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Step 1 of 3

Summarize this book in your own words.

Step 2 of 3

What was your favorite thing about this book ?

Step 3 of 3

Overall, how much did you enjoy this book , i hated this book ..

Now, choose all the responses that explain why you hated this book .

I disliked this book .

Now, choose all the responses that explain why you disliked this book .

This book was okay.

Now, choose all the responses that explain why you thought this book was okay.

I liked this book .

Now, choose all the responses that explain why you liked this book .

I loved this book .

Now, choose all the responses that explain why you loved this book .

Technical Review Questions

These are five additional questions that deal with more technical aspects of this book , such as plot, characters, pacing, setting, editing, and production. This is your chance to expand your review.

Let's get technical!

Was the plot to this book engaging?

Now, choose which response explains why this book lacked a plot.

Not much of a plot.

Now, choose which response best explains why this book didn't have much of a plot.

The plot was okay.

Now, choose which response best explains why this book 's plot was just okay.

The plot was good.

Now, choose which response best explains why this book 's plot was good.

The plot was perfect.

Now, choose which response best explains why this book 's plot was perfect.

How were the characters in this book ?

I hated them..

Now, choose which response best explains why you hated the characters.

They were unrealistic.

Now, choose which response best explains why the characters were unrealistic.

They were forgettable.

Now, choose which response best explains why the characters were forgettable.

They were believable.

Now, choose which response best explains why the characters were believable.

They felt real.

Now, choose which response best explains why the characters felt real.

Was this book paced well?

It felt like work., it was tedious., it was steady., it was engaging., it was addicting., how immersive did this book feel, completely unrealistic settings., poor setting descriptions., well thought out settings., superb setting descriptions., fully realistic settings., how were the editing and production for this book , awful design and editing., poor design and editing., decent design and editing., good design and editing., perfect design and editing..

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how to write a fake book review

Why Fake Reviews Can Hurt and How To Spot Them

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Last week we spent time on how to write a great book review. If you missed it, you can read about it here . Today we’re going to talk about something we’d rather not have, and that’s fake book reviews. Here’s why…

If you’re an author, then you know that reviews can make or break your book. A few good reviews can convince people to give your book a chance, but a bunch of bad reviews can discourage people from clicking the “buy now” button. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that the reviews you’re getting are real.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s all too easy for people to leave fake reviews. None of us wants to have bad reviews of our books, but there is such a thing as having too many five-star glowing reviews too. I know that seems counterintuitive, but think about it. Have you ever run across a book that has tons of reviews, and every single one of them has five stars and an absolutely glowing report of its contents? Haven’t you wondered about this? Most of us have, and there is an uneasy feeling about it. How is it possible every single reviewer gives it the highest praise possible? After all, it’s challenging enough to find two people who want to have dinner at the same place, not to mention a lot of strangers all agreeing on a book. When we see all these 5-star reviews, we figure it is mostly friends and family writing them. It’s not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just that others will have a hard time believing it. It can backfire on you. People just don’t trust it.

When I have clients come to me upset about a less-than-stellar review, I remind them it is time to celebrate. It helps keep things real. Having a 3-star review is not necessarily a bad thing.

It’s important to keep an eye on your reviews and monitor this, while keeping an eye out for fakes. This is also good information for review readers who are deciding to buy a book:

1. Is the review verified?

If there is the word “verified” in green letters next to the reviewer’s comment, that means they actually bought the book, and that is a very good thing. Fake reviewers don’t usually part with their own money and therefore did not first purchase the book. Be sure to look for the word, “verified.”

2. Check the reviewer’s history.

If you’re not sure whether a review is real or not, one of the best things you can do is check out the reviewer’s history. How many reviews have they done in the past? What else have they reviewed? If they’ve only reviewed your book and nothing else, or if they’ve left dozens of reviews in a short period of time, or if they’ve only written “terrible” reviews, those are red flags.

3. Look at the content of the review.

When you’re trying to determine whether a review is real or fake, it’s also important to pay attention to the content of the review itself. Does it seem genuine? Is it well-written? Does it offer specific details about what the reviewer liked or didn’t like about the book? Or is it vague and full of empty praise or criticism? A real review will offer specific insights that can help readers determine if your book is for them. A fake review will be much less helpful.

4. See if other reviewers corroborate what this reviewer is saying.

If you’re still not sure whether a particular review is real or fake, see if other reviewers are saying similar things. If multiple reviewers mention the same issue—whether it’s something they loved or something they didn’t like—chances are good that it’s legitimate feedback. But if this reviewer is the only one making a particular point, that should give you pause. It doesn’t mean it’s fake, but it’s just something to consider and be aware of.

5. The review is overly positive or negative.

We touched on this earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again: one of the biggest red flags when it comes to spotting fake book reviews is when the review is either overly positive or overly negative. Few people are completely polarized in one direction or the other. Very few books are truly amazing or absolutely terrible. If you see a review that falls at either extreme of the spectrum, there’s a good reason to question the validity of it.

6. Note the tone of the review.

This ties in with being too glowing—a real review might have criticisms, but even if it’s mostly positive, it will usually be balanced and fair. A fake review, however, will often go overboard in its praise or its criticism.

