My Musings

There is No Right or Wrong Way to Review. #bookblogger #bookbloggers #blogger #bloggers #bookblog


Speaking from the heart, one of the things that really annoys over blogging (even after nearly three years) is when people start saying that reviews should be written in a particular way! As someone who often struggles to find the words to form a review and, then, subsequently thinks that most of their own reviews are poor and feels that they pale in comparison to most others. Reading that there are supposed ‘right’ ways to write a review really gets to me! I see these type of threads and I know that my reviews aren’t written in the ‘right’ way according to these people and it makes me feel bad, it makes me think that my reviews are worse than they are, it makes me doubt my ability to even write a review, it makes me question why I bother with a blog and also, it pisses me the fuck off!

Yes, it pisses me the fuck off and I’ll tell you why! I’ll even lay it out for you all real simple! There is no right or wrong way to review only the way that an individual chooses to write their own reviews!

When I see authors saying that reviews should be written in a particular way, no! Just no! I have seen some of you say that you love in-depth and detailed reviews of your own work and then go on to share them and thank the reviewers. No shade, that’s cool. But! Not everyone writes detailed and in-depth reviews and comments like that make it seem like you don’t value all the other types of reviews that are written. Those who write other types of reviews are ignored, they don’t get shared, they don’t get thanked (of course, we don’t blog or review for shares and thanks but it is a nice gesture and it sucks when you see certain types of reviews getting shared and not others) and their reviews are cast aside for the particular type of reviews that align with how you think a review should be written. Uncool, you don’t all write books in a particular way and so, you should not expect reviews to all be written in the same way, with the same template and including the same things too! You don’t do that with your writing, you can’t and shouldn’t expect reviewers to do it with their own writing (reviews) either! I hang my head in shame at the double standards on display I really do! 

It is often said that authors value reviews, all reviews! Alas, you read certain things that go against this, reviews need to be in-depth, detailed and that they should contain certain points in the review. If authors value all reviews when why do I see this type of thread being bandied around by some?! That’s not valuing all reviews! As bloggers, we try our best and just like you and how you write, we are all different! You can’t expect us all to conform to some supposed right way of reviewing when we are all individual people!

Onto bloggers! I have no issue whatsoever with bloggers who write about how they review or those that offer tips on reviewing either, no issue at all. However, there is a big difference between those who write posts on how they review on their own blog and offer advice and those of the mythical blogging government and police that write posts on how others should review.

I’ll clarify this and burn the notion to the ground. There is no blogging government and there is no blogging police! Don’t be scared of them, they don’t exist and if they did, join me as an outcast rebel railing against their chains of conformity. You build it up, we will burn it down! So, if you are one of those with delusions of your own self-importance and who suffer from delusions of grandeur, get down off your high horse and come and roll around with the rest of us in the filth, the mud and the squalor as you are no better than we are! You have no authority, you have no rule and you have no right to dictate how reviews should be written by your fellow bloggers!

As I said, no issue with those who write posts on how they review, it’s a good type of blog post and it is nice to see the thought process that goes into their reviewing. But when it changes from how ‘they’ review to how others should review, no! That’s not what blogging is. We are all unique, we are all individual and we are all different. What works for one doesn’t work for another and we review how we want in the way that we feel comfortable with.

The funny thing is that there isn’t just one specific ‘right‘ way to review according to all of those who say that reviews should be written in a specific way. They haven’t all gathered together in their closet, cut the breeze, kicked back with some weed and come up with an agreed list of points and rules that they have voted on and decreed sacrosanct as to how reviews should be written, oh no! Don’t believe that bullshit for a second! That bullshit is probably emanating through the screen, don’t blame me for the stink, blame those who shovel it.

C’mon, we are all friends here, you can admit it and you know as well as me that whenever anyone decides to state that there is a specific ‘right‘ way to review then that ‘right‘ way is inevitably going to be how that one particular person reviews! I mean, yawn! Spoiler, boring! Try harder for a plot twist! Just because it is the right way for you it does not make it the right way for everyone!

