I used to read and pray I'd remember my favorite spots in the book but as I kept reviewing, I got a little smarter about the whole thing. Now I have little post-its on my bookmark and as I read and find a sentence I like, I pull the sticky tab off and stick it to anything that catches my eye. That way I can mark my favorite lines!
I also make sure to read the book all the way through and try not to make up my mind until I've read ever single word.
The most important thing for me to do after I shut a book is to wait a few days. I need some time to form an opinion about the book. My gut reaction is good but sometimes as the story settles with me, I end up drawing new conclusions I hadn't been able to see before.
After a couple of days, I go to write my review.
When I form my review, I make sure I have all the info on the top. Over the years I've added my opinion on the cover and I always include the first line since that usually sells me on a book I'm purchasing. Then I dive into the meat of the review. I like to start with a "catch-y" first paragraph that summarizes my feelings on the book in two or three sentences in case people just want a snap shot of what I thought about the book.
After, I write about my opinions of the characters, the plot and the writing. If I have anything negative to say, I add it at the very end. But if I didn't like something, I try to be respectful about why I didn't like it and I was state that it is only my opinion and others might havr a different opinion. After that paragraph, I do another paragraph that summarizes my thoughts and all the points I made in the meat of my review and add the rating.
I end up doing pretty long reviews. I like to dissect characters and my reactions to the novel in depth because it helps me understand what I like about novels and what I don't. I know long reviews are harder to read. I even did a poll and most said they prefer four paragraphs for reading reviews but I just can't make them that short.
So that's my process for reviewing. It isn't the "only" way to do it but it is working for me.
I'd love for you to take me through your review process! Do you do anything different? Anything I do that you might steal or do the same as me?