Ever read a book and you were like wow, I really need to share it. And you end up recommending it to a few friends hoping they will like it. Or do you belong to the category that keeps it and rereads it over and over again like that Merlin movie? Well, writing a book review is a nice way to avoid losing your favourite books while still sharing them.
However, writing a book review as a professional is more complex than your normal word of mouth relay. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences that may totally conflict with your own. You may love a certain book so much that you offer a biased book review which does not sit well with those who disliked the book.
The key to creating a reputable book review blog is to form an analysis system that is not dependent on your feelings. During my staycation, I finally got a chance to search, install and implement some of the ideas I had about this fiction review category. As usual, I did this piece due diligence and formed a system of my own that I hope is worthy.
Every writer has their own methodology and style when it comes to creation and retelling of stories. Thus, it would be wrong to judge a book by its style of writing.
To eliminate bias, I came up with this system that analyzes the following parts.
Art, Appearance, and Presentation
“Do not judge a book by its cover.” Well, sorry, but this is what influences the buy. Art in this instance refers to the picture of the cover page. A book with a beautiful cover art that is in line with the title, theme or author scores highly. The choice of colours is a huge determinant.
Appearance refers to the way in which the title compares with the cover art. A pretty picture is unattractive if accompanied by an unreadable font. The size of the font in relation to the cover art should be reasonable. Neither of the two should take away from the other.
Art in this case also refers to the pictures inside the book. Some books have more illustrations inside the book that add credence to the words. The way in which the graphics tie in with the literature is important.
Books with a professional balance between the cover text and cover art coupled with pictures inside the book score highly. Nonetheless, this is dependent on the theme and how the pictures tie in with the rest of the story.
Grammar and Conventions
Okay, I am not a grammar nazi, but everyone who writes a book should be one. Even if your first language is not English, you should have native proficiency in the language you select. Autocorrect is a nuisance but that is why editing is a full career.
Simple grammatical errors such as spelling and punctuation are unforgivable. Of course, no one is perfect, especially me, as a blogger who doubles up as an editor. Nonetheless, those errors that take away from the fluency of the book are annoying.
Sentences are blocks of letters and spaces that form words. Sentence fluency is the way in which a word flows seamlessly into the next. The peaceful transition into the following sentence in the paragraph is essential. In addition to sentence fluency, the vocabulary and word choice are crucial.
Amazing writers carefully substitute everyday words for those that blow your mind. Nevertheless, such bombastic words have to make sense and distributed evenly. Nobody wants to read a book with a dictionary at hand.
Plot and Ideas
Romance books, autobiographies, and even mere essays have a plot. The author has an idea that they carry on throughout the book. The execution of that plot is paramount as it speaks about the author. This is the part in which you really get to know the author, their ideologies, boundaries, fears, and desires.
The prominent theme in a book and how far an author is willing to stand by them speak about their principles. A book whose themes you can clearly point out or retell the plot is an incredible piece.
Sometimes, a book appeals to you because you would like to know how the story ends. You are curious about what happened to the lead character, or the author in the case of an autobiography. Regardless of the poor grammar and unappealing art, you may find yourself turning to the last page.
You may also find a book with incredible grammar but no take away themes when you are through reading it. As such, a book may score highly in plot and ideas but terribly in grammar. The trick is to find a good balance or perfection if you can lest you get a poor book review score.
I considered removing this part of the review but the more I thought about it the more I was dissuaded. There are different kinds of books; detective novels, romance, autobiographies, how-tos. I could go on forever but you get it. All these books have a different method of writing and narration methods that may involve epilogues, dialogues, flashbacks, and monologues.
Organization refers to the way the style selected ties in with the story. Some authors effectively employ jump cuts and flashbacks. Others begin with the now and take you through the journey. Books like “A Man Called Ove” (book review coming up soon) has an interesting organization. the author manages to remain focused and you can clearly point out the beginning, middle, and end. In reverse, if you’ve read the book.
WIRIA- Will I Read It Again
When writing this I thought it sounded pretty unique. A book has to speak to me for me to want to read it again. I rarely do which explains the reason I will only use 3 stars. One star means never, three stars maybe, and five means I may already be reading it. Ultimately, an author intends to have their book read, shared, and reread as many times as possible. I know I would. This metric is totally my own opinion though it affects the total rating. It is no indicator of what you should do after finishing your book.
This system applies to even the strangest of reviews. Technology, online courses, house cleaning products, and even people. I have also used it a lot since its creation in my purchases. I consider the price of a product, the associated value, how it makes me feel and if I would use it again. To have an inkling of what I mean by this new section see below. Did I mention you can write your own book review too by using the stars below my rating? Just colour the stars that you like to practice for all the other posts.
This Friday I’ll be reviewing a book by a famous African American. You do not want to miss that. Subscribe using my popup or follow my Facebook page for updates. There is also an Instagram account if all this talk bores you. Pictures are cute, so are you.
Review, comment, subscribe, share. Repeat.
Relevance of This Book Review Category
Of course, I’d rate myself highly. If you disagree show it with stars. And comment why.