Sure, as bloggers we shouldn’t be writing one sentence reviews and mostly, we do try and write more than that but other than that there are no rules on reviewing at all.

Oh, always be honest and don’t include spoilers! They are probably the only two big rules of reviewing that all (most) of us can agree upon. If you do include spoilers, then, at least, add a spoiler warning to your review.

No right way, no wrong way, just your way!

  • Detailed and in-depth.
  • Casual and laid back.
  • Write 250 words.
  • Write a 2,500-word essay.
  • Use the blurb.
  • Don’t use the blurb.
  • Use quotes.
  • Don’t use quotes.
  • Make it personal.
  • Keep it professional.
  • Add humour.
  • Keep it straight.
  • Include images and gifs.
  • Just use text.
  • Be negative.
  • Be positive.
  • Break the fourth wall (like Deadpool y’all).
  • Use perfect grammar.
  • Don’t use any grammar (grammar Nazi’s can suck it too).
  • Use swear words in the review.
  • Don’t fucking swear in the review.
  • Go off on tangents and ramble.
  • Just write about the book.
  • Include your feelings.
  • Make out like you are a cold dead unfeeling husk and don’t include your feelings.
  • Keep it clean, pure and wholesome.
  • Filth that fucker up.
  • Use star ratings.
  • Don’t use star ratings.
  • Include trigger warnings.
  • Don’t include trigger warnings.

It is your review, you can include anything that you want in it. Likewise, if you don’t want to include certain elements then that is your choice too.

You do you and let others do themselves! Less worrying about how others review and perhaps, with that spare time you now have (because you are letting others write how they want) you can spend more of your own time worrying about your own blog and checking if your back passage needs cleaning and a good deep wipe down, ya know, from all the bullshit that has been spread! 🙂

Have you ALL got the point yet?!?!

There is no right or wrong way to review, review how the hell you want in the way that you want, in the style that you are comfortable with and fuck those who tell you otherwise! 

For clarity’s sake, I don’t mean literally fuck them, you don’t know where they have been with their obnoxious views and you wouldn’t want to catch anything from them but figuratively, fuck them good, fuck them real good!


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91 thoughts on “There is No Right or Wrong Way to Review. #bookblogger #bookbloggers #blogger #bloggers #bookblog

  1. I’m pretty sure that a lot of people don’t consider my reviews worthy of the title of “review”, but the whole reason I started the blog was to do reviews that were short and sweet. I stray from this sometimes, but I have seen some comments on twitter etc where people seem to think short reviews “aren’t reviews”….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is excellent. Sometimes I need a lot of words to get my thoughts and feelings about a book across and sometimes I don’t need to use a lot of words. I review how I want to review, the notion that this is actually a thing is ridiculous, it’s just as ridiculous as bloggers telling other bloggers what to do on their own blog (yes, I’ve had this happen before). The policing in the community needs to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Drew, always happy to be an outcast rebel railing against their chains of conformity with ye! Arrr! There is certainly no right way to write a review. I have certain formats for me own reviews because basically I be lazy and copy old formatting to save time. But I don’t even follow me own “rules” all the time! Lovely post as usual.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very well said! I often think some bloggers spend more time criticizing other blogs/reviews than they do reading! I like the variety of reviews I read and it would be a very boring place to be if everyone followed the ‘alleged rules’!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a good post as usual Drew! I understand when you’re new blogger you want to follow some mythical rule book but it’s nice to be reassured that you can do it in your own way 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hard disagree. My way is right and everyone else in the entire world is doing it wrong. Everybody should be exactly like me or just go home. Hence why I have hit the blogging big time and everyone in America knows my name. …

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Okay, but… it always seems to me that if the synopsis is longer than the blogger’s opinion of the book, it really isn’t all that helpful. I mean, when I see 3-4 paragraphs telling me about what happens in the book and then 3-4 sentences that say “I really liked/hated/didn’t care for this” without telling me more than that, well… those reviews just aren’t helpful to me. Just sayin’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes that’s all we can write though.👍 I’m not into detailed reviews but try for far more than a few sentences. Usually around the 1,000 mark, often under, occasionally far higher but sometimes I just can’t think what to write. The other week I wrote 300 words and classed it as a mini review because I had no clue what to write.😂

