Thursday, July 22, 2010

A New Challenge

I've decided to tackle a new challenge - something I've been thinking about doing for many months but haven't had the gumption to try. I'm going to...drumroll please...write a book review!

Yesterday the wonderful Aubrie at Flutey Words sent me the pdf of her new Ebook (just released on July 19): Messenger in the Mist. When Aubrie asked for reviewers, I couldn't wait to volunteer. Messenger in the Mist is a Fantasy Romance. My two favorite things! I can't wait to read it and yes, when I'm done I promised to review it. Eek!

I also won an ARC of Hero by Mike Lupica from Michelle Hodkin's blog a while back. This was about the time I was starting to read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and once I got started on those, I couldn't even fathom reading anything else. But after I finish Messenger in the Mist and review it, I'm looking forward to reading Hero and reviewing it as well.

Writing a book review seems very foreign to me, though I've read plenty of them on other blogs and always enjoy them. Have you ever written a book review? Do you have any advice on writing one? What do you like or not like to see in a book review?

37 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've written a few, and will do so again in the fall.

My advice is keep it short, and include the blurb. I also don't think you have to analyze it to death. It isn't a book report. Just figure out what you've enjoyed from other reviews and go from there.

Can't wait to read your reviews, Susan. :D

Jen said...

Yay for wonderful book reviews!!! Good Luck, Aubrie is a brilliant writer so I'm sure the ebook is fabulous!!!

Aubrie said...

Thanks so much for offering to review it!!!

Old Kitty said...

I find book reviews really difficult to do. I'm the "oooh I love this book - couldn't put it down" - or the opposite of this type of reviewer so not much good to anyone else really! LOL!

But I do enjoy reading others' reviews that puts mine to shame!

I so look forward to reading yours!

Take care
x

Patti Lacy said...

Here's the rub: I LOVE honest book reviews.
But I can't STAND authors who become book reviewers and bash other writers.

Sigh. So I find sites where people kinda specialize in reviews.
As for me? I only write reviews of books I love, then pull out all the stops.

Hope it all works out for you!!!
Blessings,
Patti

Olivia J. Herrell said...

I haven't tried my hand at book reviews yet, so I'll be back to read yours to see how it's done. Way to go, you!

~that rebel, Olivia

Susan Fields said...

Stina - Thanks for the advice - I really appreciate it!

Jen - I've already started it, so I can tell you that it is! I'm really enjoying it so far.

Aubrie - Thanks so much for letting me! I'm really loving it!

Jayne said...

Hi Susan! I have written a few book reviews on my blog - I title them all 'book worm' so you can either search by that term or look for the titles in the archive. I think when writing reviews remember that other folk may not have read it, and you are writing for them - so no spoilers. You are writing to give a flavour of the book - in a way you can expand more than a blurb, but it is not a synopsis. I hope that helps! Look forward to reading it, especially as it is Aubrie's - yeay!

Susan Fields said...

Old Kitty - I have no idea how I'll do at this book reviewing thing, but I'm loving the book so far, so that's a good start!

Patti - I know what you mean, I would never bash another author. I read some of Aubrie's book last night, before I posted this, and I know I won't have to bash it because it's really good. :)

Olivia - Thanks! I'll have to study some other blogger's book reviews and go from there. Wish me luck! :)

Susan Fields said...

Jayne - Thanks so much! I'll definitely look up your reviews to get a feel for how it's done. And I'll be careful about the spoiler thing - I know when I talk about Hunger Games on my blog or in other people's comments, it's always hard for me not to give too much away.

Crimey said...

Susan,
I've written a few book reviews and I always start with a summary of the book without giving away the ending (of course) and I tend to like reviews that highlight what works really well in the book such as the writing, the story, the characters, the setting, etc. Instead of focusing on something I didn't like about a book, I would reflect it in a starred or number system. Happy reviewing!

Susan Fields said...

Crimey - That's great advice, thank you!

Stephanie Cheryl said...

I've never written one so won't be much help in that area, but good luck to you! That's so exciting! :-)

Joanne said...

I haven't written any reviews, but I always appreciate a reviewer's honesty in one. I enjoy when they change things up a little, maybe in the form of a q&a, or throw in a rating system?

