I wrote a post a very long time ago about why I used the sliding scale of 1-10 in my reviews. But I haven't talked about it in a while - or why I talk about certain things, or why I mention covers and summaries, or how I actually write a review.
I'm not a blog that writes a review and posts it as soon as they're done reading the book - but that's mostly because I schedule all of my posts weeks in advance. (To give you an idea of how I schedule things, this was written on the last day of July. Nearly a three week period between writing and posting.)
I do, however, tend to write my reviews right when I'm done reading them; I think the feelings you have as soon as a book ends are important to how you enjoy a book and whether you'd recommend it. Did you devour it? Did you want more? Were you sad it was over? Or were you just generally unimpressed?
I can formulate my thoughts on whether or not I like something very quickly. I don't take notes on stories, and I don't wait days before writing a review (unless I'm not near a computer). It doesn't take me long to figure out whether I liked the trifecta of the story as a whole: plot, characters, setting.
Whether I liked the writing is another story; normally if I don't, it ends up in my did-not-finish pile anyway, but I have a harder time putting it to words than some of my other stuff. I hate Oxford commas, but I can't fault an author for using them; on the other hand, there are some phrases and grammatical errors that I just can't stand. Do I mention them? Sometimes, if it's important. (For instance, my upcoming review of Innocent Darkness talks about why I picked up so quickly on the use of the Oxford comma and why it got on my nerves.)
After rambling for paragraphs about why I liked and didn't like, I do offer the final section: Overall Rating and Final Comments.
Mostly it's a quick-glance for people who don't want to read the entire review - a one or two sentence summary of the pros and cons.
And the rating? Well, that's mostly for me. There's no strict criteria; it's merely how much I liked it or thought it was good. It's the same scale we've been using in my house to show how much we liked a movie since... as long as I can remember. It's second nature for me to give something the 1 to 10 treatment.
The one thing I can say about my reviews is that they're honest, to the point of brutality at some things. (I edit. I always have to edit.) I've never said anything I didn't actually mean, with the exception of the Breaking Dawn review I wrote. (To be fair, I was leaving my Twi-phase and was in denial that the book was as terrible as I had thought.)
How do you write reviews? (And any more questions on how I write reviews?)