Writing reviews and literary critique intimidates most people, thinking that you have to be an expert for your opinion to matter. That impression is wrong. You do not need Essay examiner experience.
If you spend money to purchase the book and read it, you are entitled to present your opinion on that subject. You have experienced that media, just as much as a professional critic.
Pro reviewers tend to over-analyze aspects of the book and lose touch with a more typical experience.
That being said, let’s take a look at some review writing tips:
Pick the review type and stay in your lane.
Before you start writing, you must decide what type of review you wish to construct. Overall, there are two significant types of review: critical and descriptive.
You are most likely familiar with a critical review type, the kind you used to write in high-school or college. This is the most detail-oriented sort by far, and you do need to pose knowledge regarding literary standards. Formality is the standard, and you will be expected to adhere to specific criteria.
Heavy readers are the only people interested in a professional literary critique. Only they will bother to invest time in your review.
The second type, and by far the most popular, is the descriptive review. Here, you can shed the stuck-up terminology and just relax. Feel free to describe the book itself and your experience reading it.
Most people crave someone who shares their interests and appreciates the same books and media. Many will gladly read your review and leave comments or further questions. Book clubs have to the online sphere.
Do not bluff, and include a personal touch.
We all went through that moment in school, where you had to do a book report, but you didn’t read the book. What followed is you trying to bluff your way out of a bad grade based on partial or non-existent knowledge.
Do not repeat the same mistake now, especially on the Internet. Regardless of the franchise, there will be some die-hard fans that know the book line-by-line. They will spot even the slightest inconsistency or omission. Reading the entire book attentively is not negotiable and is the first and most important step. Do not be intimidated by your lack of experience. The web is full of guides.
Once you start writing, make sure that your taste and your personality shine through. Most of a review’s charm comes from the reviewer him/herself. Be sure to include details such as your favorite moments and your preferred characters.
To some extent, each of us sees something different in art. Seeing the same work through another person’s eyes is the most beautiful part of a review.
It should also be mentioned that you should start strong. Your first paragraph should present a vague idea of what the book is about without spoiling a single plot point. Keep it vague yet interesting.
Just because you will be using a descriptive review style, that does not mean that you can’t include literary elements of context or literary analysis. For example, if reviewing a Dostoevsky novel, you can spare a few lines to mention his background as an exiled dissident. His circumstance resulted in his best works, so it is worth including.
Criticize, don’t attack
A book reviewer would do well to remember that his/her impressions are not objective truths. The nuances of the human heart are unique to each individual, and every person sees art differently.
While it is a good thing to express your opinion, you must not attack those with different tastes and methods.
Many reviewers write as if the art that they are reviewing has personally offended them. Don’t get over-emotional and petty. I dislike going through a review that reads like an emotional rant rather than a serious consideration.
Of course, do not hesitate to mention mistakes, yet do it in a more detached and honest manner.
Also, book reviews should always be written with the reader in mind. Who will read your review matters a lot. Will you present it to your teachers in an academic context? Or do you have a personal blog with casual readers?
A dispassionate, formal analysis will do great for college, yet it will land flat when presented to an Internet follower. Simultaneously, witty pop culture references will not get you the best grades on your mid-term paper.
Get the point, if there is one.
When it comes to meaning, people go to extremes. Either they read the literal meaning of the work and refuse to recognize any implied message, or they over-analyze it into dust.
The truth lies almost always in the middle. Aside from tech manuals, most literary works use symbolism and various stylistic means to represent something more profound and eternal about humanity itself.
Very few works lack any implicit message or symbol.
The other extreme is represented by the type of person who could see a bare white wall with a smudge and write ten books on that subject. There is such a thing as reading too much into a story. You will start to see patterns and meanings that do not exist, and the author never intended.
Do not tie your ego into “ getting it” and understanding some arcane meaning. Most books are made for mass consumption.
As you near the end of the review, wrap everything in a neat bow. Here is where you can give your most extensive opinion, explaining the book in its entire context. You won’t have to worry about spoilers at the end part.
Give the book a final score, and also mention to whom you would recommend it.
Any person can write a book review, and they should. A useful review is characterized by an honest opinion, presented in a way that considers the audience.
You, as a reader and a reviewer, are essential. Make sure your opinions and tastes shine through while still keeping a reasonable degree of objective detachment.