Bottom Line

You want potential readers to be getting honest feedback about your work—not artificially inflated (or deflated) ratings that don’t give an accurate picture of what your book is really like. This is also good news for when you get a lower review. Keep in mind that rather than feeling bad about it, you can feel good about it. Things are balanced, as they should be. Keep an eye out for the tips listed above next time you’re reading reviews, and you’ll be on your way to weeding out the fakes from the genuine articles. And good luck! Here’s to lots of good, helpful reviews that make others want to buy and read your book.

To your success!

P.S. It’s got to be real!

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Book Reviews

What this handout is about.

This handout will help you write a book review, a report or essay that offers a critical perspective on a text. It offers a process and suggests some strategies for writing book reviews.

What is a review?

A review is a critical evaluation of a text, event, object, or phenomenon. Reviews can consider books, articles, entire genres or fields of literature, architecture, art, fashion, restaurants, policies, exhibitions, performances, and many other forms. This handout will focus on book reviews. For a similar assignment, see our handout on literature reviews .

Above all, a review makes an argument. The most important element of a review is that it is a commentary, not merely a summary. It allows you to enter into dialogue and discussion with the work’s creator and with other audiences. You can offer agreement or disagreement and identify where you find the work exemplary or deficient in its knowledge, judgments, or organization. You should clearly state your opinion of the work in question, and that statement will probably resemble other types of academic writing, with a thesis statement, supporting body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Typically, reviews are brief. In newspapers and academic journals, they rarely exceed 1000 words, although you may encounter lengthier assignments and extended commentaries. In either case, reviews need to be succinct. While they vary in tone, subject, and style, they share some common features:

  • First, a review gives the reader a concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose.
  • Second, and more importantly, a review offers a critical assessment of the content. This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective or persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.
  • Finally, in addition to analyzing the work, a review often suggests whether or not the audience would appreciate it.

Becoming an expert reviewer: three short examples

Reviewing can be a daunting task. Someone has asked for your opinion about something that you may feel unqualified to evaluate. Who are you to criticize Toni Morrison’s new book if you’ve never written a novel yourself, much less won a Nobel Prize? The point is that someone—a professor, a journal editor, peers in a study group—wants to know what you think about a particular work. You may not be (or feel like) an expert, but you need to pretend to be one for your particular audience. Nobody expects you to be the intellectual equal of the work’s creator, but your careful observations can provide you with the raw material to make reasoned judgments. Tactfully voicing agreement and disagreement, praise and criticism, is a valuable, challenging skill, and like many forms of writing, reviews require you to provide concrete evidence for your assertions.

Consider the following brief book review written for a history course on medieval Europe by a student who is fascinated with beer:

Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600, investigates how women used to brew and sell the majority of ale drunk in England. Historically, ale and beer (not milk, wine, or water) were important elements of the English diet. Ale brewing was low-skill and low status labor that was complimentary to women’s domestic responsibilities. In the early fifteenth century, brewers began to make ale with hops, and they called this new drink “beer.” This technique allowed brewers to produce their beverages at a lower cost and to sell it more easily, although women generally stopped brewing once the business became more profitable.

The student describes the subject of the book and provides an accurate summary of its contents. But the reader does not learn some key information expected from a review: the author’s argument, the student’s appraisal of the book and its argument, and whether or not the student would recommend the book. As a critical assessment, a book review should focus on opinions, not facts and details. Summary should be kept to a minimum, and specific details should serve to illustrate arguments.

Now consider a review of the same book written by a slightly more opinionated student:

Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 was a colossal disappointment. I wanted to know about the rituals surrounding drinking in medieval England: the songs, the games, the parties. Bennett provided none of that information. I liked how the book showed ale and beer brewing as an economic activity, but the reader gets lost in the details of prices and wages. I was more interested in the private lives of the women brewsters. The book was divided into eight long chapters, and I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to read it.

There’s no shortage of judgments in this review! But the student does not display a working knowledge of the book’s argument. The reader has a sense of what the student expected of the book, but no sense of what the author herself set out to prove. Although the student gives several reasons for the negative review, those examples do not clearly relate to each other as part of an overall evaluation—in other words, in support of a specific thesis. This review is indeed an assessment, but not a critical one.

Here is one final review of the same book:

One of feminism’s paradoxes—one that challenges many of its optimistic histories—is how patriarchy remains persistent over time. While Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 recognizes medieval women as historical actors through their ale brewing, it also shows that female agency had its limits with the advent of beer. I had assumed that those limits were religious and political, but Bennett shows how a “patriarchal equilibrium” shut women out of economic life as well. Her analysis of women’s wages in ale and beer production proves that a change in women’s work does not equate to a change in working women’s status. Contemporary feminists and historians alike should read Bennett’s book and think twice when they crack open their next brewsky.

This student’s review avoids the problems of the previous two examples. It combines balanced opinion and concrete example, a critical assessment based on an explicitly stated rationale, and a recommendation to a potential audience. The reader gets a sense of what the book’s author intended to demonstrate. Moreover, the student refers to an argument about feminist history in general that places the book in a specific genre and that reaches out to a general audience. The example of analyzing wages illustrates an argument, the analysis engages significant intellectual debates, and the reasons for the overall positive review are plainly visible. The review offers criteria, opinions, and support with which the reader can agree or disagree.

Developing an assessment: before you write

There is no definitive method to writing a review, although some critical thinking about the work at hand is necessary before you actually begin writing. Thus, writing a review is a two-step process: developing an argument about the work under consideration, and making that argument as you write an organized and well-supported draft. See our handout on argument .

