Books give me two reasons for happiness; reading and writing. I love to read books and then I love to write my reviews on them. That's why, it's double happiness for me. While reading, I go through the story first hand. And while writing a review on it, I go through it again. Here's how I go through the process from reading to writing.
1. Which Books to Review:
I don't necessarily write a review on every book I read. If I love a book, it's most likely that I'll write a review. (Like, A Thousand Splendid Suns.) If I love the book too much, I may not write a review because of my overwhelmed state wherein I may be short of words. (Like, 'The Fault in our Stars'.) If I hate a book, I'll write a review trying my best not to come off as too critical. (Like, Gone Girl.) So, basically, there are no fixed rules as to which book to write a review on. You should enjoy the reading process. Think over it after you've finished it. Then, think if you want to write a review or not. At times, just as I begin, I know that I'll most likely review it. At times, I know that I just won't.
2. My Reviews:
My reviews contain four aspects; Introduction, Characters, Story line and Overall Thoughts.
Introduction: In this, I give a general idea about what to expect from the book. I state the genre and the basic topic. It's very important to not give spoilers unless in the 'Storyline' section. So, this section is sort of a blurb.
Characters: I love to write this part of the review. It gives an edge to the entire thing. After reading a book, you get an idea of the characters. You understand them and how their brain works. You know if they're being kind, dumb or naughty. This section is something that comes from my own way of contemplating them. This is the part of the review which you can't find anywhere in the book because it comes from my thoughts.
I write about the main characters with a proper description while I give 1 or 2 sentences worth for the other characters. Writing about every single one of them is inconsequential. There's no point mentioning a character who only exists for 10 % of the story and also is insignificant.
Story line: This is the part where I write the story in brief. I try my best to stick to the story but many times I add my opinions regarding a certain incident. Any person who seems interested in reading the book based on the 'Introduction' and 'Characters' segment above, should evade this segment. Any person who has already read the book can read the entire review to keep the story fresh in mind.
Overall Thoughts: This is my favourite part of the review. I write how I feel about the story in general. I write about some line which I love. I write about something that I hate. I write about how it changed my life in any way. I try to state the message sent by reading it. Or the message I got after reading it between the lines. I just write my overall opinion.
3. How to Read:
- Stay attentive while reading the book. It's good to remember all the tiny details.
- Always bookmark or highlight any lines or paragraphs or moments that you enjoyed. Like some incidents worth reading again.
- Keep an open mind. Even if the plot becomes boring, finish the book.
- Know the characters. Try to interpret them and peek in their lives.
- Always remember that the faster you read, lesser you forget.
4. How to Write:
- You should always mention the name of the author. You can learn a lot from the author's style of writing and mention these details.
- If you're providing a blurb directly from the back of the book or from Goodreads, specify so. It's always safe to mention the source.
- Stay away from other people who have reviewed the book. If you read other reviews before writing your own, it may cloud your judgement. Your original thoughts may disappear making the review a misthought one. You can read them later on, of course.
- Judge if every book in a particular series needs a separate review. You can always write a single review of the entire series. I've written two series reviews of If I Stay series and Just One Day series.
- "Don't judge a book by its cover" is something we all know. But adding an image of the book adds more charm to the review. You can also add photos of quotes from the book or stills from the movie adaptation. Just like I did with We Were Liars review.