On Writing Book Reviews (or What to Expect from My Reviews)

Everyone has their own style and method to writing reviews of books. Some people choose to retell the premise of the book, often copying the book blurbs from the back of the book or from Goodreads. Others use cute or funny gifs and jpgs to express their opinions. Some simply quote passages of the book. Others do that with their opinions interspersed. One review I saw consisted of photos of the places discussed in the book. There was no real review one that one.

I saw one review that consisted only of photos of the places discussed in the book. There was no real review one that one other than the number of stars she gave the book.

To each their own.bookshelf

My style leans toward actual critiquing. I try to tell you what I liked about the book and why. I do not recap the synopsis. I hate when reviews start off with a recap, especially if it’s a lengthy recap. I know I don’t want read recaps. I have read the synopsis. I assume you, as a fellow reader, have done the same. What I want to know is why you rated the book the way you did. So either tell me why you gave it X number of stars or don’t review the book. I don’t want to have to slog through 5 paragraphs of recap to get to what you thought. Or worse, make me slog through a 5 paragraph recap only to say something unhelpful, like “best book ever.” Why was it the best book ever? What made it so great? These are the questions I’m left with after all that effort.

So I try to write the kind of reviews that I prefer to read. I won’t make you slog through meaningless recap paragraphs. I try to get to the point and tell you my thoughts. I assume you are a reader and can read the synopsis for yourself on the book’s Goodreads page, on a book seller website, or just by googling the book. I may give a few details, but that’s normally to set-up my review. And I certainly won’t write more details than a couple sentences.

I also try not to give any spoilers. On occasion in my Goodreads reviews (if you follow my Goodreads reviews), I have given a few spoilers. Luckily Goodreads allows for a spoiler tag that, if used properly, will hide the spoiler unless the reader opts to see it. I tend to use spoilers when the spoiler is relevant to my rant (because it usually only happens for books I don’t like). And on this site, I will probably only share books I enjoyed. Either way, I won’t give away anything of importance.

But like my reviews will be, this is all my opinion. Maybe you disagree. Maybe you prefer a review full of gifs or jpgs (which, I will admit, when done well, can actually be a helpful review. But that’s the rare reviewer that can pull that off.)

Either way, at least you now know what to expect from my book reviews.

What do you want to see in a book review? Tell me in the comments below. And if you have a book you’d like to see me review, let me know that too!

And check out my read shelf on L.A.L.'s book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) —see what I’ve been reading & add me as a friend to see more of my reviews.

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