7 ways to write a review // how I write my reviews.

If you’re scrolling Goodreads or blogs, you’re gonna come across loads ofdifferent review styles. They’re all different, and we all like writing a review differently. Book reviews are a HUGE PART of being a book blogger (but arguably not necessary since there are so many different posts that you can do???) I think that in the first stages of writing a book review (as in your first review) the thought can be kind of daunting. I know that it was for me!

I know that some bloggers absolutely hate writing reviews, especially on their blog, as they don’t gain much attention and they take A GENUINE AGE TO WRITE SOMETIMES. And sometimes, you just sit there thinking “WHAT THE HECK DO I SAY??” even though you liked the book just fine. But on the other hand, some people LOVE to write reviews. I basically relate to the entire paragraph. I mean right now I’m just putting off writing this review BECAUSE WHAT DO I SAY??

I try mixing up mini reviews and longer reviews, however I feel that mini reviews restrict me to talking in as much depth as I like (LITERALLY THE WHOLE POINT OF A MINI REVIEW). Thing is, with reviews, I have the need to justify ALL MY OPINIONS and just shout at people why the book was good or not.

I’ve accumulated this list in order so that 1) you guys can have new ways to write reviews and 2) SO THAT I CAN JUST MAKE MY REVIEWS MORE INTERESTING.

Screenshot 2017-11-26 11.25.34.png

IMG_18821) Simple likes and dislikes.

Obviously probably the most straight forward.

This is where you can simply write 2 lists, and explain why you did, or didn’t like it. I usually incorporate a “likes list” into a review somewhere, as i think it’s really great for an overview of the entire review. However, I’ve seen plenty of reviews that are just the list, and i think that they’re really nice to read because 1) they’re easy to read 2) no big intimidating paragraphs??? 

Great because:

  1. Good vs bad is clearly separated, meaning that your thoughts are CLEAR to the reader.

Could be bad because you might end up just writing a HUGE paragraph for both *cries*

2) Break it down! (by-section) review

Giving paragraphs assigned to an aspect of the book. For example, “world building” or “characters” I used to use this format when I first started writing my reviews, so if you look into the dark abyss that is the start of this blog you’ll find a lot of very caterorised reviews.

Reasons why they’re good:

  1. They’re organised.
  2. Easy to know what you’re talking about.
  3. Gets all your thoughts down, less space to miss things out.
  4. Good for finding out how you like to go your reviews. I used to write these kind of reviews and then i sort of just got into the flow of how I write reviews.

Not so great reasons:

  1. I feel like when I use this style I’m really tempted to just write one long paragraph which is just. NOT. appealing to the reader.
  2. I think that sometimes the free-flowing style allows you to talk more fluidly about the book and the set topic can sometimes seem a bit too blocky??? And I feel that it makes my review just a bit more, idk, c’est la vie, like here are my thoughts, think through them because I’m too lazy to separate the good and bad. I like it CASUAL, OKAY? <– this is literally the essence of my blog.

3) Bullet point list

Really simple, just a little list. I think that these are GREAT for mini reviews and give a really simple, easy to read review of the book!

Be careful though, don’t make each bullet point about 327645 lines long as it kinda defeats the purpose of the list!

Screenshot 2017-08-28 21.49.07

4) Divided into spoiler and non-spoiler sections

If you’re gonna include spoilers, or revealing things about previous books in the series, PLEASE JUST SAY!!!!!!! Like I’d really appreciate a huge ol’ banner saying: “SPOILERS AHEAD!!” because, mate, if you ruin a book for me, I’m gonna be annoyed. For like 48563789 years.

5) A GIF- filled review

I went through a phase where I used a lot of gifs. For example, my dream thieves review. I think that they can make a review really fun to read and really divide up the text and make it seem more inviting to read.

Howeverrrrrrrrr, I think that it’s really easy to get carried away with gifs and include too many (I’VE DEFINITELY DONE THIS) and I just can’t handle it sometimes.

