April 12, 2012

The Makeover Montage











I recently discovered the blog Forever Young Adult. Why in the world had I not heard of them before? They're hilarious! I spent hours going through old posts, just giggling hysterically and in heaven reading their reviews. What sealed the deal for me? Their love for L.M. Montgomery, and her redheaded heroine in particular. While reading through their blog, I totally fell in love with their review format - mostly because I love separating things into categories! I wish I had thought of it myself. So, they inspired me to actually change my own book review format.

Once I realized that I wanted to change my format to be more similar to theirs, I knew I had to shoot them an email. I hate how people on the Internet often copy each other (with no credit to their source!) so I wanted to let them know that: 1) I loved their format, 2) I wanted to do something similar (but not identical) and 3) I wanted to ask first.

I got a very sweet email in reply from poshdeluxe herself telling me thanks for asking and it was completely fine for me to adopt a similar structure. She also said they were flattered that their site inspired me to change things up over here. I was positively beaming at her kind reply!

So, without any further ado, here is a breakdown of my new review format.

Title by Author

Release Date: So you know if it's new or old
Pages: So you know if its skinny mini, normal or a chunker
Source & Format: This is more for my own records
Amazon | Goodreads (So you can buy it or add it to a list)

Sum It Up 
I'll start off by giving you a summary of what happens. I usually just rely on the copy from Goodreads or Amazon, but I may start writing these myself. I'm sorry, but sometimes the copy provided tells you next to nothing about the book in question. And one thing I love at FYA is that they write their own summary - mostly because it cuts through all the back cover BS and tells you what the book is really about. I'm going to try and write the summary myself, but I'll turn to Amazon if I'm in a pinch.

By Its Cover 
I totally judge a book by its cover. I am so much more willing to pick up a book with an appealing cover, even if the summary doesn't sound like my kind of book. By the same token, I am sometimes hesitant to read a book, even if its gotten rave reviews from people I trust, if it has a lame cover. I'll give you my overall judgment on the book cover here. Because let's face it, some book covers belong only on a Kindle. And some deserve extra recognition for their beauty!

Amen, Sister Friend
As a huge lover of any and all things Gilmore Girls, this is one of my favorite quotes. It's a phrase that Lorelei says to Rory, and it's meant to show solidarity. So how does that relate to my book reviews? Here's where I'll take a look at the main character(s). Do I like them? Do I want to be their friend? Would I hang out with them in real life? In a sense, do they make me want to shout "amen, sister friend!" in a show of solidarity?

Literary Love
If the book involves a love story, is it realistic? Do I believe their relationship? Am I connected to the outcome of it? Is their relationship founded on important factors - and not just the fact that they're both attracted to each other?

And, just as important, is the boy book crush-worthy? Have you fallen a little bit in love with him yourself? Do you wish he was a real boy? Does he make you swoon?

Word Nerd
Another thing that really matters to me when I'm reading is the writing. Is the book well-written? Does the story/plot flow smoothly or feel choppy? Does the dialogue feel authentic? Bad dialogue can be super annoying. And nothing ruins a good plot like bad writing. So, here's where I'll give you my two cents about that aspect of the novel.

Extra, Extra! 
These are just extra things that I found likable about a book. It could be just about anything!
For example, maybe it's a secondary character, the setting, a theme, etc. If there's any additional things I enjoyed in a book that didn't fit it another category, you'll find them here.

So Quotable
Since I'm a major quote lover, I'll include a favorite quote or two from each book I read. But don't worry, I won't choose any with spoilers!

Bottom Line
Here's where I cut to the chase and give you my rating. The rating still won't be in terms of stars - mostly because I find it really hard to judge books that way. I get really hung up on handing out stars because I second-guess whether one book deserves that rating compared to another book. You get the idea. But even without an official rating, I'll be frank about my ultimate feelings about a book. Was it perfect for a certain mood? Will it appeal to everyone? Would I want to re-read it? Will it stay on my shelves or be given away? Those are the kinds of questions I'll be answering here!

10 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! I can't wait to read your sparkly new reviews!! :-)

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    1. Yay! I'm so excited about it! Hope you enjoy :)

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  2. Hannah, I just found your blog and I have to say I love EVERYTHING about it! I'm excited to read your new reviews!

    And small world, I am a UGA PR grad too. What year did you graduate? I bet we had a few classes together and didn't even know it!

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    1. Aw, thanks Lesley Anne! That's so sweet!

      What a small world? I graduated in May 2011 so not long ago at all. And if we didn't have class together, I guarantee we knew a lot of the same people!

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  3. What a fun new way to review! Looking forward to it :-)

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    1. Thanks April! I'm excited to change things up around here, and the new review format has me excited to actually write reviews... so that's a huge plus! Hope you enjoy :)

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  4. I love the FYA blog, those girls are hilarious and I think it was great that you were inspired by them and that you were thoughtful enough to let them know and ask if it was ok! xox

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    1. I LOVE THEM! But I think it's so important to give credit where credit is due, and I was so happy when they said it was fine to change my reviews into a similar breakdown :) Plus, I told them that I could never be as funny as them so the only thing they'd have in common would be that the categories are similar.

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  5. I adore this!
    Bravo!
    When I do longer reviews I break it down too.
    :)
    I find it makes it sooo much easier to sort my thoughts and read.

    BTW, I love that Amen! Sister friend thing. I gotta try GG.

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    1. Thanks, Juju! Now that I've been using this format for a few weeks, I am absolutely in love. It makes it so much easier for me to write the review!

      And if you've never seen GG, you MUST try it! It kind of reminds me of olds 40s screwball comedies because of the fast, witty dialogue.

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