What To Put in a Review
Not all this stuff, necessarily, but here are some ideas to consider.
- Answer one or more of the following: Who, What, When, How.
- Who you are (when it comes to reading preference) helps readers know how much weight to give your review. Whether you're a sci-fi fan, a fantasy fan, or someone who reads mostly non-fiction, your preferences and background will color your experience with a book.
- What kind of book you consider it to be helps readers, especially when the book crosses genre borders. For example, a book classified by the author as a "coming-of-age fantasy" might feel more to you like an epic fantasy, or you might think the fantasy aspect was just a weird setting, but the coming-of-age story was compelling.
- When do you think a reader might like it? As a young student, or later in life? Or do think it would be appropriate for all ages?
- How was your experience? Did you stay up all night because you couldn't put it down? Or did you read a few chapters at a time, mulling over the potential directions of the plot for days at a time? Or force yourself to finish it because that's what you do, or you hoped it might get better?
- Name a character you liked, and include one or more of the following details,
- What role did they play in relation to the main character or point of view? Mentor, Ally, Antagonist?
- Did the character's role change or develop well over the course of the story?
- What attracted you to the character? Was their style or voice unique, or did it remind you of someone? Did they make good choices, or interesting choices?
- How did the character make you feel? Would you like to meet them for coffee, or alone on a deserted island? Or in a dark alley with a crowbar?
- Where does the story take place? Did you find the world expansive and coherent, or limited and implausible?
- Choose an aspect of the setting that you liked, and include one or more of the following details,
- Was the imagery especially beautiful or realistic?
- Did it feel like comfortably like someplace you've been, or was it like nowhere you've ever imagined in an exciting or interesting way?
- Did this aspect of the setting play an interesting role in the story or character development?
- Was the book satisfying? Even books that are part of a series should have some kind of coherent structure or resolution, even if they open a new thread that leaves you hanging at the end. Did the book fulfill your expectations for the genre?
- Was the writing style noticeable? If so, was it distracting, or did it add value to your experience?
- Was the book well-edited? Some readers are bothered by repeated errors or confusing sentences or inconsistencies.
- Was the pacing enjoyable? Were there long, boring stretches of background information, or constant bombardment of peril and action and worse peril and faster action?
- Was there anything special or intriguing about it that made you think about it after you finished?
- Are you eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, or not so much?