6) x-reasons-why-you-should-read- this-book review

I love these positive review styles. When I absolutely loveeeee a book, I just want to chuck* the book at everyone I see. I think that they’re soooo goood for getting reasons why THAT. BOOK. IS. AWESOME. Out there and HEY. REVIEWS ARE THERE TO GET OTHERS TO READ THEM, AREN’T THEY???**

*lightly — wouldn’t want to hurt the book now, would I? **yes.

7) All the above but miniature.

I think that these are GREAT when you have multiple reviews and want to publish them on your blog, not just Goodreads. I think that a post with multiple mini reviews is a really cute idea.

However, as I mentioned a bit above, I find it really difficult to justify myself fully in a mini review and I personally feel that my mini reviews feel a bit unfinished??? AND IT BOTHERS ME A BIT.

Like DKFHGBD it’s 23k word reviews OR NOTHING MATE.

internally screaming
ME @ me publishing a mini review.

Screenshot 2017-11-26 11.41.41.png


Despite having just listed all these ways to write a review, I kinda follow none of them?? AND THAT’S FINE!!* And, not to toot my own French horn, but people actually compliment my review style?? I KNOW, CRAZY OR WHAT??

So here is my review style:

What I do, is I form a list, then I expand.

As I read, I start making the list. For example:

  • The world building. . . hmmm like it’s not very good atm.

Or something like this:

Screenshot 2017-11-26 11.47.33.png

This actually saves SO MUCH time at the end, because you have all the basic ideas there already!! Okay, this is full of spelling errors (eg. “lathe” instead of “loathe”), and text talk (eg. “ppl”) , and genuine gibberish,  but once you expand it, it just makes sense, or, for me it does.

*or so I will keep telling myself.

Why this works well for me:

  1. It’s lazy. . . BUT WORKS?
  2. I miss less things out, obvious right?
  3. I get all my opinions from my whole reading journey –> CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY OPINIONS. –> I need to rant about the book as I read it and THIS IS PERFECT!! (at least it’s better than angsty tweets at 4am. . .
  4. Saves time when writing the review since you do half the work before you even sit down to write the review.
  5. You don’t get the “HBGJLDHBG WHERE DO I START???” panic.
  6. Because you’re writing it as you go along, the points are already in a logicalish format and then all you need to do is maybe switch around 2 or 3 paragraphs and you’re done (well. . . then you can expand on them and make it readable!)


chat with me

Do YOU like writing reviews? Did you find this useful? How do you write your reviews? What format do you prefer? Do you sort of mix them together like I do? Let me know! Was seeing my review style / plan helpful? Discuss with me in the comments!! 


26 thoughts on “7 ways to write a review // how I write my reviews.”

  1. Ooh, I’m always struggling with writing my reviews!! I always feel the need to section everything or make a list. Generally I stick to dislikes vs. likes, or characters/plot/setting/writing style/etc., but sometimes I do try to write in paragraph form (it just… doesn’t work). I LOOOVE mini-reviews tho, and I have yet to try the “__ reasons you should/n’t read this” type!! Great post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!! OMG I JUSST NEVER STIP TALKING. It physically pains me to write a review under 1000 words because I feel that I have to justify EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME!!! OmG i love listssssss!!! ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE writing reviews because I have strong opinions and the whole reason I made a blog is because it’s disastrous for any nearby unfortunate soul if I don’t share them somewhere. AND I am a bit sad that reviews don’t get as much recognition because I work hard to make them?? Alas that’s confusing blogging for you.
    Also it’s amazing how I’ve been blogging for 4 months and yet I’ve tried all the types of reviews in your list 😂. How?? What does the people likeee when it comes to reviews??

