How to write a good book review

Since I’m in the process of soliciting reviews for my upcoming release, ONE NIGHT, I thought it would be helpful if I wrote a post for readers on what to incorporate in a review if they get stuck. Some things to consider as you put together your review:

  • Comment on the elements of the story. This might seem obvious, but it’s an easy place to start if you’re otherwise stuck. What was the setting of the novel like? Could you picture it? How about the characters? Were they believable? Did you empathize with them and their predicament? What about the plot? Love it or hate it?
  • Mention any memorable quotes, scenes, or passages. Even in novels I hate I can pinpoint scenes in which I knew I hated said novel. Write about anything that resonated with you when reading the book.
  • Discuss comparable titles. How did the novel compare to other titles in the same genre? How does it compare to your favorite book?
  • Do a quick rundown of what you liked and didn’t like. You can set this up as a list. For example, what I liked about this novel: X, Y, Z. What I didn’t like: A, B, C.
  • Talk about the writing style and/or the voice of the novel. Is it stuffy? Approachable? Humorous? A combination of different styles? What is good and bad about it, in your opinion?
  • Talk about the future. Will you read another book by this author? Would you want to see more of the same characters? Would you recommend this book to a friend or family member?

Hopefully these tips will help you the next time you sit down to write a book review. When I review books I try to focus on the positive and avoid mentioning anything negative. I only mention something negative if I think it will help the author on their next work. For example, I once wrote in a review that the author could have employed “show don’t tell” more in certain parts of the novel.

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