Book chat: How do I write reviews?


Hello, my dear followers! It has been a very long time since I did a book chat, so today I wanted to talk about the way I write reviews. When I read other people’s reviews on Goodreads and WordPress, I notice how different they all are. Some people use a lot of gifs, other people’s reviews are merely one sentence, there are those who have very elaborate rating systems, etc. This is not a “how you should write” reviews posts. This is merely a discussion about the different types of reviews and the way I write them. Anyway, let’s get started.

First of all, I think it’s safe to say that my reviews are elaborate, especially when I dislike a book. My review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for example is over two thousand words long, and it easily could’ve been a thousand words longer! I always want to explain why I liked or disliked a book.

Talking about disliking books: I find it so much easier to write reviews for books I hated. When that’s the case, I list the things I disliked. Even when I love a book, I will mention the problematic aspects in my review. As a result, my reviews always seem to focus much more on the negative aspects, rather than the positive.

The thing I struggle with the most while writing down my thoughts, is the order. I never know whether I should start with the positive or the negative. I think that’s my main issue I have to work on.

Some people write a synopsis. For some, that counts as a review. I don’t do that. If anyone wants to know what the book is about, they’ll have to read the blurb. Most of my reviews are definitely meant for people who have read the book, or at least know what it is about.

This year, I decided I no longer want to rate the books I read. In my opinion, star ratings are quite superficial and subjective. And like I’ve said, my reviews are elaborate, so they convey my opinion much better than a rating. Furthermore, I’m reading more diverse books this year. Even when I didn’t enjoy something (for personal reasons, not problematic aspects), I don’t want a low rating to put people off from reading the book themselves.

Having said that, I’m still rating books on Goodreads and Netgalley. My reviews didn’t get nearly as many likes anymore when I stopped rating the books I read. I put a lot of time and effort into them, so naturally, I’d like for people to read them. And when I review ARCs on Netgalley, I think it’s almost mandatory to rate them. But I won’t over-think the rating anymore. When a book isn’t problematic and I very much enjoyed it, I’ll probably rate it 5 stars even when it isn’t  my new favourite book. No more half ratings for me.

I don’t include any gifs or images in my reviews. I don’t enjoy to read those kinds of reviews, so why would I write my own reviews like that?

At the end, I always write a conclusion. It sums up how I felt about the book and says whether or not I would recommend it.

How about you

What kind of reviews do you write? And which ones do you prefer to read? Do you have any advise for me? I’m very interested to learn more about your reviews, so let me know in the comments!


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12 thoughts on “Book chat: How do I write reviews?

  1. ashley says:

    I don’t like reading reviews with GIFs or images either. I write my reviews similar to your but the length of mine varies, sometimes I need more words and there are times where I need less. I to mention what was problematic, and I like to start with a negative and end on a positive note.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haven Faye says:

    I have to say my reviews tend to be more elaborate and detailed as well, and I often worry if many find them to be boring. However, I enjoy writing extensive reviews and I agree with your opinions on ratings too. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jess (beaucoupbooks) says:

    I agree with you about star ratings (even though I still use them…) I feel like I come across as such a harsh rater sometimes. I don’t mind reviews with gifs/images, but some reviewers use way too many gifs for my personal tastes.


  4. justanotherloststudent says:

    Me and my friends are just starting up our own review WordPress, but I’ve been reviewing books on good reads for a few years now. For me, I really like focusing on the bits that really stood out to me as either really great or really bad, and writing things in a casual chatty way rather than a super formal review.

    I don’t really like reviews which include a long, super formal blurb at the beginning of reviews – which are written in the style of an actual blurb as I think it comes off a little pretentious. But, I do like some kind of a small blurb included in WordPress reviews as they’re often about books I’ve never heard of!

    Biggest pet peeve: reviews with gifs. Whilst gifs can be cute and add in a bit of catchy humour, as someone who is dyslexic it makes the rest of the review really hard to read because of the movement!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea ϟ romweasley says:

      Oh wow, I never realised that. More reviewers should be aware that their reviews aren’t dyslectic-friendly then!

      I sometimes review ARCs or unknown books, so maybe I should start adding a small blurb to my reviews. But I have the feeling I’d be awful at writing those!


      • justanotherloststudent says:

        Yeah, I think most people genuinely don’t even realise! Gifs that don’t move around a lot, like pusheen gifs, or gifs at the end of the post aren’t too much of a problem. But when the text is interspersed with the gifs, the gif movement causes the text words to move around or I can focus on the words properly! Obviously not everyone will have those problems, but I think its good to think about 🙂

        I’m sure you wouldn’t! I find it a lot easier to do if I do it as if I’m just having a chat with my friend. Like… Oh hey, have you heard of this really cool book? It’s about…. That way it doesn’t sound too contrived or clunky 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Tiana (The Book Raven) says:

    Reviews are such a interesting thing. I actually find it harder to write the negative rather then the positive aspects of a book I enjoy. When I enjoy something I can go on and on talking about that thing and I often look for the positives first in any book I dislike because in a way I feel bad when I talk about the negatives too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea ϟ romweasley says:

      That’s very interesting 🙂 I have difficulties writing reviews for books I loved because I’m sometimes not able to express WHY I loved it. I just did 🙂 So for books I disliked, it much easier to express what I didn’t like about it.

      Liked by 1 person

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