29 March 2010

First off, I just want to thank Emily for writing my first Guest Post here. It was great of her to take the time to write about a topic I know I often think about while writing or reading reviews. So, here we go, Emily take it away -


What Do You Look For in A Good Review?

Reading reviews is kind of like going on a date- with the book, the author, and with the person writing. This is especially true of reviews of books that I personally haven’t read; a review, regardless of whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, definitely affects my perspective of a book and whether or not I’ll feel the need to read it.

I have to say, reviews are easily my favorite things that book bloggers write. All the other content is all well and good and special and all that, but reviews are really what determine if I’ll end up being a follower of a blog or not. With that said, there are things in reviews that really suck me in and keep me there:

The reviewer takes a stand. Honestly, I don’t care if you loved a book or found it dull as a beige room. Express yourself! This is usually the place where a lot of people add the caveat of “without being mean,” but I’m going to head out on a limb here and say that personally when I’m reading reviews, I value honesty above all else. There are books out that there that absolutely rub us the wrong way; my dearly beloved has found books that drove me to insanity thrown all over the place, the sad tatters of a book-tantrum. Sharing the feelings that you had while reading a book you did not enjoy, even if they were bad, will not turn me off. I can handle your intensity! Lord knows, I have enough of my own.

The reviewer makes me want to read the book without giving stuff away. Or, if stuff is given away, you warn me about that. Spoilers are sad!

I can tell a real person wrote the review. Book bloggers are a force to be reckoned with, both in terms of publicity, whether it be positive or negative, and in facilitating conversations about characters, books, and their meanings. The need to be articulate is absolutely there, but my absolute favorite reviews have a distinct voice to their writing that shines in every review; a sense of humor, well-organized arguments for and against a book. Let your personality shine through! For my own reviews, I tend to make my major points with YouTube videos. Write/include what you want to include!

The reviewer isn’t afraid to have expertise. My favorite reviews are ones that make me think, that challenge my perceptions of a book or idea, that entertain me, that frustrate me, that engage me. Book bloggers are a passionate bunch- we love talking about books! When that love of books shows through in a review, it grabs me by the nose and makes me pay attention.

Ultimately, every blogger is different, every review style is different, and while there are certainly styles out there that don’t inspire me to run out and grab the book in question right this minute, there are many that do. Ultimately, if your review is honest, your point is well expressed, and your personality is infused in the writing, you have my full and undivided attention. Scout’s honor.

More info about Emily and where she can be found:

Blog address: What Book Is That? I've been reviewing since August 2009
Twitter username: @heynocupcake
Goodreads username: whatbookisthat

Currently reading:

Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh

Must reads: (links back to her reviews for each book)


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Emily read's and review's a lot of paranormal romance and urban fantasy but is game for just about anything. She's also an HBIC reviewer for Blog with Bite, where they party all the time, have some sweet features and giveaways, and review adult/YA PNR AND urban fantasy titles too.

Thanks so much Emily for being the first person to Guest Post here! It's been great! I had a lot of fun and I think you covered this topic perfectly! I couldn't have said it any better myself. So, what do you all think about what Emily has to say about this topic and what she looks for in good reviews? What do you guys look for? Comment, comment, comment!

If anyone else would like to guest post here sometime in the future, please email or comment and let me know. Thanks!

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2 comments:

  1. So for real Emily- have you considered being an author. You can write about anything and make it great...:D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww Tina, you are too nice! Thanks! :D

    ReplyDelete

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Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

I enjoy reading and reviewing a variety of different books within the Young Adult, "New Adult" & Adult genres/categories. If you have any questions or if you are an author or publisher and would be interested in promoting a book, please feel free email. You can find my email under the "mail" button or under the contact link at the top of the page.

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When I review I rate from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the highest rating. I review based on many different things from the writing, to the story - to the characters and how I can relate to them or how they are developed. I also review based on if an author has worked their magic and was able to draw me into a story so deeply that I don't want to put the book down. If you would like me to review a book, please contact me or view my Contact Information and Review Policy for further details.

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