A staple post on any book blog is of course the humble book review: after all, the entire point of a book blog is to discuss your thoughts on books, and a review is one of the best ways to do this. However, if you’ve been hanging round the blogosphere for any length of time you’ll surely have noticed the massive variation in review styles, with different bloggers taking totally different approaches (and let’s not get started on the different rating systems!).
Here’s a few common types of review I’ve noticed:
- The short and snappy review
Some bloggers just aren’t big on long-winded reviews, sticking to a few hundred words in which they concisely tell you what they liked or didn’t. I totally envy those who can write these kind of reviews! Seen as reviews tend to be the least popular type of post anyway it probably pays to be brief and not lose your readers attention by rambling. I find these really help me decide whether or not I want to read a book, as they give you a quick flavour of the story, and an honest opinion.
- The sprawling, in-depth review
Whilst some bloggers like to keep it brief, others can’t seem to limit themselves to a few hundred words, and I’m certainly one of them! Despite reviews being my least favourite type of post to write, once I get going I can’t seem to stop and can go on for anywhere between 800 to over 1000 words, looking at the various characters in-depths, and commenting heavily on the writing style and the world-building. I think these are the kind of reviews it’s best to read once you’ve read the book, then you can understand what it’s talking about when it discusses the plot/characters/style (plus you avoid accidental spoilers), and you can get a good discussion going in the comments!
- The GIF review
Some bloggers like to use a series of GIFs to relate their feelings about a book, and I love this types of review. Not only are they easy to scan through, but they also tend to be fun and pretty hilarious! I do always wonder just how long it takes the blogger to find just the right GIFs though.
- The bullet-point review
One quick and simple way of reviewing a book is to simply write a bullet-pointed list of what you liked and what you didn’t. I haven’t seen this done too often, but seen as it’s easy to read and to the point, it tends to work quite well from what I’ve seen!
- The mini review
I have seen quite a lot of ‘mini-review’ posts recently, where the blogger does a post with a few mini-reviews of their latest reads in the same post. These reviews tend to be a paragraph or two long, and very briefly summarise the blogger’s opinion on the book. This is probably a pretty good way to review if you’re a very fast reader or only want to do a review post every month or so, as it allows you to cover several books in one go.
I have also found that different bloggers tend to focus on different things in their reviews: I for one am very character focused, generally dedicating a paragraph per main character, whilst other common focuses are themes and issues, romance, world-building, pace and plotting. I guess it all depends on what you look for in a book!
So what kind of reviewer are you? Do you enjoy writing reviews? And what do you tend to focus on?