recently posted…Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. ArmentroutMy Profile

  13. Great post. I usually write my review 24-48 hrs after reading, and I take no notes at all. I usually go back through book for quotes I highlighted or weird spelling of names. I tend to format my reviews with a paragraph on characters and one on plot. In early February I began experiencing review burn-out and have since added in addition styles of reviews to keep it fresh. I will be sharing this madness in April’s Caffeinated confession
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Some like It Wild by M. LeightonMy Profile

  14. Melanie says:

    I normally have some notes written on my phone in this format:
    Book Title
    Main Character
    Other MCs
    Writing
    Plot
    Pace
    Originality
    World Building
    Writing
    etc and it helps so much. But I never plan my reviews, I just refer to my notes when I am looking for something else to say and just go for it. I never proofread though–I should but I never feel like it right after reviewing. But then I do end up rereading it a few days later and quickly change the 10000 mistakes I made lol.

    Fabulous post, Celine! <33

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  16. I always look at my notes, because I don’t want to forget certain things. Most of the times I write down a review and add those points later into it 🙂 I love listening to music on the background and it depends on the book and my mood if I write the review right away or a couple of days later.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Early Review 246. Katherine Ewell – Dear killer.My Profile

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  18. Michelle says:

    Great post Celine! It’s really interesting to get an insight into how other people review. I must say I’m quite similar in that, apart from a few major thoughts I may have while reading, I just start writing my reviews without planning. Usually they turn out ok! 🙂

    Also, I love your music/book memories! Sometimes if a book makes me think of a particular song (like it gives me the same feeling the song does), or if a song/artist is mentioned in the book, I like to include a link to it in my review as well.
    Michelle recently posted…Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth WeinMy Profile

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