5 Common Mistakes In Book Reviewing And How To Avoid Them

5 Common Mistakes In Book Reviewing And How To Avoid Them

Writing a book review is not as easy as it may seem, some mistakes show a bad practice that can ruin any good attempt.

As we know, reviewing a text involves checking the data known through the study of the History of Literature (general characteristics of a movement, style of an author…), understanding in depth the literary text in its various implications (author-society-literary structure-form-content…) and discovering the aesthetic values that justify it as an artistic creation.

But as was said at the beginning, writing a review is not easy, it is a task that requires certain qualities. First of all, it is essential to dedicate many hours to reading and to have a broad literary culture. Mastering concepts related to literary analysis, owning a more than ample reading comprehension -basic- and expressing what is written with a correct use of language, of course.

In many occasions and despite fulfilling the requirements, a series of mistakes are made when writing a review, and to write a brilliant one, many people look for a book review writing service that could help them. In this article, we’ll look at the major mistakes when writing a book review. This is a guideline based on observation and, of course, it is very personal.

Mistakes You Make When Writing A Book Review

First mistake: Commonplaces

The first thing to avoid is the use of commonplaces or clichés, empty words such as “an addictive read that will not leave you indifferent” – Wow! A two for one! -, they are used too often and do not contribute anything to the discourse on the work being discussed.

Second mistake: Portable reviews

This is the cliché type of review, those that are cut from the same cloth. It is easy to identify them: when you read them they leave you with a feeling of déjà vu, they are like “templates” that are valid for any current novel. To avoid this, nothing better than to dive into the context of the work, take advantage of the knowledge we have about the author, genre and context. And above all, leave room for spontaneity. Let’s vote for freshness and originality.

When writing a book review we try to offer, guide, inform. And that can only be done with knowledge and a critical spirit

Third mistake when writing a review: Yes for the sake of it

“I loved it, I highly recommend it”. “Another great example of the author’s talent”. Agreed, these are valid formulas, but if we do not justify what we have said, they are worthless. When writing a review we are going to influence the reader’s opinion, so we are obliged to offer arguments. Yes for yes’s sake is not absolutely valid.

The same should be applied in the case of negative reviews: it is not necessary to sink the writer, subtlety supported by a good argumentation is a quality that distinguishes an expert reviewer.

Fourth mistake: Don’t gut me yet, wait a little longer

I like the reviews that extract textual phrases to highlight successes or analyze aspects of the work, but from there to occupy half the body of the review with a supposed synopsis that leaves no doubt about what will happen in all the chapters, including the end… If I read a review, the last thing I want is to find a spoiler like a Canadian pine tree. My conclusion in these cases: an easy job, half a review is “straw”, when what I want is “chicha”. Spare people the spoilers, please.

Fifth mistake: grammatical and spelling errors

A reviewer is supposed to be someone who reads a lot, who pauses in his reading and agglutinates knowledge. The most important of these is language, and a reviewer must know this, because if he is incapable of using the word correctly, his only instrument, how can he be credible when analyzing the virtues of the author being reviewed?

  • Inventorying literary techniques 

The review cannot be limited to an inventory of the techniques and resources used by the author. It is convenient to mention those that stand out especially for helping to characterize the work, always paying attention to the justification for their use, to what they contribute to the work and to the impression they produce in the reader.

  • Falling into paraphrasing

The review should not limit itself to being a paraphrase of the work, that is, to explaining it or interpreting it from the critic’s perspective. Nor should it be limited to summarizing it, merely noting its main elements.

You can also let your friends and relatives read the review. Let them feel free to express their opinions about the review of the book you are researching without fear of offending you. This is very important, because the success of the book you analyzed also depends on your review. If there are comments, you can always correct them before the review is published.

The Main Points That Will Help You To Make A Quality Review

  • It is necessary to consider the quality of writing a work of fiction and to highlight the originality of the story in it
  • The whole review must necessarily be written in the same tone – it can be: funny, edifying or informative
  • In the review it is necessary to highlight all the mistakes the author made in his work
  • In the review, it is desirable to express all the feelings that the reviewer experienced while reading or watching the work
  • All your thoughts in detail and as much as possible justified
  • The review should not contain profanity or calls for violence

To avoid mistakes in writing a review, especially for students who are assigned such independent work, you can look online for ready-made templates, such as samples of literature reviews, etc.

In short, writing a book review is much more than giving a personal opinion. Writing a literature review means immersing yourself in the author’s literary universe and conveying it to the reader.