a blogger/reviewer’s guide to book reviews (what to include, type of reviews, and more!)

well, well, well, guess who has come for another guide.

(okay, i KNOW i write too many of these. i feel like half of my posts are guides. but i just have so many ideas so you’ll have to bear with me.)

book reviews can be exhausting, time-consuming (oh boi the time it takes me to write a review), and sometimes even annoying, because you can’t seem to express your feelings over a book.

but don’t worry, we’ve all been there. that’s exactly why i have come as your saver from this hell. i have prepared a not-so-professional guide on how to write book reviews for all the bloggers, reviewers, and curious people out there!

let’s begin!

♡  to begin, what should i know about reviews? ♡

well, reviews are structured texts written to express an opinion about a movie, a book, a tv show/program and so on. a BOOK REVIEW is, well, for books (obviously). they are used a lot in the book community, and on all types of plateforms, especially blogs, booktube (youtube channels dedicated to books) and goodreads (which is basically made for that).

now i don’t know how it works with other stuff that is reviewed, but for books, i guess certain things has been established over time about how book reviews are written.

♡ so, what are some types of book reviews? ♡

if you’re the kind to read book reviews, you’ll notice there are different types of book reviews. this is how i classify them:

the classic:

i think this is the most common form of reviews. in this classical style, the review is basically divided into plot, writing, characters, and overall opinion and rating. and while this is the most basic type to write, i find it the most difficult, because not only the paragraphs should be well-structured, but there should be a link between the parts too, which is basically like a short essay.

the things i liked/things i didn’t like type:

for the people who like to start on a positive note and end with a negative one, or the contrary. what i like about this style is that you can divide your reviews into two lists (what you liked and what you didn’t like), and people even use bullet points here! so it’s a type you can use if you’re too lazy to write a well-structed review.

the rant type:

for the books you didn’t like. i don’t know about you, but rant reviews are so easy for me to write because i just put out all my anger into words and it makes me feel so good? i really feel better after writing those (especially if i’m super upset that i didn’t enjoy the book i’m talking about).

everything is permitted here: bullet points, quotes, anger, words that make absolutely no sense, in-dept analysis of the book, EVERYTHING. that’s why i like this type so much.

the “AGHFJKL” type:

opposite of the rant type. this is when you have so many positive feelings that you don’t know how to express them, so you just “AGHFJKL” your whole review because you’re too excited and want to shove the book in the face of everyone who hasn’t read it.

(i think this section of the post got out of hand, let’s just skip to the next part.)

♡ with that being said, what should i include in a review? ♡

i’m not a professional, but i think what i would personally like to see in a review is what the person liked and didn’t like in a book (it could be expressed in any form or type). but i guess it’s pretty obvious to know what lived up to your expectations and what didn’t. i also like to see (and write) an overall opinion at the end, to sum it all up.

♡ finally, what are some additional pieces of advice you can give? ♡

i think the most important advice i can give is to not be pressured to review every book you read. you don’t have to do that; reviewing should be fun and amusing. (okay maybe review the books you got from publishers, but yeah, you get it).

also, something i like to do is decide whether i will review the book or not before actually reading it, that way i will be able to build a structured opinion of the book as i’m reading it. some people even annotate their books for reviews, and i think that’s an amazing idea, even if i still don’t do it.

another tip i would like to share is to write bullet points of first thoughts that come to my head about the book as soon as i am done with it (usually on my phone), that way i can remember what my initial opinion of the book was and then later think about it and build a final opinion.

(but i have like, dozens of notes. it’s getting out of hand.)

finally, i like to put the main ideas of my reviews in bold. that way if someone is too lazy to read my reviews they’ll just skim through the bold parts and have an overall idea of the my thoughts!

i think that’s all i can say about book reviews. i hope this wasn’t too ridiculous but rather helpful for all baby and/or confused reviewers! if it did, i’m glad. i mean, that’s kind of the point.

do you like reading and writing book reviews? what do you like to find in a book review? reviewers, do you find it easy or hard to write one? what are your tips for writing a book review?

2 Replies to “a blogger/reviewer’s guide to book reviews (what to include, type of reviews, and more!)”

  1. Honestly, I’ve only just started doing reviews and getting all my book thoughts down on my blog. [Basically, I know nothing] But my review so far are just called ‘Random Thoughts’ once you really take a look at it. I only write the random points that I want to talk about between what bothered me, what I loved, and everything in between. I worry that my structure doesn’t really make any sense BUT I’m hoping that my reviews are short enough that readers can just skim through and hook onto bits they agree/disagree with and we can discuss. Since all of my reviews are full of spoilers (with warning). So they’re not so much reviews as they are rants of random thoughts as a basis for discussion with others, I think. I’m hoping it works out! Hahha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. this is also a great way to write reviews!! i think there’s no bad way to do so. just pick a form that you’re comfortable with and go with it! the more comfortable you are, the higher the quality of the review.

      Liked by 1 person

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