Hello, sweets! Welcome to the Spring Bloggiesta! This is the very first time that I have participated in the #Bloggiesta festivities, and I am a little nervous (please, don’t throw rotten fruit my way, kay?).
The real reason why I decided to be a mini-challenge host is that I LOVE this topic. Now, I think disclaimers are needed here. I am not an expert in reviewing and I am sure that there are other bloggers better than me in this sort of thing, but I want to share the different review styles that I personally use. I will be sharing my favorite review style as well as citing a few styles that I personally love done by other bloggers (show some love their way, please).
With that said, let’s go down to the nitty gritty.
Book Review in a Nutshell
According to Wikipedia, “A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit.”
I’m going to go ahead and define criticism for you since I personally look at that word in the negative. There are two definitions of criticism, but I will focus on the second definition as defined by Google, which is “the analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work.”
I’m not going to be technical here, but basically, it’s sharing your thoughts and feelings, whether positive or negative, about a book that you read.
Most of us, at least, I do, associate book reviewing with book reporting from what we learned in school. But as we know, book reviews and book reports are totally different things.
As a blogger, I write book reviews, and not book reports. My style is different (we’ll talk about this later) and I really wanted to write a review that shows my personality, incorporate my voice, and make my reviews stand out.
The key is to make your voice stand out of the sea of reviews!
Now, let’s talk about the different types of reviews that I’m familiar with. This is not an exhaustive list, btw!
Classic Book Review
The classic book review is perhaps the most common one that we see, and what we automatically do. In fact, that was the style I used when I first started blogging.
The basic format usually consists of the following: summary (a brief blurb about the plot), characters (the main characters, villain/s), meat (your thoughts about the book, whether positive or negative, and recommendations (should you read it/buy it/borrow it). Most bloggers use this tried and true method to get their points across.
Listicle Type Book Review
This is a newer type of review that I have seen and it’s AWESOME! As the name states, the review is made of a numbered/bulleted list, usually grouped into 2 sections: What I Liked, and What I didn’t Like. I have used this type on occasion when I am scrambling (like I do) to write a review due the next day. It’s really easy and dives right into the nitty-gritty of your review. Sometimes, I add a short overview before I go into the list.
Another variation of this list is listing down ONLY the points/reasons about what you liked about the book. The blog post title usually reads like this: 5 Reasons Why I Love [insert name of book] or 8 Reasons to Read [insert name of book].
This is also another full proof way to focus on the positives of the book. Plus, it actually is a click-bait title (ehemmm).
There are a bunch of styles under this type, but I want to share my own! I recently started a different style of reviewing last year and made it more personal. The basic format looks like this:
I think of it as talking to myself, because I’m weird like that, yeah? When I started doing this, I thought it was going to be a one-time thing but I really enjoyed writing reviews in this format. A. LOT! So yes, I am writing more and more reviews in this style.
I also included a short history, usually why I read this book, or when I read this book, and slowly transition into talking about the plot of the book.
This style also has different variations but basically, it’s just 1-2 sentences about the book. Ideally, this is done when a) you have too many books to review and too little time (like we ALWAYS do), b) you just don’t have anything else to write or say about said book, and c) you want to review a bunch of DNFs (or a bunch of books) and you just want it over with. Of course, there are other reasons to do this type of review, but those are some of them.
I personally use this review as an addendum to my longer reviews. The reason I started doing this was because I love reading shorter reviews of books in genres that aren’t in my comfort zone. This was also initially inspired by Jamie’s Review on a Post-It section on her reviews, which I think is SUPER AWESOME!
I decided to add my own spin on things (I call it SKINNY REVIEWS) and included elements that I personally like to see when reading short reviews AND it also has to be something that I can post as an image. I have also been playing with Pinterest for a while, and the image is an easy way to post on Pinterest.
Adding a Little Bit of Flavor
The key thing about writing reviews is adding your own voice to it. I find that the most successful, and my favorite reviewers, have their own distinct style.
Here are a few styles that I love from bloggers who write reviews that I personally love. #BloggerGoals
- Cait @ Paper Fury – Cait’s reviews are full of CAPSLOCK, and photos, and just pure awesomeness! Plus, she calls her readers pineapples and gives out CAKE at every turn! (see my capslock move here? Totes stolen from her!)
- Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner – Jamie’s reviews are more personal, in that she relates it to her life. I honestly wish I could do the same, but she is a master at it. She also breaks down her reviews in different sections, like the Review on a Post-It that I mentioned above.
- Brittany @ The Book Addicts Guide – Brittany’s reviews are awesome! She adds two extra categories on her reviews: Character Breakdown & Addiction Factor.
- Khan @ The Book Eaters – I love reading her reviews on Goodreads because of the way she makes use of swear words! I personally cannot do this type of review BUT I ABSOLUTELY LOVE READING IT! her reviews have enough snark and sarcasm in them that makes it totes entertaining! Plus she adds lots of gifs and quotes throughout her review!
For the #Bloggiesta Challenge, write a review that is out of your comfort zone. Pick any of the styles I mentioned above OR MAKE YOUR OWN! The goal of this challenge is to TRY SOMETHING NEW!
I know it is a little bit daunting, but trust me in this. There is no right way to review! Most especially if you are blogging on your own personal blog. There might be publications that require certain review styles, but if you have your own blog, your space is your own and the possibilities are endless!
As always, if you need any help, leave a comment or contact me and I’d be glad to help you out!
I’m super excited to include a giveaway for this challenge! Extra motivation, I hope! So go ahead and write a review using a style that’s out of your comfort zone! But before you proceed, here are the rules!
- This is open INTERNATIONALLY wherever Book Depository Ships
- Up to $17 (you pick hardbound, paperback, or ebook but you only get one book)
- You have 48 hours to claim your prize after the winner has been announced or I will pick another.
- No giveaway only accounts, please. I will be checking!
If you wrote a review, share them below!