Hey lovely readers!
So today’s post is something that’s been on my mind for quite awhile. I’ve been blogging for almost 8 months now and although I am the farthest thing from an expert I do get a lot of questions on how best to review books. So I want to talk about what I think makes a good book review.
Writing is such a fluid thing, everyone does it in a different way. And honestly there is no right way. That’s why whenever I get asked how to write a good review my answer is: write something that you would want to read. Why? Because I 100% believe that you should be writing your reviews with no one else in mind but yourself. I think that’s the best way to attract readers, to put your honesty and passion out there in a way that’s true to yourself. I want to know how you interpreted the book you’re reviewing and how you put those thoughts out in the world. I don’t want to read a review that is a carbon copy of my own. So what I’m going to do is explain how I write my reviews and why. And then I’m going to tell you what I like to see in book reviews and what kind of information I find most helpful when I read a review. In short what about a book review makes me want to pick up that book. Or in some cases not pick up that book.
My reviews are fairly unstructured. I just sort of go with what I feel. But overall I tend to focus on two main things: the writing and the characters. I do sometimes comment on the story, but it’s mostly an overall opinion instead of specifics. Characters sell a book for me more than then the plot. But that’s just me. I like to breakdown the main characters, and let you know what I think you as a reader can relate to with them. I also try to focus a lot on the writing and flow of a book, because for me pacing and coherency are make or break. I don’t care how awesome your story is, if it’s not articulated well I won’t like it.
I also try to avoid telling you guys what I’ve rated a book, because ratings are so subjective. And I wouldn’t want to sway someone that way. Star ratings mean different things to everyone. And finally, I never give too detailed a review. Meaning I almost never discuss the plot of a book. I want you to get the overall gist of a story, but not what actually happens in it. If that makes sense? Occasionally I will post spoiler-y reviews, but even I try to gloss over things. I’d rather you get my impression of the book overall. (I hope that works for you!)
Okay, now for what I like in a review. I want your opinion, I don’t want a play-by-play of the entire book. Tell me why you did or didn’t like the story. Tell me which character you liked the most or how you found the writing. 100% truth time. I really don’t like reviews that are basically lists of statistics. I don’t care what you rated it on Goodreads, I don’t really need to know the page count or where to buy the book. Most of the time I don’t even care what genre the book is. Especially because if the book is a genre I don’t usually read I won’t read the book no matter how good your review makes it sound. (Don’t judge me!) Because of that I like reviews that make me feel like the writer is talking to me. Just tell me your thoughts and opinions. Let if flow.
Now I must stress this, everything I’ve said here is only my opinion. I’m no expert and everyone is different. So what I like in a review and what you like will no doubt be different. And if you happen to write your reviews in a way that I said I don’t like, I am in no way attacking you. I’m not saying your reviews are bad. I’m simply putting what I like to see out there in hopes that someone will find it useful. I get so many questions about how I write reviews or the best way to write reviews. Well, there is no best or right way, but maybe this post will give you some peace of mind. No matter how or what you write about, someone will want to read it 🙂 Let me know how you write your reviews and what you like to read in a review. I’m so curious!
Thanks for reading guys! Talk to you soon! ❤ Adrianna