Let’s Talk: Book Reviews – What Makes Them Good?

Hey lovely readers!

Just some of my thoughts on writing reviews. This is a re-post! But I loved writing it so I figured it was worth some updates and another posting ❤

Writing is such a fluid thing, everyone does it in a different way. And honestly there is no right way. That’s why whenever I get asked how to write a good review my answer is: write something that you would want to read. Why? Because I 100% believe that you should be writing your reviews with no one else in mind but yourself. I think that’s the best way to attract readers, to put your honesty and passion out there in a way that’s true to yourself. I want to know how you interpreted the book you’re reviewing and how you put those thoughts out in the world. I don’t want to read a review that is a carbon copy of my own. So what I’m going to do is explain how I write my reviews and why. And then I’m going to tell you what I like to see in book reviews and what kind of information I find most helpful when I read a review. In short what about a book review makes me want to pick up that book. Or in some cases not pick up that book.

My reviews are fairly unstructured. I just sort of go with what I feel. But overall I tend to focus on two main things: the writing and the characters. I do sometimes comment on the story, but it’s mostly an overall opinion instead of specifics. Characters sell a book for me more than then the plot. But that’s just me. I like to breakdown the main characters, and let you know what I think you as a reader can relate to with them. I also try to focus a lot on the writing and flow of a book, because for me pacing and coherency are make or break. I don’t care how awesome your story is, if it’s not articulated well I won’t like it.

I also try to avoid telling you guys what I’ve rated a book, because ratings are so subjective. And I wouldn’t want to sway someone that way. Star ratings mean different things to everyone. And finally, I never give too detailed a review. Meaning I almost never discuss the plot of a book. I want you to get the overall gist of a story, but not what actually happens in it. If that makes sense? Occasionally I will post spoiler-y reviews, but even I try to gloss over things. I’d rather you get my impression of the book overall. (I hope that works for you!)

Okay, now for what I like in a review. I want your opinion, I don’t want a play-by-play of the entire book. Tell me why you did or didn’t like the story. Tell me which character you liked the most or how you found the writing. 100% truth time. I really don’t like reviews that are basically lists of statistics. I don’t care what you rated it on Goodreads, I don’t really need to know the page count or where to buy the book. Most of the time I don’t even care what genre the book is. Especially because if the book is a genre I don’t usually read I won’t read the book no matter how good your review makes it sound. (Don’t judge me!) Because of that I like reviews that make me feel like the writer is talking to me. Just tell me your thoughts and opinions. Let if flow.

Now I must stress this, everything I’ve said here is only my opinion. I’m no expert and everyone is different. So what I like in a review and what you like will no doubt be different. And if you happen to write your reviews in a way that I said I don’t like, I am in no way attacking you. I’m not saying your reviews are bad. I’m simply putting what I like to see out there in hopes that someone will find it useful. I get so many questions about how I write reviews or the best way to write reviews. Well, there is no best or right way, but maybe this post will give you some peace of mind. No matter how or what you write about, someone will want to read it 🙂 Let me know how you write your reviews and what you like to read in a review. I’m so curious!

Thanks for reading guys! Talk to you soon! ❤ Adrianna


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My name is Adrianna. I’m a 27 year old wife, mommy, book lover, and librarian. I have a deep love for books and an unhealthy obsession with iced tea! I can quote almost any Disney movie, Belle is my favorite Disney princess, and I live for Harry Potter! I enjoy reading New Adult Romance above anything else. I have one beautiful baby boy named Jace and 5 cats and 1 dog who are basically my world (along with hubby of course)! And when I’m not reading I enjoy writing, puzzling, trivia, and long walks with the hubs, baby boy, and dog! Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy! ❤ Adrianna

11 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Book Reviews – What Makes Them Good?

  1. I agree with a lot of this! I really don’t like when reviews spend too much time talking about the synopsis (that’s why I try to sum it up in like a sentence or 2). And I love when reviewers give details! I don’t what to hear ‘this was so amazing I love it’ over and over. I want details about what exactly worked and what didn’t. That way I can decide if a book is for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. yes to all of this! my reviews are also fairly unstructured, and I try to write what my experience / journey was with the book. Sometimes it’s a very personal experience, sometime it’s more I just had a great time escaping into this world for a while. What i’ve noticed is that the more I enjoy a book, the less I talk about the plot in the review. If a book was good but not great and didn’t trigger any kind of emotional response in me, there isn’t much left to talk about except the plot.

    When I read my reviews that I wrote months or years ago, it’s like a time capsule. It’s like i’m having a short conversation with the “me” from 6 months or a few years ago. That review is also a reflection of what I was thinking about back then. Going the other way, I guess my reviews are like a letter to my future self?

    This is a great discussion topic, thank you for posting about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it! I always cringe when I go back and read my older reviews. it’s pretty cool to see how your own writing evolves, even over short periods of time.


  3. I write a lot of reviews and I’m looking for ways to be better because most of the time, I feel that I don’t make any sense.

    This is a pretty awesome and helpful post! Will keep everything in mind. Thanks for the tips! ✨

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m 100% with you on not wanting a play by play and knowing what a reviewer feels more than what the book was about (I have the synopsis for that, after all). Typically, I also like pretty short reviews, but there are a handful of reviewers who do recap the book and do really intense/long reviews that I enjoy – so honestly, even my tastes are all over the place!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love writing reviews too, of books as well as movies. I keep wondering whether to write a “tabulated” kind of review with listings of genre, characters, actors etc, or to follow my heart and write an unstructured “chatty” kind of review.
    I sometimes end up doing both.


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