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7 Typical Mistakes in Book Review Writing

Book reviews provide a deep analysis of a text and examine the contents of a text. The purpose of a book review is not to retell the story, but more to evaluate it and decide on whether the book is something that you would recommend to another reader. A book review will provide opinions of the author as well as personal opinions. That said, it’s easy to make mistakes when creating a book review you, so below professional writers from a book review writing service CustomWritings will provide you with some tips on how you can avoid making these mistakes in your book review writing.

open books and a pen - writing a book review
Image by lil_foot_ from Pixabay

1. Over-focusing on the plot

If you do this it may come across that you are struggling to be critical. Therefore, a book review should not just be a description of the plot. You need to avoid just simply providing a full summary of the plot of the book. Instead, you need to discuss the major aspects of the plot so that your reader can get enough information as to whether the book is something that they think is worth reading. A book review needs to provide criticism, so if you’ve just written a review based on the plot, you haven’t actually looked at the characters, the quality, the themes, etc. If you fail to do this then why would a reader bother to read your review? The best thing to do is to avoid describing anything explicit with regards to the plot and don’t discuss anything that goes on after you’ve got halfway through the book.

2. Use of pronouns

Avoid mixing up pronouns so that your review doesn’t come across as sloppy. i.e don’t switch between ‘ reader,’ ‘we,’ ‘you,’ ‘one’ etc. Whatever type of pronoun you decide to use just remember to be consistent. 

3. Meaningless arguments

This differs from being unclear and is more about using language that doesn’t fit and creating sentences that don’t cover the point that you were trying to make. To avoid doing this you need to ask somebody else to read your work and answer any questions that they then pose.

4. Avoid narcissism

When you are reviewing a book you want to avoid being narcissistic. Therefore, avoid using the word I and stay focused and what you are talking about. Additionally, you don’t need to talk about yourself as your name will be at the top of your book review! Therefore, it’s quite clear that the review is your opinion. Your review will have more authority and carry more weight if you’ve written it from a voice that doesn’t sound personal. At the end of the day, you are writing a book review you which needs to provide a purpose to the reader as well as the author. Always remember a book review is not an opportunity for you to blabber on. If your book review sounds more like a blog then it’s likely that that’s exactly the place where it should be published, as it will just come across as an amateur review.

5. Length

You may be happy to write a 3000-word book review,  it doesn’t mean you should do that. People don’t have the time to read this amount of words so stick to 1000 words if that’s all that is needed to work.

6. Repetitiveness

Repetitiveness in a book review is likely to highlight any insecurities that you have about your own argument. So, you need to avoid repeating yourself in your review or it will just look like you’re not sure what your point of you actually is.

7. Steer clear of self-flattery

More common with new and younger writers, self-flattery in a book review is usually down to insecurity. Don’t feel that you need to justify why you are writing a book review, as this will come across very easily to your readers.

Sources that will help with book review writing 

Below we will provide you with a handy guide of texts that you could purchase to help you master book review writing.  

  • Name: Writing a book review
  • Author: Rebecca Graf
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition 
  • Year: 2015

This book provides you with handy hints related to writing a book review. It also looks at how you can write a book on picture books and audiobooks too. The book also provides insight on how to deal with writing a negative review. 

Learn how to get your message across and write in a way to keep your readers interested. This book also shows you how to use more complex language without baffling your readers. Additionally, you can learn how to write better and pay attention to grammar. 

If you’re struggling to find the right words or not sure how to form a particular paragraph or even a sentence, then this book is for you. Written in a light way, this book can be read for pleasure as well as to help you to become a better writer.

  • Name: Writer’s Toolbox
  • Author: Jamie Cat Callan
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Pck edition
  • Year: 2007

Created by a creative writing teacher, this kit will provide you with the equipment to get your writing brain in gear. The kit includes writing exercises, creative sample and prompts and aims to get you thinking in such a way that your creative juices begin to flow.

This is a collaborative post

The Town Of Griswold Book Review #32

The Town Of Griswold is the third book in the Berkely Street Series by Ron Ripley.

The Town Of Griswold By Ron Ripley

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Taking a much-needed break, ghost hunter, Shane Ryan, spends a day exploring an old New England town. What starts as a hike, becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse with a malevolent ghost who preys upon unsuspecting visitors. Shane has seen his share of bad spirits, but nothing could have prepared him for the evil predator dogging his trail.

