How to Write a Review

Hey everyone! Reviews are one of my favorite things to do on my blog, so I thought I would share with you all my tips and tricks to writing a review, how I write my reviews, and some things I want to start incorporating into my own reviews from other bloggers!

*Just a note that this isn’t the end all be all of book reviews, you can write them however you want!*

So, first things first: you need to read and finish a book!

I know, I know. That’s extremely obvious. But you can’t have a book review if you don’t finish the book first!

Okay, I finished the book! Now what?

I like to wait a day or two after finishing the book before I start to write my review. This gives me time to process my thoughts because I’m such an emotional reader, once I finish a book I tend to have strong feelings and have trouble pointing out things that may not have worked in the way I wanted them to. For example, my review of Kingdom of Ash, which I had to edit after writing because I realized that yes, there were some things that I didn’t like that I wanted to mention! So make sure that you really think on what you want to say before putting it all in a post.

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Don’t forget to give a synopsis!

Whether that means you put the Goodreads synopsis into your post or summarize it in your own words, it’s nice for someone who isn’t quite sure what the book is about to get an idea of what they would be getting into! This is especially helpful for books that are not as well known. If I’m writing a review on a sequel, I like to mention the plot of the first book instead of giving away what happens in the next book. Try to avoid spoilers, or make a separate section or review that discusses spoilers if you really want to talk about them!

Write about what you liked, and what didn’t work for you.

For the most part, I like to try to keep my reviews on the more positive side. Did I like the characters? The setting? What about the book really pulled me in? Alternatively, was there something that you thought could’ve used some work? Maybe the fantasy you read didn’t have the best world building, or maybe the writing just wasn’t your style. You don’t necessarily have to keep things on the positive side, but it’s best to remember that the book is the author’s heart and soul! And of course, NEVER tag the author in negative reviews.


Does the book have multiple characters?

I like to give a description of each of the characters we follow to give people an idea of the characters and their personalities. If there is a lot of diversity, I also like to point that out as well! For example, my review of The Gilded Wolves talks about the different characters and their main characteristics.

Do you want to use a rating system?

Personally, I don’t give star ratings anymore on reviews I post on my blog because I feel like they get in the way of what I really want to say about the book. I do still use the rating system on Goodreads, but I tend to rate more on enjoyment than I rate things critically. It is completely up to you what method you want to use!


Ways to improve your reviews

Who are you writing your review for? If you’re writing it for other readers, think about what you would want to learn from a review. Do you want to know if there was any diversity? What about tropes? Is there something that may be triggering to people, or things that may make them uncomfortable? Try incorporating those things into your review!

KEEP YOUR REVIEW HONEST. Not only does that make you a more credible reviewer, more people will trust and read your reviews if you do. Don’t be afraid to say what didn’t work for you, most people reading your review are there for YOUR opinion, so let them know where you stand on the book!


Try to review more critically. Personally, this is something that I am working on and a tip that I am trying to implement more in my reviews. For example, how was the writing and did you enjoy it? Was the book too descriptive, not descriptive enough, or just how you like it? Was the plot complex or was it pretty straightforward?

Break up your review with photos or gifs. You don’t have to overload on them, but a few sprinkled in that pertain to the topic or the book is a good way to make people feel like they aren’t reading another novel just to see your thoughts! A site for free to use photos that I have found comes in handy is Pexels. You can use their search function to find any stock photo that suits your needs!

What tips and tricks do you have for book reviews? Any that I didn’t touch on? Let’s chat below!

Until Next Time…


16 Comments on “How to Write a Review

  1. I enjoyed reading this post. It is interesting to see how others approach writing book reviews, and I could see we share some of the same methods.
    The only main difference for me is that I like to write my review as soon as possible after finishing the book. Happy reading!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good tips! Writing reviews gets easier with practice I think! Although I still find some challenging….especially the ones for which I have mixed opinions! Whenever I return to edit a review, I usually end up being kinder to the author…..sometimes if I didn’t like a book my first statements are too harsh or direct. I have developed some useful euphemisms!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always try to stick to more positive reviews, even if I didn’t like a book because someone else might like what I hate. But I still try to say my thoughts honestly sometimes it’s a balancing act!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great tips! I always try to let my readers know the book genre, up front, so that if it isn’t for them, then they can pass on by.
    I also like to leave a link to the book on Goodreads, or Amazon, so that folks can go and read other people’s thoughts on the book, or buy it if they want.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like you, I generally divide the review into two parts: what didn’t work for me and what did, with bullet points beneath listing those aspects. I put the “didn’t work for me” first because I like to get those out of the way, and I can end the post on a happier/positive note. (If the author reads it, then maybe that helps them, too? Most people like getting bad news first. Or I do, at least! For me, even mostly positive reviews will include some negative aspects.)

    I’d like to do better at finding “similar” titles, as in, if you like this book, then you might like that book. But sometimes that’s really hard to do.

    You’ve got good tips here. I appreciate them.

    I have, on occasion, written book reviews for books I haven’t finished. One book I bailed on after 400 pages, out of a 500 page book, so I wanted to get something out of the 10+ hours I spent wading through the text! I tried not to be too negative & I don’t think I was mean, but there were some really huge issues in the writing that needed to be addressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up – February 2019 | Stephen Writes

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