When I was in school, I had an excellent English teacher. One of the things she made us do over summer vacations was to write reviews of the books we read. These were graded assignments.
The most important thing she told us was to not write a mini-summary of the book.
'This is a book review; Not a chronicled account of everything that happened,' she used to keep reminding us.
Her tips and suggestions enabled all of us, to write good reviews--whether we like the book or not.
Of late, I have been reading a LOT of reviews about my new book When Love Came Calling.
While many of the reviews have positive things to say, I am always aghast when the reviewer gives away an important plot point or a main event in the story, or the worst--reveals what happens in the end. These are all mistakes which can be avoided.
Some reviewers give negative reviews because the protagonist did not make the choices, they expected him/her to. They get very involved with the story (which is a great thing as it means the book is exceedingly well written) but when they see that the protagonist makes a choice, they themselves wouldn't have made they are disaapointed.
Rarely have I come across a PERFECT review, where the reviewer says everything they want to, and yet does not reveal the plot points. For a shining example of how to write a review check out THIS REVIEW.
The review mentioned above would have got an A plus from my English teacher :)
Here are 5 steps to write a good review.
1. Mention the name of the book, the author and the publisher.
2. Give a very brief summary of what the story is about. Do not reproduce the back blurb here; You can borrow phrases from the back blurb, but if you use your own way to tell us what the story is about, it is going to come alive.
3. Tell us what you loved about the book. You could tell us how the book made you feel. You can comment about the writing style (crisp, simple, easy, appealing, relatable). You can comment about the character development. You can comment about the story arc. DO NOT give spoilers! Do not reveal anything more than what the author has revealed in the back blurb. You can say 'something happens' or 'an igniting incident' or some such thing which arouses the curiosity of the reader rather than spoil the experience for those yet to read it.
4. You don't have to necessarily write something negative if you didn't find anything negative. Some people write stuff in the review just because they think they have to. You don't really have to.
5. You can end by telling the readers whether you would recommend it, and if so why. (Please be generous here if you truly loved it. Your enthusiasm will shine through.)
What if you hated everything about the book? You can say so too. But also find something good to say about the book.
I read a LOT and have reviewed over a 100 books in my Instagram stories. You can find them all in the highlights Books 1 and books 2. Sometimes, a book doesn't work for me, and I have said so. That's perfectly okay. But I have also said what is good and also why it didn't work for me.
I hope these tips help you to write a great review!
Check out the reviews of my new book here.
You can get the first three chapters of the above book by clicking HERE
I hope you found the above tips useful.
Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!