So what is a novel review? Well, in a few words, you evaluate a novel. You read it, you form an opinion and you write it down. Hopefully, in a nice, a little funny, way so other people can learn if they’d like to read the book, too!
I’m sure you have already read a review either you know it or not. These long opinions you read on Goodreads or Amazon? Reviews! Well, mostly. Sometimes, it’s just people ranting!
So, grab a notebook and a pen and let’s see some tips for a great novel review and what it should include!
Read The Book
That’s probably the most important part of the review. A lot of reviewers don’t even read the book. They read a summary of it and either get their opinion out of this or they read other people’s reviews and they write a summary of these.
Both are wrong! Why would someone read your review and not someone else’s? You have to have your own unique way of telling things!
And, in any case, no one will have the exact same opinion that you’d have if you read the book. And how will you reply to readers’ questions when they’ll ask about something in the book? It’s pretty easy to find out about some facts but not about feelings through a scene in the book or some little hint that makes your day when you find out what it means!
You can write anything you want!
Well, don’t write about the weather! 😆 But besides that, it’s your review! You can write what you want when you want how you want it.
Do you want it to be a long story? Q & A? Any way you can imagine, you can do it this way! As long as you like it, readers will smell your enthusiasm and love your reviews.
*Yes, apparently you can smell enthusiasm! 🙄
Keep the major surprises hidden.
Look, I love spoilers as much as anyone else. I want to know but I don’t really want to know 😛 But don’t tell me that Darth Vader is Luke’s father. Oops!
Hopefully, everyone who reads this has seen Star Wars or at least knows the story. If you haven’t and you intend to, I’m SO sorry. I was in a dilemma whether to delete the last paragraph but I thought, let’s roll with it. After all, I knew the truth before watching Star Wars, so… Well, there’s really no excuse. I’m just sorry, guys!
And THAT is my point! Right now, I really feel guilty about potentially destroying someone’s experience of the movie! Some people don’t like spoilers, some they do. And it’s not even that difficult. Just include a SPOILERS ALERT before the spoiler.
Possible Questions to Answer
1. Do you like the novel?
That’s up to you if you’ll include this one. Some people prefer to be more objective and say if it was a good book, some others – I, for example – prefer to say if I like it.
In any case, you could have a grading scale. But take care! You have to be careful about consistency. Through time, you could be a strict or lenient judge depending on your mood. You should stay the same on grading so the grading of your reviews should be reliable.
2. Why do you like it? or Why don’t you like it?
This is YOUR opinion. Don’t read the critics’ opinion or ask a friend’s one. Of course, you can do both but then ask yourself what you believe.
And write your own review. Maybe that is not the public opinion about the book, but if you liked it, then somebody else will like it too. The same goes for not liking it. You don’t write about if the book is good enough, you’re writing if YOU liked it or not!
3. Who is your favourite character and why?
Probably one of my favourite things to write! Not always so easy to find only one, so a lot of times I choose more than one! But remember? It’s your review, so you can do what you want with it! 😉 Same goes for me. 😆
4. What is your favourite scene?
Oh, that’s a good one. Writing this without having to include spoilers? Something only geniuses can do! 😎
Ha, ha! Just kidding. But, you do have to be careful with this a little bit. Be honest and if your favourite scene has a lot of spoilers in it, either describe it in general or -my own favourite- describe it with hidden meanings that only the ones who have read it know what you’re talking about. (I love when I get some hidden meaning that shows I’m a hardcore fan of something! 😀 )
5. What is your favourite quote?
Quotes are easy to remember and when they are catchy, we tend to remember them for a longer time. Maybe it’s a quote from what a character said or it was written somewhere and someone read it during a scene. Maybe just a thought of your favourite character. If it stuck in your mind and you like what its meaning, share it with others! They’ll probably like it, too!
Let’s check this out. Here are some quotes about books! Don’t you love them, too?
6. How did the book affect you and why?
Did it make you feel happy? Sad? Hopeful for the future? Disappointed? Don’t reveal too much about the facts but you could reveal some of your feelings about the book without being a spoilsport.
After all, feelings are what it stays with us when the memories become to fade… 😉
I’m very adamant about that! Be honest about your reviews. Don’t be rude but say the truth. Your opinion is this: YOUR opinion.
If you like the book, you like it. If you don’t, you don’t. Don’t let yourself get affected by the popular opinion about the book. Read the novel and say what you believe about it.
People will appreciate you telling the truth no matter what it is. At least if you say it nicely. Don’t forget that someone spent a lot of time trying to read this book. Respect this.
These are some basic tips to write a good novel review. I’ll have a part two to tell you the rest of it. 😀
If you worry about not knowing yet how to start, don’t! All of us started at zero once. Just start writing and things will get easier along the way!