Are your reviews more of a rehash of the story or do you comment on writing style, characters, and reflection?
When I started writing this blog, and going through my book reviews on other sites (e.g. Bookcrossing, LibraryThing and Goodreads) for some source material, it was a shock how poor some of my reviews were – in some situations I couldn’t work out whether I liked a particular book or not, and in some cases, couldn’t remember what the book was about or even whether I had read it or not. I knew I had read most – if not ALL – of the books I had claimed to have read, but you couldn’t have told as such based on my review.
Because of this I now attempt to put down a basic précis of the story, and try to balance reminding myself of what the story was about with not re-writing the whole story for anyone who may want to subsequently read the book.
After the basic précis, I then try and capture what I thought of the book overall, whether I liked the writing style, presentation (when reviewing ebooks in particular), and, if a new writer, if there was anything I believe was noticeably good or needs a little work. I try not to give a spoiler, rather *hint* at something. Sometimes the review ends up being short as the “surprise” is so huge that you cant give a fuller review without giving the surprise away.
My review style has certainly changed therefore as a result of becoming a blogger. I dont always hit the mark with what I want to achieve (I’m still making my way through some of my older reviews) but I hope I’ve become better with what I write.
In the last year or so I’ve had a list of questions as a basic prompt – these I’ve culled from various reading group pages online. I dont follow them explicitly but have them as a rough guide to give me something to think about. I also try and give some additional “items of interest” to the post – e.g. a little about the author, links to their page or that of their publisher. I have also been known to include videos on the odd occasion – where there’s been a film of the book for instance and I can get hold of the trailer
So what is your review style and has it changed over the years? Has it changed since becoming a blogger?