Monday, June 8, 2015
How I Write Book Reviews
1. Book – Everyone wants to know what it’s called, so they can find it and look it up.
2. Author – This might not matter to some people, but to others it can be a deal breaker. If it’s an author they love and follow, this part alone might encourage them to read the book.
3. Star rating – I always rate out of 5 stars. Generally, if I like a book and have less than three issues with it then I’ll give it a 4-5 star rating. If I don’t like the book, or if it’s littered with errors/mistakes/plot gaps or things I dislike, then I’ll give it anywhere from 1-3 stars. If the story is done badly (lots of mistakes, doesn’t make sense) but has potential, I will add one star to the rating to show it’s potential and I will mention that I’ve done this in the review. I think if a story can be excellent, but isn’t, then it’s not as bad as a truly bad story will be.
4. Plot – I always think the believability of a plot is vital. I don’t care what genre, what characters or what world it’s in, as long as I can believe that it’s possible, because the story makes me believe it, then the story has done its job. If I find a world of vampires, space aliens or zombies really ridiculous, I’m not enjoying the story or getting drawn in it. Believability is the difference between a pass and a fail grade, for me.
5. Characters – I always think the characters make the story. Bad characters can ruin a good story, and good characters can bolster a bad story.
6. Movie Potential – This is for my kicks only, really. I like to evaluate the story on the basis of whether I would willing go watch it at the movies, or on the TV. This is also graded on the 5 star rating system as above.
7. Ease of reading – This is important. I read a kids book recently that was full of ridiculous words, long complicated, drawn out sentences and 1800’s speak. The book was aimed at 13-15 year olds and it was absolutely not suitable for such an age group.
8. Cover – This is very important to me. I know a lot of people say that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but everyone does. It’s what they see in the shop or on Amazon, that makes them open up the book to read the blurb. If they don’t like the cover, then they might not read the blurb or the book. This however, is not graded, but just a tick or a cross, as it either works or it doesn’t.
9. Suitable Title – The same as above. A good/intriguing title can carry a bad cover, and vice versa.
10. Would I read it again – I find this really important. If I am willing to read a book a second time, then it must be really good. If the story is predictable, but good, then I’m not likely to read it again.