how I book review

02 September 2019

Something I have loved doing ever since I created my first blog is to write book reviews. I get so excited when I get to talk about books in any capacity. And since I'm usually very opinionated on the books I love (and the ones I don't love so much...) book reviews are my favorite form of content to create and share with others online. As I've grown as a blogger and a writer over these past 8 years (wow!) it's only natural that I've also grown and evolved in how I review books.

I've had several of my blog readers reach out to me asking how I go about writing a good book review. While it is flattering that some people seem to think I've mastered the art of critiquing and recommending books, I still feel like quite a novice myself.

I'm still constantly changing the way I write reviews, and the way I do it wouldn't necessarily be considered the "right way" by some standards. But I have learned some things about how to write a quality review that I do think could be helpful to those who want to begin their amateur book reviewer career but don't know how.

When I personally review books, I like start by keeping my focus only on the books that I really feel strongly about. If I were someone who's brand was solely on book reviewing, I probably would write on all the books I read, and if you want to do that, that's totally up to you. But, personally, I find it puts a lot of pressure on my reading if I have to constantly be thinking about what I'll say about every single book in a review.

That's why I started my "Reading Diary" series for book reviews, only writing about the books that really had an impact on me while I read them, and those that stuck with me long after I finished. By only writing reviews on a select number of the books I read also allows me to put more thought into what I'm going to write about, instead of just regurgitating the same adjectives and descriptive phrases over and over again in every review.

Once I've decided that I'm going to review a book I'm reading, I keep notes of things I think about and feel about it. Keeping track of the important things, what I like and dislike, while I'm actively reading keeps it all in my mind and helps when I sit down weeks later to write a coherent review. It also helps me to keep my reviews focused on what was important to me about the experience of reading a specific book.

When I get down to putting the review on paper, I always try to keep it intentional. I try to keep out unnecessary details and stick with what was important to me. When I started writing reviews, I would put in the most uninteresting facts about my experience with the book: how I got the book, where I read it, what snacks I ate while I read, etc.
Granted, sometimes those details are important to mention in a review, but if it didn't affect how you interpreted the actual book, it doesn't matter. People read reviews to know if they'll enjoy the book too, not to know that you bought it on sale at Barnes and Nobles.

Another important part about reviewing books or any other product is to be honest. Even if you didn't care for a book, there's still a way to share your honest opinion with others in a tactful way that isn't disrespectful to those who loved it. As a reviewer, whether you like it or not, people are going to trust your opinion and turn to you to determine if they'll like a book too. You don't want to waste their time by recommending a book you actually didn't like.

Everyone has a different style of reviewing. Some people like dissecting all the pros and cons of all the newest releases and their content, while people like me tend to view reviewing as a way to document their reading experiences with involved discussions (at least that's what I try to do). There is no right way to review something, because it's entirely your opinion backed up with your expertise.

Ultimately, my biggest tip for reviewing books is to just do your own thing. The internet is full of trends, and you can try out many different structures until you find what's right for you. Just don't feel like you have to follow my review system or someone else's if it doesn't fit with how you are as a reader and reviewer.

Book reviewing has been such a fulfilling hobby in my life, and it has helped me become a critical and careful reader. If you are at all interested in trying to write reviews, I support you whole heartedly, and I hope you were able to gain something from this post.


  1. I love this and I admire you so much for having such a distinct process!! Half the time my reviews are nothing but fangirl babbling, but this makes me want to try delving a little bit deeper. :D

    1. Hey fangirl babbling is great in its own way too! We need many different voices in reviewing!

  2. I always love reading your book reviews, and finding new favorites through them. It’s great to read about your process!!


    1. Thank you Keira! I always love your book reviews and recommendations too!