What follows is a series of questions to focus your thinking as you dig into the work at hand. While the questions specifically consider book reviews, you can easily transpose them to an analysis of performances, exhibitions, and other review subjects. Don’t feel obligated to address each of the questions; some will be more relevant than others to the book in question.

  • What is the thesis—or main argument—of the book? If the author wanted you to get one idea from the book, what would it be? How does it compare or contrast to the world you know? What has the book accomplished?
  • What exactly is the subject or topic of the book? Does the author cover the subject adequately? Does the author cover all aspects of the subject in a balanced fashion? What is the approach to the subject (topical, analytical, chronological, descriptive)?
  • How does the author support their argument? What evidence do they use to prove their point? Do you find that evidence convincing? Why or why not? Does any of the author’s information (or conclusions) conflict with other books you’ve read, courses you’ve taken or just previous assumptions you had of the subject?
  • How does the author structure their argument? What are the parts that make up the whole? Does the argument make sense? Does it persuade you? Why or why not?
  • How has this book helped you understand the subject? Would you recommend the book to your reader?

Beyond the internal workings of the book, you may also consider some information about the author and the circumstances of the text’s production:

  • Who is the author? Nationality, political persuasion, training, intellectual interests, personal history, and historical context may provide crucial details about how a work takes shape. Does it matter, for example, that the biographer was the subject’s best friend? What difference would it make if the author participated in the events they write about?
  • What is the book’s genre? Out of what field does it emerge? Does it conform to or depart from the conventions of its genre? These questions can provide a historical or literary standard on which to base your evaluations. If you are reviewing the first book ever written on the subject, it will be important for your readers to know. Keep in mind, though, that naming “firsts”—alongside naming “bests” and “onlys”—can be a risky business unless you’re absolutely certain.

Writing the review

Once you have made your observations and assessments of the work under review, carefully survey your notes and attempt to unify your impressions into a statement that will describe the purpose or thesis of your review. Check out our handout on thesis statements . Then, outline the arguments that support your thesis.

Your arguments should develop the thesis in a logical manner. That logic, unlike more standard academic writing, may initially emphasize the author’s argument while you develop your own in the course of the review. The relative emphasis depends on the nature of the review: if readers may be more interested in the work itself, you may want to make the work and the author more prominent; if you want the review to be about your perspective and opinions, then you may structure the review to privilege your observations over (but never separate from) those of the work under review. What follows is just one of many ways to organize a review.

Introduction

Since most reviews are brief, many writers begin with a catchy quip or anecdote that succinctly delivers their argument. But you can introduce your review differently depending on the argument and audience. The Writing Center’s handout on introductions can help you find an approach that works. In general, you should include:

  • The name of the author and the book title and the main theme.
  • Relevant details about who the author is and where they stand in the genre or field of inquiry. You could also link the title to the subject to show how the title explains the subject matter.
  • The context of the book and/or your review. Placing your review in a framework that makes sense to your audience alerts readers to your “take” on the book. Perhaps you want to situate a book about the Cuban revolution in the context of Cold War rivalries between the United States and the Soviet Union. Another reviewer might want to consider the book in the framework of Latin American social movements. Your choice of context informs your argument.
  • The thesis of the book. If you are reviewing fiction, this may be difficult since novels, plays, and short stories rarely have explicit arguments. But identifying the book’s particular novelty, angle, or originality allows you to show what specific contribution the piece is trying to make.
  • Your thesis about the book.

Summary of content

This should be brief, as analysis takes priority. In the course of making your assessment, you’ll hopefully be backing up your assertions with concrete evidence from the book, so some summary will be dispersed throughout other parts of the review.

The necessary amount of summary also depends on your audience. Graduate students, beware! If you are writing book reviews for colleagues—to prepare for comprehensive exams, for example—you may want to devote more attention to summarizing the book’s contents. If, on the other hand, your audience has already read the book—such as a class assignment on the same work—you may have more liberty to explore more subtle points and to emphasize your own argument. See our handout on summary for more tips.

Analysis and evaluation of the book

Your analysis and evaluation should be organized into paragraphs that deal with single aspects of your argument. This arrangement can be challenging when your purpose is to consider the book as a whole, but it can help you differentiate elements of your criticism and pair assertions with evidence more clearly. You do not necessarily need to work chronologically through the book as you discuss it. Given the argument you want to make, you can organize your paragraphs more usefully by themes, methods, or other elements of the book. If you find it useful to include comparisons to other books, keep them brief so that the book under review remains in the spotlight. Avoid excessive quotation and give a specific page reference in parentheses when you do quote. Remember that you can state many of the author’s points in your own words.

Sum up or restate your thesis or make the final judgment regarding the book. You should not introduce new evidence for your argument in the conclusion. You can, however, introduce new ideas that go beyond the book if they extend the logic of your own thesis. This paragraph needs to balance the book’s strengths and weaknesses in order to unify your evaluation. Did the body of your review have three negative paragraphs and one favorable one? What do they all add up to? The Writing Center’s handout on conclusions can help you make a final assessment.

