Nobody likes to spend money on a new book only to face that overwhelming feeling of disappointment when it doesn’t live up to your expectations. The solution is to check out a few book review sites before you hit the shops. The greater the diversity of opinions you can gather, the more confidence you can have that you’ll enjoy the title.
Which book review and book rating sites are worth considering? Here are the best ones.
Goodreads is arguably the leading online community for book lovers. If you want some inspiration for which book to read next, this is the site to visit.
There’s an endless number of user-generated reading lists to explore, and Goodreads itself publishes dozens of “best of” lists across a number of categories. You can also join book discussions and reading groups with thousands of members.
You can participate in the community by adding your own rankings to books you’ve read and leaving reviews for other people to check out. Occasionally, there are even bonus events like question and answer session with authors.
LibraryThing is the self-proclaimed largest book club in the world. It has more than 2.3 million members and is part-cataloging site/part-social networking site.
With a free account, you can add up to 200 books to your library and share it with other users. But it’s in the other areas where LibraryThing can claim to be one of the best book review sites.
Naturally, there are ratings, user reviews, and tags. But be sure to click on the Zeitgeist tab at the top of the page. It contains masses of information, including the top books by rating, by the number of reviews, by authors, and loads more.
3. Book Riot
Book Riot is a blog. It publishes listicles on dozens of different topics, many of which focus on the best books in a certain genre. To give you an idea, some recent articles include 16 Must-Read Space Books and 8 Horror Novels by Latino Authors.
Of course, there’s also plenty of non-reading list content. If you have a general affinity for literature, Book Riot is definitely worth adding to list of websites you browse every day.
Bookish is a site that all members of book clubs should know about. It helps you prep for your next meeting with discussion guides, book quizzes, and book games. There are even food and drink suggestions and playlists suggestions.
But the site is about more than book club meetings. It also offers lots of editorial content. That comes in the form of author interviews, opinion essays, book recommendations, reading challenges, and giveaways.
Be sure to look at the Must-Read Books section of the site regularly. Every two weeks, a new Staff Reads article goes live.
Booklist is a print magazine which also offers an online portal. Trusted experts from the American Library Association write all the reviews.
You can see snippets of reviews for different books. However, to read the full reviews, you will need to subscribe. An annual plan costs $295 per year.
Fantasy Book Review should be high on the list for anyone who is a fan of fantasy works.
The site publishes reviews for both children’s books and adults’ books. It has a book of the month section, a rating system of 0-10 for books it’s reviewed, and a continually updated list of must-read books for each year.
You can search through the old must-read archives, going right back to 1980.
LoveReading is one of the most popular book review sites in the UK, but American audiences will find it to be equally useful.
The site is divided into fiction and non-fiction works. In each area, it publishes weekly staff picks, books of the month, debuts of the month, ebooks of the month, audiobooks of the month, and the nationwide bestsellers. Each book on every list has a full review that you can read for free.
Make sure you also check out the LoveReading Loves section. You’ll find themed reading lists such as World War One Literature and Summer Reading 2019.
Kirkus has been involved in producing book reviews since the 1930s. The site critiques the week’s bestselling books, along with a simple Buy It, Borrow It, or Skip It rating.
As you’d expect, you’ll also find dozens of “best of” lists and individual books reviews across many categories and genres.
And while you’re on the site, make sure you click on the Kirkus Prize section. You can look at all the past winners and finalists, complete with the accompanying reviews of their books.
As is so often the case, Reddit has a subreddit dedicated to book reviews and reading lists.
The subreddit has weekly scheduled threads about a particular topic or genre. Anyone can then chip in with their opinions about which books are recommendable.
Several new threads are published every day. Recent threads have included subjects such as Literature of the 1910s, Literature of Singapore, and Favorite Beach Reads.
You’ll also discover a weekly recommendation thread, a weekly What are you Reading? discussion, and frequent AMAs.
YouTube is not the type of place that immediately springs to mind when you think of the best book review sites online.
Nonetheless, there are several engaging YouTube channels which frequently offer opinions on books they’ve read.
Some of the most notable book review YouTube channels include Better Than Food: Book Reviews, Little Book Owl, PolandBananasBooks, and Rincey Reads.
We’ve written about the best YouTube channels for book lovers if you would like to learn more.
Don’t Forget Amazon!
The 10 book review sites we’ve discussed will appeal to different types of readers. Some people will be more comfortable with the easy-to-interpret book rating systems; others will prefer extensive reviews written by experienced professionals.
And remember, if you don’t want to dig into endless book reviews, you can also use Amazon as a quick-and-dirty way to gauge people’s opinion on a title.