Emily is a teenager who, feeling that her fellow high school students could not adequately understand her passion for books, turned to book blogging as a way to discuss literature with other YA readers. She fills her spare time by being a choir kid and an amateur journalist, organizing everything in sight, running on the treadmill, talking like a Londoner, eating weird health foods that no one else likes, wearing shirts made of lace, and spending time with family and friends. Emily tries to avoid encounters with bugs, but she loves to meet humans (this means you) and would therefore be ecstatic if you visited her book blog or talked to her on Twitter.
First sentences are always the hardest. Whether you are saying hello to a stranger or writing a novel, finding the right words to get everything rolling is the most difficult part of the entire project. Writing a book review is no different.
This is why, a few months ago, I wrote a post entitled “The Art of Starting a Review,” sharing a few ideas for review starters that I tend to use. When Briana contacted me about taking part in a blog tips-and-tricks feature, I decided to make another post offering more ideas. If you are battling your brain to develop a fantastic first sentence, here are some ideas that could help.
1. Put it in someone else’s words. If you’re having trouble thinking of a catchy opener, why not borrow from someone else? You can quote an important line from the book and then explain its significance (in a non-spoilery way, of course). Or you can repeat a popular idea or saying that the story centers on and analyze the story’s success in dealing with the topic. Example reviews from me: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody, Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
2. What you see’s not what you get. If a book turns out to be dramatically different than its cover or synopsis would indicate, I often start out my review by pointing out the misleading element and discussing the way it skewed my expectations. It is often easier to talk about what a book is NOT rather than what it is, and describing your preconceptions provides the perfect segue into your thoughts on the book itself. Example review from me: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
3. All tied up. What did you love more than anything else about the book you are reviewing? Write an opening paragraph about that element, followed by paragraphs about how your favorite thing affected other aspects of the story. Ask yourself, “How does X affect Y?” and find a way to tie each point back to that first paragraph. Example review from me: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Good luck with your next book review. I am sure it will be fantastic.