Abel Latham is the scourge of Griswold, a deathly quiet town populated by the undead. Abel stalks the hapless victims who stumble onto his unholy ground before torturing them to death. The police rarely notice who’s missing until two brothers disappear and the only clues are the boys’ abandoned trucks and blood. Lots of blood.

Though shaken by the gruesome details of Abel’s depraved life and dreadful crimes, Shane knows his new job is to end Latham’s reign of terror and his vengeance for blood. As Shane hunts his ghostly mark, he prays he won’t be the next grisly artifact found in Griswold Forest!

My Thoughts

This series of books seems to get a bit more gruesome with each new book! The evil ghost in Griswold is called Abel and he likes to torture his victims before finishing them off.

Shane didn’t start out ghost hunting, he was out for a hike with Courtney, who we met on Squirrel Island in book 2, but when he comes across Abel in the town of Griswold and only just manages to get away, he knows he has to go back and stop Abel from hurting anyone else.

The Town Of Griswold by Ron Ripley
Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 32 books read

MamaMummyMum

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The Lighthouse Book Review #31

The Lighthouse is the second book in the Berkley Street series by Ron Ripley.

The Lighthouse

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Ex-marine Shane Ryan is a ghost hunter whose troubled past haunts him almost as much as the ghosts he encounters in the line of duty. He’s the best. And his reward for excellence? The punishment of being in high demand for jobs to eradicate the worst kind of ghosts – the kind that kill.

His latest assignment is an idyllic island setting with sunny skies, crystal blue ocean and a venerable old lighthouse that makes the scenery picture perfect … except for the malevolent, murderous ghosts marring the living portrait. If Amy, the owner, wasn’t Marie Lafontaine’s cousin, Shane would have steered clear of Squirrel Island and its diabolical dead. But Detective Lafontaine is his do-or-die friend. He’d do anything for her. Even face Dorothy, the undead Evilena who kills anyone invading her unholy domain. Add two shipwrecked couples to the mix and Shane has more trouble than he wants to handle.

Shane’s mission is clear: rid the island of Dorothy and her band of undead while keeping his new charges alive. But how could he know that staying alive meant facing the worst evil ever imagined?

My Thoughts

Shane is now a ghost hunter. He agrees to help his friend’s cousin who has recently bought a lighthouse on Squirrel Island. The contractor she hired to do all the repair work commits suicide and that, coupled with the other strange deaths and events on the island leads her to bring in Shane to see if he can help.

This second book is a little more gruesome than the first but still very enjoyable.

The Lighthouse book cover

MamaMummyMum

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Berkley Street Book Review #30

I got this series of 9 books, the first being Berkley Street, using my last credit from my trial period on Audible. I thought it was excellent that I was getting 9 books, but it was also a bit of a gamble, I mean, what if I didn’t like them?!

Berkley Street – Book 1

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Shane Ryan returns to Nashua and the childhood memories that drove him to join the Marines. After a prolonged legal battle with his aunt and uncle, Shane has possession of the family home where his parents disappeared over 20 years ago. The house, a monstrous castle filled with ghosts and secrets, is more alive than its inhabitants.

When his aunt and uncle come to town, then vanish, Shane’s life takes a turn for the worse. Detective Marie Lafontaine immediately labels Shane as the prime suspect. And in a race against time, Shane desperately searches for clues about his parents.

But there’s something lurking beyond the walls and beneath the surface. Something sinister that has haunted him ever since he saw its face in the pond behind the house. And it isn’t happy that Shane is back.

It isn’t happy at all.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this first book in the Berkley Street series. Shane is a likeable character who you feel quite sorry for when you read what he had to deal with as a child living in this haunted house.

There are many different ghosts of all different temperaments and I grew to quite like some of them, as did Shane.
However, he left when as soon as he could to join the Marines and stayed away for 20 years, only returning when he won a legal battle brought on by his aunt and uncle who thought they had more rights to the house than Shane did when his mum and dad disappeared.

I can’t say the book really scared me, books rarely do but it was an enjoyable ghost story.