Finally, a few general considerations:

  • Review the book in front of you, not the book you wish the author had written. You can and should point out shortcomings or failures, but don’t criticize the book for not being something it was never intended to be.
  • With any luck, the author of the book worked hard to find the right words to express her ideas. You should attempt to do the same. Precise language allows you to control the tone of your review.
  • Never hesitate to challenge an assumption, approach, or argument. Be sure, however, to cite specific examples to back up your assertions carefully.
  • Try to present a balanced argument about the value of the book for its audience. You’re entitled—and sometimes obligated—to voice strong agreement or disagreement. But keep in mind that a bad book takes as long to write as a good one, and every author deserves fair treatment. Harsh judgments are difficult to prove and can give readers the sense that you were unfair in your assessment.
  • A great place to learn about book reviews is to look at examples. The New York Times Sunday Book Review and The New York Review of Books can show you how professional writers review books.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Drewry, John. 1974. Writing Book Reviews. Boston: Greenwood Press.

Hoge, James. 1987. Literary Reviewing. Charlottesville: University Virginia of Press.

Sova, Dawn, and Harry Teitelbaum. 2002. How to Write Book Reports , 4th ed. Lawrenceville, NY: Thomson/Arco.

Walford, A.J. 1986. Reviews and Reviewing: A Guide. Phoenix: Oryx Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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The Write Practice

How to Write a Book Review: The Complete Guide

by Sue Weems | 23 comments

Free Book Planning Course!  Sign up for our 3-part book planning course and make your book writing easy . It expires soon, though, so don’t wait.  Sign up here before the deadline!

If you've ever loved (or hated) a book, you may have been tempted to review it. Here's a complete guide to how to write a book review, so you can share your literary adventures with other readers more often! 

How to Write a Book Review: The Complete Guide

You finally reach the last page of a book that kept you up all night and close it with the afterglow of satisfaction and a tinge of regret that it’s over. If you enjoyed the book enough to stay up reading it way past your bedtime, consider writing a review. It is one of the best gifts you can give an author.

Regardless of how much you know about how to write a book review, the author will appreciate hearing how their words touched you.

But as you face the five shaded stars and empty box, a blank mind strikes. What do I say? I mean, is this a book really deserving of five stars? How did it compare to Dostoevsky or Angelou or Dickens?

Maybe there’s an easier way to write a book review.

Want to learn how to write a book from start to finish? Check out How to Write a Book: The Complete Guide .

The Fallacy of Book Reviews

Once you’ve decided to give a review, you are faced with the task of deciding how many stars to give a book.

When I first started writing book reviews, I made the mistake of trying to compare a book to ALL BOOKS OF ALL TIME. (Sorry for the all caps, but that’s how it felt, like a James Earl Jones voice was asking me where to put this book in the queue of all books.)

Other readers find themselves comparing new titles to their favorite books. It's a natural comparison. But is it fair?

This is honestly why I didn’t give reviews of books for a long time. How can I compare a modern romance or historical fiction war novel with Dostoevsky? I can’t, and I shouldn’t.

I realized my mistake one day as I was watching (of all things) a dog show. In the final round, they trotted out dogs of all shapes, colors, and sizes. I thought, “How can a Yorkshire Terrier compete with a Basset Hound?” As if he'd read my mind, the announcer explained that each is judged by the standards for its breed.

This was my “Aha!” moment. I have to take a book on its own terms. The question is not, “How does this book compare to all books I’ve read?” but “How well did this book deliver what it promised for the intended audience?”

A review is going to reflect my personal experience with the book, but I can help potential readers by taking a minute to consider what the author intended. Let me explain what I mean. 

How to Write a Book Review: Consider a Book’s Promise

A book makes a promise with its cover, blurb, and first pages. It begins to set expectations the minute a reader views the thumbnail or cover. Those things indicate the genre, tone, and likely the major themes.

If a book cover includes a lip-locked couple in flowing linen on a beach, and I open to the first page to read about a pimpled vampire in a trench coat speaking like Mr. Knightly about his plan for revenge on the entire human race, there’s been a breach of contract before I even get to page two. These are the books we put down immediately (unless a mixed-message beachy cover combined with an Austen vampire story is your thing).

But what if the cover, blurb, and first pages are cohesive and perk our interest enough to keep reading? Then we have to think about what the book has promised us, which revolves around one key idea: What is the core story question and how well is it resolved?

Sometimes genre expectations help us answer this question: a romance will end with a couple who finds their way, a murder mystery ends with a solved case, a thriller’s protagonist beats the clock and saves the country or planet.

The stories we love most do those expected things in a fresh or surprising way with characters we root for from the first page. Even (and especially!) when a book doesn’t fit neatly in a genre category, we need to consider what the book promises on those first pages and decide how well it succeeds on the terms it sets for itself.

When I Don’t Know What to Write

About a month ago, I realized I was overthinking how to write a book review. Here at the Write Practice we have a longstanding tradition of giving critiques using the Oreo method : point out something that was a strength, then something we wondered about or that confused us, followed by another positive.

We can use this same structure to write a simple review when we finish books. Consider this book review format: 

[Book Title] by [book author] is about ___[plot summary in a sentence—no spoilers!]___. I chose this book based on ________. I really enjoyed ________. I wondered how ___________. Anyone who likes ____ will love this book.

Following this basic template can help you write an honest review about most any book, and it will give the author or publisher good information about what worked (and possibly what didn’t). You might write about the characters, the conflict, the setting, or anything else that captured you and kept you reading.

As an added bonus, you will be a stronger reader when you are able to express why you enjoyed parts of a book (just like when you critique!). After you complete a few, you’ll find it gets easier, and you won’t need the template anymore.

What if I Didn’t Like It?

