We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions.
A MAGICAL WORLD OF WORDS - AmyNikita
BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett
BOOKS.BAGS.BURGERS - Uma K
Should reviews have spoiler alerts? Or be spoiler free?
For the most part I think reviews should be as spoiler free as possible however I do understand that there are times when there just HAS to be a spoiler as we can’t help talking about something! In this case I personally prefer the spoiler to be hidden when possible and definitely tagged!
If the spoiler would totally ruin the book if someone accidentally saw it I would say just don’t include it.
I mostly write spoiler free reviews but I think it’s totally fine to have the occasional spoiler BUT please do give readers a spoiler alert! No one likes being spoiled for a book they’re yet to read. Sometimes I NEED to talk about something in a book because it was so freaking awesome/ horrible/ appalling. At times like those I use this - *SPOILERS AHEAD* to warn my readers. IF i’m adding a spoiler, I make sure to add it at the end of the ‘Plot’ section in my reviews with proper spoiler alerts.
Do the endings of books affect your rating or overall opinion?
In short - YES! Definitely.
If something happens at the end of a book that I really can’t stomach then I do try to step away and rate the book overall - however often this will still bring the book down a half star or more. The same way that a good ending can possibly increase the stars I rate a book.
Because I don’t give a ‘technical rating’ but rather rate on a gut feel and the overall enjoyment of a book, a bad ending has a really negative impact on my rating and I can recall a couple of times when I’ve really had to NOT rate a book immediately but rather try to step back to digest it a little more and see how the flavour matures in my brain. ;)
I do have to clarify though that if the plot is headed in a direction I didn’t think it would or if characters I shipped don’t work out - THIS doesn’t normally change my rating. But bad endings are bad endings!
That depends! If the ride was wonderful, a little jerky end isn’t too bad and I don’t think it would affect my ratings but I ABSOLUTELY HATE it when there is no closure to mysteries. Like I’ve read a couple of books where the author builds up this huge suspense but never gives the answers! Sometimes it’s worse when the author does provide an answer but a really unrealistic ones.
I never lower my ratings because of cliffhangers in series. It’s a series! Authors have cliffhangers so we’ll pick up the next book. BUT I don’t like it when authors force in a cliffhanger. That might affect my rating as forcing in an event in a rough manner translates into bad plotting. Also if there is this super huge series with so much going on and even at the end of the series there are no explanations. ANNOYING AND DISAPPOINTING.
But even in the cases where I do lower my ratings due to the ending it’s not much. At the most I might lower it on star/heart; not more than that! But I certainly do mention my disappointment in the review.
How long should a review be?
I’m really starting to see that I’m more of a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ blogger and reviewer. I’m not very formulaic with ANYTHING! I don’t have a set system of ratings, nor do I have a set layout for my reviews! This means that a review might be anywhere from a couple of paragraphs long up to - well, whenever I decide I should really be more concise because it’s getting ridiculous!
Unless I’m really interested in a book and or really want to see what other people have said about it (confession time!!!) I kind of scan the review to look for the important parts. Just to clarify - if I come to your blog and comment on a review - I’ve read the whole thing, but when I’m browsing on Goodreads to check out books I want to add to my TBR or something I”m not going to sit and read hundreds of pages of reviews!
TRICKY TRICKY QUESTION! I don’t think there’s a specific length? But I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to read a review that goes on and on like Jack’s beanstalk! BUT that doesn’t mean I’ll be satisfied with a two line review either. I think the trick is to find the perfect line in between (I know that’s not helpful!)
I have a particular format for writing reviews that works well for me and keeps my reviews a somewhat similar length. I split my review up into 6 parts - CHARACTERS, PLOT, WRITING, WHAT I LIKED, WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE, CONCLUSION. The last three are there to give readers a quick overview of important points and my overall feelings towards the book. I know people might be busy and they just want to know how I liked the book and these three totally help!
If you'd like to read my answers, hop over to their collab posts! :
We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 8 in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!