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I usually sort of enjoy writing reviews, but sometimes I just don’t want to, and I procrastinate instead. I tend to break it down into sections, which I don’t love, but I have yet to find a way that works better for me, so… for now that’s how I write my reviews, but hopefully at some point I’ll come up with a better way to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My reviews have stayed the same since I first started blogging, and honestly I don’t think they’re ever going to change. 🙂 I split them out into sections; one for the plot, one for the characters and one for the world building. It just works for me, helps me organize my thoughts because I don’t write notes while I’m reading like I know some bloggers do and they’re just a lot easier to write for me.
    I rarely do mini reviews, unless it’s for a novella or something, but I kind of feel like I should try something different in my reviews. Maybe see if there’s another format that would work better for me. 🙂
    I really loved this post Lu, and I enjoyed reading how you write your reviews. Me I kind of spew out everything in my head onto a Word document and sort the good from the bad in the second draft! 😀
    Again great post. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!! OMG I actually really enjoy reading split previews like yours because in a review I love to get an opinion on everything, especially if im considering buying it!! However, I just suck at writing those kinds of reviews!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d love to start doing some book reviews, but the amount of time I have to read a book now is tragic, I barely have three seconds to myself😂

    I used to love reading, so it’s such a shame. Product reviews are so hard and I write them a lot but I’m like ‘I LOVED THIS SO MUCH BUT HOW CAN I SAY IT WITHOUT REPEATING MYSELF AND SOUNDING LIKE I HAVENT EVEN USED IT!!’

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really enjoyed your post, I’m still trying to find a reviewing style that truly clicks for me.. I have tried Mini reviews which have worked when I’m talking about books that are good but forgettable… I don’t use giffs on my reviews because of what you said It’s so easy to get carried away with them… but we just have to find what works for us right??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!! yes I think that’s when I do mini reviews too?? I mean they tend not to be books that I’m going to remember or be really high up on my top books of the year!!
      Yes, I try to use maybe 1 or 2 now as I feel I was using wayyyy too many and I really didn’t like it on my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like writing reviews. Most of the time. Sometimes I’m just blank at all areas when I sit down to write one and that’s simply torture.

    At first I went with the “theme per paragraph”; actually some of my reviews being posted are still like that but those are reviews I wrote ages back. Like, when I was still on top of my eARC’s and read MONTHS in advance. [[Where the hell did that time go to.. Why can’t I do that anymore?! ]]
    Anyway! Lately I’ve been separating it in “The Good” and “The Bad”. It’s honestly an easier way for myself as well to get my thoughts in order. While I’m writing the good aspects, I often thing of other things I didn’t like and vice versa. Also, I don’t focus on things that I don’t feel like focusing on. If I don’t mention the writing style, it’s because I liked it, didn’t have a problem with it but don’t necessarily want to rave about it. [Let’s just hope that my followers get that? Ugh..]

    I think seeing different review formats is definitely helpful for beginning bloggers. In the end we all need to find the way that works for us. It’s unlikely we immediately start with THE format that’s perfect, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg yes!! I used to be super organised with blogging like, literally scheduling posts two weeks in advance and now. . . NOPE. So when it comes to reviews, I try to be as organised as possible!!
      I think that they’d get that, but just to be sure I add it in somewhere real quick like “and omggg the writing style was to die for” or “and the wiring style made me like it even more!”

      Exactly!! I wish that I had tried out different review formats when I was first starting out instead of only just really starting to change things up now and find what workd best for me nearly 2 years into blogging. . .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had a moment where I was scheduling a month in advance? So yesterday I was like, okay, let’s see how much I already scheduled for December. “Uuuh.. Well shit..” Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend – except for cleaning the whole apartment. :’D

        I know right? I was coming across so many different review styles / formats that I started disliking my own constant stream of sentences and text and way too elaborate opinions, haha. For some reason I felt like I HAD to talk about every single aspect, from world-building, to characters, to the writing style, to blahblah. I’m so glad I got rid of that. It really made writing those reviews more fun. :’)

        Liked by 1 person

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