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My thoughts on Everything Related to Book Reviews
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My thoughts on Everything Related to Book Reviews

Hello Readers! LaRonda’s post on Review Process gave me idea to write my own post on the topic. I have been writing reviews ever since I started my blog. They are the base of my blog and I love writing them. I have always felt they are important and I even wrote a post Book Reviews Can Be Enough For Book Blog.
Initially thought to write only on my review writing process but then changed post to My Thoughts on Everything Related to Book Reviews that includes discussion on Negative reviews, If I write reviews of all books, and if there is any rules.

My thoughts on Everything Related to Book Reviews

Review writing Process

My reviews include many points like,

1. Theme and Layers
2. Writing style/format/narration
3. Plot in my words (optional)
4. Characters
5. Relationship between characters
6. World/Setting
7. Romance (if there is any)
8. Mystery/Suspense (If there is any)
9. Additional points (if I feel need to be mentioned. It mostly include discussion of theme or layers)
10. Climax and End
11. Why I didn’t give full star/What I didn’t like
12. Conclusion
13. Who will like this.

Most of the time this structure doesn’t change and it depends on book. Which points I elaborate and which I don’t also depends on book and genre. But Main points I like to include are, characters, what I liked most, theme and layers, and last four points of the list.

I struggle most with the opening of the review (point 1-3) which includes one line synopsis and what book focuses on like, themes and layers. I usually have points for theme and layers that I have noted while reading but sometimes I don’t stop to take notes and that makes this first part of the review hard to write. I keep writing and deleting and it takes most of my time. Recently, I have stopped writing plot in my words (at least for some books) instead, I make that one line synopsis to two, just write how the plot is (intriguing, action packed, emotive, etc) and connect it with writing style.

For the rest of the points, I have taken notes and even if I haven’t, words come to me easily and I usually go with the flow. I enjoy writing about character and world most, there is always so much to say for these two points.

I usually highlight what is the best part of the book. I also love going more in detail with theme and layers, how the author it represented it in my opinion.

I know most reviewers don’t like writing negative points or what they didn’t like but these points for me are easy to write (of course if there is any). I know where it lost my interest, what annoyed me and what felt too much. I make sure I don’t sound rude. I like to read in other reviewers’ reviews why they didn’t give the book full star so I make sure I’m including proper reasons why book didn’t work for me too. It only becomes hard to write when it’s important point of the story that might cause a spoiler.

I liked to keep the conclusion short, as I feel there is no point of including more words when I have written this long review but I know readers like to skim over the review so recently I included that last point “who will like this” and I include all the important points of the book here to make it easy for skim readers or readers of my blog who doesn’t have much time.

Recently, for some books, I changed the review format. If you’re regular reader or visitor you might know I wrote ‘10 reasons to read…’ for Illuminae series. For some buddy read books I included my chat with Toni (my buddy reader) and also discussions. For Well Met trilogy, I wrote it in series review. It’s always fun to change style and format from time to time. But whatever format I choose those points remain the same, I just write them under subheadings.

Do I write reviews of all books I read?

Yes! I don’t know any other way to talk about books. If I’m not writing reviews and not posting it, who I would share it with and where else I talk about it?! My answer and solution to that question is write and post.

Do I post negative reviews?

Yes! This is much discussed topic around the blogosphere so I don’t want to write another post on my thoughts but I want to say, I don’t see why one shouldn’t write negative reviews. Reviews are opinions, what we feel about the book and they aren’t going to be always positive. There isn’t always happily ever, we like realistic books, even poignant ones with tragic endings so why it shouldn’t be same with our relationship with a particular book and not put it into words? (is that bad comparison??) Like I said I like to know the ‘WHY’ in reviews, why reader didn’t like the book, what made them cut the stars, and mostly I want to know if I will or have the same issue with the book or if I feel differently.

In my experience when we’re given the book to review, publisher or author asks for an honest opinion, so that is what I give. I haven’t come across Publishers or author who says they want only positive reviews. When it comes to authors yes, feeling little hesitant with negative reviews is natural because we are in direct contact here, unlike getting book from publisher, and that makes things little tricky, easy to feel that obligation and go on guilt trip but I also think most authors are really understanding with negative opinions, it’s just how you’re putting them in words.

Is there Rules of review writing?

Pages Unbound wrote post on this, ARE THERE REVIEWING “RULES?”. I loved their points and I totally agree with them. My reviews are subjective and I like to keep it that way as they are fun and also make them different, my own. I like to read objective reviews too. They give interesting points that I might have missed.

I think there is no particular rules for writing reviews- whether it’s Objective/Subjective, Long/Short, Points/Details, Same structure/Different, Positive/Negative… Like I said, reviews are opinions, every reader interprets books in different ways.

Only rule I follow isMake it my own and don’t be rude or mean (if writing a negative review). This is my space and I would like to keep it drama-free (it’s another thing I enjoy drama in books).

Thank you for reading! Let’s chat..,

What do you think about this topic? Do you agree or disagree?
What are your thoughts on negative reviews and reviewing rules?

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Just in case you missed

Flirting with Fifty by Jane Porter – Book Review
Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare – Book Review

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

28 Comments

  • romi

    reviewing every single book you read sounds like tough commitment! i think for me, I just let my thoughts flow freely and then categorize them. I find set structures to be a tad bit limiting. great post!

    • Books Teacup and Reviews

      There is nothing wrong with that. I’m sure many reviewers just go with flow and me too but I like good transition in my review, i don’t want jump from one element to other and then going back to same element I started with so I partiotion that flow into structure. I hope that makes sense. Thank you!

