Blog Hop: What do you look for in a review?

August 5, 2012




Today we, Bloggers, authors, reviewers and readers, will answer another burning question:

What do you look for in a review?

 → Research

Last month I had the pleasure to be a guest over Romancing The Book for their blogiversary celebration and I had the opportunity to ask readers “What do you look for when you read a review?”

I’m sharing the results with you!

I considered 45 comments* that contained the reader’s preferences while reading a review.

• The main information they want a review to adress is a description about the characters and plot, most of them included both, that together presented 57,8 % of comments.

They want to know more information on the story than what they can find on the back blurb, what the book is about, and a brief description of the characters and plot including who the hero and heroine are, their personalities, and what brings them to interact in the book.

I like to know whether the protagonist is likeable and interesting – if not, I will most likely not read it as I can’t stand boring or inane characters! 

– Leanne


• Next with 53,3% of all comments is the reviewer’s opinion, that they liked and disliked about the book.

In a review I want to not only know the reviewer’s opinion (but) what influenced them in making the decision. 

– Jeanne Miro

What I look for in reviews is the reviewer’s opinion on a book and whether they enjoyed reading it or not, I’d like to know why.

– Winnie

When I read a review I look to see how much the person enjoyed it. You can tell how much someone liked a book based on the way they talk about it.

– Annmarie

I look for a quick summary of the review and a summary of what the reviewer liked and did not like about the book. I tend to focus on the did not like section to see if those items would bother me too, or if I would actually like a book that went in that particular direction.

– Julie S.

I also want to know what you liked and didn’t like. I can’t think of any book that didn’t have something I didn’t like in it.

– Allison

 I look for excitement on the reviewer’s part. Sometimes, there is just a general feel to a review. It’s not always something that is written, but a feeling conveyed by the reviewer between the lines of the review.

– Sandy Wolters


• In third place with most mentions, readers showed their preference for reviews without spoilers, approximately 24%. Other facts they find important in a review are in the following order:

4th place: Ratings; Examples from the book itself/ Quotes

5th place: Short Reviews ; Consistent and balanced reviews

6th place: If the book is part of a series; If it has a HEA


• Some like to see reviews, or like to use them as a recommendations wether they should buy the book or not.

•  A few also included that they like to know if the book ends in a cliffhanger, if they would read another book by the author, an overall impression, a warning for “spoilers ahead”,  if the book is original, the author’s style and reviews without bias or bash towards the author.

• Out of all the comments examined for this analysis, only one person mentioned each of the following: doesn’t want the whole book laid out, comparison to other authors and books, and how readers can apply the book to their own lives.

→ My readers:

I love that your reviews are not done on your perspective but how it made you feel. Because that’s what I like, hearing why you felt the way you did. Did you enjoy the story line, the characters and if you didn’t. I get a picture of the kind of book and story it is.

– Carol L

This year I had a survey about my reader’s preferences (you should have one too to get to know your public!), and you can see the full results here.
The updated resuls now show 91 responses in total, and the replies were more focused on the elements they like to see in a review post, than what they like in the content.
If you still haven’t filled out the survey, please do and help me conquer the world!
The 10 items you most look for in a review post:

1- Book cover 91%

2- Book blurb  77%

3- Information about the series in general (if it belongs to one) 67%

4- grading system;  a small review (up to 4 paragraphs) 60%

5- release date 56%

6- romance sub-genre; other works by the author 53%

7- buying links 48%

8- link to goodreads 41%

9- Author’s social media links 37%

10- Similar Books 29%

Where do you look for reviews?

Have you ever bought a book because of a review you read?


→ Vote, leave your opinion!


 → What about you?

Whether you’re writing or reading one, there are certain things you always look for. What are those? What do you think are the most important elements you think the reviewer should include? What would you like see more? Less? What is the role of a review? How important is it?

