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The TBReviewed Challenge > Niki's TBReviewed Challenge [Grand Master Reviewer][Booya!]

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message 1: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (last edited Jun 15, 2020 03:53PM) (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Niki's TBReviewed Challenge!

Badge: Dedicated Reviewer
Goals:
1. Review things within one month of completion.
2. Work on reviews at least once a day. Track in bullet journal.

TBReviewed Titles:
[6/12] Death and Relaxation

Professional Review Commitments:
[Due 8/11] Mirage not started
[Due 8/25] Emerald Blaze currently reading
[Due 9/29] Battle Ground not started

Backlog TBReviewed:
[09/08/18] Diamond Fire Missed ARC review. I still have thoughts though...
[06/16/19] A Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery This was an ARC review obligation. I suck.

Rule Addendums:
*I can review past books if I've met my daily quota with current reads already. Adding these to this list don't count against my total.
*I don't have to review books in order of completion.

Completed 2020 Reviews (since my May revamp):
1. Song of the Risen God: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
2. The Kingdom of Liars: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
3. Blood of Empire: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
4. The Cruel Stars: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
5. Sweep with Me: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
6. The Mirror Empire: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
7. Rosemary and Rue: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
8. The Shadow of What Was Lost: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
9. The Stone Sky: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
10. The Betrothed: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
11. American Demon: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 2: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (last edited Feb 26, 2019 03:49PM) (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Professional Review Commitments:

asap A Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery
2/28/2019 Polaris Rising
2/28/2019 The Dysasters
04/2019 Holy Sister

Completed:
12/31/18 The Disasters
12/31/18 Fire & Blood
1/2/19 The Winter of the Witch


message 3: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (last edited Dec 19, 2018 10:10AM) (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
0%-10% - Failing Reviewer
11%-30% - Bare-Minimum Reviewer
31%-75% - Average Reviewer
76%-89% - Dedicated Reviewer
90%-99% - Overachieving Reviewer
100% - Grand Master Reviewer


message 4: by Anni (new)

Anni | 5020 comments Good luck with the challenge Niki :)


message 5: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Thank you Anni! :)


message 6: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Disasters reviewed! [Reviewed]
I'm creeping up my percentage slowly... just long enough to backdate it more and start over again lol.

So far I'm loving what this challenge is doing for me. I've reviewed the last 2 books I've read immediately, something that never happens lol. All I needed was a tracker and motivation...


message 7: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Need to add: steels edge. 4 stars. Liked it better than the second, about as much as the third, and not quite as much as the first. Anything from them is always a solid read.


message 8: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (last edited Feb 26, 2019 03:45PM) (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Finally am getting around to reviewing:

Stardoc (Stardoc, #1) by S.L. Viehl
[4.5 stars] I freaking loved this book. And it is somewhat tragic that it sat on my shelves collecting dust for 16 years before I finally picked it up (16 years!!!! I can’t even wrap my head around that fully). The story may not have been the most original, creative, or exciting, but I tell you what – it was EXACTLY what I’ve been craving and I enjoyed it to pieces.

I love sci-fi books of all kinds – from the heavy militaristic battle novels filled with endless technical jargon to the fluffy feel-good space operas, but the ones that always seem to make me phone home are the ones with the most creative alien creations. I guess you could say I prefer the xenobiology sci-fis, and the more convincing the genetic makeups, the better. Not only did Stardoc include a vast array of aliens, but Viehl (who happens to be a retired surgeon for the army) upped the game even further by including medical treatment of these aliens (which means she really had to dig in to the specifics of their biological workings and how the environment affected them), and I ate up every single detail. Not only was it an amazing creative undertaking, but it also added an exciting medical drama angle that kept me turning pages late into the night. Superb.

If all that wasn’t enough, the story often sat on the verge of being a bonafide space opera (my favorite two words in spec-fic). The characters were well developed and their interpersonal drama balanced perfectly with the rest of the story and provided an excellent way to get emotionally invested. A vast majority of the story takes place on one planet, but there are so many dynamics that it didn’t ever feel stagnant (although I’m totally looking forward to more space travel and new aliens in future books).

