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 »

  1. Yvonne my sister, this is FABULOUS!!!!! As soon as I get caught up, I’ll link to this…

    Comment by Mistress Macabre | October 24, 2011 | Reply

  2. Feel free my sister feel free. I knew you would love it.

    Comment by yvonnemason | October 24, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hello Yvonne, Is there possibly a way could contact you?. I need to talk to somebody with a brain.

    Comment by Claire | October 25, 2011 | Reply

  4. well mistress macabre yvonne on puts out information i tried to get more but info is what she is good at. i talk to people but when does information and knowledge is good but what about fighters

    Comment by John Dresel | October 28, 2011 | Reply

  5. all your lessons sound the same lets make it simple read all the way before you bash.

    Comment by John Dresel | October 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Are you on crack, John Dresel…or just stupid? I mean, really…it’s called ‘basic sentence structure’ and a grasp of the English language.

      Learn it, use it, apply it.

      Otherwise, do the world a favor…DON’T POST IN PUBLIC!

      That is, unless you like for the world to see how stupid you are. I mean, if so, by all means please continue to post so we can all laugh at you.

      I enjoy a good laugh at the willfully, stupid.

      Comment by Mistress Macabre | October 28, 2011 | Reply

  6. Yvonne: Love the way you call it like it is! In reference to Mr. Dresel’s comment: When he gets to the point where he is free from doing anything incorrect and has the ability to walk on water, then his negative comment might be worth reading. I guess he failed to read lesson three in your article. I’ts nice to know there’s a bit of jealousy in his lack of mannerism.

    Comment by Johnny | November 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Johnny- Jealousy is correct- people who don’t live their dreams live in a fog of that green eyed monster.

      Comment by yvonnemason | November 3, 2011 | Reply


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