How to Write a Book Review

Leila Roy over at the great bookshelves of doom tweeted a question yesterday, asking her followers what it is they were looking for in book reviews.  The answers are a mini-class in exactly what you should and should not put in your online reviews so I’m putting the list I scratched out here for future reference for myself.  She is so smart and wonderful that she has a smart and wonderful following who know exactly what they want and had great tips on what to keep in mind when writing online kid lit book reviews for them.  When it comes to read-alikes and pairings, though, they were just as clear that not every book needs to be compared to the IT book of the moment. Think of some older stuff too.

No more than half plot summary

Mention diversity if applicable (socio-economic, race, culture of characters, settings, whatever)

Be honest

What makes this book stand out?

Who will it appeal to?

How will I bookralk it?

Readalike clues – what it reminds me of

Be clear about personal bias vs. book flaws

Who WILL like the book? (Because someone will)

Summary, not spoilers.

Narrative voice, style, pacing, worldbuilding

Noticeable plot holes

If a book could go either way age-or-reader-wise, say what might push it in one direction or other

End with who it appeals to and pairings


Ms. Roy has put up an amazing post in which she works through most of the responses to her question here.