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Help with Reviews

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message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy I have trouble writing reviews for books. I'm don't want to ruin the story line and as far as the Goodreads reviews I mostly been trying to write enough to help me remember what the book was about.

I just received a book from an author that I am to read and review and put the review on several different sites.

I'm going to be an "influencer". The book don't come out until 2011. I really enjoy this author and her books and would like to do a good job.

I just started reading it so will most likely finish late tonight or tomorrow.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

message 2: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4955 comments Judy, I have that problem about not wanting to ruin the story line.
If you are an influencer they have seen how you write reviews and would be happy how you do them.
I find putting a little of the synopsis in the review helps and then how you liked the characters without giving the story line away. Often there is something I would love to say but cant cos it gives the story away.

An example would have been Janets alaska book as much as I loved how Rocco came to Alaska mentioning his coming would take away that surprise from readers. You may want to say why you like a character or in some cases Identify with a character. I am sure you will do a great job.
I sometime feel really hampered one book I read the main character when from a nice home and job to homeless and jobless and I really wanted to mention some of this. The synopis hinted something was happening and I was able to use that to help review it without saying what happened. I was able to also say how Identified with the main charactor.

message 3: by Judy (last edited Oct 15, 2010 04:13PM) (new)

Judy Actually Jenny, I just responded to be an influencer not chosen by my reviews :-(.

Thanks for the ideas. I'm trying to enjoy the story and remember things to write about it. One sight mentioned making notes as I go- that seems like it would keep me busy outside the book.

Also I want to mention that I had said I want to do good as I enjoy this author, I would want to honor all the authors I enjoy with the same positive responses to the reviews. This one just happens to ask me to go to 10 or so sites to post it.

I also never thought about the situation of mentioning Rocco giving away anything. Thanks again Jenny.

message 4: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4955 comments With Rocco mentioning him doesn't give it away but telling readers he comes to Alaska gives alot of the book away in my view. When reading it I had a feeling he would be coming but also felt Janet was leaving crumbs for us to follow and for me it was a turning point in the book but also a surprise that its good for readers to find on there own.

Its like if this was a movie you would know someone had come in but not know who it was til much later where the element of surprise hits the watcher. Knowing before hand can take some of the elements of surprise out of the book.

You may want to read other reviews to see what they add or not. Remember its your thoughts. if you are already writing reviews people will start to recognise your style of reviewing and appreciate what you say.
You can just copy and paste the same review to all sites.

message 5: by Judy (new)

Judy I'm definitely copying the same review :-)

This book comes out in March of 2011. It has alot of things going on so far but I am not so far in reading it yet as I have had to do things besides read today.

Like wait for a neighbor to get off the bus just now. A pre-schooler sure looks like a tiny tike coming down from a big bus!

message 6: by Judy (new)

Judy I'm going to start a running review in Goodreads as I read the book. If anyone wants to look at it and give me ideas on how to use the best words, feel welcome to do so. The book is In The Shadow of Evil by Robin Caroll
and it will be in my Currently Reading box.


message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (texasaggieteacher) | 4102 comments I usually try to say how I relate to a specific character and refer to the conflict within the story without giving details away.

message 8: by Paula-O (new)

Paula-O (kyflo130) | 2257 comments I have written a few reviews, I have been lucky enough to win a couple of books now and I just usually write how I enjoyed the book and about some of the characters that stood out to me. I usually want to say too much and like Judy am afraid I will ruin the story for others.

message 9: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Bylin (victoriabylin) | 198 comments Hi Judy, Writing reviews is an art unto itself. I just read a Michael Connolly book and wanted to rave about it. I sat there scratching my head...I loved it, but why? Lots of plots twists, honorable characters. Meaningful themes, chilling detail. But even that doesn't get to the reason I liked the book so much. It was just . . . really good!

P.S. As a writer, I want to say thanks to everyone who works hard to write a meaningful review. It ain't easy!

message 10: by Judy (new)

Judy Wow Victoria- if you find writing a review hard after the great books you write then I'm sunk

Thanks for all the ideas.

Two of her characters have phrase words that I just love. Would it give away to put those in the review?

I find often books have a character that has a word or phrase they usually crack me up with it.

message 11: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4955 comments Judy If the phrase words happen with in the first chapter or two no its not giving it away.
Often you can read the first chapter of a book online so I find that help to be able to mention whats happening at the beginning. So I wouldn't think mentioning the phrase words would be a problem as its not giving the word away.

I remember reading a book that one of the sayings one person half way through kept saying and I dont think I mentioned what he said but I did say it reminded me of The Scarlet Pimpernel.

message 12: by Judy (new)

Judy I finished the book and wrote my review. She did a great job of making more then one person look guilty so it had alot of twists and turns.

Thanks for all your ideas.

If anyone reads the review and has suggestions on changing it, I'm still open for doing my best


message 13: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4955 comments Its good you tell us there is mystery and suspense without giving anything away.

message 14: by Judy (new)

Judy Thanks!

I found something new to work on, making my reviews better.

I won't resign from my job as a homemaker though. I don't think any book companies will be calling to have me write the back covers for them :-)

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