There’s only one story component that kept me from giving Stardoc a full 5-star rating, and that was the inclusion of a very odd rape scene. Like, really odd. Mostly because of how it was handled – the author sort of showed her cards a bit for me on what’s to come, and I can sorta see what she was trying to do, but 100% the content wouldn’t fly in today’s market had it been written more recently. I don’t really want to spark a debate on rape scenes in books, so I’m going to leave it at that and suggest you just venture in aware it’s a component. It’s literally the only thing that kept Stardoc from hitting perfection for me on all accounts.

Series status: Enjoying this series has now become my #1 reading priority. I’ve already cracked the spine on the next book (and it’s awesome!).

Recommendations: I can’t endorse this book as the best sci-fi I’ve ever read, but it hit all the right notes for me and has become one of my new favorites. It includes and excellent mix of medical drama, aliens, relatable characters, and just a hint of mystery.

https://nikihawkes.com/2019/02/26/boo...


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin | 1338 comments 16 years!!! Omg!! I thought I was bad. Hmmm, I might actually be that bad 😳😂🤣. Loved the review 😘


message 10: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ wrote: "16 years!!! Omg!! I thought I was bad. Hmmm, I might actually be that bad 😳😂🤣. Loved the review 😘"

Hahaha right?! I just facepalm myself with stuff like that. I could’ve read these so long ago. And thank you! ❤️


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin | 1338 comments I know exactly what you mean and you’re welcome 😃🌸💕


message 12: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ wrote: "I know exactly what you mean and you’re welcome 😃🌸💕"

^_^


message 14: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6215 comments Yeay! You're here! I was wondering if you're still keeping the challenge this year cause you didn't post. :D

It was a great idea and it does help me a lot in seeing what I need to review myself, even though right now I'm sort of scared to check out my own thread. :))


message 15: by Solseit (new)

Solseit | 1460 comments Well done Niki! Always polished reviews and content! I just kick myself for not spotting this challenge before!


message 16: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)


message 17: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (last edited May 15, 2020 12:05PM) (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Challenge update!

This challenged really gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get into the regular habit of reviewing the titles I'm reading. After seriously committing to it since the beginning of the year, I now know my reviewing needs enough to start tweaking the challenge.

I've discovered that trying to get things reviewed within a single week of finishing is impractical if I want to maintain quality. I've made time during the workweek (Mon-Fri) for reviewing and it usually takes 2 or 3 days for one review. The first day usually involves a word-vomit draft. If it comes out with few issues, I can often edit it that day, then come back to it the following day with fresh eyes for a final polish before posting. If it doesn't cooperate, the second day is a rewrite day where I usually end up redoing the entire thing. If that happens, it posts on day 3.

So, because of this, I can usually only produce two quality reviews in a week. I sometimes finish 2-3 books in that time frame and I'm still trying to review backlog titles.

Then you add in my gig with Audiofile Magazine, which involve shorter reviews, but they need to be more polished because they're actually commissioned. These happen once or twice a month, and take up at least one of my review spots during those weeks.

Because of all these factors, I haven't been able to do the challenge as designed. However, it at least got me reviewing regularly enough to meet my overall goals of "reviewing everything I read within a reasonable time-frame."

So I'm redesigning the challenge to fit my needs:

1. Review things within a month of completion.
2. TBR books can only be carried over once in my bullet journal.
3. Continue working on reviews at least once a day (mon-fri)


I'm not sure what the format of my new challenge will look like yet. My goal is to mess around with it next week.


message 18: by Virginie (new)

Virginie | 5795 comments Weeee, organizing spree! I like your new rules. Will keep an eye on this thread :D


message 19: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 1261 comments Oh wow, such dedication! I'm so glad to hear this challenge has inspired a real change and new habits for you. I never get past the word-vomit stage, but that's good enough for me. All this scheduling, and mentions of a bullet journal even! Color me impressed!


message 20: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Virginie wrote: "Weeee, organizing spree! I like your new rules. Will keep an eye on this thread :D"

Weeeee indeed!!! Thanks, it has oddly become more of a pain in the ass to update this thread than the actual reviewing. I need to make it fun again.


message 21: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "Oh wow, such dedication! I'm so glad to hear this challenge has inspired a real change and new habits for you. I never get past the word-vomit stage, but that's good enough for me. All this schedul..."