      That’s fare that they aren’t helpful to you, no shade here but if that’s how they choose to review then that’s their choice.👍 As I said in the post though, as bloggers we should try for far more than three sentences for a review.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Also…sometimes we take on blog tour books and they just don’t connect. It’s hard to make ‘Meh, it was ok’ stretch out without causing offence to an author or a comeback on the blog tour organiser. Micro reviews are also super helpful and soemtimes you just have more to say about one book than another, We all have our different ways of doing things but damned if I judge a book blogger as unworthy for only managing a paragraph OR going on for 1000-2000 words, If they write well then it really doesn’t matter!


  8. Great points. I just do what I do. Sometimes my reviews are detailed and sometimes I’m talking more about how a book made me feel. I try not to be rigid even within my own ‘style’of reviewing. I don’t like to be boxed in! And also I don’t get paid to write reviews and spend a shit ton of time on my blog that I’m sure my husband would be rather spent with him so anyone telling me how to do what I *volunteer* my own time to do can fuck right off as far as I’m concerned. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m very new to blogging after getting frustrated that my reviews on other sites were seen as ‘too long’ compared to ‘my mum liked it’ because I like to think about books a bit more on thematic levels etc.
    I’m struggling to find my feet as many reviewers I read are very short, a (often copy and paste) blurb followed by a few sentences of I like and it made me feel like I was doing something wrong or wasting my time.
    Thank you for letting me know it’s fine to find my own stream and even if I’m shouting into the ether it’s my form of self care and that’s what matters.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Just do you and let others do themselves.👍📚 Many use the blurb, many don’t, no issue with it being copied and pasted. I do it.👍 I do make sure that it’s labelled as the blurb though and then the review is labelled underneath so that they are separate. There does seem to be more just pasting the blurb and then writing a couple of sentences underneath and making out that it’s all the review when it’s not.🙄

      There are many reviewers out there who write really long and detailed reviews too. We make up all sorts in the community and I’m sure you’ll find your feet soon.👍📚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, it’s very hard trying not to compare yourself to others!! I’m working towards accepting if I wrote like someone else it wouldn’t be my blog.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Same! It gives me a freedom I couldn’t always have on a retail site. Howeber you do you is always going to be 100% right !

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ahoy there matey! Just wanted to say that personally I love the longer reviews. It is best to be yerself. I write me blog for me. I love having comments and questions from the crew but if no one reads or review or doesn’t like it then they can go elsewhere and ignore me. I read other reviews to get the larger opinions on things. Welcome to the blogging community. I know yer currently just getting yer feet wet but with some practice ye will be able to swim along just fine with the rest of us. Arrrr!
    x The Captain

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Well said!
    For all those with their opinions about the “right way”, i say “oh, hell, no!”
    There is the “i like it this way”, the “i’d prefer if it was like that” way, but right or wrong… just nope.
    I personally prefer the short and witty stuff, but i would never say the bloggers with the essays are doing anything wrong. :/
    Authors are also people, so they will have preferences, but requesting a certain format… well… are they paying for number of words?? I’m guessing not. The other option is that i read their book and will mention it to nobody and see how that’s better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The issue with authors is that they don’t all write the same so they can’t expect or demand that all reviews are written the same. Nope, not at all.