Like professional book reviewers, you will have to make the call about when to leave a negative review. If I can’t give a book at least three stars, I usually don’t review it. Why? If I don’t like a book after a couple chapters, I put it down. I don’t review anything that I haven’t read the entire book.

Also, it may be that I’m not the target audience. The book might be well-written and well-reviewed with a great cover, and it just doesn’t capture me. Or maybe it's a book that just isn't hitting me right now for reasons that have nothing to do with the book and everything to do with my own reading life and needs. Every book is not meant for every reader.

If a book kept me reading all the way to the end and I didn’t like the ending? I would probably still review it, since there had to be enough good things going on to keep me reading to the end. I might mention in my review that the ending was less satisfying than I hoped, but I would still end with a positive.

How to Write a Book Review: Your Turn

As writers, we know how difficult it is to put down the words day after day. We are typically voracious readers. Let’s send some love back out to our fellow writers this week and review the most recent title we enjoyed.

What was the last book you read or reviewed? Do you ever find it hard to review a book? Share in the comments .

Now it's your turn. Think of the last book you read. Then, take fifteen minutes to write a review of it based on the template above. When you're done, share your review in the Pro Practice Workshop . For bonus points, post it on the book's page on Amazon and Goodreads, too!

Don't forget to leave feedback for your fellow writers! What new reads will you discover in the comments?

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Sue Weems is a writer, teacher, and traveler with an advanced degree in (mostly fictional) revenge. When she’s not rationalizing her love for parentheses (and dramatic asides), she follows a sailor around the globe with their four children, two dogs, and an impossibly tall stack of books to read. You can read more of her writing tips on her website .

how to write a fake book review

23 Comments

Azure Darkness Yugi

The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin is about a girl that shows no emotion befriending a ice dragon.

I chose this book based on the cover that had a little girl riding a ice dragon, and wondered what is about.

I really enjoyed the interaction the little girl had with the dragon.

I wondered how how the girl’s bond with the dragon.

Anyone who likes a coming of age story set in a fantasy will love this book.

Sue

Thanks for sharing your practice, Azure!

You’re welcome.

Christine

A interesting, at times perplexing, subject! And one on my mind lately,as I’ve agreed to do a few. I do enjoy giving reviews and am delighted when I can say, “This was a great book!” Or even, “I enjoyed this book.” It gets perplexing when I agree to review a book — and simply don’t like it. Then what to say? I hate to disappoint the writer but I’ve promised to give my honest opinion.

I’ve found some books mediocre and yet I see a dozen other reviewers saying “A great story!” Tastes do vary. But when there are obvious flaws I tend to skip all the best-friend-and-cousin reviewers and find the first person who says, “This writer has a problem with…” Usually there’ll be a number of reviewers who spot the same problems I do.

I like upbeat main characters, but not aggressive, belligerent, and/or self-centered ones. I like to meet in a story the kind of people I’d like to meet in real life— not people I’d avoid if possible. I recently read a book where the main character came across as insipid and the story only mildly interesting. Other reviewers said it was great and I know for this specific audience — readers who want a certain slant to a story — it was quite suitable. So I tried to cut the book some slack. Everyone has their limit as to how much blood and gore, smooching and snuggling, they are willing to read about.

Once I agreed to review a book and would have tossed it after the first chapter — for several reasons. A lot of “writer inserting facts for reader’s benefit”; teach/preach paragraphs; excess of description; attitudes of MCs. Once it’s live on seller’s sites like Amazon, what can you say? The one thing good it had going for it was the story line or theme. With a pro editor’s help it could have been a great story.

As for a review, one book I read lately was “A Clue for the Puzzle Lady” by Parnell Hall. It’s one of those “Stayed up half the night to finish it” books; I think anyone who likes a compelling cozy mystery would probably like it. Downside: I didn’t care for the “Puzzle Lady.” She’s a lush, hangs out at the bar getting sloshed. The upside: her sensible niece has a starring role —trying to keep her aunt on the straight-and-narrow and the mystery keeps you guessing until the end.

Christine, Thanks for sharing your insight! It sounds like you are approached often to review new books. It does make it tricky if it’s a request, especially outside your own preferences. Thanks for chiming in about your process, as I’m sure others will appreciate the perspective too. I’ll have to take a look at the Puzzle Lady– I do enjoy cozy mysteries. Sue

Here’s another cozy mystery book review in case you’re interested. I’m not approached by writers that often, but there are the Story Cartel, Book Bub and Goodreads, all sites where authors ask for review volunteers.

Reel Estate Ripoff by Renee Pawlish

The detective Reed Ferguson is a fan of Humphry Bogart, movie memorabilia of that era, and fancies himself a bit of a Sam Slade. Though not your super-sleuth, rather inept at times, he’s a likeable character. Told in first person, the story has a Philip Marlowe tone to it, but much tamer. Dialogue and story line are well done, the story well plotted and believable. I’d gladly read more stories about this particular gumshoe.

Beth Schmelzer

If you like cozy mystery books, I’ll send you a list later, Sue. Love them too and I’ve met many authors who write in this genre. Back on topic– you inspire me again to add some reviews to my Blog. I have been reading and writing many middle grade mysteries for a project! My latest favorite: “The World’s Greatest Detective” by Caroline Carson (who I hope to meet tomorrow in Arlington, VA!) My 12 year old grandson borrowed it and finished it before I could. “It’s the best mystery I ever read, Grandma! You’ ll never guess the ending with unpredictable twists!” What better review could we read. The target audience and I both highly recommend this 2017 mystery.

