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General Discussion > How do you write your book reviews?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I've been meaning to ask. How do you write your book review for this particular genres. Do you have a different criteria when you review a Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy type of book, as opposed to say a mystery/suspense or a young adult contemporary novel, etc.? How do you approach your book review? Please feel free to share your comments here.

message 2: by Sandra, Kindle Operator Licence Required (new)

Sandra | 23482 comments KYKen, if I write a review its for me to remember what happened in the book, without giving spoilers if possible.

I do love those witty, fun reviews though. Just not in me to write them unfortunately.

Everyone has a different criteria for their reviews.

message 3: by Judithe, Soap Operas never end.... (new)

Judithe | 6371 comments I'm similar to Sandra. When I do write a review, it's to help me remember (though sometimes I've written them based on a strong positive feeling for the book).

How about you?

message 4: by AH (new)

AH | 2271 comments I love the quirky, off topic reviews that add in something from the reviewer's life experiences. Just say what you liked and disliked about the book, how it made you feel, if you would continue reading books by the author, things like that.

message 5: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) | 2883 comments AH me too! I love those, when they read almost as a mix of a personal essay.

message 6: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Dec 03, 2013 07:02AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) | 1899 comments When I rate books, I do have different criteria for different genres. I'm not using the same yardstick for a UF/paranormal book, a cookbook, a non-celebrity biography, romance, science fiction, thriller, or a nonfiction computer book.

Otherwise, I review UF/paranormal books the same as any other work of fiction.

Even if obtained free for review from author, I don't review for the author although I'll mention if new to me, a favorite author, author's first known book, or if author details or posts had drawn me to book, etc. (I do confess that I do write and post reviews quicker if the book had almost no reviews than if I'm reading something mainstream with thousands of reviews already).

I initially wrote reviews for myself and a small circle of friends (mostly from real life) where we know each other's tastes very well so can hit on particular aspects and phrases that strike a chord—we'll know immediately if book is for us or not. The more social and active I got on goodreads, the more I did think more about including things that might be helpful to other readers just because I was finding reviews from strangers useful and wanted to return the favor. Mostly so I remind myself how I liked a book so I know if I want to read more by the author.

While not written for the author's needs or even ears, goodreads and author blog posts everywhere have made me aware that particularly for SPA authors some authors do consider reviews very important. And all the gaming and crap that goes down. I won't change the way or why I write reviews because of that, but it has influenced me to stop just 5-starring (which is all my real life friends need to see) a brilliant read from an indie and actually try to put my opinion of the book into words explaining why I loved it so potential readers can mentally filter that the rating might be from a real reader versus sockpuppets showing up to 5-star the book. Not because reviews are for authors pr because I take author feelings into account when writing; but, because the author gave me a wonderful read it's the least I can do to repay them.

Generally, I'll only do a very broad plot synopsis if the book blurb already here did a bad job. Then it's all about the writing, plot-line and story arc, the pacing, how immersed in the book I became, the characters and worldbuilding (even if not a UF or SF/Fantasy the author is building a world), what if any bookhangover it gave me, etc. With ebooks, I'm more prone to make reminder notes and highlight interesting quotes (which may or may not wind up in the review on goodreads but do on other sites with more formatting/pretty review posts like on booklikes but I will add to goodreads quotes).

I don't do just plain "liked/hated it" reviews; if that's all I have to say I just leave a reviewless rating.

It's easier for me to write negative reviews when I can pinpoint what aggravated me or made me dnf. Really loved books are more difficult. They're like the beginning honeymoon stages of a romance—just how many sappy, endless waxing lyrical raves does anyone want to hear?

Books I truly hate do not get a well-thought out review from me. They wasted my reading time and they are not going to suck up more of my time in review writing. Half star unless on gr or sites where you have to whole star and never pay them any more attention unless a friend asks about. There's no such thing in my experience as a book starting out with horrible, nearly indecipherable writing that got better by reading further so I have no qualms rating a DNF. (There are books I'll set aside for later of writing was fine but book wasn't catching me up and those I don't rate until finished or got to the halfway mark and gave up).

I deleted my reviews on goodreads when amazon purchased for the same reasons I don't review on amazon and still have A-H titles to move to my other book cataloging sites, blogs and social media.

message 7: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 24, 2014 03:27AM) (new)

There's a lot of interesting criteria for individual book reviewing here. Thanks for the time sharing your thoughts everyone.

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