      Oh, I agree, no issue with those who prefer things a certain way, etc but it’s when it strays from that to the you should do it this way BS that some spout.🙄

      Liked by 2 people

  12. What a wonderful post! I so, completely agree with everything. I like that every reviewers is unique and they can review books however they like! Thank you for talking about this and probably helping lots of people 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love this post.
    Before I started my blog I spent a couple of years reading the classics. I read some of the reviews and felt intimidated by them, they used words I didnt understand, and felt like a University assignment. Now I don’t say these are wrong, but I just didn’t understand them because I don’t have that level of education. Then I discovered book bloggers who write reviews that made sense to me. They included what they liked about the book, how it made them feel and if they would recommend it to other readers.
    I am using to extremes here I know, but my point is that no review is right or wrong, sometimes it is a matter of perspective. Sometimes a paragraph is enough to entice me to buy a book, other times I get caught up in a longer post as I learn how the reader reacted and buy the book.
    For me I write what I liked in the book, I do on occasion swear, use humour or just keep it simple. I don’t limit my thoughts to a set of guidelines and rules, and never will.
    At the end of the day it all comes back to that saying “My Blog, My Rules” even though I don’t have that many rules 😁

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha, yes you should have. It’s so appropriate for so many of these discussion topics. Its like a mantra now, I suspect it pops into many bloggers thoughts when they are thinking about things for their blogs 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Say it louder for the people in the back!!! Love this!! Only thing I don’t appreciate in reviews are author-bashing and peer-reviewer-bashing (why the hell would you actually tag someone JUST to say ‘fuck you’ I hated this book you wrote or you reviewed and love to pieces??) How rude. 🤨

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Another spot on post Drew. I clearly missed this blogging drama, but then there’s been so many recently. I hate being told what to do in a work scenario. I’m buggered if someone is going to tell me how to run my hobby.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Where on earth did you see this? Who said it? Authors?

    Nobody puts this blogger into a corner. Nobody tells me what is right and what is wrong..
    Sometimes I write long reviews, sometimes I write short reviews.
    Any author who tells me how I SHOULD write a review needs to go and sit in a darkened room and think about themselves for a while.

    There are plenty of so-called authors out there who really shouldn’t even write a title. Do I tell them that? No, I just stay quiet and let them get on with it

    I organise Blog Tours and not one single author has ever told me that they want a review written in a particular way, and if they did, then I’d tell them that they need to find a new organiser.

    There’s far too much negativity around at the moment. We have publishers casting doubt on bloggers, we have readers who don’t have the faintest idea what blogging entails shooting their mouths off like small children in a playground; or MPs in the House of Commons, with their grunts and groans and barely legible comments.

    Bloggers are respected by the industry on the whole. If some two-bit author, or publisher wants to spout their gobs off about us, then let them. Then, put them on the blacklist and never ever support the idiots again. It may actually make them think about the quality of the dross they continue to thrust upon the unsuspecting public.

    These people are tiny fishes in a murky puddle. They need to take their heads from their arses and get themselves out there into the real world, and get themselves some manners and dignity whilst they are at it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There was some nonsense about how to write reviews the other day. Can’t remember who. I have no issue with the ‘how I do things’ post or thread over such things but when it strays into the realm of ‘this is how you should do things’ then nope, not having it.

      For the author bit, there was a whole thread in one of the fantasy FB groups about reviews and what they want to see in them, etc. Which over time the comments changed from that to how they think reviews of their work should be written, what they expect to see, etc. Which again, when it strays into the realm of reviews should contain this and that, then, no, annoys me.

      I guess that I should be on my best behaviour after recent events but stuff like this annoys the hell out of me.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Awesome post again Drew! I know we all try to figure out our own method and I think we need this mentality to write it how it best works for us. I’ve changed mine up a few times when the situation needs it, but oh well, that’s I do things lol

    Liked by 1 person

  18. wait, there are blogging police? there is a blogging government? i been doing this blogging thing for like 8 years, why didn’t someone tell me there were blog review style police? i feel so left out!

    but srsly, great post. blogging style, reviewing style, it’s just like how authors write books. You do you, write what you wanna write in the style or length or whatever that you want. everyone likes diff things and wants diff things, so whatever your style is, peeps who like that kind of thing will gravitate towards you, and you’ll become one of their “trusted bloggers”, or whatev.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Don’t use any grammar (grammar Nazi’s can suck it too).