Berkley Street book cover

MamaMummyMum

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The Marvelous Land Of Oz Book Review #29

The Marvelous Land Of Oz

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

First issued in 1904, L. Frank Baum’s The Marvelous Land of Oz is the story of the wonderful adventures of the young boy named Tip as he travels throughout the many lands of Oz. Here he meets with our old friends the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, as well as some new friends like Jack Pumpkinhead, the Wooden Sawhorse, the Highly Magnified Woggle-Bug, and the amazing Gump. How they thwart the wicked plans of the evil witch Mombi and overcome the rebellion of General Jinjur and her army of young women is a tale as exciting and endearing today as it was when first published over eighty years ago.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this book as much as I did The Wizard Of Oz. I recognised some characters from the Return To Oz movie that I went to see on a rare visit to the cinema when I was younger.
I know the movie didn’t do very well and everyone criticises it now, but I have to say, I loved it when I watched it at the cinema!

The Marvelous Land Of Oz
Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 29 books read

MamaMummyMum

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The Wizard Of Oz Book Review #28

The Wizard Of Oz is one of my favourite movies. This was a good thing a few years ago when Ella was a toddler because she got fixated on it and we ended up buying three copies of the DVD because she kept wearing them out!

For some reason, I’ve never thought about reading the books until I saw they were free audiobooks on Audio Book Treasury

The Wizard Of Oz

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

When Dorothy and her little dog Toto are caught in a tornado, they and their Kansas farmhouse are suddenly transported to Oz, where Munchkins live, monkeys fly and Wicked Witches rule. Desperate to return home, and with the Wicked Witch of the West on their trail, Dorothy and Toto – together with new friends the Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow and cowardly Lion – embark on a fantastic quest along the Yellow Brick Road in search of the Emerald City. There they hope to meet the legendary, all-powerful Wizard of Oz, who alone may hold the power to grant their every wish.

My Thoughts

This is a lovely book and I enjoyed it. I wish I’d read it when I was younger as it would probably have been one of my favourite stories.

The following part of the story made me laugh and I had to share it with Ella and Ant who both found it hilarious that the tin man thought it was wrong of the wildcat to kill the mouse but it was perfectly fine for him to decapitate the wildcat!

The Tin Woodman was about to reply when he heard a low growl, and turning his head (which worked beautifully on hinges) he saw a strange beast come bounding over the grass toward them. It was, indeed, a great yellow Wildcat, and the Woodman thought it must be chasing something, for its ears were lying close to its head and its mouth was wide open, showing two rows of ugly teeth, while its red eyes glowed like balls of fire. As it came nearer the Tin Woodman saw that running before the beast was a little gray field mouse, and although he had no heart he knew it was wrong for the Wildcat to try to kill such a pretty, harmless creature.
So the Woodman raised his axe, and as the Wildcat ran by he gave it a quick blow that cut the beast’s head clean off from its body, and it rolled over at his feet in two pieces.

There are quite a few books in the series, which I also never knew until now. They’re all available as free audiobooks so I’ll certainly be listening to the others while I’m cleaning and working on my papercrafts 🙂

The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

MamaMummyMum

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I Let You Go – Book Review #27

I Let You Go is the second Claire Mackintosh book that I’ve read and I’m looking forward to reading more.

I Let You Go

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating 

My Thoughts

I put this book on my TBR list after I saw a review on MumOfThree World. That review was nearly 2 years ago so you can see how long my TBR list is seeing as it’s taken me so long to get round to reading it!

I read, I See You, a couple of weeks ago by the same author and I will certainly be on the lookout for more of her books.
I think the sign of a good book for me is when you’re hit with a twist that you totally didn’t see coming and this book had two of them.

MamaMummyMum

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I See You – Book Review #26

I bought I See You by Clare Mackintosh on Audible a couple of weeks ago when they were having a sale.
I’m getting used to listening to books now and I enjoy being able to work on my crafts while listening to a book 🙂

I’m still reading the 3rd Game Of Thrones book. I only get to read a few pages every night but I’m happy because I’m taking my time and enjoying the experience.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make…

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this book. It’s the first I’ve read by Clare Mackintosh and it won’t be the last.

I liked the main female protagonists, Zoe, the victim and Kelly, the policewoman. We hear the story from these two and also from the ‘stalker’.
There were a couple of twists, one I saw coming and one which I totally didn’t!

