One big hot topic issue in book blogging is reviews. Does anyone actually read them? Why do they get fewer views and comments than other posts? Do we even need to write them? I personally feel that writing book reviews is a big part of book blogging, but I can admit I don't read every blogger's review of every book, and sometimes writing them can be a chore. I still write and read many traditional book reviews, but sometimes I want to switch it up, so today I've come up with some ways to make book reviews more appealing to read and more fun to write!
I'll be honest, sometimes I just don't have the patience to read (or write) a review that's several paragraphs long. But lists - those are easy to read! Whether it's pros and cons, things you liked or didn't like, or bullet points, list reviews get right to the point. I did this this in my five reasons you'll love "Something Like Happy" review, and other bloggers who are awesome at list reviews are Sam at We Live and Breathe Books and Marie at Drizzle and Hurricane Books.
This is a tactic I've started to use more and more. Sometimes you just don't have a ton to say about a book, but you still want to review it. It's a good way to get in the highlights, plus you can review more books. My sister, who is a reader but not a blogger, says she often prefers reading mini-reviews to longer reviews because she can get impressions of more books in less time. Grace at Rebel Mommy Book Blog is just one blogger who does a great job of incorporating mini-reviews.
What were you thinking?
Instead of getting into all the particulars of plot, character development, and writing style, tell the reader your impressions of the book as you were reading it. Using your Goodreads updates or tweets, list your WTF moments, places where the story was dragging, or when you wanted to give a character a hug - without giving away too many spoilers, if possible! I think this makes the review a lot more personal.
Write a love letter
I often find when I dislike a book, it's easy to write the review and rant about the things that didn't work or I didn't like, but for some reason, when I love a book, it's hard to articulate why. Writing a love letter to the book, the author, or even a character may help you get some of those fangirl feelings out without the formal structure of a regular review.
Things you learned
I've been reading a lot more nonfiction this year, but sometimes I find it hard to review those types of books. Listing some interesting facts you learned or lessons you took away from the book is a fun way to talk about the book and get readers interested. I did this with five takeaways from "The Year of Less," which was a memoir/self-help book about spending less money, among other things.
What are some ways you get creative with your book reviews? What makes you read a book review?