Aug 18, 2015

A How To on Writing Reviews


If you were to go back to my very first review you can tell I had no clue what I was doing. I was all over the place, inconsistent and it was a basic gush on how I wanted to marry this one book character (Don't bother going back to look for it. It was deleted a long time ago.) As a new blogger, I think it is hard to know where to start with a review. Everyone has their own style to it, you can observe other bloggers and overtime develop your own style, you could already know who to write a book review. It all depends! 

There are tons of different ways to write reviews, eventually you'll develop your own style of writing a review. But for now here is some advice to help you through the first few you will write: 

1. Book Information


1. Book Cover - This part is pretty self explanatory. Always include a cover in your reviews. Also, when you are adding a book cover to your blog save the cover to your computer and then upload it to your blog post.

2. Book Information - Title, Author, and Publisher/Publication date are always a given. But this part always varies from blogger to blogger. The example above is how I set up a review. I always include genre and if it an ARC I include where I got it from. In the above review I got an eGalley of Bounce from Edelweiss. I also include a link to Goodreads and a link to buy or pre-order the book on Amazon.

3.Summary - I've seen some blogs not include this, and it goes back to how you style your post. I like summaries because If I am not familiar with the book I know somewhat what to expect in a review. I take all my summaries from Goodreads (Make sure their is a disclaimer somewhere on your blog though that that is where you get your summaries from.) 

2. Tone of your review 

Now that we cleared that out of the way you can actually get to your book review. Now, when you are sitting down to write your review ask yourself these three things: 

  • 1. Did you like the book? If not, why? 
  • 2. What was the book about? 
  • 3. Was their anything in particular that you would change about the story?
These are always the first three things I ask myself. If I like the book or not usually indicates the tone of the review. Usually in my first paragraph I inform my reader whether I liked the book or not. 


3. The Actual Review (An example) 




Above is an example of my Bounce review. As you can see there are multiple things that I talked about with in this review. Everything varies from book to book and blogger to blogger, so this isn't how your reviews are going to look or how mine look compared to another blogger. 

Intro Paragraph - Above I talked about your tone in your review. I try to set my tone in the intro paragraph: 

"Confession: This is my first Noelle August book, but I can tell you what. I will be looking forward to her writing in the future. Never mind the fact I can't wait to get my hands on the other books in this series now. Bounce was both refreshing and entertaining story of a girl who never planned to be a star and a troubled boy who couldn't help but fall for her." 
I didn't directly come out and say I loved Bounce, but I implied it. Not everyone uses an intro paragraph, I like to so I can get those few thoughts down that will sometimes leave the reader wondering about what I have to say. (At least that is my goal) 


About the Story - This part varies, some bloggers recap the story in their own words and some don't. Typically I will recap it. I try to keep is short and brief, you don't need any major details in this part of your review. 

About the Character(s) - This is the point where I will talk about the main character(s). Did I like them? Did I hate them? Were the relatable? Ect. (This one seems awfully long but the story was in two POVs so I was talking about both characters.)

About the Romance - Exactly what it says. Sometimes I'll talk about the romance if the book falls into the "romance" genre. It will all depend. This review I happened to include it. 

What I disliked - I always leave what I disliked for last. I don't know why, I been doing it since I started blogging. This is where you talk about anything that you didn't like about the book. Characters, plot, something that happened, ect. Also: Don't book bash in this section. Keep your thoughts neat and orderly! 

Final Thoughts - Typically this is where I say "overall,...." whether I loved, liked, was content, or hated the book and say anything else that i feel needs to be added. Sometimes I'll complain about having to wait for another book in a series. Ect. 


4. Important things to keep in mind 

  • Don't wait to long after you finish a book to write its review. I always do this and you end up forgetting the small things (if you don't take notes) I had read Red Queen three times because I kept pushing my review off and forgetting details. Don't be me. 
  • Not every review has to be a novel in itself. My reviews tend to be long (Jessica's are even longer), but someones who reviews a book in three paragraphs review is just a effective as mine. I say 3-4 paragraphs is about what you should aim for with a review. 
  • Negative reviews are sometimes hard to write. Just be fair about it. Someone did take time to write that book and just straight out bashing is and telling no one to read it isn't nice. Plus, your 1 star book could be my 5 star book! 
  • Check over your review to make sure everything you wrote makes sense and there are no spelling errors! 

I hope this post is helpful to some of you. I know when I first started blogging I was scouring the internet and the proper way to write a review. Truth is: There isn't. Everyone develops their own style. So don't panic. Just let loose and write your feelings down and you can always go back and edit it later. Your reviews will always improve too, so what you write now won't be what it looks like in a few months. So don't sweat it! 


was this post helpful in anyway? Let me know in the comments!




3 comments:

  1. This post was indeed helpful! :) Another thing that needs to be addressed, I think, is spoilers. Sometimes, when writing a review, it's difficult to articulate exactly what you liked or disliked without delving into the realm of spoilers. How do you suggest one deals with those?

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  2. I think I am still trying to figure out what my style is. Sometimes I change a few things with each review in hopes of discovering what I like best. I think overtime, however, it will just naturally come, you know? When I first started doing reviews, I think I was trying too hard to follow other bloggers’ styles, and I realized quickly that it just wasn't working. As much as I love funny, sarcastic reviews, it's not my review style, and I shouldn't pretend to be like that. I'm learning ... slowly, but surely. :D

    I really need to start taking more notes while I read. I have too much faith in myself while I am reading lol. In the end I want to slap myself because I can't remember something in detail that I want to talk about in the review.

    Great post!! :D

    Sarah @ The Reading Petal

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  3. Wow this are amazing tips you compiled all together. I've been wanting to do something like this but it hasn't really come into my mind on how to write it. Writer block sucks! But I'll definitely keep coming back to this for help as I always have trouble writing reviews :)

    Also the first tip on number 4 is so important! It happens a lot to me and then I just don't write the review because I forget the important things. Sometimes, I take notes but not always. I wish I did it every time because it really does help.

    ~Karina @ A Reader Under The Sea

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