I am the type of person who believes in honest reviewing. Most people think that honest reviewing means you need to type up a long critique of a novel you’ve read but the truth is you don’t. An honest review is one that shows the author whether you truly liked their book or didn’t. It may show what is good and/or bad about it.
Sometimes my reviews are short and to the point. If I honestly do not find much fault with a book, or if my enjoyment is increased over the small faults I find I will usually not mention them, because they are minimal and not worth mentioning. However, if my reading discovers multiple issues with a work or if there is something I truly did not like and can’t let go I will point that out.
If I were to give away a free copy of my novel I would expect an honest review. To effectively give an honest review a reader should actually read the book. Does one have to finish reading a book to leave an honest review? Not really, no. As long as you read enough chapters to truthfully know how you feel about the book overall, you can still leave an honest review. For me, it’s generally about five or ten chapters, depending. If I give an honest review before finishing a book I will always return to it at some point to finish it, particularly if it is four or five stars. However, it is iffy if I will continue a book if I give it less than four stars.
Some believe that an exchange of reviews should equal the same. Not unless you truly feel the same way about an author’s book as they have yours. I strive to be very honest when I review, That being said, don’t be afraid to let your honesty in your reviews show. Your honesty helps an author more than you could possibly know.