opinion · Reviews

What do you look for in a Review?


What do you look for in a review?

Whether you’re writing or reading one, there are certain things you always look for. What are those? What do you think are the most important elements you think the reviewer should include? What would you like see more? Less? What is the role of a review? How important is it?
I like to keep it simple.  I always put the blurb first so I don’t have to recap the plot.  I DO NOT HAVE SPOILERS in my reviews.  Never have and never will.  I can’t stand it when reviewers do that.  If you completely spoil the book, what is the motivation for the reader to go out and buy the book.  It hurts the author, too when it comes to sales.  Think about it?  I have pre-ordered books, made the mistake of reading a review of that book and it was ruined for me.  To this day, I have books on my Nook that I have never read because of spoilers in reviews.  Plus, I have unsubscribed to those particular review sites. 
I like to keep my reviews to about 250-500 words per review.  It really depends on the length of the story.  I like to read about the heroine/hero and what the reviewer likes about them.  Also, what they like about the couple together.  If there are secondary characters, where they significant to the story or just filler?  Also, did the reviewer like the writer’s style of writing.  Did it have good flow?  Did you feel like you were there in the scene?  Did they use imagery well or did you feel apart from the scene?  I was trained by the best and I still use the basic templates on this blog.  I know…I probably should change.  Wait, nope not going to change.  People actually like my reviews.
I will admit that I don’t like when two reviewers from a review site review the same book.  I like the different opinions but I would like to see the reviews separate not in a running commentary.  For this reader, it’s too distracting. 
Overall, I think reviews can be good.  Admittedly, I don’t rely on Goodreads and Amazon that much anymore.  Lately, there as been flaming and just basic stupidity with the reviews that are being posted.  Just my opinion though.
So what are your thoughts?  Comments?  What do you like to see in a review?

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9 thoughts on “What do you look for in a Review?

  1. Good post! Although I tend to write longer reviews, I agree that short, concise reviews are really nice. Being spoiler-free (unless the reader has been clearly warned about spoilers) is very important.

  2. We're definitely on the same wavelength here! I don't like epic reviews. I just need to know how it impacted on the reviewer and if there's anything amazingly good or bad. I don't need a blow by blow account of every movement! And I'm totally with you on the no spoiler policy! I'd rather my review be a little vague than risk giving something key away.

  3. In a review I'm mostly looking for a commentary on the authors writing style, character development and plot flow. That's pretty much it.

  4. Totally agree, though I'm one of those more long-winded sort of reviewers, lol. But I do hardcore, bigger reviews, and shorter versions that address strictly each of the 5 areas I generally talk about. Though one title gets only type of the two…maybe I should do them both, like the short version first and the longer second, lol. You've given me something to think about.

    Loved to read your thoughts.

  5. I agree with everything you said. I like the shorter review too and hate spoilers. It seems there are some reviewers on GR lately who enjoy bashing. Personally, I don't understand it. As an author, I think it is important not to ever, ever comment on a bad review. Just gotta let those go…
    Thanks for the great post.

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