When you read and write a lot of book reviews, you can’t help noticing the different styles and approaches of other reviewers, or even of your own reviews. Just for fun, here are 10 types of reviewer I’ve identified. All are valid approaches! There is no right or wrong way to write a book review.
The Minimalist. The master of one-liners or short paragraphs which get to the essence of what the book is about and briefly communicate their opinion.
The Aesthete. Enthuses about the physical aspects of a book, such as cover design, signed copy, layout, luxury binding. Almost forgets to discuss the contents…
The Empath. Focuses on the emotional connection, especially if the book made them cry and left them devastated, heartbroken even. Really feels for the characters as if they were dear friends.
The Rambler. Wordy essays which are liable to go off on a tangent and have a very loose structure. They might use the review as an opportunity to work through their thought processes.
The Ranter. Very passionate in their reviews, possibly with the use of helpful gifs and emojis. They will absolutely love a book, completely hate it, or be annoyed that they found it mediocre.
The Philosopher. Thinks about the concepts in a book more than the writing style, characters etc. Uses the review to consider deep questions inspired by their reaction to the book.
The Cheerleader. Always positive about the books they review, usually 5 star ratings. They take every opportunity to recommend the books and praise the authors.
The Analyst. Takes apart the structure, writing style and context of a book. May be a writer themselves or have studied literature. Not likely to let their emotional response dominate the review.
The Summariser. Mainly describes the plot and the characters, with less space given to opinions. More like the other definition of review, ‘an assessment’, rather than ‘a critical appraisal’.
The Apologist. Sorry for not liking a book that has been hyped, or has won awards, etc. May also apologise for various aspects of their review, such as the length, coherence or the gap between reading and reviewing.
Which type(s) are you? Would you add more any to the list?