Wave your hand wildly in the air if you’ve ever struggled to write a review of a book that you really need to review! I’m going to assume I see a lot of hands because I struggle with this problem the whole damn time with pretty much EVERY book I read. But I know I’m not the only one! So today, because I am so experienced in this hellish struggle I have written a handy 11-step guide on how NOT to write a book review so you get to see each step of my process. Ah, what we do for books eh?
STEP ONE: Don’t review the book straight after you’ve read it. That’s too easy! Remember we’re here today because we want to make it as hard as possible.
STEP TWO: Forgot you’ve even read the book until the book’s almost due out and you realize you haven’t written a review yet. Decide to write the review tomorrow and then keep saying that until the publisher comes after you with a pitchfork or your guilt gets the better of you. Decide to write the review tomorrow for reals this time (maybe).
STEP THREE: The day has come! Time to go on Goodreads to check out what you’re hoping is a few thoughts you had on the book as well as a star-rating left by your efficient past-self.
Unfortunately your past-self is just as lazy and disorganized as your now-self and not only is there no tidy list of thoughts on the book, neither is there a star-rating. Your lazy past-self forgot to even mark the book READ on Goodreads so basically you have to remember the book yourself. Paniiiic.
STEP FOUR: Amuse yourself (and to put off your rising panic) by reading the reviews left by your much more organized Goodreads friends (they even left STAR-RATINGS, omg what is this sorcery??!!) and agonize and have a pity party/crisis over the fact your reviews will never ever sound or look as good. Feel even less inspired and wonder if you could just write random words would they miraculously come together to create a good review. You try this. Sadly it does not work. Go back to Goodreads and get caught in the blackhole that is all the lists of amazing sounding books coming out in 2025. Spend the next two hours doing this.
STEP FIVE: Unfortunately your book review hasn’t written itself yet, something you find very disappointing. Go on Twitter to cheer up and get inspired. However Twitter is full of people happily tweeting about how they’ve just scheduled 200 blog posts which they’ve managed to do even though they also have 10 children, 20 pets, a business or 4 and an insane social and bookish life. You’re half madly jealous, half in awe, because you are alone, have no job, no children, no minions and no life.
STEP SIX: You decide to make your reviews more exciting by adding book photos to cunningly take away from the fact your review is currently TERRIBLE. So off to #bookstagram you go! You can’t see how this could go wrong.
STEP SEVEN: OH HOW WRONG YOU ARE. If twitter is bad for your fragile vanity #bookstagram is where it goes to die. As soon as you go on there, you immediately realize your book photos are the worst on the planet and they will never EVERRRR look like the perfection that these photography goddesses and gods magic and conjure up. Deal with your crushed self-esteem by scrolling aimlessly through beautiful book accounts until your eyeballs fall out.
STEP EIGHT: FINALLY start writing your review. Add in lots of gifs because gifs are fun until you realize that you have one sentence (I really like this book because…) and 33 gifs. Your internet crashes and you lose all your unsaved gifs – I mean all of your really long book review, damnnit!
STEP NINE: Give up and concede that you have to write the damn review. The first hour of writing it goes like this: write a sentence, hate sentence, delete sentence, regret deleting sentence, scream at unfair world and deleted sentences and then repeat the cycle again until you finally get somewhere.
STEP TEN: HURRAH!!! You’ve finally managed to finish writing the whole flipping review!! Immediately go on Twitter to brag about “all the blog post writing I’ve done today”. Realize that once you actually got stuck in and got past the previous 9 steps that is writing a book review, you actually enjoyed writing it! Decide that this will be the day that you will finally become an organized and accomplished bean and that you will write and schedule another 10 blog posts or so because this is the new you and you are inspired! But first a short break, because even a Muse needs to recharge and have a snack…
STEP ELEVEN: …5 weeks later you open up your blog post drafts vainly hoping that there are just 10 perfectly written blog posts just casually lying around ready to be posted. There are not. Why? Because your past-self IS A LAZY HEDGEHOG and you hate yourself. Resignedly go back to the beginning of this 11-step list and start from the beginning. Again.
Tell me: do you avoid writing book reviews or are you super organized? 🙂