This week's Weekly Geek edition is guest-hosted by Care where she asks us to detail our reviewing system with the following questions:
1. Explain your review format - if you have one. Or maybe your rating system?
My reviews are very simple little things. But I do have a bit of format I guess. I bold the title, author, genre, rating, and if I'm reading it for a challenge, right at the top. Also, I always add a picture of the cover.
Then I usually start out by saying what led me to the book in the first place, followed by a very very brief description of the book, only a sentence or two. I'm paranoid of spoilers, and so I won't go into very much detail at all. But hopefully just enough to make readers curious to learn more.
Then, I'll say what my reaction was to the book. Did I like it, and why? Did anything bug me about the book? Was I particularly impressed with the style or any other aspect? Sometimes I'll say how it compares to others I've read by the same author, or if I plan on reading more by the same author.
My rating system is on a letter grade scale. Perfect books get an A+. Most books get an A if I really totally enjoyed them, or an A- if I just enjoyed them. B+ and B's are for okay books, good but not great. I rarely give out anything less than that, because I usually like everything at least a little!
Oh, and I try to remember to link to a few other reviews! I have a hard time remembering that little detail, and sometimes I'll go back and edit that in.
Bottom line, my format is to pretend I'm talking to a friend, one who's asked about why they should read a particular book.
2. Highlight another book-blogger's review format by linking to a favorite example - don't forget to tell us why they are a fave!
Many of you put TONS of work into book reviews. They are wonderful. But like I said, I'm paranoid of spoilers, so if I can tell that the description seems to be getting too detailed, I'll skip it, and I look for just your reactions. So, reviews that I especially like focus on this, more than the actual book.
One review I liked very recently was by Melissa at Book Nut for a book called Aurelia. She hasn't used a specific format necessarily, but she definitely gets the point across that she very much enjoyed this book. And I could tell right off, that it was the exact kind of book that I would like. (Words like "swoon" and "nail biting" and "intrigue" are all I need!) I immediately looked to see if my two libraries had it... which was NO. Well, no fair!
One thing she does do, is to share the first line of the book. I think this is fun.
3. Do a review in another book-blogger's format of your latest read.
As soon as I have a latest read, I'll do this! I'm having a hard time finishing anything this week!
4. Highlight a past review that you are particularly proud of and why the format or structure may have had something to do with it.
Hmmm... well. None of them are that spectacular. I do like the ones I put more work into (for blog tours and such) but that doesn't really show my above mentioned "format" really. Last month, I reviewed Jellicoe Road and just now re-reading that one over again, I like that my enthusiasm comes across quite clearly. If you have no confusion over whether I liked a book or not, then I've fulfilled my purpose in doing a review!
What's your purpose for reviewing books and do you have a format for that? Share at Weekly Geeks, or here in comments.