AWRW Presents: Book Blogging 101, How to Write a Book Review Like a Pro!


bb101awrwI personally like writing book reviews. The good, the bad, and the in-between! I never shy away from writing a negative review, because it can only help the Author GROW as a writer. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” doesn’t apply to book reviewing.

Book reviews do not need to be miles long to be thoughtful. As long as you are fair and honest, your book review can help the Author, persuade, or even dissuade others to purchase the book… all while building your credibility as a book blogger!

I will be be providing examples from a recent book review I did of Lost in Us, by Layla Hagen.

So let’s get started, shall we?!

1.) Your book review should include any applicable images of the book. Teasers, book jackets, or even yourself posing with the book all apply!

Example: lostinus8188a-teaserlostinus4

2.) The brief summary/synopsis/blurb on the back of the book jacket.


Serena has learned to live with her past, locking her secrets and nightmares deep inside her. But when her boyfriend of six years abruptly leaves her, she’s catapulted back into pain, nursing a broken heart. When indulging in mountains of chocolate doesn’t work, Serena decides the best way to deal with her shattered heart is to indulge in something else. A rebound . . .

And best not repeated.

James is a successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. A man who has amassed a fortune by taking risks. A man who has shunned commitment completely, and still does. He’s the exact opposite of Serena. But sometimes opposites attract. Sometimes they give in to burning passion. Sometimes opposites are perfect for each other.

James is everything her damaged soul could want. His kisses are intoxicating, his touch out of this world. He makes her forget. He grants her peace from her pain. But as they grow closer, Serena discovers she isn’t the only one with a past. James carries the scars of a past much darker than hers. One that has left him damaged, hurt, and wary of love. A past that gives him the power to shatter her.

The night she swaps her usual Sprite for tequila, she meets James. The encounter is breathtaking.

Now James and Serena must find a way to mend one another. Or risk losing each other forever.

3.) Your own spoiler free summary of the book. (If you include spoilers, warn your readers).


Serena doesn’t have rebounds, nor does she usually drink tequila,  but tonight she wants to be a little reckless. After her boyfriend of six years dumped her, her best friend encourages her to have a little fun in the form of meaningless sex. Little does she know, trouble just walked into the bar, and he is headed her way.

James, Stanford’s golden boy, and poster child for successful serial entrepreneurs, has no problem picking up women, and Serena is no different. They have sex; delicious, rough, and intense sex… but where do they go from there? If even anywhere?

Serena and James both carry with them a past, a past that has shaped who they have become today. Serena is afraid to step outside her comfort zone, and James is afraid to fall in love. They have sex, break up, get back together, have makeup sex, and break up again. This cycle repeats itself, further shattering their already broken hearts.

Serena discovers that distance really is the best defense, despite her torn emotions, and primal urges to seek James out. She’d rather live in her safe bubble, than take that leap of faith on a man as unpredictable as James. But what kind of life is she living? James makes the emptiness more bearable, and the memories sweeter for Serena.

Lost in Us, by Layla Hagen is a story about two young people who couldn’t possibly be anymore different, starting out their lives as adults, taking risks, getting hurt, and mending each other along the way. The Katy Perry song Hot & Cold comes to mind when I think of James… His unpredictability drove me as crazy as it did Serena! Trust me, you will NOT predict his moves. His personality is anything but readable!

4.) Your impression of the book.  For instance, how did it make you feel? How was the pacing? Who were your favorite characters? Who did you identify with? Was there anything that you didn’t like about the book?-(If there was, be constructive.) What was the central idea? What was your favorite scene, (be careful not to spoil anything). If you had any favorite quotes, include them! 


Unfortunately, this story tended to drag at times, mostly because of the personalities and antics of James and Serena. They acted more like high school kids than adults, what with their childish games of trying to make each other jealous, *snoooze*,  and him jumping into the next available bed whenever things got tough. (Ok, so supposedly he didn’t jump into Natalie’s bed that second time but I am calling BS on that one!!!!!)

I think that if this story had been less lengthy, it would have been a better read. Lost, the novella, adequately built the characters up and their worlds surrounding them.  316 pages of Serena and  “hot & cold” James was just too much for me. It was appropriate for Serena to have been drinking tequila when she met James, because that man could drive a saint to drink!

I also included my favorite quotes, as well as images I found online related to the book throughout my book review. You can check those out here.

5.) Who would you recommend this book to?


I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys New Adult Romance. 

Or, “I would recommend this book for the brush pile to be burned”, if you hated it… 😉

6.) Your rating of the book.


Overall, I am giving Lost in Us, by Layla Hagen 3 stars.  I enjoy Layla Hagen’s writing style, I just didn’t enjoy these two characters!

6.) The technical stuff: Genre, page count, publish date, publishing house, Author’s name, Goodreads link, Amazon link, etc.

7.) An image of the Author and their biography. -Can be pulled from Amazon or Goodreads.

8.) How you acquired the book: Read for review, Library, or Bought.


*** Honest, fair, and thoughtful book review provided in exchange for a copy of Lost in Us

Last but not least, spread the word! Join Goodreads if you haven’t already! Start a book blogging site, connect with other book bloggers, and spread your reviews all over Twitter, Amazon, and Facebook! Share them on the Author’s personal Facebook and Twitter fan sites! They DO read & appreciate them! 🙂 Pretty soon Authors will be contacting you directly to review their work! (Don’t forget to create a contact page on your blog).

Creating a brand name and a professional looking website was the best part for me. Make it YOU, and you will have fun too!

Did I miss anything? Bloggers, don’t be afraid to chime in! I’m open to suggestions!

Happy Blogging!





14 thoughts on “AWRW Presents: Book Blogging 101, How to Write a Book Review Like a Pro!

  1. Great tips! I practice some of these guidelines, but not all. I’m a leniant book reviewer, probably because I’m an author too and I know how hard most writers work on their craft. But you’re right that constructive criticism can help make writers better. I’m guilty of not utilizing Goodreads as much as I should. I have plans to improve that soon!


  2. Nicely done, April. I read & review for “Big Al’s Books & Pals.” You hit all the important reviewing
    points, but often it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it, and your GIFs and examples had me nodding and smiling–kudos.


  3. I think it is important that the book review be constructive (like you mentioned) and not nasty! Never good to write a book review while angry.
    Thanks for the advice, you have a new follower! ❤


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