    Haha. I didn’t really know that there was a contempt for book bloggers from certain quarters. It’s a bit ironic though. I mean, while we are bloggers, we’re still readers at heart – just people who really love books, who like to talk about them and who – in the end – BUY these books too. If an author values his or her readership, then a contempt for book bloggers sounds like a dangerous liability to me.

    As for reviews, bloggers owe it to their readers to provide something worthwhile so they can go away and make an informed choice. As long as the review does that in some way, I don’t think HOW it’s done really matters. And really – if book reviews really were done in the same way – wouldn’t it just be a little bit boring? Especially when it comes to blogs, where voice, angle, PERSONALITY is everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. For a while and even now I struggle with review because everybody wants something or the other in it which makes me feel crappy about the things I write, I can’t tell you how happy and better this post makes me feel about my review. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  21. While I do agree that there is no right way , I do believe my reviews need a lot of work , I don’t seem to use fancy words , nor are my reviews all that funny , in the end the biggest problem for my reviews must be that they become way too long , making readers less interested in reading said reviews .

    In my defense though , I am a practicing doctor and I don’t often find too much time to write reviews , I just write whatever comes to my mind and post it .

    But hey at least this year I am posting a lot of reviews , that gotta count for something

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Wonderful post. While working onmy own blog I’ve struggled really hard with whether or not to follow “this is how you do reviews” and consistently worrying over how they “should” be done. Truth is they should be done however the fuck you like~

    Liked by 1 person

  23. My man * fist bump * Yes, I agree. There is no right way to write reviews. And whatever we deem to be a great review is probably shit for others. My daughter ( 11 yrs ) and I write 5 sentence reviews for the books she´s read for our joint blog. Works beautifully. Reviews don´t need to be complicated and they don´t need to be short. They should work for the reviewer. In the 10 years I´ve been book blogging I can, without a doubt, say that I´ve written nearly all types of reviews. Short, Tolstoy long, professional, emotional,.. and believe it or not, all of them worked. In the end, it all came down to what worked best for me, though, you know? I would also never ( even with all the experience I have in this business ) try telling anyone how to review best. Reviews, no matter what type, have a unique signature. WHy would I want to take away that one thing that makes a review unique? What works for me will most surely not work for others. I´m an over thinker. I like to take things apart and think about every damn aspect of a book before writing my review. I would NOT say that that´s the way to review. LMAO.

    I think the only thing that makes this a problem in the first place is that these so called people who give advice unintentionally intimidate other reviewers. There are too many people who want to get a review right and these folks try to find ways to become perfect. Because a properly written review will get them somewhere. Which is bullshit. I follow blogs who speak from the heart and cuss so much that even I´m like “okay, that was one fuck too many in that sentence.” Lol. I follow reviewers who are so fucking talented with their reviews that it almost makes me cry and give up ( key word is: ALMOST ). I can´t copy them. I´m not them. They might say wonderful things but they´ll never say what I have to say, you know? Just as I could never reach your level of awesome with your discussion posts. Some things just aren´t meant to be.

    You´re right. There is no true way to go about the review process. Great post, Drew. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.👍📚

      Ha, my discussion posts aren’t all that! Lengthy, rambling, occasionally crude and offensive to some but definitely not awesome.😂 The only thing they are is honest. Ya know, there seems to be more and more people who post discussion posts and they are anything but discussion. It’s more like a ‘this is my view and if you agree cool, if you disagree then I’ll moderate the comments and ignore you’ type of post. No issue with that but people shouldn’t label things as a discussion when they have no intention of actually discussing the chosen topic. I’m also a mouthy fucker who isn’t afraid to tell it how it is and many seem to be the opposite, they don’t want to rock the boat and they are scared of offending others. Fuck that, if people like it, cool, if not, there’s the door as it’s my blog.😂

      Yeah, I get what you mean. Regardless of the review, length, amount of detail, etc at the core it is the blogger who wrote the reviews words and due to that reviews will always be different as we are all different.