Leave a comment bellow or Blog about it TODAY! Join the discussion =)

Rules And Guidelines:

1. Open anyone in the book community with a blog or online book review site.
2. Make sure your post goes live on AUGUST 20!
3. There is no requirement for any giveaway for this event.
4. I will send an email with the banner and inlinkz code if you wish ,and if you have any questions, please email me at readingromances.contactATgmailDOTcom
Check what others are saying about it here:

* People included more than one characteristic in each comment, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

 → Want to read more?

You can check out my last blog hop about authors commenting reviews here:

Authors On Reviews: To Comment Or Not To Comment?

You also can read our discussion about 3 stars rating reviews here:

Reviewers’ Opinions |  Authors’ Opinions 

And you can find my post about the role of the reviewer and issues when reviewing online today: Hype, Bullying & Extinction Of The Reviewer.


  • Cathryn Cade August 9, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Love this idea! I’m a romance writer, but I’m also an avid reader.


  • Moises August 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Hi, I’ve been reviewing on Amazon for years, but I’m new to Blogger and this is my first blog hop. I posted about it on my blog and also on Goodreads, so I hope that helps spread the word! -Moises

  • Emily W. August 19, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Dang, looks like I’m too late to sign up :( Oh well, I’ll still come and check the participants!

    • Nat August 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      You can add your post to the linky, it’s open again now ; )

  • Musing Sallie August 20, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Excellent article. I may put the same pole on my site to see what people think. Great idea.

    • Nat August 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      Thank you! Great, please let me know the results =D

  • Adria August 20, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    I am still learning and changing my reviewing style to offer the best possible format and information to any one who might stumble across my blog. I do not give spoilers in my reviews but I do discuss characters and what I liked about them and if the two protagonists had chemistry or not.

    Breath of Life Reviews

    • Nat August 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      On of the most important things in romance is for the couple to have chemistry, right?! =D
      Thanks for commenting!

  • Sara August 20, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Hi, loved this blog hop and the above post. It’s very interesting and usefull 😉
    Here’s my related blog post:

    • Nat August 20, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      I’m glad you did, Sara! I always try to come up with interesting themes for us to discuss about ; )

  • Livia @ Butterfly-o-Meter Books August 20, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Awesome post, as a sociologist I love polls and interpretations of the results, this is research based, not opinion as I did 😀
    I loved your post, and I’m happy to see that more or less what others look for in reviews are things I want to include in them and find in other people’s reviews, so I’m on trend with this 😀

    And I super loved this hop idea, thanks for having these awesome ideas!
    Have a fab day.

    *goes off to hop around*

    • Nat August 20, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      Thank you for participating, Livia!

  • Melissa Rheinlander August 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    I am looking forward to seeing the results of the poll :) Thanks for creating this discussion hop!!

  • Donna Brown August 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    This is really interesting to me. I might be interested enough to find out more about a book as a result of the cover but I generally don’t include my thoughts about the cover in my review because it doesn’t impact my actual reading. I do show the cover though.

    Really thought-provoking stuff for bloggers and authors – thanks for sharing!

  • Brunette Librarian August 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    I loved Jeanne’s comment – not only the review but WHY you thought that way. Very eloquently put! :)

    The Brunette Librarian Blog

  • Diva Jefferson August 20, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Great post! I love the poll and the provided information. :)

    Don’t forget to hop on over to my blog…

    Happy writing!
    -Diva J.

  • Moises August 20, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Just figured out how to post a blog hop; hopefully I did it right. I like the survey answers, they are really interesting. I am following you. Thanks!

  • Adriana August 20, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Awesome blog hop! Thanks for sending me the code almost right away. Interesting results. Makes me want to evaluate my blog.

  • Tin @ Love Saves the World August 20, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Hi, Nat!

    Very informative event hop —

    +1 to what Adria said — I’m also still learning and I’ve gone through most of the blogs. They all gave me a lot to think about. ^_^

    Congratulations to you and all the participants!

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