5 Tips for Writing a Quotable Book Review by Stephanie Queen


Myren the ChauffeurHello to all you readers out there in book-lovers land! Stephanie Queen checking in with a big fat WELCOME TO THE AUTHORS OF MAIN STREET BLOG! Myren, my chauffeur says hello too.

I know, I know—it’s been a while since I’ve contributed to the Authors of Main Street blog, but I blame that all on Myren [It’s in his job description—Chauffeur: Takes the fall for any and all issues, problems, criticisms, and other assorted blamable things]

It’s true. Myren can be very distracting. He insists on driving around at least fifty miles a day so that I don’t have an excuse to cut his pay. I said fine—go take a long ride off a short pier and enjoy yourself. I’m smiling when I say it, I swear. But he insists I must ride along with him in the back of the limo to make it official. (I thought of buying one of those blow up dolls to throw in the back seat, but I was too shy distressed appalled amazed flummoxed whatever to go on that website where they sell blow up dolls).

Seriously though, Myren is absolutely a nut case pain in the invaluable—I absolutely do don’t know what I’d do without him. He’s a devilish big mouth darling and more annoying than a bees nest in the ground after you just ran over it with your lawn mower worth his weight in gold. (In case you’re wondering, I told him I’d be more supportive) (Don’t tell him about the blame thing above).

We’re all here—by “here” I mean at Authors of Main Street—because we LOVE reading books. It’s our thing—among other things of course, but I wasn’t going to go into all those other things right now in the middle of this blog post—even though Myren is right now dictating a list of other things he’d rather do—did I mention the man is incorrigible a delight?

So where was I? Oh, yes—Books! We love them, some we especially adore. When that happens, dear readers, I would encourage you to write up a review of said adorable book and share your love with the world. But maybe you’re too shy distressed appalled amazed flummoxed whatever to write a review.

This is your lucky day! I have 5 tips to help you write a fabulously quotable review!

  1. Do not use cliches.

For an example of a cliche, see above where I say “worth his weight in gold”. An example of a cliche from a book review would be something like “full of twists and turns” or “kept me up all night”. Rather, think of how refreshing it would be if you said honestly, “I couldn’t keep my eyes open even though I really wanted to, so I fell asleep in the middle of page seven and then dreamed about the story all night. What a dream inspiring book that was!”

  1. Do use inventive words. The thesaurus is your friend. For an example of an inventive word, see above where I say “flummoxed”.  An example of an inventive word in a review would be “popped”.
  1. Do use metaphors and analogies—inventive ones.

For an example of an inventive analogy see above where I said the thing about the bees nest and the lawn mower.   An example of an inventive analogy in a book review would be “characters who come alive like Pop Rocks and carbonated beverages”

  1. Do NOT include spoilers, no matter how tempting it is.

An example of a tempting spoiler in a review would be “Darth Vader revealed that Luke was his son.” (No, this is not from an actual review—but it could be. It would be tempting to throw it in there, right?)

  1. Always be honest.
  1. Do say something positive—at least one little thing, no matter how small a point it might be. (NOTE: If you can’t do both #5 and #6, then perhaps you should reconsider writing this review. Remember, I said we’re book LOVERs not HATERs!)

An example of an honest, yet positive small point from a book review is: “catchy title”.

  1. Have fun with it! Here’s an example of a fun-loving reviewer having fun:

“Reading Queen is an absolutely scrumptious experience. Readers will fall in love, get heated, laugh and have an energizing adventure. The story has sublime settings, smooth writing that melds into a well-developed plot and characters who come alive like Pop Rocks and carbonated beverages” –from Romantic Times Book Review on Playing the Game

Now go forth and write pithy glittering reviews that could fly with the cow over the moon! (Was that too over the top?)

Umm. Myren tells me none of this is helpful to him for writing reviews—except the part about the thesaurus.

I said to Myren, “So? You didn’t think I was going to write a straight “how to” post did you?

Then he said…

NOTE: The argument went on far too long to encapsulate here. For more about the travails of being driven crazy by a recalcitrant cranky chauffeur, you might pop into Stephanie Queen’s website at www.StephanieQueen.com and sign up for her newsletter for a free Myren the Chauffeur story!

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17 Responses to 5 Tips for Writing a Quotable Book Review by Stephanie Queen

  1. lol – fun post. Note – do not eat pop rock and then drink carbonated beverages – did that once – okay twice – and result was not good!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. jbiggar2013 says:

    Enjoyed this post immensely (see, I’m learning :)) I agree, I absolutely hate it when people post spoilers, it ruins the whole book for me. I tend to only read reviews after I’ve read the book to get other people’s opinions.

    Liked by 6 people

    • stephaniequeen says:

      Thank you for your lovely feedback! You’re an A+ student!
      I think I like your style–only reading reviews AFTER reading the book! Excellent!
      Pop in any time–SQ

      Liked by 3 people

  3. susanrhughes says:

    Darth Vader is Luke’s father??? Oh, man, you’ve ruined it for me.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Carol says:

    Great tips, Stephanie. Nothing ruins a book or movie for me like spoilers. There isn’t any reason to use them in a review. Let me find out on my own!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Reblogged this on Kelly Rae & Jocelyn Bell Books and commented:

    Another great post by a fellow Authors of Main Street writer. Tip and reminders for us all.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. leighmorgan1 says:

    Well put, Stephanie. Happy Summer.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. E. Ayers says:

    I hate the posts that read like book reviews. Keep it short and simple. I liked it and here’s why! That’s plenty.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Joan Reeves says:

    Happy reading, reviewing, and writing those reviews! (Say hello to Myren for me.)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Mona Risk says:

    Thanks for the laugh and the smile. I love your review. And yes I hate spoilers.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. MRS N, the Author says:

    I loved this post, Stephanie! Book reviews and reviewers are a touchy subject, especially for me (professional book reviewer). I have noticed over the past year, many people think they have to outdo the book blurb when posting a review. Here’s my approach: I use the sandwich theory (what I liked, what could be improved up, positive spin on the book) and it’s worked well for me. I don’t use spoilers (hate them) and I keep it simple.

    I read reviews both before and after I read a book. Many times on Goodreads, someone’s review will pique my interest in a book I wouldn’t have read before. Negative reviews usually don’t turn me off as I know every reader has an opinion.

    Darth Vader is Luke’s father???? Oh man! I’m crushed now! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • stephaniequeen says:

      Sorry about outing Darth, Mrs. N! : )
      A professional book reviewer! Yikes! Me and Myren bow before you. Thank you for your gracious comment. Stop by any time!

      Liked by 1 person

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