Every bookish blog I visit has their own form of discussion feature while I’m sitting here alone, thinking, hmm, what can I do to make my blog more exciting and unique? So I decided, why not start my own feature where I can talk about random bookish topics? And so, Let’s Speculate was created.
The topic I chose for this week is What Do You Want Or Don’t Want To See In Book Reviews? What makes a “perfect” review, if there is even such a thing? In this post, I’ll discuss my version of a “perfect” review.
1. THE REVIEW IS PLAGIARIZED.
NO. NO. NOOO. DON’T DO THIS. SERIOUSLY, DON’T. You don’t know how many times I saw some plagiarize incident pop up this month. YOU WILL BE FOUND OUT [EVENTUALLY]. Why make a book blog if all you’re going to do is press ctrl + c?
2. The review is very short.
I can’t even count how many times I see this. By short, I mean three paragraphs or less, where the first “paragraph” is basically a sentence. Or two paragraphs where the first “paragraph” is basically a sentence. Or a single huge paragraph where it’s just filled with ramblings and run-ons and didn’t really tell me anything about the book.
3. The whole review is basically a summary of the book.
We can easily look up a full summary of the book by using a simple google search. What I want to see in reviews are your thoughts: what you felt about the book, what you liked, what you didn’t like, plot holes, etc.
4. The review is very long.
Q: But you just said that you don’t like short reviews! Now you’re saying that you don’t like long reviews either?! What is this?
Okay, let me explain. Yes, short reviews are bad, but extremely long reviews are too. By “long,” I mean you can press down on your ↓ key ten times and the review still doesn’t end. Long reviews sometimes gives away too much without the reviewer realizing it and may ruin the book for a reader who is reading the review.
5. This might not really belong in this topic, but I’ll put it here anyway: The reviewer gives almost every single book she/he reviewed a high rating.
I go on a well known blog. I browse and read some reviews, and then I notice – almost every single review is given either a rating of 4 stars or 5 stars while about one out of every fifty or so review is given 2 stars. Nooo. I do not want to see that. That makes me not trust in your reading tastes, especially if your goodreads ratings average is a high four-point-something and you’ve read and rated more than four-hundred books. (I’m not stalking you – I promise!) There can’t be that many good books out there and you’ve happened to read every single one.
6.Do NOT bash the author, make fun of the author, call the author names, question the author’s mental state, etc.
Writing a book is hard. It gets even harder after you finish and see bad reviews popping up. (Not that I’m an author myself.) It is downright rude if you do any of the things listed above to the author after his/her hard work. However, you can bash on the book – what you hated about it, what just didn’t make sense, why it was so terrible, etc. as long as the author isn’t mentioned that way.
1. The cover, short blurb (taken from back of the book or the front flap if you’re reading a hardcover), and a link to goodreads to view the book.
The whole point of writing a review is to show what book you’re reviewing.
2. The book is given a rating.
When I read a review, I read it to see what the reviewer thinks. That also means that I want the reviewer to include a rating. There aren’t much reviewers who do that, but I still saw some really good reviews with no rating, leaving me wondering, well, did you enjoy this book or not? Is it worth the read? Where’s the rating that will answer my question?
3. Your personality shines through in the review.
Okay, even I have a hard time with this one. I’m sarcastic and I add little snippets of what I’ll say about certain things in my reviews, but I sometimes just struggle with it because, well, it’s hard to recognize if a part of your personality shows in the review when you wrote the review yourself. Anyway, it’s nice to see someone’s personality shine through when they write a review instead of it being completely 100% professional (but at least make it 90% professional please).
And that’s basically it. What do you want to see or don’t want to see in reviews?