Did you enjoy the last book that you read?
If the answer is, “Yes,” then you should consider writing a review of the book. It doesn’t have to be long–perhaps a brief synopsis that doesn’t overlap with the book’s cover blurb. You don’t have to be a writer to rate and give feedback on a published story.
However, if the answer is, “No,” consider holding off on writing a review. Most negative views on books are more a matter of taste and preference than on the actual quality of the story. If you just couldn’t finish it or found it disappointing, never ever completely post something negative. Writing is the author’s livelihood and bad reviews can keep readers from buying a book that they might enjoy.
That is to say that you don’t have to be completely positive in the review either. The very first review I received on “Undoing Life” said that the beginning was slow. Yes, it upset me a bit, but I continued reading what my reviewer wrote. They had also said that everything picked up and that they loved the surprise ending and that it was a good for a first book. They key to giving criticism is to blend the positive with the negative. What that reviewer said was absolutely true–“Undoing Life” started VERY slow. It was something I could never figure out how to fix. But knowing that a reader picked up on that has made me work harder on my beginnings to make them more interesting and thrust my readers into more action earlier on.
This probably goes without saying, but if you have a personal feud with the writer, don’t ruin their reputation by being rude and nasty. Really focus on the content of their art instead of attacking them personally. I think most potential readers pick up on the childish nature of such reviews and know better than to listen to them, so really it’s not in your best interest to let your hurt feelings lead affect your review; other readers might not take any more of your reviews seriously.
Now I know it’s time-consuming to leave a review. I’m sure that when you finish one books you’re dying to start another. But I’m going to encourage you to take 5-10 minutes to really reflect on what you read. Writing a review is the best way that you can thank an author for the joy and entertainment you felt while reading the book.