Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC – How To Write A More Detailed #Bookreview by @OlgaNM7

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.

1.            Author

If I’ve reviewed other books by the same author, I like to include a link to one of them, or the latest in the series, when I share the review on my blog. Talking about the author and how I came across the book can work as an introduction to the review, and other information (awards, media attention, etc.) can also be included.

2.            Plot

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!

3.            Themes

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.

4.            Characters

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

It is not necessary to be technical when talking about the writing style, but commenting on the pace of the story, how well it flows, the type of language, (many people also talk about spelling or grammatical mistakes, especially if they are distracting), and sometimes sharing some short quotes can help readers get a good idea of how well suited the book is to their tastes.

7)             Ending

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?

8)             Summary

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.

7 thoughts on “Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC – How To Write A More Detailed #Bookreview by @OlgaNM7

  1. For me, your #8 is the bulk of my review, and I touch on most of the other things within that. I try to keep my summary to no more than one paragraph. But I never include information about the author, unless I talk about other works of theirs, or if they’re debut writers.

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