I think it is in our very nature to be critical. Critical of ourselves and critical of others. I have to constantly battle this demon because my day job actually requires me to be highly critical, which is probably why I am so good at it. Being critical is different from criticism, although most people equate the two which is why criticism is generally thought of as negative.
Because it is so easy for us to find fault, what happens when we like something? Personally it is a lot harder for me to analyze why something works for me, but I can be the first to tell you why it doesn’t. I am a writer and a reader. As a reader, when I like a book I generally buy others from the author, but I might not leave a review. The thought of writing a review is scary because I am never as good at summarizing the story like professional reviewers are.
I am also a writer and I know reviews are important. As a reader I often look at reviews when picking up a book by an author I have never heard before. I might like the cover, I might like the blurb, I might like the price, but is this book worth my time? We all have very little free time to spare these days and our TBR lists are huge. This is why reviews are so important.
When you take the time to write a review your words help the author sell more books which will hopefully support them in writing more stories. But where do you start?
Here are some of the various parts of a book that may have struck your fancy:
1. Characters. You might have identified with one or more character in the story or just loved each time they were in a scene because they were highly entertaining.
2. Tone. Did you like the voice of the main character? Were they sassy or funny? Were they poignant? Did the story make you laugh out loud or cry?
3. Character interactions. Did you really dig the romance element? Were the interactions believable? Did the dialogue and witty banter really pull you in?
4. Intrigue. Maybe there was a mystery or some element of intrigue as a part of the story that really fascinated you or kept you on your toes.
5. The world building. This may apply more to fantasy stories, but it also applies to others. Did you think the story was highly imaginative? Was the world cohesive and make sense? Would you mind spending some time there yourself? Did it draw you in and surround you so that you too wanted to know what burbleberries tasted like?
6. Writing style. Maybe you like past faced novels which pull you from one chapter into the next with ease. “I read it all in one sitting” is a common phrase for books like this. If you like descriptive prose you might have “enjoyed the pictures that the author painted with her words” or something to that effect.
Bottom line, however you choose to pen a positive review the author will always appreciate it.