What’s in a review?
A review is a piece of writing that provides a focused description and evaluation of the book. It is more subjective than analytical, and is usually written in first person.
The tone or quality of writing should be as if you’re talking to your friend about the general feeling of the book and what it’s about.
The fist paragraph usually contains a sneak preview of the overall book from the readers perspective. Some readers could include unique character points or plot points that caught their attention. If you can’t come up with something, a safe place to find inspiration is to elaborate on the (back or inside) cover content. However, don’t give away the key components that make the plot turn. These are spoilers. They are exciting and everyone loves to be the one who delivers the news to a exuberant listener, but your reveal might get your review removed or censored.
The purpose of the readers overview is only intended to create addition, unique interest.
The second paragraph tells the good and the bad or strengths and weaknesses. Some might include the quality of writing, pace of the read, how descriptions were handled in line, or the overall emotional draw from parts in the book. Using specific examples within the text isn’t necessary for credibility. Others know that you’ve read the book simply by the review itself. The question here is: What would your friend want to know about this book before they buy it?
The third paragraph is the verdict of the reviewer. It’s the summarizing statement about the subject and an overall recommendation. This is where you state the books worth. Was it worth the price? Was it worth the time in reading to the end? Why? What type of friend would you recommend to read this book?
Sometimes reviews include all three paragraphs. Others use two, or even one, to communicate the details of the read.
After you review, tell someone you’ve done it. Have them go read it. Then smile and put that extra step in your day because you paid it forward to the new readers interested in the book and the author needing more visibility.