Writing book reviews

27 Jan

As you may have seen if you have popped by my blog before, I like to dabble in the occasional book review.

I’m not particularly good at it if I’m honest. I tend to deliberately find fault with characters, or criticise the author for being so obvious in their plotting.

What I definitely do, is barely give away much of the plot, and I certainly do not give away endings.

When I write my reviews, I am not doing it because I am trying to sell a book to you. I am not trying to entice you to read it, I am merely saying what I thought.

I like to think that my reviews are more there for people who have already read the book and what to chat about them, or for those who are about to read it, regardless of what I say.

I have read many book review writing tips and if I’m honest they make me mad. I read one just now that showed an example of a ‘good’ review. It literally listed the characters, their personalities, and outlined the plot. It was a review of a well-known classic, which I have never read. It did not entice me to read that particular text. In actual fact, it didn’t provoke any reaction in me whatsoever.

I found this list of things to consider when writing a review. It is very comprehensive, and to write everything it suggests would be overkill for me personally, but it is definitely something I shall refer back to when writing reviews from now on.

I read an article that said authors didn’t approve of the way reviews are traditionally written. It said they wanted feedback on their work, not just a glorified synopsis. Interesting then that the bulk of reviews (excluding Amazon which can just get far too personal) still pander to this style.

Do you write reviews? How do you approach them?

Are you a writer? What do you want from your ‘critics’?

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4 Responses to “Writing book reviews”

  1. submeg October 30, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Analysing books is best left for the classroom. If this is what is suggested in a book review, then it would bore me to death.

  2. Ellie January 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    And now I shall redirect everyone to your page for ‘real’ book reviews. You show your enjoyment of the book in your writing, whilst being clever about writing styles….and you use terminology without being overly clever.

    I remember siting in English lectures and terms being used that not only did I not understand, I didn’t want to understand. I have grasped hold of a few of them now, but as a whole I find it uneccessarily tedious. When I hear people use them I instantly take a dislike, reading shouldn’t be critical…constantly. Lay back and enjoy, have niggles, and be honest in your appraisal.

    (I apologise for all spelling errors lol!)

  3. Jessica S January 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Reviews… DaRn iPad keyboard hates me today.

  4. Jessica S January 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    I just started dabbling in book views: http://abookinreview.wordpress.com

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