To enjoy this book I do think you need to take it as is and not think how it would play out in reality. It wouldn’t really make sense for someone to set up the kind of website the criminal is running for a start and the perpetrator’s reasons for adding Zoe to the website are a bit poor.

I’m really looking forward to reading I Let You Go by the same author. I’ve just downloaded it on Audible and will be starting later today 🙂

I See You by Clare Mackintosh
Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 26 books read

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The Word-keeper Book Review #25

I received an email asking if I’d like to review The Word-keeper by Veronica del Valle. I read the blurb and really liked the sound of the book. It’s aimed at middle-grade children which I think is 8-12 (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong; we don’t use the term middle-grade here!) and I figured Ella, who is just shy of her 12th birthday, would enjoy it.

I had hoped we’d read it together but unfortunately, what with school, homework and family things going on, we’ve not had a chance to read it yet.
I decided I’d read it, do the review then pass it on to her to take with her when she goes on holiday in a few weeks.
I’ll add her thoughts on the book when she gets back 🙂

The Word-keeper

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

“Please was the first word to die and with it, good manners were gone and, out of the blue, everybody began to forget how to be polite. Then promise was killed and instantly people found it hard to remember the importance of commitments and pledges…”

Set in the whimsical town of Inkwell, a place with an ancient secret history, this fairytale-like adventure uncovers the key to the power hidden within words. ‘The Word-Keeper’ is the tale of a savvy bookmark named Ben that unwillingly becomes an evil imp with only one objective: destroy the words that live inside books.

Only one girl can stop him. Her name is Florence Ibbot. She is eleven years old, oddly eloquent and a quiet observer of the world. But above all, Florence is a keen logophile and is willing to sacrifice everything to protect the words.

She sets out to discover who is behind all this. The journey will take her to the origins of writing and inspiration. But she’ll also have to face the most treacherous adversary, Zyler, a ruthless sorceress whose sole mission is to ruin one of humankind’s most precious possessions: the gift of language. As the final battle approaches, Florence will have to learn how to wield words instead of the sword. Is Florence brave enough to become who she was born to be?

My Thoughts

My very first thought about this book was how lovely the cover felt. It doesn’t feel like a normal book, it has a softness to it that if I’m honest, distracted me from actually reading the text!
I just wanted to keep feeling the softness until I had to make myself concentrate on the words.

I liked the fairytale aspect of the story; magic and fantasy fiction was always a favourite of mine when I was younger.
I was an avid reader, like Florence, and my love of books has never died.
If I could wish one thing, it would be to be 12 again while reading this book. You just don’t get the same feelings of awe and wonder when reading about magical places as an adult the way you do as a child and I miss it!



MamaMummyMum

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The Canterville Ghost Book Review #24

I needed something light and easy to read to help me get back on track with my Goodreads challenge and to give my brain a bit of a rest and The Canterville Ghost novella was perfect.

I’ve only managed to read about 150 pages of the third Game Of Thrones book this week as we’ve had some family illness that’s resulted in numerous hospital visits and lots for us to do that we don’t normally do.
We don’t mind one bit because it’s family, which is obviously a whole lot more important than finding time to read!

The Canterville Ghost

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

This is Oscar Wilde’s tale of the American family moved into a British mansion, Canterville Chase, much to the annoyance of its tired ghost. The family — which refuses to believe in him — is in Wilde’s way a commentary on the British nobility of the day — and on the Americans, too. The tale, like many of Wilde’s, is rich with allusion, but ends as sentimental romance…

My Thoughts

I always loved watching this movie with my mum when I was younger.

I’ve never thought about reading the book, though, until I saw it came as a free audiobook from Loyal Books 🙂

It’s only a novella with just over 100 pages but it was totally what I needed while I carried on with a craft project I’m working on.
I’m getting used to audiobooks now and I’ve decided I’m not going to rush to finish the Game Of Thrones book I’m reading because I want to enjoy reading it, but to help keep up with my Goodreads challenge, I’m going to listen to audiobooks while I’m working and read my GoT book at night when I’m in bed and whenever I get chance to grab a quite half hour 🙂

The Canterville Ghost
Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 24 books read

MamaMummyMum

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