Full disclosure: I am a big fan of structure and systematic organisation. I think pretty much anything can be made better with a bit of order, applied where it’s needed. I can stand chaos in certain doses but outside of my own thoughts, I will almost always try to arrange it. Maybe I’m this hard-wired for order because my thoughts are naturally very chaotic – who knows. I will be here loving my symmetry and trying to categorise everything and if any of it is useful to any of you, that’s a plus.
So naturally (of course), I write my reviews according to a template. Besides fulfilling my neat freak fix, I think it can be quite useful if you know what you want to know about a book. This is the basic template:
The book in 3 words
|★ ★ ★ ★ ★||
I love it and I will tell you in excruciating detail why.
|★ ★ ★ ★||Good but didn’t make it on my ‘bury me with this book’ list.|
|★ ★ ★||Good, but had some issues.|
|★ ★||It was okay; more issues than the 3★|
Usually a rant review.
- Core: who it’s written by, is it part of a series, when it was published, where I got the book from, goodreads synopsis
- About: cover, main tropes and genres, characters, story, worldbuilding
- My Thoughts: the actual review containing my opinion, what I liked and disliked, potentially some spoilers (which will be marked as such)
NB. Yes, I also mention the cover. I know they say ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but I read it more as ‘Don’t make a final decision just based on a cover’. There’s a reason people judge by the cover and that’s because the cover is supposed to represent the contents – you can pinpoint lots of factors just from the cover. Whether this should make or break your decision is a different matter.
How you can use this template to aid your book questions:
For example, I will usually not read a book if it has a sad or too bittersweet ending. I don’t read fiction to be reminded how horrible and unfair the world is. I am too well aware of it, thank you very much. I like adversity and challenges because they build up the characters and make the story more believable and engaging but give the poor souls a happy ending, dammit! So if you’re like me, read the specific section in the review and spare yourself the sadness – I wish I could have.
Or maybe you really hate love triangles and abhor reading anything that contains a badly-written one (or even a well-written one) – once again, look at the main tropes/genre section!
Or maybe you’re not a big fan of being surprised by a book that claims to be something else. If the book synopsis says something and the book is something else entirely, I feel a bit cheated even if the book is good. What if the book claims to be an adventure book but turns very cheesy midway? I like my romance but this book promised me adventure! LIES. On the other hand, I also like knowing whether books that aren’t categorised as romance have any – I need to know not to ship anyone if there isn’t any. See how a little structure can spare you so much upset and save you spending money on a book you don’t like???
I just really like my structure, ok?
If you guys would like to know anything in particular about a book, please let me know! I’ve mentioned my pet peeves and what I personally like knowing about books before I commit to buying them, but I know everyone is different and I’m happy to add anything you’d like to know! (Again, DO YOU SEE THE BEAUTY OF TEMPLATES AND STRUCTURE *ahem* Okay, I’m done now)