Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Reviewer's Thoughts

What makes a good review? And how do you write one? 

As for me, I don't have a set system to how I write reviews. I don't know if that makes me a good reviewer or not, but I just tend to write down my thoughts as I think them. Each one of my Goodreads reviews is set up differently. It depends on my mood after I'm finished, or if I'm on Kindle. If I write one on my Kindle, it tends to be short and sweet and only one paragraph long because I hate using that keyboard. Haha. Usually I try to give people more than the synopsis, but not enough that would cause spoilers. I hate getting spoiled about a book before I read it! That happened to me with Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3), and let's just say, I was a little pissed peeved about it. 

I also try and give all of my thoughts, whether those be good or bad. If I didn't like the book that well, I try and soften the blow by not tearing it apart and also talking about the good in the story. Books are not just good or bad, it's the reader's opinion. Everyone has different tastes in books, just like with movies and music. If you didn't like it, that doesn't mean someone else hated it, too. People need to remember that when they write reviews that are all about how much they hated the book. It's not helpful, at all. Everyone views books differently, and what they take out of the stories differs too. Negative reviews are okay, as long as they are objective and unbiased (even if you hated the book, others will like it). But reviews that just completely rip apart the whole book and destroy it are mean, and unjustified. That is someone's hard work and heart and soul. Remember that the next time you want to unjustly hurt an author's feelings.

Now that I'm NetGalley, I'm going to be writing a lot more reviews, especially if I get approved for books before they are released. I'm kind of nervous that I won't read them fast enough or that I won't have time to finish them before then. I just got my approved copy of Spirit (Elemental #3) and it doesn't come out until May 28th. I'm stoked! But I haven't even gotten my copy of Spark in the mail yet (which will hopefully be tomorrow!). I need to read that one first, obviously. So those two will be at the top of my list to finish. 

I'm wondering, now, if I should set up my reviews more professionally, or at least make them coincide. I'm not even sure how to set it up that would catch readers' attention. I don't want to accidentally spoil a massive plot or turn someone off from reading a book. I know I've been turned off from books by reading reviews, but I'm done doing that. Everyone has different opinions and different views on the books they read. So I usually just skim through on Goodreads and see what kind of star ratings a book has, but only after I read the synopsis. Because if the synopsis doesn't capture my attention, I usually don't even bother checking reviews (which could make me miss out on some gems, I know). I'm trying to break that habit so I give more books a chance.

The most important parts of a book: characters, plot, pace, and writing style. I think, in most of my Goodreads reviews, I touch on all of those. I also include if there were typos, especially if there was an alarming amount of them. I also tell what I loved the most and what I disliked (if there was anything to dislike). I've only written TWO three-star reviews. The rest have been four and five stars. And they were deserving of those high ratings. 

I think I'm going to be pondering this as I start my first NetGalley review: Untraceable (Nature of Grace, #1). I'm hoping to finish the book tonight, but that probably won't happen. I just know I need to finish it before I get Spark. Because if I get that book, I'm not going to want to put it down.

I know I'm not the only one who just writes their thoughts, regardless of a system to their reviewing. But I want a system now that I've started doing more and more reviews, and especially now that I'm on NetGalley. I'm going to work on it once I'm finished with another book.