Hey, it’s Rey. Today, I got post patrol (as Lindy-Loo calls it). Seeing as our Boss has written a few reviews in past, I thought I’d post about how to write a review. Seemed like a worthwhile endeavor (another Lindy-Loo word contribution).
So, let’s start with the obvious. Read the book from cover to cover, and not a CliffNotes version, he-he (something I might do).
Begin with an introduction.
Jot down / type two or three sentences that describe the book to get yourself started. Let people know what the genre and basic storyline are. Add something about the main characters. If it’s part of a series, include that bit of info. Then, build on these.
Summarize / expand next.
Offer an overview. Share what you liked about the book—what hooked you? The way it was written/narrated? The plot? The characters? Was the genre or topic well presented and/or researched? If it’s a historical story, were facts and setting properly relayed?
If you didn’t like something, feel free to share that, too. Be honest. Constructive criticism is a good thing. The word, folks, is “constructive”. Like Elvis sang it, “don’t be cruel”.
Highlight key aspects.
Pick components of the book that really stand out. Share the main conflict. Like, maybe the hero, a western-day sheriff, has to choose between love and riding into the sunset to accept a new job in a dusty far-away town? Maybe the heroine has to decide whether to solve a murder or accept a million-dollar pay-off by not solving it?
Maybe there’s a chapter or scene that you’d like to refer to, one that really shone for you? If you’re reminded of another book, you may want to mention this or do a comparison.
And you know you can provide quotes or excerpts, right? Have at it if you feel it will support your opinion(s).
Evaluate / rate.
Most reviewers tend to provide ratings, usually based on a five-star system. Feel free to give one. If it’s a five-star book, stating, “I just loved this story so much, I’m giving it five stars” is not really going to cut it. Detail why.
You may want to give background on the author, you may not. It’s up to you and how long or comprehensive (another Lindy-Loo word—yeah, she’s sitting here, looking over my shoulder) you want the review to be. I took a look-see and found that reviews, as an FYI do-with-it-what-you-want fact, are between 600 – 2000 words.
And, lastly, one thing you don’t want to do? That’s right! Spoil the ending for readers. Let them be surprised.
There, friends and followers and potential reviewers, you have it—Reynalda Fonne-Werde’s hopefully-helpful Saturday post.