Indonesians Who Love English Books discussion

102 views
How Do You Review Books?

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Oon (new)

Oon (oonisme) | 132 comments I am just curious how do you friends review books? Is there some definite methodology or framework (sorry for the corporate jargon) or you just type as you go along?

I have some difficulties reviewing book, I want to encompass all aspects of the book: character, plot, setting, form etc. etc. and instead writing an essay. And because I want to put all into the review, I become discouraged, imagining the long essay to be written. (My mind works in a mysterious way). So I usually wrote "Speechless, wait for the full review" and forget about the promise.

So, how do you review books? Do you:
1. Review technical aspects e.g. character, plot, form and go from there, or
2. What the book makes you feel and how the book achieve that, or
3. Telling a story about how you get the book, how certain passages make you feel (including the appropriate GIF reaction or picture reaction) or
4. anything

So please, if you would like to share how do you review books, please do tell :D


message 2: by owleeya (new)

owleeya | 37 comments I wrote an article about this on my blog: http://theblackinthebooks.blogspot.co...


message 3: by Agi (new)

Agi (junoaggy) | 5 comments well, for writing a good review there SHOULD be frameworks -- or template, i guess. But I guess I just type as I go along, considering nobody reads my review lol.

but seriously I love reading those reviews that includes gif, or personal thoughts in it but also touches the technical aspect in a literature.


message 4: by Namida (new)

Namida Puti (puti) | 95 comments Oon..we face the same problem :D

I imagine myself write a cool review about a book that i've read but then the review ends not as i expected. either it becomes a dull writing or too short.

usually, when i make review i would tell how the books make me feel. And write the synopsis..characters..a pic that i get after i read that book, etc. I still learn to write a good review after all :D
And i will keep my attention to this thread :)


message 5: by Anny (new)

Anny | 225 comments I usually start composing the review immediately after finished reading. Just write whatever come up in my head really.


message 6: by Femmy (new)

Femmy | 301 comments My reviews tend to be on the short side. My standard review has the following general structure:

* Part 1: the premise of the story. Sometimes I also add why I am interested in the book, or some personal tidbit that is related to the theme of the book.
* Part 2: the things I like in the book.
* Part 3: the things I don't like in the book.
* Part 4: conclusion.

Usually one paragraph per part, though each can be expanded to two or more paragraphs as needed.

If the book is pretty standard and I don't really know what to write, I usually return to this structure. But if the book really leaves an impression, I'll just write whatever I want to write.


message 7: by Lynossa, Resident Connoisseur (last edited Sep 04, 2013 01:18AM) (new)

Lynossa | 485 comments Mod
Femmy wrote: "* Part 1: the premise of the story. Sometimes I also add why I am interested in the book, or some personal tidbit that is related to the theme of the book.
* Part 2: the things I like in the book.
* Part 3: the things I don't like in the book.
* Part 4: conclusion."


Something like this.
For me, part one is the summary (without giving too much details), part two is where I usually describe why I like or dislike the story; I explain the characters, the plot, the writing styles, etc. Then part three is a conclusion and recommendation.
Basically a review is a way to make other people interested in reading the book.

Sometimes, I wrote differently and more intimately if I really like the book; like what I did in my review of A Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. But that is special case.


message 8: by Nana (new)

Nana (marsh113) | 44 comments I usually start my review by giving short summary of the story, in my own words. After that, I write my opinion about that book. Since I don't come from literature background, I don't analyze the book deeply, just write about what I like and what I don't like. Usually I write about what makes me hooked to the story. Is it the character? the morale? the plot? how the author wrote the story?

It's a bit difficult when I have to write review for books that I dislike but I still try to write things that I think don't work and why.


message 9: by Oon (new)

Oon (oonisme) | 132 comments Wow, thanks for all the reviews

I've been continuously changing my approach on reviewing books merely because, well, I'm not satisfied with the reviews I've written. Partly because I didn't manage to say everything and partly because I want my review to be as perfect as professional reviews on newspapers (silly).

