Question: What Do You Look For In A Review?

Posted September 5, 2012 by Carmel in / 7 Comments

Julie's Question - Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks
by Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks

Carmel: Personally, I prefer when all of the pertinent information about the book is included in the review i.e the title, author, series, format, number of pages, genre, ISBN #, book cover, synopsis, buy links and publication date. This way I have all of the necessary details to figure out whether the novel appeals to me and I can find it easily should I wish to check it out for myself. I really like it when reviewers include a rating as well. It gives me a general idea of what they thought of the book and will often help me decide whether I should read the review in full or just skim. If the rating doesn’t match the GoodReads average then my curiosity gets the better of me and I want to find out why that particular reviewer is going against the norm.

I dislike reviews that include a summary of the book. It comes off as too book report-ish to me, and that information is also already included in the synopsis. I don’t read reviews to find out what a book is about but rather to find out that reviewer’s specific thoughts on it. I realize that it’s next to impossible to not include a bit of summary (I do this myself) but only when it’s helpful to back-up the point that you’re trying to make. I’m also not a fan of too many direct quotes from the book. Two or three are okay but any more than that and it becomes an excerpt not a review.

I enjoy reading reviews that are injected with the reviewer’s personality. It helps to better understand their opinion and makes for a more engaging read. I think that it’s important to have a nice balance of facts and opinions. And, of course, good spelling and grammar are important too. I understand the need for the occasional fan girl squeal but these sound effects shouldn’t comprise the bulk of a review. Finally, no author bashing. It’s petty and just plain unnecessary.

Oh, and spoilers. I hate spoilers. Ok, I think I’m done now. LOL

Josh: Usually I look to see if it’s a book I’m already interested in reading. I rarely read reviews for books that are not in my sights. Since you have left it open what kind of things are being reviewed, I would have to say, based on my roommate’s biased opinion, that Roger Ebert’s reviews are those that all others should be measured by. If there is ever any doubt if I should go see a movie Roger Ebert is my guy. The only times that he has been blatantly wrong are when he dealt with such cult classics as: Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie and Limits of Control.

Now what beyond Roger Ebert’s name makes his reviews so great? I could not say. They read lightly, frequently humorous even when I don’t agree with him as seen above. They have a measure of authority. That might be the best thing about them. I like to read people who are in the know so my roommate can sometimes be just as good if not better than Roger Ebert.

Sue: My main thing with reviews, is how did the reviewer feel when reading the book. I need a run down of why the characters, plot, dialogue etc., were amazing or not. Then I ask myself, are those things that I would like too? By consistently reading certain reviewers I get a feel for what they like. I stick with the one’s most similar in taste to me. I do not like summary’s or spoilers.

What about you?

What Do You Look For In A Review?


About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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7 responses to “Question: What Do You Look For In A Review?

  1. I agree with you all. I don’t like a summary of the book, because I can see that in the synopsis. And I hate when there are a ton of quotes because If I am going to read the book I’d rather read it in the book. Oh and ones that are crazy long. I am just not that patient. Anyways I could add a lot but then I might as well of done my own post for

  2. I don’t mind summaries, but I want to know what they didn’t like as well. Even with my own books. I think knowing the good along with the bad makes for a more even review.

  3. @Carmel @ Rabid Reads
    yours are not too long at all. And do you actually count your words? lol I am talking about some that just never end. I mean I know my reviews aren’t special just a few paragraphs of rambling that I am always surprised people read. But I do have preferences for what I read. lol

  4. @Amber I @ Awesomesauce *phew* I write my reviews in Word because the spellcheck is better than blogger and I always peak at my word count. 500’s like my go-to mark. LOL Yeah, I know what you mean about long ass reviews that go on forever. You might as well just go ahead and read the book instead of spending 20 minutes reading a review.

  5. Unless the review is for a book that I am on the fence about, I won’t read really long ones.

    Not having a rating system is a turn-off for me. It’s is usually the first thing I look for when I read a review. I also like simple rating systems. Some blogs get a little carried away by giving a book 3 flowers, 4 flames, and 2 boxes of chocolates šŸ˜‰