Adding it to my stack, Beth. Thanks!

Kelly Hansen

Not wanting to sound life an idiot, but willing to risk it here among friends: What exactly is a cozy mystery?

Glad you asked! It’s a subgenre of mystery. The best examples of cozy mysteries are those by Agatha Christie. They usually avoid profanity, excessive gore/ violence, and sex. They focus more on the puzzle, sleuth, and their smaller world. Hope that helps!

Thanks, Sue.

Daniel McDonald

Wonderful article. The first I have read by you. It especially gets those of us who don’t feel we have the formula down for review writing to be introduced to a form we can build upon with experience. You’ve kept it simple but you have given us the main ingredients needed for a good review. I printed this one off to look at the next few times I write reviews. Thank you.

Glad you found it helpful. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Dave Diss

I haven’t gone into all this. It’s a matter of time, Joe. I gad about all over the place, not knowing where I am or where I’m going. Within weeks, I’ll be 87. I’ve books of my own that I’d like to see reviewed. Even sorting them out, however, even finding where any of them are, would be a time burden. You see the fix?

Hi Dave, You aren’t alone in feeling the press of time for getting your stories out into the world. May I gently offer this: start with finding and sorting one. If you can’t find it, write it anew. You’ve probably grown in time and perspective since you wrote the first draft, which will make for a stronger story. Good luck. I’m cheering you on!

TerriblyTerrific

This is an article for me, because I am happy to receive a rating. I haven’t sold many books. But, at least some thinks that it was worth the time to read. That was refreshing. And, I think I wrote two reviews, so far. It was on Amazon.com. Thank you.

You’re welcome!

John Grumps Hamshare

Hi, Sue. Thanks for the helpful advice. I did a review on Amazon for the first of a 7-part thriller titled ‘Mosh Pit (The Rose Garden Incident)’ by Michael Hiebert. [Here it is.]

“5.0 out of 5 stars Advance copy review. By A fellow author on September 18, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition I Recommend This Book Strongly

I enjoyed reading this first part of the thriller. The author’s opening chapter/prologue was fast paced, and set me in the middle of the inciting incident along with two of the main characters. After that thrilling opening, I felt the ensuing chapters moved at a more leisurely pace, and was about to grade them as less praiseworthy when I watched a lecture by Brandon Sanderson on YouTube about building three dimensional characters and realised Michael Hiebert had done exactly that by introducing the reader to the minutiae of other characters who had parts to play in the development of the story. So, instead of cardboard cutouts of bland stock characters, the author shows us real people with real concerns that the reader can relate to.and actually care about. I look forward to reading the rest of this intriguing thriller, and highly recommend it to all lovers of well-written, and well-crafted thrillers.”

I also reviewed Part 2 of the series, but that review is too long to post here.

Footnote: The author, Michael Hiebert, was so pleased with my reviews, he recently asked me to beta-read a short story collection he plans to publish in November.

Great review, John! I like how you shared a bit of your process as a reader too, in recognizing what the writer was doing with their characterization. Thanks!

John Hamshare

Thank you, Sue.

Five out of five stars When I picked up a copy of “The Girl with All the Gifts,” by M R Carey, at the used book store, I somehow had it in my head that it was a YA dystopian novel along the lines of “Divergent” or “The Hunger Games.” While I would definitely say that I was not right about that, I wouldn’t say that I was completely wrong. I was, however, completely unprepared for a zombie novel–which is a good thing, cause I wouldn’t have read it, and I’m glad I did. Think “The Walking Dead” meets (why do I want to say ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night”?) “Peter Pan.” I really enjoyed seeing things from, the main character, Melanie’s point of view. Her limited knowledge of her own situation was intriguing, to say the least (and probably why I thought of “The Curious Incident”). I was a bit disappointed when the POV changed to another character’s, but, as the novel progressed, I found myself sympathizing with nearly all the characters–with one exception, and I’ll leave that for you to ponder when you read it. I wondered how much of the science was real, but not enough for me to research it myself. Although, based on other reviews, I guess most of the science about the fungus is real. I also wondered about the fate of the remaining ‘lost boys’ of the cities. If you liked…. well, I don’t know. I’m not typically a fan of things zombie, so I don’t have a comparison, but the book was somewhat similar to “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games” in that the main character goes through a hellluva time and comes out the other side with a plan for her future.

RAW

“Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom is a true story about how one man found meaning in life when his doctors gave him a death sentence. Morrie was a college professor who passed on his new found wisdom in the last year of his life to a favorite student, the author, who chronicled his professor’s perspectives on death and dying.

I chose this book because of its philosophical topic, and because it is so well written that the words just jump off the page.

Knowing we are all mortal beings, I especially liked the insights, the tidbits of wisdom imparted by the dying man. Death is a subject that few, if any of us, ever talk about seriously with friends and family. The subject of death is verboten. We deny its existence. And, if we are religious, we pretend we will not really die, but we deceive ourselves and think we will live on in some afterlife existence for all eternity. But the professor, Morrie, learns some valuable life lessons from his impending death, and Mitch Albom was gracious enough to capture them in this short but eminently readable book.

I really liked the book because it is timeless. This true story will impart serious life lessons for all future generations, and will help us gain perspectives on our lives and the relationships with those we love the most.

