I met up with an old work colleague recently and we got talking about all things bookish. She said that she loved reading but admitted she was guilty of rarely leaving a review as she just didn’t know what to say other than ‘great book’. And let’s face it that wouldn’t be too helpful to anyone else looking to read it.
Her comment got me thinking, she’s an intelligent young woman and yet she didn’t feel confident in writing a review saying, ‘I just never know what to say without revealing the ending.’ So I decided to write this blog post for anyone else out there who comes unstuck when it comes to reviewing what they have read.
This is a book review I left recently for author Diana Anderson-Tyler
‘Age of the Ashers is a story set in a Greek mythological-inspired world of fantasy. With pacy twists and turns, it is interwoven with warm, real characters, realistic dialogue and beautiful fantastical descriptions. The beautiful writing evokes a thrilling wonderful experience as you read.’
So for anyone out there not quite sure of how to leave a book review here’s a few pointers for you that I’m hoping will make it easier for you.
Describe what the book is about in a one or two sentences
Try to do this in a way that does not give away any of the key plot points.
- Funny tale of life after divorce
- Story of two children and their pact to beat the bullies at school
- Deep story of love based on a true story based in Belgium
- Story about the trials of too much work and not enough play in a quiet village on the coast of England
- The story is set in a science fiction world set 2000 years from now
Discuss what you enjoyed in particular about the book
You can focus on one or more of the following:
- How did the main character or characters make you feel?
- Did the story keep moving forward at a good pace?
- Did the writing make you turn the page to see what was coming next?
- What was your favourite part of the story and why?
- What feelings did the writer evoke in you?
- Did you laugh or cry?
Mention anything you perhaps didn’t enjoy about the book
Talk about why you think it didn’t work for you.
- Did the book have a different ending to that you were hoping for?
- Did you find it difficult to empathise with the main character?
- Were any parts of the story frustrating, and why?
- Could the theme have been discussed/portrayed differently?
Round up your review
Summarise your thoughts by suggesting the type of reader you’d recommend the book to. For example: female readers, male readers, older readers, fans of relationship drama/mystery/comedy/historical fiction, etc.
Give the book a star rating if the option is there
I hope this little guide has been helpful and remember the review doesn’t have to be pages long; two to three sentences are enough and it doesn’t have to entail everything listed.
Be short, be sweet and leave a review…writers will be eternally grateful to you! So happy reading and happy reviewing till next time.
With much love,