Thursday, February 14, 2013

On Writing Honest Book Reviews

© Written by Tarang Sinha

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Reading a good book is something I enjoy immensely but unfortunately, I cannot finish a book that doesn't interest me, though I do try my level best to finish it by just flipping some pages, hoping that it might become interesting later.

We all buy books or decide to read a book according to the blurb on the back cover or reviews we find online. We want to get absorbed in the story and writing style.  An interesting book is that that grips you thoroughly, irrespective of the pages it contains. Recently, I have finished a book I've got your number by Sophie Kinsella (I received this book from the publisher (Random House India) for an unbiased review, and enjoyed it immensely, though it was a huge book with almost 400 pages.

Recently, I have been reading a lot of books. It happened many a times that after finding an interesting blurb & reading book reviews very carefully (On some popular book review sites or on some personal blogs), I bought some (Sometimes a lot of) greatly praised books, sometimes by really famous, bestselling and award winning authors but when I started to read them, I was greatly disappointed and oddly surprised. According to me, those were not up to the mark as they were mentioned everywhere.

Eventually and unfortunately, so many books, although they have interesting excerpts on the back cover,  are stacked on my bookshelf UNFINISHED (As I said I cannot finish a book if, for me, they are not gripping).

I feel really irritated when I read some good reviews of a book, decide to read it enthusiastically and it turns out to be a bore.

A person who writes book reviews on their blogs or sites should write what they actually feel about that book. I know people have different tastes, but few things are common that we seek or expect as a reader.

Do highlight good points (It's the genuine right of a writer who has worked so hard on his/her book) but honestly try to put the negatives (If any) no matter who the author is. One should not confuse the readers in order to please the author.

I'm not in favour of being harsh or blunt or rude especially when the author is a first timer because it takes a lot of effort, patience, dedication, hard work and energy to write a book and finally getting a right publisher. Criticizing is easy, but being honest in writing a book review is the best thing we can do for readers and the author as well.

So, I appeal to all the people who do book reviews online, please don't be biased just because the author is a big name or your favourite or your friend. Write an honest review. Clearly mention the genre and writing style so that readers can decide easily whether they want to read it or not. After all, we invest money and time, and expectations, so, we definitely deserve to read an interesting, entertaining and gripping book.


  1. I second your thoughts here Tarang :)

    1. Thank you Me! Good to see you here after so long:)

  2. I have never read book reviews till date. I still prefer going to a book-shop, browsing through the books, reading the first few pages and then buying it if it interests me :) :)

    1. :) It's a good way to (Always) get an interesting book. But for those who order online, it sometimes becomes googly...:):)

  3. Most of the times I read online :P
    I always enjoy your reviews... and yeah sometimes online orders turns out to be a googly :P

    1. Thank you Jyoti! Good to know that you enjoy my reviews:)