The Process of Reviewing

Friday 9 March 2018

Every book blogger has written or will write at least one review in their time. And every book blogger has their own process for doing so.

Which book?
The first question any blogger must ask before diving into the review process is 'which book should I write about?' I would hope that the immediate answer is 'one that I've actually read', but skipping over the obvious, how does one narrow it down? Is there a specific criteria for review books? Must they be over a certain page length? A certain genre? From a certain source?

For me, the way I choose books to review is pot luck. I do make sure to review every book I get sent for review (although I'm always horrifically behind on reading them. Horrifically.) but other than that... I don't quite close my eyes and wave my finger around to pick my next target but I'm not far off doing that. Sometimes, a book will just speak to me and I'll be inspired to write a review. And sometimes that doesn't happen but I write a review anyway.

There is, however, a method to my madness: I won't review a sequel unless I've reviewed the first book; books featuring mental health have a much higher chance of getting reviewed; I review more books I didn't like than books I did; I can't review more than three books in a row else I burn out; and I like to try and review one book a month.

What to say?
Then, once the book is chosen, comes the problem of deciding what to say and how much to say. There's a fine balance between explaining and examining things and writing something too long that will either bore readers or turn them away before they even click on. And then there's the problem not writing enough.

Personally, I think a few hundred words is enough - I don't want to read a 600 word review for a book that was only 200 pages long, but I also don't want to read fifty words for a 900 page book. But what do you say in those few hundred words?

A quick run down of the plot, talk about the characters, the writing, personal thoughts, and whether you'd recommend it or not. Boom. Review done. Giving reasons for why something was amazing or awful is also incredibly helpful for people deciding on whether they want to read a book or not - and I can guarantee a much more interesting read than just 'this was great! Loved it!'

How do you review books?


  1. I'm pretty similar to you when it comes to reviewing!! I'm either really inspired and I can write such a long review or I'm the opposite and I'm struggling to write a review, but for some weird reason I can't NOT write a review for a book I've read, it's weird xD

    1. Thankfully I don't get the urge to review EVERY book and I think if I did I'd be a lot more stressed than I already am!

  2. I usually write a review for a book either if I have requested it on Netgalley/from the publisher or if I feel like I have a lot to say about it. I'm also attempted to read the longlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction and if possible review all of those. I never say too much because people don't tend to read reviews that often compared to my other blog posts, but I always talk about the positives and negatives whatever my feelings on the book,

    1. I feel the same in terms of books from publishers, authors, and Netgalley - they're 'review books' in my eyes, and I feel like if I've received them free of charge the least I can do is write a review! Your plan for the longlist sounds good. Maybe you could do mini reviews for them and group them into fewer posts to make it more of a series than reviews?


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