Our next post to help readers write more book reviews, comes from Olga.
As part of Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC, we continue our week of advice posts. See the link at the bottom of the page for details of the challenge and where you can sign up for a free book in exchange for a review.
Writing More Detailed Book Reviews
I tend to write fairly long reviews, but there isn’t an ideal length. Some readers prefer them short and sweet, others longer, but there is a lot of information that we can include even in a shorter review.
I compiled a list of the things I like to include in my reviews that you might find helpful.
A brief overview only; potential readers can read the blurb if they want to know more. Avoid spoilers. Mention the genre, or the mix of them. A ‘thriller’ can mean all sorts of different things!
This is different from genre. This means the themes included in the story, e.g., family loyalty, abandonment, deception. I talk about the themes when they are not evident in the blurb or my plot description, particularly if I think that those themes make the book more interesting or distinctive – and also if I think some people might prefer to be warned about those kinds of subjects.
Not all, but main and secondary. I will also mention which were my favourites.
5. Point of view
Whether each character’s point of view is written in the 3rd or 1st person. It is important to mention these as some people prefer one or the other, or don’t like changes in POV.
6) Writing Style
I tell readers about my subjective impression of the ending, of course, not about how it ends (not revealing any spoilers is fundamental, especially for certain genres). Ah, some people hate cliff-hangers, so I mention that if the story ends like that. Was the ending a shocker? A disappointment? Happy? Was there a great twist in the tale?
I summarise my opinion and recommend it to the type of readers I think will enjoy it. We have all read books that were well-written but perhaps didn’t suit our taste, and sometimes we might think of a person who would have enjoyed it much more. I am a firm believer that most books have readers who’d love them out there, and I hope I can help them find each other.
In a series, it is worth mentioning if you think the book can be read independently or it is better to read the books in the intended order. It is a good idea to include a disclaimer if you’ve received an ARC copy of the book for review. And, if you’ve accessed the book in a particular format (audio, hardback, etc.), you might want to add extra information if you feel it is relevant (a comment about the narrator, photos, maps…).
These are some suggestions, but remember that you are writing your review and the most important thing is to enjoy writing it and to let other people know what you have thought about the book. If you’ve loved the book, shower them with your love for it. If you decide to write a negative review, don’t just write you hate it. Explain why. The reasons that made you hate it might be precisely the reasons that will make somebody else love it.
I hope this has been useful to you, and happy reviewing!
If you’d like to read more about Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC click here
Tomorrow Alison will be giving advice about how to write a review for a book which you didn’t enjoy.