Reviews: Short versus Long?
Reviewing books can be quite the challenge, but it can also be a lot of fun, especially when you’ve finished reading a book by a new-to-me author or have just read a book by an author you’re an absolute fan of and believe the story has surpassed their previous one.
This happens more often than not for me, which is why when writing reviews, I tend to go overboard and emphasize how brilliant and satisfying a book is or if I’ve found it didn’t meet my expectations I’m not afraid to give my opinion to the best of my ability without being insulting. It’s why my reviews end up being anywhere from 600 to just over 1000 words. Too long in the eyes of some — I’m sure — but then I have a set method, which is as follows:
- Write an introduction that is similar to the blurb
- Talk about the dialogue and plot. Was it compelling or did it not entertain you?
- Talk about the characters. What was it you liked about the characters? If you didn’t like them, what was it about them you didn’t enjoy? ; and lastly,
- Do an overall summary, talk about the ending of the book and possibly give recommendations. (My recommendations come from the ‘customers who bought this book might like’ list on Amazon or whatever trope the story I’ve read encompasses).
However, I can see the value of short reviews too. It means you’re less likely to give away spoilers and only need to think up a sentence or two. But there’s one thing that’s absolutely important when writing a review and that’s to give reasons of why you liked or didn’t like the story you’re reviewing. I can’t stress this enough. Since giving constructive feedback (whether its good or bad) can help authors to improve their craft or so I’ve been told.
So what’s your take on reviews? Long? Short? Do you give reasons for why you like or dislike the story? Do you get excited when an author shows appreciation for a review you’ve written?