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.
Review writing Process
My reviews include many points like,
1. Theme and Layers
2. Writing style/format/narration
3. Plot in my words (optional)
5. Relationship between characters
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
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 is – Make 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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