Let’s Talk Bookish – Should There Be A Standard for Book Reviews?

Hi guys and welcome to Let’s Talk Bookish! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: Should There Be A Standard for Book Reviews?

My dad suggested this topic, and honestly, it got me thinking, maybe there should be a standard, or a bare minimum requirement for readers who write reviews.

I think that with a standard, reviews will be more “regulated”, and there will be something to make sure that people don’t just write hurtful reviews that have no purpose or that attack the author when it should be about the book, or even glowing reviews, when this person has not read the book.

I know that there are a few rules here and there that people have created, but it would be much helpful, especially for new reviewers, if we collected all these rules and put them in one guide. I remember starting out and wondering if there are things that I should and should not do, or if it’s just, you’re free do whatever you want. It would have been helpful to have a standard or guide to help me out.

However, if there was a standard, I wouldn’t want it to stop people’s creativity. I’m not saying that the standard will have crazy rules like: it has to be between 300-400 words, written like an essay, discuss objectively the points, no negativity, etc. That would be annoying, and I’d probably be the first reviewer to quit. The reason I hated book reviews in school were because of rules that are similar to that. I felt they were more about the book, and not about what I thought about the book, so what’s the point in reading it if they don’t care whether I enjoy it or not?

I also love ranty reviews, just as much as everyone else, and I wouldn’t say we should scrap them because “they aren’t objective” or because “they are very scathing/negative”. To be honest, even in ranty reviews, there are still analysis’ of where the book went wrong, and what was not okay in the book, it’s just written in a more…angry way.

So no, if there were to be a standard, it should not cripple creativity, and it should not be mandatory, but I think that it would be a helpful guide for people who are just starting out.

This Week’s Participants:

Jane @ Blogger Books | Heran @ Be Frisky

And that’s it for this post! What did you think? Should there be a standard, or a guide? Were you also lost when you first started reviewing books? Did you dislike writing book reviews in school? Chat with me in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish – Should There Be A Standard for Book Reviews?

  1. I think this is a fun and interesting idea for a discussion! I started reviewing knowing nothing at all about blogs, or reviews – and it shows. My reviews were all over the place – in part because my English wasn’t as good as it is now, but also because I just wasn’t sure how to write them well. So finding some “how to” posts would have been very helpful. At the same time, I do agree – having “rules” could kill people’s creativity, and especially younger people joining the community might feel pressured to follow them. I remember I read a lot of goodreads reviews before building up a list of blogs to follow, and most of them would recap the blurb before getting into their thoughts. I wasn’t good at writing recaps, but I forced myself to do them like “everyone” else was, and I had no fun at all working on these parts of my posts. Thankfully, I learnt that I don’t have to follow everyone else, but yeah, I do think that rules and expectations can force people to write a certain way. Either way, I loved reading your discussion! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you do! Aww, yeah, “how to” posts would have been really helpful. But if there was a guide, it would just have helpful tips, and not mandatory rules. Yes, we wouldn’t anybody to hate reviewing because of some rules that don’t let them be themselves. I’m glad you learned that you could do whatever you wanted!!! Thank you!! Happy reading 💚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy all the different book reviews, we all can’t be the same. It’s like the book reviewer who gives all their reviews, glowing praise. I can’t stand reading a blog that the individual likes every book they read and rates them all a 5 star read. You have to wonder if it’s true or they’re afraid of something. When I get done reading a book or sometimes before I put a book on my TBR stack, I look at positive and negative posts about the book to see what individuals wrote about it. I find it interesting what individuals took away from the book and what they saw was important. Great topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Variety is really important, or else no one would want to read reviews anymore. Yeah, I wouldn’t trust someone that always loves a book, because that doesn’t make sense. Oh, I do that too, especially before so that I can have an idea of what the book is about, and what to watch out for. And reading negative reviews helps to find out the things that readers who loved it might have missed. It is really fun and interesting to do so 🙂 Thank you and happy reading!


  3. Hey, Rukky! I really love this topic for a discussion! I also remember starting out my book blog and reading some guides about how to review a book 😅. There were a few I came across that mentioned minimum and maximum word counts, and I remember being put off from even attempting a review after reading those. But, I really like how touched upon that our book reviews aren’t book reports! That’s what makes book blogging so amazing! We can finally talk about the books we read for FUN the way WE want to. So, I completely agree that book review guides should exist to be just that—guides—and there shouldn’t be any standards that inhibit us from expressing ourselves fully and freely 😁.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Belle!!! I’m so glad you do! Yeah, I used to read a bunch of other bloggers reviews to try and get an idea on how to do mine when I first started as well lol. Haha, I really hated doing book reports. It was so annoying having to critically analyze a book I didn’t even want to read. But book reviewing is fun and different, because as you said, it’s about us and what we love. Standards should definitely not stop or control our creativity, but guides would definitely be very helpful. I love the way you said it, and I’m so glad that you agree!

      Thank you for stopping by 💚 Happy reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love reviews that are honest & talk about the book. If everyone liked every book life would be boring. I’ve recently read 2 books by the same author…one I loved, one I hated. I never once attacked the author, those reviews bug me. I think if reviews just stopped attacking authors & focused on the parts of the story they didn’t like & why we’d be in a better spot with reviews! Same with when people just gush over an author…just talk about the book! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Negative” reviews are helpful to publishers and readers to determine if they should publish more books like it or read the book. Maybe the only “rule” there should be is don’t tag authors in negative reviews because it’s pointless and hurtful. (They book is published; they can’t make changes and if they need tips on better writing, it should come from a professional standpoint aka their editor/publishing house/agent.)

    This is a great prompt for discussion because there is such variety when it comes to book reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, negative reviews (that aren’t just rants) can be helpful, and like you said, it’s not for the author to read. It’s for the publisher and other readers in the community. That’s a very important rule, but, sadly, some people don’t know that.

      There is definitely a huge variety, and that’s what makes everyone unique 🙂 I’m glad you liked this!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I just love all the different twists on reviews! I feel like the different types of reviews also says something about the reviewer, which is very interesting!
    But maybe it can indeed be useful if there are some guideline, if you don’t know how to start reviewing 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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