Seriously, what goes in a book review?
I have read many reviews of literature and all are different. As I embark on the journey through my summer reading list, I have found some amazing works to devour. I would love to share my thoughts on these books but am looking for guidance on what makes a successful book review.
It is always important to know if the reader recommends a book, but is the moral of the story as important as the author’s ability to build characters or describe scenes?
Is it better to give away the majority of the plot or build suspense with a few small snippets?
Personally, I love when reviewers share their favorite quotes from books. Does this appeal to you?
What gets you to read a book or at least a book review? Please share!
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I love recommendations for books to read too. 🙂
3 thoughts on “What Goes in a Book Review?”
My take on it is that quotes from the book under review, if chosen well, can support a favourable review in that it can enable a reader to dabble where the reviewer has been. Maybe even make them think this is one worth reading. I’d never throw out plot spoilers because that’s giving away too much and possibly doing an author an injustice. The aim of a writer is to hook readers in each chapter to make them want to carry on. Not so easy if a review has already given it away. Generally the book blurb is a good place to take that info from as its already summed up the core plot that drives people to read the book. Also delve into the author bio too to try and give readers a bit more info about the writer. as for story morals; not something I ponder to much, because different genres have different things to say and it really depends if you are reviewing books that have a clear moral purpose. I read across genres and what gets me enjoying a book is more about the way it’s written. If that’s poor then everything else is irrelevant and I’d probably not actually write a review at all; (i.e. if I don’t rate it 4 or 5 stars then I’d rather not do it and let sales point ratings guide potential buyers).
Author pic and bio synopsis, book blurb, some quotes and main thing that has grabbed you enough to review it (i.e. protagonist/antagonist relationship). Don’t try and do a book synopsis. While its easier to do, as you’ve read the book, it’s really only something an author wants an agent to see and not potential buyers. I’ve seen too many that spoil the read by revealing too much of the plot.
Also if you can throw in links to the author’s social media and/or sales points then actual buyer reviews can be considered by people reading the review (e.g GoodReads link). Most published books also have an author bio on the publishers website too. I include them 🙂
Hope that makes sense, and it is only my opinion of how I do mine!
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Gary, you really are wonderful! This is all so very helpful!
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I’m sure other people will have different things to add, but my take is as a writer and as a reviewer. Feel free to ask if you ever need help 😊