Thank you! I designed the original challenge a full year before I was actually committed enough to make changes, but better late than never haha. I really do love the new routine I've found. The bullet journal is my everything when it comes to keeping things organized haha. If I was writing just for me, the word-vomit reviews would be so much fun to post - sometimes I do them anyway just for kicks lol. I think they're often the most fun to read!


message 22: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
I just reorganized and got myself all set up with my new trackers. I think they key this time around will be having a paper copy in my bullet journal that I can refer to more easily.


message 23: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)


message 24: by Virginie (new)

Virginie | 5795 comments Niki Hawkes wrote: "Virginie wrote: "Weeee, organizing spree! I like your new rules. Will keep an eye on this thread :D"

Weeeee indeed!!! Thanks, it has oddly become more of a pain in the ass to update this thread th..."


Ha! When you overdo your tracking system and find out that you can't keep up with it :p


message 25: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Virginie wrote: "Niki Hawkes wrote: "Virginie wrote: "Weeee, organizing spree! I like your new rules. Will keep an eye on this thread :D"

Weeeee indeed!!! Thanks, it has oddly become more of a pain in the ass to u..."


Exactly haha ::facepalms::


message 26: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 1261 comments I'll just leave this here...

https://xkcd.com/1205/


message 27: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6215 comments Sounds like a great system Niki. I will also have to update my challenge probably the same way. It takes hours for me to write down a review and make the images. And it would help if I did the same way you do. Read a few books and then review them. I'm going to steal your strategy. Hope you don't mind. :D


message 28: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (last edited May 22, 2020 11:39AM) (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "I'll just leave this here...

https://xkcd.com/1205/"


haha I guarantee I'm beyond the point of true efficiency in literally everything I spend time on. That was great haha.


message 29: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "Sounds like a great system Niki. I will also have to update my challenge probably the same way. It takes hours for me to write down a review and make the images. And it would help if I did the same..."

I don't mind at all - I'm glad it might help. :) The point of the challenge was to get into good habits, and even when I'm working on reviewing every single day I can't get anything done within a week haha. It was just too impractical.


message 30: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (last edited May 28, 2020 03:57PM) (new)


message 31: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Another update:
7. Rosemary and Rue: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
I finally have a challenge tracking system that's working - yay!

One more posted today will bring me current...


message 32: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (last edited Jun 02, 2020 03:57PM) (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Yay!! I'm UTD with reviews! :D

8. The Shadow of What Was Lost: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Now I can spend a few days on some backlog ones. ^_^ Or, you know, actually read some more stuff.


message 33: by Virginie (last edited Jun 03, 2020 01:04AM) (new)

Virginie | 5795 comments Yay! Sounds like your revamp of this challenge/your reviewing schedule is paying off! Nicely done :D

I'm curious: do you often review books you've read a while ago? Does the distance helps with the review (a more 'rounded' view of the book) or is it harder (forgetting details) ?


message 34: by Sha (new)

Sha | 1522 comments Oh my god you do non-wordvomit reviews. *stares in awe*


message 35: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 1261 comments *bows before the Grand Master*




message 36: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Virginie wrote: "Yay! Sounds like your revamp of this challenge/your reviewing schedule is paying off! Nicely done :D

I'm curious: do you often review books you've read a while ago? Does the distance helps with th..."


yes ::sobs:: it's finally working!!

I've discovered that distance is not my friend. There are some books I remember well enough to do reviews for a few years later, but it's maybe 1 in 20.

Before I started getting on top of reviews, I'd write myself a few notes, but it would often be several month before I got around to the actual review. The notes helped, but I was noticing the lag time caused me to forget a lot of little details that would've made the reviews stronger. There were always titles that didn't make much of an impact, so if I didn't write a review right away, I'd forget everything but general impression. So unless I want to reread, those titles will stay unreviewed forever (noooooo).

The only thing distance seems to help with is snark... I'm not as annoyed if I give it a few weeks haha.


message 37: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Sha wrote: "Oh my god you do non-wordvomit reviews. *stares in awe*"

haha my secret is that I'm not reading very fast these days... two weeks between books seems a ridiculously long time ::facepalms:: But switching it to a month instead of a week has definitely helped me out!


message 38: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "*bows before the Grand Master*

"


hahaha ::motions:: blessings to your reading endeavors ...


message 39: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
A Backlist title reviewed:
9. The Stone Sky: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 40: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)


message 41: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7204 comments Mod
I'm nowhere close to Grand Master anymore... but I haven't had time to update my thread. So we'll keep the illusion for a bit longer lol.


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