Susan Fields said...

Stephanie - Thanks! I do think it will be exciting, I haven't tried anything new in a while.

Joanne - Great suggestions! Good to get the creative juices flowing.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I've read some good ones on the Thursday thing that lots of people are involved in. I like reviews to not be spoilers...I like hearing how the reviewer felt as they read the book more than the details about the plot. Perhaps they loved a specific character and they tell why....

Good luck on the new book!

Brian said...

Yep, write is as though you were telling your best friend about it...don't write it as if you want someone to read it! Thanks for visiting my blog, I really enjoy having new friends!!!

Lenny said...

sounds like doing a review could be sorta hard. you got lots of helpers here so maybe theyll make it lots easier for you.
...smiles from lenny

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I've written a couple of reviews. I think you have to write what you think, and be honest. I know you'll do fab. :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Three cheers for a venture into book reviews! You're going to do great! Congrats on winning Hero!

Lydia Kang said...

Sorry, I've got experience! I've never done a book review and I don't know if I'll start. I guess I can tell you what I do like to read in a book review--no major spoilers, not too long, and a quickie blurb from the jacket.

Susan Fields said...

Sharon - Thanks, those are some great suggestions!

Brian - I enjoyed my visit to your blog and I'm looking forward to many happy returns! I hope you got your spot back from Sascha! :)

Lenny - That's one thing I love about blogging: if you need help, just ask! People are so willing to help each other out.

Susan Fields said...

Lindsay - Thanks for the great advice and the encouragement!

Carolina - I read your Nightshade book review today, what an awesome example for me to learn from!

Lydia - Thank you! It's just as helpful to know what readers like to read in a review as it is to know how other writers write them.

Julie Musil said...

What fun! No, I've never written an official book review. I've only done the "Ooooh, loved this book" sort of thing. I'm anxious to hear what you think of it!

Myrna Foster said...

I like to add something that hasn't been said before (I actually googled reviews of the last one I wrote), but I hate spoilers. You've already gotten tons of great advice, so just have fun with it. :o)

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Theresa Milstein said...

I haven't written a book review. I'm afraid to tackle it for some reason.

Aubrie is a talented writer. I just ordered her first ebook, and I plan to order this one soon.

Susan Fields said...

Julie - Yes, that's about all I've done to this point, as well. I'll try to be a little more specific with the full review. :)

Myrna - Sometimes it's so hard because you just want to talk about it! But I know you're right, nobody wants to read spoilers.

Reberto - Sorry, short stories are really hard for me. Good luck with your contest!

Theresa - I've been afraid to tackle it, too. I guess I figure by committing myself and then writing this post, I'll have to follow through. Wish me luck! :)

Elaine AM Smith said...

Writing a book review is such a weighty thing. I'm looking forward to reading yours.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Oh, the book reviews. Personally, I'm not a fan of writing them. I always feel this pressure for the need for it to be perfect. But I love reading them! Good luck!! :)

Julie Dao said...

Good luck on writing your book review! :) I've read a lot of books lately too. I'm excited to see what has been on your bookshelf recently and what you thought of it!

Susan Fields said...

Elaine - I know! Hopefully all this good advice I'm getting will make it easier.

Kimberly - It will definitely be an adventure! :) I love reading them, too, so hopefully I'll be able to do her book justice.

Susan Fields said...

Julie - I also love hearing what other people are reading! I've been thinking for a while I'd like to put my recently read books on my sidebar, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Shelley Sly said...

I enjoy writing book reviews. I also enjoy reading reviews -- both for books I've read and haven't read -- so that's probably why I like writing reviews. I'm also reading Aubrie's book and love what I've read so far. :)

Susan Fields said...

Shelley - I know, isn't Aubrie's book good? She's got such a way with language!

Talli Roland said...

Yay! I can't wait to dive into Aubrie's book.

I like it when book reviewers talk less about specific points of the book and more about their overall response, and when they make it personal to them.

Can't wait to read your thoughts!

Dawn Simon said...

While I talk about books at my blog that I honestly enjoy, I haven't written a real book review. I look forward to reading yours.

Congrats on winning the ARC for HERO! Have a great week, Susan! :)