Tales Post – How I Construct A Review


As mentioned in my UKYABA Blogging Workshop write up here I gave out goodie bags to those that attended the blogging for beginners workshop.


In these bags I included a How I Construct A Review guide and the feedback has been really nice as people found it quite useful.  Therefore I thought I would share it on my blog.

These are just some ideas I wrote down when I started blogging which I refer to and look at when I am constructing a review which give me things to think about and include in my reviews.  It is important to bear in mind that everyone is different and has their own ways of constructing a review so this is by no means a how to more of a this is what I refer to when I construct my reviews in the hope is may help others.

There are many different ways to write a review of a book.

It normally takes a few attempts to find your voice and natural flow when it comes to a review. I feel it is important to be yourself and that voice will come naturally.

It sometimes takes me a while to write a review of a book. Normally 2 – 3 hours per review dependant upon how much I have to say about the book. But sometimes it’s thinking that takes the time. I sometimes ponder how best to word something or express a feeling or emotion and many a time I think my review sounds terrible. Sometimes I even type it walk away and when I go back to it it actually sounds and reads better than I originally thought!

Whilst writing a review I try and consider the following points to help be construct the review which I thought I would share with you.

I always consider these points even when I may not have enjoyed a book so much as I believe being constructive about a book that wasn’t for me is essential rather than being completely negative.

This is not saying that this is the definitive way of writing a review. You should write a review how it best suits yourself, your blog and your writing style and voice. These are just some things I myself consider along the review writing way that may be useful

  • What was the story about?
  • Who were the main characters?
  • Written from who’s perspective / point of view?
  • Were the characters credible?
  • What did the main character do in the story?
  • Did the main character run into any problems?
  • Who was your favourite character and why?
  • Could you relate to any of the characters in the book?
  • Have you ever done of felt some of the things the characters did?
  • Did you like the book?
  • What impression did it leave on you?
  • What was your favourite part of the book?
  • Do you have a least favourite part of the book?
  • If you could change something what would it be?
  • Would you recommend this book to another person?
  • What type of person would like the book?
  • Rating (if you use a rating system on your blog)

Whilst reading a book for review or that I know I am going to review on my blog I write notes in a notebook or sometimes in the notes section on my phone about thoughts, feelings, favourite parts and quotes etc just so that when I begin to write my review I have some prompts to remind me of how I felt and what I liked. These can then be expanded on. Some bloggers use sticky book markers too to mark key pages to go back to.

So this is how I try and structure my reviews on my blog. I don’t always follow it to the letter, but I use it to get my brain in gear and get the thoughts flowing.

Check out my reviews page to see how I use these ideas in actual reviews – here

How do you construct your reviews? I would love to hear from you!



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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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4 Responses

  1. Rosie says:

    I wish I could have seen you at YALC.

    I tend to make rough notes in WordPress and get my initial thoughts down as soon as I’ve finished a book. Sometimes I will then edit those and write the review then and there, but most of the time I’ll think about it for a couple of days and go back and write it.

    I do try to cover most of the points you’ve mentioned, while keeping it spoiler free at the same time.

    • Chelley Toy says:

      Hi Rosie!

      It feels like ages since I saw you! In fact it was the end of February! We must rectify this!

      Making notes after you finish a book is such a good idea! Sometimes I tweet out my feelings and then take a picture of my tweet as a reminder or I write some notes in the notes section of my I phone. I think it’s always good to have a ponder on your thoughts for a few days (or in some of my cases months lol).

      And yes…big believer in spoiler free or at least a huge warning before you hit a spoilery bit. I like what Jim over at YA YEAH YEAH does…he write a little review and then puts a warning up then carries on discussing in more detail so you get the choice on if to carry on or not 🙂


  2. Sarah says:

    I usually write my reviews on paper, then change things as I type them up. I always try to write my own brief synopsis of the book – which can be time consuming – but I think worth it. So many books turn out to be nothing like the cover advertises, which can be disarming, and I hate seeing bad reviews over good book that just didn’t quite follow through on their blurbs.

    The time and effort required on reviews vary book to book for me though. Strangely its always the books I love most that I struggle with – I think its because I want to gush about their amazingness instead of giving reasons for said amazingness lol.

    But great post Chelle – I think new book bloggers will find this really helpful!