      Ha, I know that feeling too! I see many reviews that are so damn good and mine pale in comparison but I wouldn’t quit over it though either.👍

      Yeah, I mostly agree with you but I also think that at times, some of the bloggers who choose to tell others how to review, etc don’t actually post that brilliant stuff themselves and simply do it because they have an over inflated sense of self importance and opinion of how good they are at blogging.🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn´t that the point of a discussion post? To include your opinion and welcome others to join and add their opinions? Pfft, I never ignore a comment. People comment for a reason so I´ll reply. I know a few specialists who are like what you described. * shivers * Open minded for their own opinion but not willing to expand their horizon. I avoid those posts as it´s not going to get anyone anywhere when commenting. Only wrinkles and gray hair. Ain´t no one got time for that. lol

        I agree. Some book bloggers are…. how do I put it…. some of these bloggers are too big for their own boots? ( a british phrase I think fits? Help an american out, wil ya? )

        Btw- you can be proud of cour discussion posts. I wish I had such passion. Your discussion posts ARE all that and of course, honest. Just keep up what you´re doing and I assure you you´ll be fine 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, that’s the point of discussion posts but sadly some don’t realise that or they just choose to ignore it. I’m not entirely sure I’m prepared to expand my horizon but I’m happy for people to discuss whatever they want and have their own opinion.

        Ha, yeah, that’s a British phrase and seems apt to describe them. There’s probably far better phrases to use but they are more coarse and vulgar and well, you never know who is reading the comments and might take offence so best to leave it at too big for their boots.😂


      3. 😂😂😂 oh there are many American phrases that would have been MUCHO fitting as well. 😉😉😉😉 but as you said- the comments have eyes. Best not to deliver another pot.

        I think expanding your horizon is a good thing. Because it allows you to see more but not necessarily see everything. You can understand an opinion but it doesn’t mean you’re willing to take over the opinion. Does this make sense? Discussions exist to exchange thoughts. Some people think a discussion is an invitation to war. ” you said meee meee meee and now I hate you because you’re an asshole, sniffle sniffle sniffle” when the reality should be different.

        I especially like when people make wild assumptions on my character. I asked husbutt last night if he thought I was what I’ve been accused of. His answer: the answer depends on how much you’re willing to pay. 😂😂😂😂 Then he laughed and told me about the comments he gets on Call of Duty.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. no blogging government and there is no blogging police….. shhhh….. they might hear you…. 😉
    Awesome Drew… and spot on as per usual. Dude, I think you are the blogging police. but in a good way!… In defence of bloggers everywhere… or is that a batman thing?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. say it again for the people in the back! I honestly have no idea why people get all up in a tizzy about how other people choose to review books. There is not guidebook for us to follow, and honestly, I don’t want to read the same review format across every blog! I like variety and reading based on what that person feels is important in their own voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!! I get so frustrated when I see newer bloggers panicking about “blogging correctly.” Just do you! That’s what makes blogging so interesting; we’re all different and we all bring new takes to the table!

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Yeah it pisses me off too- especially when people think it’s okay to come to my reviews and tell me they don’t like my review style (I never talk about it on my blog, but I think it should be fairly obvious that this is really rude behaviour). Like you said, there are no rules for writing reviews and I don’t see why some people think there should be! Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Interesting post Drew!

    “I have seen some of you say that you love in-depth and detailed reviews of your own work…”
    In my experience blogging, people do NOT like to read lengthy reviews. For me personally, my mini book review collections (where I do mini reviews for about 4 books at a time) have much higher views than full length reviews.

    I used to write very long, detailed, and formal reviews. It was not for me. It took FOREVER and made it so I dreaded writing reviews. I was also not able to keep up with all the books I was reading. I’ve started saving my longer reviews for book I’ve accepted for review, and doing mini reviews for all the other books I read. At the end of the day, I like doing shorter & less formal reviews for the majority of books I read, and that is what works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I agree, many say that they don’t like to read lengthy reviews and yet many write them.😂

      Yeah, detailed and formal is not for me either and well, my blog, my rules, your blog, your rules and doing what is best for you is totally the way to go.😀


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