4 Ways to Structure Book Reviews

Hey everyone! Recently I saw Divine from Rea(D)ivine’s Twitter poll regarding different types of book reviews that people enjoy reading. Intrigued by the results of the poll, I reached out to make sure it’d be okay if I talked about it in this post. She kindly gave me permission (woohoo!) Check out her blog here!

Okay, so the poll and its results were:

FYI: For this post, I’m going to discuss “bullet reviews” as pros & cons.

From this poll, I gathered 4 main types of book reviews that I want to talk about, so shall we?

1. Bullet reviews/pros & cons.

This type of book review is often quick to both write and read and is structurally simple (usually composed of bullet points). I’d imagine that pros & cons-styled reviews probably have an advantage in their simplicity because it is easy to keep readers engaged in your thoughts and not feeling bored.

(C’mon, I know we’ve all skimmed a book review once upon a time because it was just too long.)

That’s okay! Everyone has their preference, and pros & cons may very well be yours!

2. Discussing overall themes.

These reviews are mutually great for bloggers who want to let other readers know the main ideas of the book, and for readers if you’re simply skimming a review to see if it’s something you’re interested in reading. It’s the ultimate “if you’re looking for x, y & z in a book, READ THIS” review! For readers, it’s easy to be intrigued by a clearly stated theme of “complicated family dynamic” if you KNOW you like complicated family dynamics in books!

As I’ve encountered them, these reviews tend to be longer and more thought-out than other types of reviews. Emily May on Goodreads isn’t one of the #1 reviewers on the site for nothing. She has that rank because she CONSISTENTLY reviews books in a very articulate and critical-thinking manner, typically going after the themes of the book first.

3. Mini reviews.

Mini reviews are cool because they feel low-stakes to write on the blogging end and are easily read on the reader end. Though some bloggers do mini reviews on their blog (or a compilation of mini reviews to give their posts more girth,) the best place to encounter bite-sized reviews is on Goodreads!

These types of reviews are great when have a lot to say, but it can also be condensed and wrapped up in a neat little bow. In this fashion, mini reviews are like a treat because you get enough information to determine your interest level, but most times are still curious by the end of them!

4. Likes & dislikes.

This type of book review is similar to bullet reviews, but is usually based more on the good and bad things that the reader experienced throughout the book. I also usually see these types of reviews being more character action-driven. For example:

A pro & con of a book might be that the book has a GREAT storyline in the end, but it dragged on so much in the beginning that you felt like DNF’ing it. Whereas a like & dislike of a book might be its AMAZING character relationships, but has a totally awful antagonist.

Of course, that isn’t the only way to write these types of reviews. I’ve done it a few times with my reviews of Five Feet Apart and The Shattered Moon where I discuss more than just characters. I tend to do these reviews when I have a lot to say, but seemingly no coherent way to say it. This review structure is great if you’re experiencing that!

Thanks again to Divine for letting me talk about her poll in this post. Even though it’s over, what type of book review would you have voted for? Go let her know!

Until Saturday friends!

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