Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thought Gathering: When do you write book reviews?

How long do you wait after finishing a book before writing a review? Do you need time to gather your thoughts or do you do it right away?

This topic came to mind, because I finished Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins this afternoon. I'd been planning to write a review of it for today. I spent a frenzied twenty minutes sitting in my car in the Target parking lot finishing up the book (partly to get it done, but mostly because I couldn't put it down). Then when I got home, I found that I couldn't write a review. Not because I didn't have anything to say, but because I couldn't decide how I felt.


Usually, there is a long time between when I finish a book and write the review. Typically a few weeks. Sometimes a few months (this often requires partial re-reading). The delay is do to laziness and procrastination. I used to be so good about it. But not anymore...

If I really adore a book, I will often write a review very quickly after finishing it. I can't wait to gush about it. I don't know that that is a good idea. It tends to turn into a mindless love-fest. With a little distance, my reviews are more balanced. That doesn't mean I end up disliking a book I initially loved. Sometimes I love it even more. The Fault In Our Stars was that way. I liked it well enough when I finished it (entirely tear-free). It wasn't until a week or two had passed that I realized what a long-lasting and touching book it was. Other times, a book's fault do appear as the weeks pass.

My preliminary review of Isla is that I really liked it. Part of me is inclined to write an elated review saying how much I loved it. Another part thinks that my "love" is more influenced by my love for Anna and Lola and my wish to love this book as much as the previous two. I really can't decide and hope that a little more time will focus my thoughts.

What about you?

Do you write your reviews right away? Do your reviews benefit from a little time to think about the book after finishing?

17 comments :


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  2. I write my reviews immediately. I couldn't wait for a few days, let alone a few weeks. I'd forget everything I felt and loved and disliked. I prefer writing my review when everything is still fresh. :)

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  3. It depends on the book, sometimes I write it straight away sometimes I fond I have to wait a few days. Also external factors contribute to any delays sometimes I am just too busy with work and other commitments to sit down and write a review straight away.

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  4. I write my reviews immediately. I like my reviews to be kind of like reactions. As soon as I finish a book I have so many emotions (either positive or negative) and I like to get those emotions down as quickly as possible! I feel like that's what makes for a really genuine sounding review.

    But my reviews are just all about feels. They're not super objective. My goal is just to explain what I loved and/or hated about a book, and I find it easiest to convey that straight away.

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  5. I usually write them up as soon as I can because I don't want to forget the feelings . But there are times when I take my time with them too. I like to let my readers know whether or not I enjoyed the book.

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  6. I take notes while I read about what I like and don't like so I won't forget later. Sometimes, I stew about a book for a day or two, but never longer than that.

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  7. I try to take notes about what I read and how I feel at that moment. It is around the middle of the book that my true feelings for the book start to arise. I try to get the reviews up as fast as I can so I don't forget what I want to say, and forget how I feel at that moment.

    Kat@The Realm of Books

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  8. I don't write mine right away either. I procrastinate too haha. Usually, I put down some key points first then I go back to them to elaborate. It probably takes me a week or two to finish writing a review.

    I hope you sort out your feelings for Isla :)

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  9. I definitely have reviews turning into a love or a hate fest if I review to quickly. But I hate not knowing what to write in a review because I want to be able to say something about it to the reader and not just sit there going '...well..it was ok?'. When it comes to sequels I definitely get influenced by the ones before it and then I feel like it's not an honest review! Ugh, it can be really hard to write reviews!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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  10. HI Alison,

    Great question! It really varies by book. Sometimes I take notes as I read. Sometimes I write the reviews immediately. And sometimes I let my thoughts simmer - so I guess it really just depends on the book and my schedule at any given moment!

    Have a wonderful weekend (and if you'd like, feel free to share this post at our Friendship Friday blog hop!)

    Create With Joy
    http://create-with-joy.com

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  11. I have to write a review pretty much right away. I don't like to wait too long because I feel like I forget my feelings on the book. I never take notes... well rarely. If there is something in the book I really really don't want to forget I will make a note. Otherwise I just wing it in the review.

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  12. Not soon enough. I have a stack of books I need to write reviews for. I have this "problem." No matter the time, if I finish a book, I need to start a new one immediately even if I only read a few pages.

    Terri M.
    Second Run Reviews

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  13. A lot of time as I'm reading a book I'll start forming my review in my head, which always isn't the best why to do it since the ending can totally change my thoughts. In general though, I try to write my review before I start my next book. This doesn't always work, and I haven't been the best at it lately. But I normally try to that way when I'm reading a book I can completely focus on it, instead of making a point to remember pieces of others books for reviews I still need to write on them.

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  14. I agree I'm struggling lately and have found myself waiting longer and longer to get to the review, however the last book I read I reviewed within 4 days and I felt really good about it so now I'm ready to stay on top and review the others when I have free time

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  15. I try and do it later the same day after finishing the book, if not, the day afterwards

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  16. For me, it depends on the book. Sometimes I have to write down my thoughts asap other times I have to let it stew in my mind.

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  17. I let it sit for a couple of days, because usually it takes some time to really let it sink in and decide how I fell about it. I do however, always rate it right away on GR to capture the feeling of that moment. If I leave it for to long I will largely forget the specifics.

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