R. Allan Worrell

Cathy Ryan

Sue, I’ve been meaning to come back since this was first posted to tell you thanks for a great article. I seldom review books for alllllll the reasons you listed. This is a perfect tool and I’ll surely use it. Cathy

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How To Write A Book Review: 6 Steps To Take

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Adiba Jaigirdar

Adiba Jaigirdar is an Irish-Bangladeshi writer, poet, and teacher. She resides in Dublin, Ireland and has an MA in postcolonial studies. She is currently working on her own postcolonial novel and hopes that someday it will see the light of day outside of her computer screen. Twitter:  @adiba_j

View All posts by Adiba Jaigirdar

Whether you’re a student, a novice blogger, or just someone looking to become a more active user of Goodreads, writing a book review is an important skill to have! Here are six steps for how to write a book review for school and beyond. 

How To Write A Book Review in 6 Steps

1. Begin with a brief summary of the book

This is probably the best way to introduce any review because it gives context. But make sure to not go into too much detail. Keep it short and sweet since an official summary can be found through a quick google search!

2. Pick out the most important aspects of the book

I usually break this down with character, world-building, themes, and plot. But this might vary between books, genres, and your tastes!

Dedicate a paragraph to each of these important aspects, discussing how well the author dealt with it, along with what you enjoyed and what you didn’t enjoy.

3. Include brief quotes as examples

Including quotes is always a great idea, because it gives examples for everything that you’re saying! If your review talks about a character being particularly witty, a witty line from the character lets your readers see exactly what kind of witty character you’re dealing with here.

But be careful: lengthy quotes can take up big chunks of space and overpower your review. Short quotes will usually get your points across while letting your work shine through.

4. Write a conclusion that summarises everything

Like your introduction, keep your conclusion short and sweet! It should bring up the main points of your review, along with your overall opinion of the book.

5. Find similar books

A great way to wrap up a review is to find similar books to the one you’re reviewing. So you can say, “if you were a fan of X book, I think you’ll definitely like this one!”

You can also be more specific, looking at the exact things that might make two books similar. So you can suggest something like…“if you liked that the main character in X book was a kick-ass superhero, then you’ll love the main character of this book!”

6. Give it a star rating

A star rating is obviously encouraged in a lot of review sites, but they’re not necessary! If you do want to give a star rating, you can go the conventional “out of five/ten” route. You could also try something slightly less conventional, and break down your star-rating into different categories for character/plot/world-building, etc.

Now go forth and review! And share any tips you have for how to write a book review in the comments.

how to write a fake book review

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Literacy Ideas

How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide

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WHAT IS A BOOK REVIEW?

how to write a book review | what is a Book review | How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

Traditionally, book reviews are evaluations of a recently published book in any genre. Usually, around the 500 to 700-word mark, they briefly describe a text’s main elements while appraising the work’s strengths and weaknesses. Published book reviews can appear in newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. They provide the reader with an overview of the book itself and indicate whether or not the reviewer would recommend the book to the reader.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A BOOK REVIEW?

There was a time when book reviews were a regular appearance in every quality newspaper and many periodicals. They were essential elements in whether or not a book would sell well. A review from a heavyweight critic could often be the deciding factor in whether a book became a bestseller or a damp squib. In the last few decades, however, the book review’s influence has waned considerably, with many potential book buyers preferring to consult customer reviews on Amazon, or sites like Goodreads, before buying. As a result, book review’s appearance in newspapers, journals, and digital media has become less frequent.

WHY BOTHER TEACHING STUDENTS TO WRITE BOOK REVIEWS AT ALL?

Even in the heyday of the book review’s influence, few students who learned the craft of writing a book review became literary critics! The real value of crafting a well-written book review for a student does not lie in their ability to impact book sales. Understanding how to produce a well-written book review helps students to:

●     Engage critically with a text

●     Critically evaluate a text

●     Respond personally to a range of different writing genres

●     Improve their own reading, writing, and thinking skills.

Not to Be Confused with a Book Report!

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BOOK REVIEW AND A BOOK REPORT?

book_reviews_vs_book_reports.jpg

While the terms are often used interchangeably, there are clear differences in both the purpose and the format of the two genres. Generally speaking, book reports aim to give a more detailed outline of what occurs in a book. A book report on a work of fiction will tend to give a comprehensive account of the characters, major plot lines, and themes in the book. Book reports are usually written around the K-12 age range, while book reviews tend not to be undertaken by those at the younger end of this age range due to the need for the higher-level critical skills required in writing them. At their highest expression, book reviews are written at the college level and by professional critics.

Learn how to write a book review step by step with our complete guide for students and teachers by familiarizing yourself with the structure and features.

BOOK REVIEW STRUCTURE

ANALYZE Evaluate the book with a critical mind.

THOROUGHNESS The whole is greater than the sum of all its parts. Review the book as a WHOLE.

COMPARE Where appropriate compare to similar texts and genres.

THUMBS UP OR DOWN? You are going to have to inevitably recommend or reject this book to potential readers.

BE CONSISTENT Take a stance and stick with it throughout your review.

FEATURES OF A BOOK REVIEW

PAST TENSE You are writing about a book you have already read.

EMOTIVE LANGUAGE Whatever your stance or opinion be passionate about it. Your audience will thank you for it.

VOICE Both active and passive voice are used in recounts.

A COMPLETE UNIT ON REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF TEXTS

how to write a book review | movie response unit | How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

⭐ Make  MOVIES A MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR CURRICULUM  with this engaging collection of tasks and tools your students will love. ⭐ All the hard work is done for you with  NO PREPARATION REQUIRED.

