Having trouble deciding what to write, or even where to start? Afraid others might judge your review as "not good enough"?
You're not alone. Several people have come to me with these same concerns, and it's easy to understand why. Goodreads and Amazon are full of long, sophisticated reviews using flowery speech imprinted with images and startling insights into plot and characters. Worse, these sites allow viewers to rate the reviews themselves, which can be intimidating if yours shows up on the bottom of the list.
But here are some little-known secrets. Your review doesn't have to be long. It doesn't have to be witty or entertaining or contain doctorate-level analyses. It doesn't have to be liked, or even seen. As long as it reflects your true feelings on the book--even in just a few words--that's enough.
It does, however, have to be there. Amazon and other retailers use review stats to determine who and how often they show the book to other customers. Potential buyers often decide whether they'll make a purchase or not with a single glance at the number of ratings. If the average or count are too low, they're out. Will they see your review? Maybe, and if so, they'll probably take what you've said to heart.
Which leads to the next topic: What to write? The answer is frustratingly simple: what you feel! Or, more specifically, how the book made you feel.
Did it make you feel happy? Sad? Did you laugh? Cry? Why? What stood out to you? What made this book different than others you've read?
Use any or all of the questions above to form your review. Or if you're having trouble, you can simply say, "I liked it." Yup, that's a perfectly fine review. Again, as long as potential readers can see more than just a handful of people enjoyed it, you've helped guide that person to make a purchase they will hopefully enjoy!
Series take a long time to publish--years or decades, in some cases. When a new book comes out, it can be difficult to remember what happened in that novel you enjoyed but finished five years ago.
Enter the synopsis. The links below will give you an extremely abridged (2-3 page) version of the entire book, from start to dazzling finish. Needless to say, these documents contain massive spoilers, so only read them if you'd like a refresher on the book, or if you don't intend to read the others and want to get caught up quickly.