Moreover, in some, I managed to put some quotes that I liked and was cringing in shame when none of the professional reviews quoted the same quotes and managed to put the IMPORTANT quotes which importance I just barely realized when I saw them on it (palm on head or head on table).

Insecurity.

Silly me, most reviews are PERSONAL, I tend to agree with Femmy's Framework (by the power vested upon me as the starter of this thread, from now, that framework shall be named by its new official name :D ), it keep my feet on the ground, providing anchor when my mind start flying aimlessly.

Feel free to continue share on how you do your reviews!

I've heard that Michiko Kakutani (the fearsome New York Times book critic) once made a review in the form of poetry. Some in Goodreads is in the same literary style the book had been written in. So, if you've done something special and willing to share the experience, please do :D


message 10: by Femmy (new)

Femmy | 301 comments Oon wrote: "...Femmy's Framework (by the power vested upon me as the starter of this thread, from now, that framework shall be named by its new official name :D )..."

LOL! :D :D

My reviews are personal, too. I think anyone's opinion about a book is subjective and no one really has the authority to say this book is good and that book is bad. It all comes down to personal tastes and preferences.

And ditto about quotes. I've never been able to find quotes while I'm reading a book.


message 11: by Femmy (new)

Femmy | 301 comments Nana wrote: "It's a bit difficult when I have to write review for books that I dislike but I still try to write things that I think don't work and why."

I'm the complete opposite. I can rant on and on about aspects of a book that I hate. But when I have to review a book that I love, I don't know what to write. It's often hard for me to elaborate on the greatness of a book other than saying that it has great characterization, great plot, great setting, etc.


message 12: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I don't have any framework. I used to make synopsis but I haven't been doing that for the last couple of years. Now I usually write about what I feel about the book, good and bad. I used to write long reviews - sometimes even with links of my research - but I just don't have time to do that anymore. That's why I receive votes mostly only for my old reviews haha.

Seriously though, I don't care if people read my reviews or not so why bother having a rigid framework at all. I just say what I feel, and if one or two sentences can sum it then why not.


message 13: by Johan (new)

Johan | 5 comments Bang, saya merangkum perasan perasaan setelah tamat, biasanya sinis. Gak pakai framework kayak Fem liong-lie.


message 14: by Tirta (new)

Tirta (strrlight) | 12 comments I'm on the same page with Mbak Femmy! When I read a book that completely blew me away I always find it hard to make a decent review of the book.

Since I try to avoid writing negative reviews/review books that I don't like, I usually tend to focus on one aspect of the story that makes me like the book. Mostly it's the character's personality, or the plot. Anything else I'll just explain briefly (didn't like the ending because..., the side characters are great...) and sometimes I put some quotes that I think will explain my points.


message 15: by Citra (new)

Citra  | 24 comments Short answer : I tell it like it is.

Long answer, yes, I do have some kind of template in mind. First paragraph is why I picked the book, second paragraph is the short summary, the rest is mumbo jumbo lol.

I find it more difficukt to write a positive review because when I love a book, it usually left me speechless, so I have to come up with some filler to make my review look decent.

As for negative review, all I have to do is to put my rant there and add a rating. lol


message 16: by Kama (new)

Kama (Okama) | 33 comments I don't have any framework. Since every book is different, my reviews are different too. My reviews on Goodreads tend to be short, because I want to write reviews on my blog. But I still haven't written even one review there yet. This year, surely. :P

If I can, I write detailed reviews what's good/bad, with quotes. I believe giving a quote is better than just to write about the style. The readers of my reviews can decide by themselves if they like it or no. Something like this is just for my blog.

I don't like to give a summary of plot in review. Also, I try to write spoilers-free review.

A good or bad review is no problem. I'm very critical about things I read, usually.


message 17: by Debs (new)

Debs  (melalangbuana) I don't review books that I read. bit lazy and I don't have enough time to do it. thanks to you guys who review books .... keep up the good work


back to top