9 tips for writing book reviews fast! #BookReviews #BookBlog


Writing a review doesn’t have to be time consuming, and a review doesn’t have to be an epic tome to be effective (in fact, shorter reviews are probably more likely to be read). Sure, some bloggers and reviewers write comprehensive analyses, but you don’t have to. You can focus on one or two elements of the story with a two to three sentence review.

So what do you focus on?  Answer any one of these questions, and you have a book review!

1. Did you like the book? Why? Give one or two reasons.

2. What did you like about the characters?

3. Did you have a favorite character? Who and why?

4. How did the story make you feel? What emotions did the story stir in you?

5. What do you think was well done in the story? What did the author do especially well? (Examples: the story line, the characterization, the setting, the action, the sex scenes, the writing).

6. What made this book stand out from others you’ve read in the genre?

7.  Would you recommend this book to others and why?

8.Did this book meet or exceed your expectations? In what way? Was it more romantic, funnier, more erotic, more action oriented?

9. Skip the plot synopsis. You don’t need to repeat the plot or story line if other reviewers have already mentioned it (unless you’re writing a review for your own blog). Jump ahead to your evaluation. However, if you are one of the first to review a book a couple of lines about what the book is about is helpful.

Remember: don’t spoil the ending or reveal other surprises in the story. Most reviewers/readers know not to reveal the end, but often surprise twists  occur midway through the story. You can allude to them (“I was so surprised by what happened next,” “I never saw that coming,”  or “What a plot twist”) but please don’t spoil it for other readers by telling what it is.

If you’d like to see an example of simple, but fun book review, check out The Opinionated Woman’s Musings’ review of Trapped with the Cyborg. The review is short and gets to the point, but it was presented in a fun way.

Do you have other ideas for short, quick book reviews? 

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18 Responses to 9 tips for writing book reviews fast! #BookReviews #BookBlog

  1. Good suggestions!
    I never like the spoilers in some reviews.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Only rarely has a reviewer spoiled the end in a review of my book, but they often spoil most of the midpoint surprises.

  2. Andrea ( aka rokinrev) Stoeckel says:

    I have learned to try to find a HOOK, usually a short quote to open the review. My first paragraph is story, my second how it made me feel, and then, would I not/recommend it. With a high rating w/ Glamazon, and often the ONLY “intelligent” review on Buns and Noodle ( bn is a place where a lot of teens talk back and forth, and eejits write pick up lines instead of reviews)

    The focus should be if you liked the book and why

  3. Diane Burton says:

    Great suggestions. Writing reviews used to intimidate me. I’d think high school “book report” and cringe. I use many of your tips now, and it’s much easier. I’m bookmarking this post to refer to it for the next review. Thanks.

  4. Really good tips! Even as a writer, I sometimes agonize over writing a review but it doesn’t have to be rocket science. I’m going to share this post.

  5. Anne Casey says:

    Great tips! I do like to leave reviews. I know how much they mean to the authors, but other than I loved it or how much I liked the characters I don’t want to give away any of the plot or twist so I sometimes think my reviews sound too generic.

  6. Lea Kirk says:

    Awesome, Cara! It really is a simple process that does not require essay writing skills. Thank you for doing this. I’m sharing on my pages today.

  7. Love these tips! I’m an author, but I struggle with reviews. Thank you!

  8. Thank you for simplifying what sometimes seems a daunting process.

  9. Sweden says:

    Love this Cara! I’m working on a post on a similar theme and will absolutely be referring to your list, especially #5–what was well done, and #6–how did this book stand out from the genre. I’m always looking for my next GREAT read and I love hearing about a book’s positives.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you. I’ve found that comparing a book to others in its genre works well if a genre isn’t one’s cup of tea. You can still rate a book on its own merits.

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