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Question for people that read/write book reviews

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#1 seayork2002

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:09 AM

I am getting off my backside finally and am starting to write reviews of books I am reading.

Although I have read them myself for years I am now looking at them more closely to see how others write them (I am not trying to copy them! just work out how it should be done)

A lot seem to spend a lot of time giving an overview of the book which I guess makes sense but it is no different to 'back cover detail' of the book]

'This is about a nearly retired police detective who is on the hunt for a serial killer....' but is there any need to rehash the same thing as there are dozens of reviews saying the same thing mostly

I thought they were meant to just be about your opinion of the book?

'I like the lead character but found the story all over the place and although the ending was a surprise there were lots of hints throughout the book' type thing

IN SHORT - what is correct book review etiquette?

(oh and I don't want to give straight out bad reviews as in just stating I hate the book)

#2 Riotproof

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:16 AM

Do you mean like on good reads or are you blogging them?

#3 seayork2002

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:26 AM

View PostRiotproof, on 10 October 2019 - 08:16 AM, said:

Do you mean like on good reads or are you blogging them?

Sorry yes I should have said, Good reads at the moment when I feel they are good enough I will blog them

#4 Riotproof

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:33 AM

I just write what I think in mine. I follow one person I think who seemed to always have reviewed books I read or was interested in.

Personally, I try not to give spoilers.

Edited by Riotproof, 10 October 2019 - 08:34 AM.

#5 seayork2002

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:41 AM

View PostRiotproof, on 10 October 2019 - 08:33 AM, said:

I just write what I think in mine. I follow one person I think who seemed to always have reviewed books I read or was interested in.

Personally, I try not to give spoilers.

Thanks, yeah I think I will stick to what I do now and see how it goes, yes I try not to give spoilers too!

#6 Riotproof

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:43 AM

Goodo. Don’t you hate that goodreads doesn’t have half stars?

#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:49 AM

I also like a quick summary about how heavy/ light, who might enjoy this book, run down. Also if it's part of a series or an author that writes a lot, how does it match with their other books, is there improvement/ gone down hill, totally different direction or style to the author's normal.

#8 Quick hedgehog

Posted 10 October 2019 - 09:15 AM

I'm with you, a re-hash of the plot of the book is useless. I want to know what you thought of it and the case of kids books (tween/teenage) what age group you think it is suitable for due to subject matter covered.

#9 RocktonResident

Posted 10 October 2019 - 09:34 AM

I give maybe a couple of sentences from the plot, mainly as a way to be able to evaluate characters, if that makes sense?

I sometimes find the blurbs misleading. Or one I read, the blurb actually revealed the plot twist that happens 75% through which wasn't an actual reflection of the plot IMO. So in those cases I appreciate a run down of the story.

If you do post spoilers on goodreads, there's a button you can click to hide the review from view so people have to click through to read it rather than accidentally stumble across it.

#10 AnythingGoes

Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:13 PM

As someone that likes to read historical romances, I appreciate reviews that tell me if it is a 'clean' (Georgette Heyer-style) or 'steamy' (Mills and Boons set in regency times-style) read.

#11 EsmeLennox

Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:23 PM

Make sure you understand the conventions of the genre(s) to which the novel belongs. A review should give a synopsis of the plot (two or three sentences max) but should not contain spoilers...a general overview only and think of your review as an argument. You are offering your opinion of the novel and you need to support that opinion through some discussion of particular aspects of the novel. So it’s about justifying your evaluation of the text so your readers understand how you arrived at your opinion of it. Sometimes comparing it to other works can be helpful, too. Make clear recommendations about what type of audience might enjoy reading the novel.

Edited by EsmeLennox, 10 October 2019 - 12:25 PM.

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