Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

The Art of Writing a Review- And It Is an Art!

Any one can be a critic- But not every one can write a smart review!

For those of you like “Aspiring Book Reviewer” who feel the need to write reviews for books you read. There are several things one must be able to do in order to write a concise and intelligent review. One that doesn’t bash the author or their content simply because it appears to make the reviewer look “Important”. It doesn’t it only makes them look foolish and ignorant.
Lesson one– you are the reader not the author- Therefore you have no idea what the author was trying to convey in the book. You are not in the author’s head. You as the reader cannot “assume” what the author was or was not trying to convey. All you can do as the reader is relay what you took from the book. If you the reader got nothing from the book then you the reader read it with a closed mind and preconceived ideas of what the book was about. Wrong way to read a book. It retards your ability to get something out of the read.

Lesson Two– When you the reader opens a book- you the reader should understand that we do not live in a perfect world, in books written by humans, edited by human and produced by humans have errors. That is just the nature of the beast. Get over it. You the reader are human. If you truly are reading the book to take something from it for your gratification or experience then the rest is unimportant. I can’t tell you the books I have read that have errors. In fact I am reading one now by a very well known author and there are errors- So what!
It is not part of the review. Who cares. Move on. What I take away from my reading of that book is more important.

Lesson Three If you are going to review a book- DO NOT I repeat DO NOT bash the author. I book review should be what you the reader gleans from your experience in reading the work- not the authors writing, how they felt, what they felt or their point of view – Stop making the review personal. It isn’t personal. The author is entitled to their view just like you the reader are.

Lesson Four – There is always something good that can be learned from reading even a book that appears to be hard to read, or even boring. For instance, I am not into reading Stephen King, just not my thing. However, I did learn something by reading his work- I learned that less is sometimes more. However, I would never bash his work- I would never pretend to know what was in his head as he wrote. I would never assume that my opinion of his work is right or wrong- It is my opinion- And another person’s opinion is just as important. I would never ever bash him personally on a book review. I would never ever bash his work. That is his work and therefore it is important.

Lesson Five What ever you as the reader do – remember when you pick up a book to read it- That is something important to the author. They took the time, effort and their heart and soul to put words to paper. It is their craft- It is their dream and you the reader have no right to try and tear it apart. This could be caused by many reasons, but the one that comes to mind is the “aspiring book reviewer” has dreams they don’t know how to fulfill – Maybe they want to write and don’t know how. Or Maybe they were put down earlier in life and don’t have any positive in their life. Jealously comes to mind.

Lesson Six – Every book written has something in it that can be learned if the reader reads it with an open mind. Every book has a purpose – And every book is not for every reader. Case in point. A romance reader is not going to enjoy a murder mystery. A goth reader is not going to enjoy a love story. People who choose to write reviews should keep this in mind when they read books. If you are a romance reader and try to read a murder mystery or a true crime you will not enjoy it unless you open your mind to the difference of the work. Just because you don’t read that type of book don’t trash it on a review if it is not your thing. That is not a true review.

Lesson Seven No two writers write alike. That is the beauty of being human. Each writer has their own style and none of them are wrong. Even in true crime – Each true crime writer brings a different perspective to their work. So if you are a reader of true crime and Ann Rule is your favorite author and you read someone else’s work and it doesn’t read like hers don’t trash it because it is not “what you expected”. Please that is like drinking tea after drinking coke- there is no comparison.

In the end there is more to a book review besides just putting down words because you want to be an “aspiring book reviewer”. It is a craft just like writing. It take forethought, and planning not just bashing, and sentences that bring nothing to the table. If you didn’t get anything out of the book that was positive then you didn’t deserve to read it.

Hopefully this will help those of you who read for the right reasons and you can write informed reviews without being nasty, opinionated. Remember- the writer’s reason for writing may not be your reason for reading. The writer’s thread of purpose may not be your purpose-

Lastly think about how you would want to be treated if it were your work!

October 23, 2011 Posted by | writing workshops | , , , , | 8 Comments

This Review is even funnier than the last one- Especially when the author Calls themself “An Aspiring Book Reviewer” Really?

Okay here is another lesson in a person need for their fifteen minutes of fame. They apparently know more about writing and true crime than me. I would love to know where they got their education from.
And they apparently don’t like true crime- have no clue as to what writing true crime is all about and obviously doesn’t understand how it is written. They also have no clue as to why I wrote it the way I did. So once again for the uniformed, the cronically stupid and the just plain idiots let’s try this again. I will break it down in language even a three year old can understand.
This”Aspiring Book Reviewer says “The author has no sense of plot or story telling.” Seriously? You obviously were not reading the same book I wrote- either that or you didn’t read it you just didn’t understand it. There is a story and a plot and it is not badly written. You the reader need to have an understanding of the time period, the criminal justice system and the innocence of that time- Obviously you have none of the above. For your information this book is used all across the country to teach about serial killers. So you are the one with problem.
Next the “Aspiring Book Reviewer states,that is reads like a trial transscript- Really how did you guess, it wa supposed to, it was a big part of the story. No overall structure or sense of story- what planet are you from.
Then this “Aspiring Book Reviewer asks why I ask so many questions? Well – it makes the reader think. Apparently that is a big problem for you. this is not a love story. It is a serial killer.

Now lastly- the “Aspiring Book Reviewer said this is the first book they have ever wanted to stop reading- My response is good- you don’t deserve to remember the girls. You don’t understand what happened nor care. You have no clue as to why the story was told the way it was or the purpose of the story. Obviously you wanted a sweet love story and happily ever after- Real life doesn’t work that way. Serial killers don’t work that way.
When I am told by the victims families thank you for writing this book- I could care less about your aspirations of being an “Aspiring Book Reviewer,” Just a little point of interest if you keep writing idiot reviews like this one you will never make it. Last but not least is sounds a whole lot like the one Mr. Barry Albag wrote almost word for word. Sounds like he is trying to blast my site with his nasy words.
So for all of you who don’t like the facts, don’t understand the facts, don’t understand the criminal justice system especially at a time when Serial Killing was in its infancy- want a watered down version of what happened, have no intention of remembering the victims and those who were involved in these horrific crimes then don’t read this book- The victims don’t need you. For those of you who want to know what happened and why- want to know the facts and how the case was solved and the mechanics behind it want to remember the girls then read this book- If you want to know the history of serial killing in Florida and how it was handled read this book. As for this insane review- Consider the source.
“Not only was this book badly written, but the author has no sense of plot or story telling skill. It reads like a trial transcript: he said…, she then said…, then the judge ordered… There is no overall structure or sense of story. However most annoying was the rhetorical questions asked ad nauseum throughout. Does the author not know any other plot device? This is the first book that I have considered to STOP reading, so that I can find a better book about the killer Shaefer and his horrible yet fascinating life. Don’t waste time or money on this book.”
by Aspiring Book Reviewer – See all my reviews

October 23, 2011 Posted by | Reviews | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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