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I remember when I was a newbie reviewer and had no clue how to start my review, or how to respectfully state that I hated it. And now I want to help you, my little minions. Here are a few tips for struggling writers. I wish I can go back in time to tell myself this–my past reviews were crazy embarrassing.
 Please do not look for them on Goodreads.
1. Criticize the book, not the author. This is a pretty common tip reviewers will give you. You can hate on a book all you want, but please keep in mind that the author spent months, possibly years writing these books, so take note of anything you say that might offend the author personally.
For example, you can say, “The writing wasn’t my cup of tea,” but don’t say, “The author seemed like he/she was trying too hard to sound cool.” See the difference? With statement one, you just said that the writing wasn’t your thing, but in statement two, you were bashing what the author felt was brilliant.
2. Find a review style that works for you. Maybe the reason why you’re feeling iffy about reviews is because you have trouble writing a ‘professional’-sounding review. That’s okay! You can play it up a bit and try something else. Maybe you’re more comfortable writing a GIF review, or a likes vs. dislikes review, or a list review.
Once you find a style that’s good for you, you’ll find that your reviews will come out more naturally.
3. Touch up on all important points. (But be wary of spoilers!) Readers (or at least me) are always looking for thorough reviews, so that they’ll know which aspects to be excited for, and which to be wary of. Make sure to at least have a sentence or two about the (1) plot, (2) characters, (3) writing, and optionally, (4) pacing, (5) relationships, and anything else you feel is worth mentioning. But if you can’t explain without spoiling, remember to mark your spoilers!
4. Explain yourself. Don’t just say, “The characters were good.” Tell us WHY the characters were fabulous–were they sassy and fun? Were they respectful and loving? Give us details! We want to know all the crazy (and not-so-crazy) thoughts you had about the book.
5. Double check your facts. It would totally be embarrassing if you, say, misspelled a character’s name, or forgot if they belonged to which group of people and added it to your review. To avoid looking like you didn’t actually read the book, DOUBLE CHECK. Open up the Goodreads page on a new tab, check all the spellings, details, quotes, etc. Trust me, you’ll look intelligent if you get all your facts right.
Did you find these tips helpful or not? Any tips of your own? //Part two to come!
Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.