I know that it is typical to post book reviews on a book blog, but from the beginning I haven’t been so good at that. The posts I make about specific books look like a review, but don’t always feel like one. Just before the New Year, I had decided to revamp the whole idea behind my book reviews. I thought about getting rid of them all together but that felt like a mistake. I started this blog, really, so that I could write down, and discuss, the books that I am reading. To get rid of those posts would feel like I abandoned my “ideals” (extreme, I know, just go with it). So instead of getting rid of them, I started to break down exactly what I wanted from them.
I liked that I didn’t have ratings attached directly to my writing (if you really wanted to know how I felt about a specific title, you could always just check my Goodreads page). So I think that I will at least keep that part in the future.
Alyssa @ A Reader’s Journey wrote up “Guidelines for Writing a Book Review” that I have found helpful. I compared her points to what I was posting (at the time) and that is when I realized that I was doing something a little different.
Title/Author- Well yeah, I usually cover that. The title and author are always the title of the post.
Date Published- The year in which the book was published is always featured underneath the photo of the book (next to the author’s name again).
Genre- Negative. I don’t usually post specific genres for the books I read.
Where I got the book- Some times I talk about where I got the book (BOTM, library haul, etc.) but not all the time.
Synopsis- I usually post the Goodreads synopsis and link it underneath.
Image- I always post an image of the book. I used to just take the photo off google, but I am toying with the idea of photographing them myself from now on.
So I have the basic information mostly covered at least. It is getting into the actual review part that I stopped seeing similarities. Alyssa highlights the five major parts of a book (plot, setting, characters, theme and writing style) with related questions underneath each heading. I definitely touch upon some of these in each of my posts, but rarely all five, and I don’t always go super in depth with my answers to those questions. Mostly, I find myself just honing in on the parts of the book that I either liked the most, or had the most conflict with. I state any questions that I had during reading, and sometimes post about my wishes for what could have been. Sometimes, I don’t even necessarily talk about what the book was about, I just talk about specific parts. Basically, I cover the “need to know info” and pair it with a couple highlights.
What do you typically look for in a book review-like blog post? What would you like to see in these features? Help me develop these particular posts into something you would regularly click on.