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Writing a Good Review on a Book You Didn’t Like

Hello and welcome fellow book reviewers and readers 🦋 Today’s post is something a little different and something I struggled with for a while, writing a review on a book you didn’t enjoy. Let’s admit it, even though reading is awesome and literally so fun, some books just don’t appeal to you like they do for other readers. How the heck are you supposed to review a book you didn’t like AND be nice about it? Don’t worry, I am here to help! I have lived with this struggle! I have written quite a few reviews, my recent one being The Cruel Prince. Even though I liked this book there was definitely room for improvement so I included my thoughts on this in my review, using the sandwich method!

THE SANDWICH METHOD

What the hell is the sandwich method you ask? Basically, it’s a much nicer way to say the books downfalls by stating things that were also good before and after the criticism and therefore sandwiching the criticism!! I personally loveeee this method when writing book reviews on books that need a little improvement. You can use this method by:

  • stating what you liked about the book (character names? the map? the cover?)
  • stating a thing that you didn’t like as much (plot holes?)
  • then stating one other thing which you liked about it (the magic system? the description?)

This allows the author to know what they could improve on while also cushioning the blow by saying some great things about the book! Even though you didn’t like the book, there should be at least a couple positive things you have to say about it, even if you have to scramble to come up with them!

STATE HOW THEY COULD IMPROVE

Everyone who writes has room for improvement. I have seen spelling errors and weird formatting in so many books! Improvement can only make a book better! So, you didn’t like the book? How come? Was there any unexplained plot holes? Was the character development minimal making it hard for you to connect with them? Don’t feel guilty for saying how they can improve! Say where the book was possibly lacking some extra detail and state how this could be improved (nicely!!). This actually leads onto my next point!

STAY NICE

Even if you didn’t particularly like the book, stay nice. You wouldn’t want people raging about how poorly you wrote something would you? In order to write a good book review, you must remain respectful and kind otherwise no one will won’t to read it and you might have the possibly of getting backlash from readers, publishers or the author themselves. Being respectful and nice is the backbone of a good review!!

DON’T SPOIL THE BOOK

I see so many book reviews were the readers were unsatisfied and they pointed out the EXACT situation or plot twist that didn’t satisfy them, spoiling the book for others who might not have read it yet. If you do plan on describing what happens within a novel, please make sure you address and point out that your review contains spoilers either in the title or at the very start of the blog post out of respect for other readers.

WHO WOULD BE THE TARGET AUDIENCE

When writing a book review on a book you didn’t really like, it is always a great idea to point out who you would aim this book to be better suited for. Do you think it would be better for someone who likes the specific genre which you weren’t interested in? State that! This allows readers who do like that genre to try reading the book instead of just reading that you didn’t like it and move on.

writing a book review on a book you didn't like

I hope this helps a little bit and be sure to link me to your reviews using some of these tips!! Comment below with your own tips on writing reviews!

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