Book reviews are the main type content type, us book bloggers are expected, to have on our blogs. There are many ways to layout your review, it’s entirely up to you how you decide to lay it out. In this post, we’ll break down a few ways you can lay out your post. Along with examples from other bloggers, to help visually show you.
Let’s recap briefly, what exactly book reviews are, before we dive into how to create this content type.
Definition: a review or a review and discussion of the book, a well known content type for book blogs
Pros: you get to review the book, fan girl maybe help others pick up the book, also a great way to remember the book you’ve read
Cons: formatting can be a pain if you want it to look a certain way, what is writing a coherent review when you just wanna shriek…with glee obviously.
Stats: lowest stats usually out of the content types
Ok, so we know what book reviews are. It’s a review of a book which we’ve read or in some cases we did not finish but chose to review anyway. Despite it being a staple content type for the book blogging community, many of us still stress and flail over these posts. Not just because for most of us, they get the least amount of live. Usually, it’s because we think there’s a right way to lay them out.
There isn’t. There’s only your way. If your way happens to be a common layout then so what, if it’s a different way then it’s ok too!
I think the typical layout we all think of is, an in depth review of the book which is fairly long along with the book cover in the post and a rating. I mean, sure I use that layout but my reviews aren’t always long nor in depth. In fact my shortest posts tend to be my reviews.
When I personally think of a “typical” review layout Lauren @ Northern Plunder fits how I think of them. Here’s her review of Smoke Thieves by Sally Green. Maybe that’s not how you view a typical review layout but for me, it matches how I imagine them. It’s also similar to how I style mine.
Bullet Points/Reasons Why
I know some people have done reviews, listing the top 10 reasons you need to read it. It’s a different layout, adds variety and can be easier to get across your likes and/or dislikes. You can also just have this as your typical layout if it’s what you find works best for you.
Rain @ Bookdragonism shared her review of Empress of All Season by Emiko Jean, giving us 5 reasons why we should read this gem.
Review & Discussion
I guess I mix this style with the “typical” layout we all think of first. If I have something to discuss about the book, my review with become a review and discussion. The review being spoiler free then I’ll put in a spoiler warning before going onto the discussion part. It’s sometimes just me squealing about characters or wanting to smack them for being stupid. Ahem, not exactly typical right? It works for me though.
Here’s my review and discussion of Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill
What Do I Say In My Review?
As for what you should be talking about in a review, that’s totally up to you! Usually though, we’ll go over the things we liked/loved anything we didn’t like, if something could be improved perhaps. As well as the writing style, anything we think others would want to know like diversity and representation. Oh and your rating, don’t forget to include a rating somewhere. We like ratings here.
Majority of us rate a book out of 5 stars, some of us will have slightly different rating scales. As well as not using the star as a visual, for example instead of stars I could use dragons. Since it’d fit my blog…
Kat @ Novels and Waffles just writes Waffles after her rating. So 3 Waffles say, instead of even including a visual. Whereas Sim @ Flipping Through The Pages doesn’t use stars at all, she has book stacks as her own rating system. Which in my opinion is also cool, as are waffles.
This is a super brief in depth look at reviews, why? Well honestly, a review is your thoughts and opinions right? So you should be the one deciding how you want to lay out the review, what do you want to add in to spice it up? Are you going to highlight anything specific like tropes, representation etc.
The key thing to remember is this, a review is a review. It’s your thoughts, opinion on a book. Unless its a review request or ARC, you are not obliged to write a review. You can choose what to review, when to review (again unless you have deadlines) as well as how to lay out the review.
Detailed reviews not your forte? Not to worry, go for a bullet point list or try a different method that you think of.
Please note, the reviews I’ve linked as examples, doesn’t define that book blogger as only using that style. They may switch it up too, I just felt they were a great source of inspiration if you’re stuck. I hope this helps all of you out, if you’re struggling with reviews.
As always, any questions or any topic you’d like me to cover let me know in the comments!