TGIF is hosted by GReads!
Writing Book Reviews 101:
What’s your process for writing book reviews? Any tips or suggestions you would recommend to other bloggers?
Wow, this weeks question is a toughie! My process is not much of a process. First I usually write my own blurb for whatever book I’m reviewing – unless I’m short on time or the original blurb is everything I’d want to say myself. Then I usually just write as things come to me, both things I liked and didn’t like. Sometimes if I’ve kept notes while reading, of things I know I want to mention in my review, I’ll look those up and expand on them.
My tip for writing blurbs is – use only information found in the first 50 pages – unless there’s a major spoiler, but generally I find 50 pages the perfect cut off for blurb material, enough to give a good idea of the book and yet not spoil things.
Second tip is also a pet peeve – SPOILERS! PLEASE do NOT put spoilers in your review. Unless you feel it’s completely essential to how you feel about the book at least put a BIG bold warning up before the spoiler to warn people. I’ve actually seen so many spoilers in reviews that I no longer read reviews for any book that looks remotely interesting for me to read; I’m just too scared of spoilers. I had a friend who came across a review for one book that had a spoiler for a completely different series in it -with no warning! So in a nutshell: don’t assume everyone has read the book or series – no matter HOW popular.
I think my next tip goes without saying: be honest. Yes, you might be friends with the author, (or want to be) but as a reviewer we owe our allegiance to our readers first, ourselves second, and the author/publisher/publicist last. A fair review doesn’t mean you rip the author to shreds if you didn’t like the book either, it just means that you state what you did and didn’t like in a respectful way.
In general, I think everyone has to find their own writing style and the way they feel comfortable formatting their reviews. It’s the variety that is the spice of life so don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and do something different – sometimes it can have huge rewards!
Top Spot November
• Pick your favorite read from the current month
• Make a blog post stating your Top Spot pick and share with us why it got the Top Spot for you. Don’t forget to add the Top Spot button and link back to SkypeSisters.com! Feel free to add (link or attatched) reviews, book summaries or teasers in the post as well for people to take a look at.
» NOTE: No book spoilers allowed! If you have to add them, be sure to include a warning.
• Add your post in the linky and enjoy the current months favorites!
This meme runs the last weekend of the month, so feel free to join in anytime over the weekend!
November was a slow reading month for me – not because the books I’ve read aren’t good, they both were excellent – they were just quite long. Here’s my fav though of the two:
The Time In Between is a word-of-mouth phenomenon that catapulted María Dueñas, a debut author, to the top of Spain’s bestseller lists.
This sweeping novel, which combines the storytelling power of The Shadow of the Wind with the irresistible romance of Casablanca, moves at an unstoppable pace. Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Algiers by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses.
I. Love. This. Book. If you enjoy The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (one of my fav books of all time) then you can’t help but love this book too. Duenas definitely knows how to weave a compelling story that makes you care for all the characters.
Here’s my review if you’re interested: Time in Between by Maria Duenas