  • Rae Longest

    I do agree with your views and rules on reviews. I tend to skip reviewing books I don’t like–a lot!– and seldom review a book I wouldn’t want badly to share with a friend. I guess that’s why I seldom give stars…they’d all get 5 stars! LOL

  • WendyW

    Nice post, Yesha. I like your reviews very much. I like your point on negative reviews. They are hard for me, as I feel like the author has worked hard, so I try to always find something positive about a book.

  • Carla

    Great post, Yesha. I always enjoy your reviews. I find them informative, complete and give me a great insight into your ideas, likes and dislikes. I will add what I didn’t enjoy about a book in my review, but in general, if a book is not going to get at least 3 stars, I don’t post it on my blog. I will post on Goodreads and Amazon, but my blog is my happy place.

    • Books Teacup and Reviews

      Thank you, Carla! Yes, like Inge said in other comment most readers are comfortable posting negative reviews on Goodreads and Amazon but not on blog.

      I think if we’re worried about how author might feel bad with negative review, we rather shouldn’t post them on Amazon at least as negative reviews on book selling site might affect them more than posting it on blog.

      Yes, blog is our place and we like to avoid drama here but if the wordings of negative reviews are right I don’t think anyone have issues with it.

  • Stephanie

    Great post! I really love the idea of switching up your review formats – it’s creative and definitely catches my eye more than just “book review”. Personally, I hated writing reviews, so I don’t do them anymore. It really is different for everyone, and I think it shows when you write blog posts you actually enjoy writing.

    And while I do sometimes feel bad writing negative things about books (mostly if it’s a lesser known author), as a blogger, I have to admit it’s kind of more fun. It feels boring (at least to me) if all I have to say is “it was a good book, I liked it” over and over 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • Books Teacup and Reviews

      Yes, it’s fun to change the format and it makes them look different even though the main elements remains the same.

      we notice when blogger is posting just postive reviews and people actually commented on one of my posts ‘do you only post positive reviews?’ when I read back to back good books. I know I post negative reviews but it’s different thing when I come across only good books, it means I have better judgement of books I choose to read. It creates a new related discussion now.

      Thank you! ❤️

  • Inge | The Belgian Reviewer

    I kind of enjoy reading negative reviews, they’re entertaining, passionate and usually give good info so that I can make up my mind whether to read a novel or not. It is my perception that the majority of the blogs don’t post negative reviews but there’s always Goodreads too to form an opinion, it seems people don’t mind sharing their true feelings there. I love how you approach your reviews and that you share good and bad!

    • Books Teacup and Reviews

      Passionate is perfect word for negative reviews. That’s how I feel when I write them. Negative points makes me add more energy to it as I want that part to be heard, to see if other readers feel the same or not.

      I’ve noticed more negative reviews on Goodreads than I see on blogs. I wonder why. Maybe like, Carla said, they want their blog space pleasant to avoid drama i guess.

  • Reading Tonic

    Awesome discussion, Yesha! Some reviews are easier to write (positive or negative), while others take hours and hours to write and it still feels like there isn’t much to say about the book. I love the way you never leave a single book behind 🙂 and pay so much attention to characters, both main and supporting.
    I am a re-reader, so I don’t mind spoilers- there’s always so much more to a good book than just one shocking twist. Blurbs often give away a good portion of a book anyway.
    Love your section on who you recommend the book you’re reviewing to- it always gives a big picture that often helps me decide whether the book is my cup of tea or not.

    • Books Teacup and Reviews

      Thank you, Toni! ❤️ I love to dissect characters and they often are also the reason of disappointing book. Those longer time to write reviews is no fun but review writing in general, I enjoy it and that’s why don’t leave any book behind.

      Yes, I also don’t have issue with spoilers in review as long as there is warning and that section is seperated from spoiler free part. it sometimes give good point for discussion.

  • Teri Polen

    Greate post, Yesha! Like Tessa, I also like the part where you break down your rating. Every book doesn’t work for every reader – that’s a given. I find it’s more difficult to write reviews for books I didn’t enjoy as much.

    • Books Teacup and Reviews

      Thank you, Teri! I find it difficult to keep reading books I don’t enjoy than writing reviews of them but I get that most readers/reviewers feel that way. Maybe because it’s draining to just finish such book (at least for me), we have less energy to write review for them, and want to just start another book that give back the energy we lost.

    • Books Teacup and Reviews

      I didn’t include that because it depends on reviewer. Some are okay including them with alerts. Some books you can’t discuss without spoilers so I’m not very hard on that point but yes personally i don’t include them in my reviews

  • Lady Tessa

    What a wonderful post. You know what I always like best about your reviews? The part where you discuss why you gave it the rating that you did. I find this little section really tells me so much about the book. And I think negative points are important to post. Just being mindful about how you do it, which you always are. My reviews are mostly positive but I do include the negative things too – just nicely sandwiched between the good aspects. Excellent post!

    • Books Teacup and Reviews

      Thank you so much! I always wonder what makes readers keep reading my reviews when everyone says in their discussion posts nobody likes to read reviews and it’s better to write interactive post, I think I know now.

      I totally agree, negative points makes it better to understand the book and decide if we will like the book or not. It also shows us reader’s taste and that kind makes us feel connected to the reader.

      I don’t usually sandwitch good and bad but sometimes when I have mixed feelings for book I alternate good and bad as it’s hard to seperate the feelings.

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