Writing book reviews doesn’t have to be really complicated. There’s no one right way to write them. However, book reviews can be daunting for the first time reviewer. Or maybe you’re a seasoned book reviewer who wants to mix them up.
So today I decided to look at how I write my reviews and think about what I could do to change them up in the future.
Typically when I’m working on a book review, I don’t actually take notes when I’m reading a book unless there is a quote I want.
Before I start writing a book, I usually try to find the summary or blurb on Goodreads and the cover image. I like to include these in my book reviews to give my readers a better background into the book I’ll be covering.
I’ll also typically look up an author’s social media and website to include these as well in case someone wants to look more into them.
Sometimes if I have mixed opinions about the book or if I have a strong reaction, I’ll look at other reviews on Goodreads before I start writing mine. I try not to let other’s opinions color mine before writing, but I mostly look out of curiosity.
Then I’ll work on writing my review. I don’t really have a word count limit I try to reach.
When I’m done writing the review and after I’ve published it, I’ll make sure to share it to my social media channels. Usually I also try to share it on Goodreads. I should be sharing them on Amazon as well, but I always forget to log in and paste them into my account.
Two Approaches I use:
The Linear Review
This is a classic review approach that I use sometimes. In this type of review, you write your reactions to as how the story progresses. I use this type of review when I don’t have a lot to comment on other parts of the story.
If you read past reviews I wrote on my previous blog, this is the kind of reviews I wrote a lot of. Typically these are more of a brain dump for me where I don’t always have a ton to say about the book.
I see a mix of these on Goodreads vs the other kind I usually use to write my reviews.
The Book Section Review
I have been using this type of review a lot lately.
In this version, you break the review down into different sections of the book – location, characters, plot, dialogue, etc. This is an easy way to create an encompassing review of a book.
I personally really enjoy these types of reviews because they help me think about the book critically from a writer’s perspective. It gives me a better idea of things I did and didn’t like about the review.
Ideas for Different Type of Reviews:
I don’t think there is any one right way to write a book review, it really depends on your energy level and how much you want to say.
- No Spoilers: I know some people specialize in no spoiler book reviews. I tend to write more of these lately.
- Gif based reviews: These kinds of posts are popular from Buzzfeed and base your reactions to the book around gifs and other similar media. These days it might honestly be Tiktoks.
- Video or Picture Based: Not everyone is good at writing book reviews, so instead you can always create a video or a picture around your reactions and thoughts to the book.
- Review Reactions: I think this would be fun to do myself. In this version, you would find another review that someone wrote on Goodreads or Amazon or somewhere else and react to what they wrote. You could bounce your opinions off of theirs, especially if you disagree with whatever they wrote.
- Co-Reviews: In this scenario, you and someone else you know collaborate on a review together. You can write it as a conversation or blend it into one review where you agree on whatever you’re reacting too.
- Genre Based Reviews– This one is pretty obvious I think. In this one, you review the book according to whatever the traditional hallmarks of the genre the book is in. So if it’s science fiction, you might comment if the technology fits in more with a science fiction slant or if it sounds more modern day.
- TV-to-Book/Book-to-TV Reviews (Also applies to movies): This one is fun if you loved or hated either the book or TV/Movie version. Especially if it’s been a while since you saw the other version, you can do back and rewatch or read the book or show before hand to get a fresh perspective.
- Mini Reviews -These are quick and easy if you don’t have a lot to comment on and perfectly valid in my opinion!
- React to Old Reviews: If you’ve read the book or series before, you can comment on what your new opinion is if it has even changed at all.
- Comparison Review: If you know of a book that is similar to the one you’re reviewing, you can review it and compare and contrast to the other book or media.
- Review the Cover: We all know don’t judge a book by a cover, but we honestly all do it.
- Review any Extras: Maybe you tried that recipe they included or watched a show or read a book mentioned in the book you’ve read. Talk about what you liked and didn’t like about those extra pieces.
- React to Fan Art: This includes fan fiction as well but maybe you think someone really hit the nail on the head with their fanfiction or maybe they didn’t!
Things To Include in Your Review:
- Author Website
- Trailers of the Book or Show
- Fan art or fan creations
- Author Goodreads or Amazon Page
- Link to other works by the author
- Links to similar books
- Links to other reviewer’s reactions
- Include the blurb
- Talk about any extras in the novel like book club questions or recipes
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