what makes a good review

I love reading a good review. By good, I mean not 'five stars' but a review that illuminates and provokes thought in its reader, by drawing upon history, other works and/or personal experience.

Felicity Plunkett shares the Seven Ingredients of a Good Review:
A good review works as a piece of writing in its own right. ... This may involve striking phrasing, a sense of a window opened to shed light into the text, voice, wit, an unexpected metaphor or an evocative sense of the impact of the work.
I wholeheartedly agree with her advice  'The best reviews host the text with style and grace, inviting their readers in.' – and recommend reading in full. Wish I chanced upon it last year. As it was, I learnt to review through practice, reading other reviews and with editorial guidance.

Speaking of reviews, my FINAL piece to be published (in The Lifted Brow, yay!) in 2016 is a review of I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This by Nadja Spiegelman.
I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This asks readers to consider whether multiple 'truths' can co-exist, not just as differences of opinion between family members, but within individuals. It examines how we twist our memories to fit the narrative of who we are, so that we may make sense of our lives and thus continue to live with ourselves.
You can read the full review here, with a dash of memoir on my relationship with my mother.

You can also find all books reviewed for The Lifted Brow in 2016 here. My favourite reviews:

So Sad Today by Melissa Broder (Scribe), reviewed by Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen

The Love of a Bad Man by Laura Elizabeth Woollett (Scribe), reviewed by Veronica Sullivan

Rebellious Daughters edited by Maria Katsonis and Lee Koffman (Simon and Schuster), reviewed by Angela Serrano

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy (Penguin), reviewed by Madeleine Laing

Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin), reviewed by Alice Robinson


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