This collection of  21 INDEPENDENT TASKS  and  GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS  takes students beyond the hype, special effects and trailers to look at visual literacy from several perspectives offering DEEP LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES by watching a  SERIES, DOCUMENTARY, FILM, and even  VIDEO GAMES.

ELEMENTS OF A BOOK REVIEW

As with any of the writing genres we teach our students, a book review can be helpfully explained in terms of criteria. While there is much to the ‘art’ of writing, there is also, thankfully, a lot of the nuts and bolts that can be listed too. Have students consider the following elements before writing:

●     Title: Often, the title of the book review will correspond to the title of the text itself, but there may also be some examination of the title’s relevance. How does it fit into the purpose of the work as a whole? Does it convey a message or reveal larger themes explored within the work?

●     Author: Within the book review, there may be some discussion of who the author is and what they have written before, especially if it relates to the current work being reviewed. There may be some mention of the author’s style and what they are best known for. If the author has received any awards or prizes, this may also be mentioned within the body of the review.

●     Genre: A book review will identify the genre that the book belongs to, whether fiction or nonfiction, poetry, romance, science-fiction, history etc. The genre will likely tie in, too with who the intended audience for the book is and what the overall purpose of the work is.

●     Book Jacket / Cover: Often, a book’s cover will contain artwork that is worthy of comment. It may contain interesting details related to the text that contribute to, or detract from, the work as a whole.

●     Structure: The book’s structure will often be heavily informed by its genre. Have students examine how the book is organized before writing their review. Does it contain a preface from a guest editor, for example? Is it written in sections or chapters? Does it have a table of contents, index, glossary etc.? While all these details may not make it into the review itself, looking at how the book is structured may reveal some interesting aspects.

●     Publisher and Price: A book review will usually contain details of who publishes the book and its cost. A review will often provide details of where the book is available too.

how to write a book review | writing a book review | How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

BOOK REVIEW KEY ELEMENTS

As students read and engage with the work they will review, they will develop a sense of the shape their review will take. This will begin with the summary. Encourage students to take notes during the reading of the work that will help them in writing the summary that will form an essential part of their review. Aspects of the book they may wish to take notes on in a work of fiction may include:

●     Characters: Who are the main characters? What are their motivations? Are they convincingly drawn? Or are they empathetic characters?

●     Themes: What are the main themes of the work? Are there recurring motifs in the work? Is the exploration of the themes deep or surface only?

●     Style: What are the key aspects of the writer’s style? How does it fit into the wider literary world?

●     Plot: What is the story’s main catalyst? What happens in the rising action? What are the story’s subplots? 

A book review will generally begin with a short summary of the work itself. However, it is important not to give too much away, remind students – no spoilers, please! For nonfiction works, this may be a summary of the main arguments of the work, again, without giving too much detail away. In a work of fiction, a book review will often summarise up to the rising action of the piece without going beyond to reveal too much!

how to write a book review | 9 text response | How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

The summary should also provide some orientation for the reader. Given the nature of the purpose of a review, it is important that students’ consider their intended audience in the writing of their review. Readers will most likely not have read the book in question and will require some orientation. This is often achieved through introductions to the main characters, themes, primary arguments etc. This will help the reader to gauge whether or not the book is of interest to them.

Once your student has summarized the work, it is time to ‘review’ in earnest. At this point, the student should begin to detail their own opinion of the book. To do this well they should:

i. Make It Personal

Often when teaching essay writing we will talk to our students about the importance of climbing up and down the ladder of abstraction. Just as it is helpful to explore large, more abstract concepts in an essay by bringing it down to Earth, in a book review, it is important that students can relate the characters, themes, ideas etc to their own lives.

Book reviews are meant to be subjective. They are opinion pieces, and opinions grow out of our experiences of life. Encourage students to link the work they are writing about to their own personal life within the body of the review. By making this personal connection to the work, students contextualize their opinions for the readers and help them to understand whether the book will be of interest to them or not in the process.

ii. Make It Universal

Just as it is important to climb down the ladder of abstraction to show how the work relates to individual life, it is important to climb upwards on the ladder too. Students should endeavor to show how the ideas explored in the book relate to the wider world. The may be in the form of the universality of the underlying themes in a work of fiction or, for example, the international implications for arguments expressed in a work of nonfiction.

iii. Support Opinions with Evidence

A book review is a subjective piece of writing by its very nature. However, just because it is subjective does not mean that opinions do not need to be justified. Make sure students understand how to back up their opinions with various forms of evidence, for example, quotations, statistics, and the use of primary and secondary sources.

EDIT AND REVISE YOUR BOOK REVIEW

how to write a book review | 9 1 proof read Book review | How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

As with any writing genre, encourage students to polish things up with review and revision at the end. Encourage them to proofread and check for accurate spelling throughout, with particular attention to the author’s name, character names, publisher etc. 

It is good practice too for students to double-check their use of evidence. Are statements supported? Are the statistics used correctly? Are the quotations from the text accurate? Mistakes such as these uncorrected can do great damage to the value of a book review as they can undermine the reader’s confidence in the writer’s judgement.

The discipline of writing book reviews offers students opportunities to develop their writing skills and exercise their critical faculties. Book reviews can be valuable standalone activities or serve as a part of a series of activities engaging with a central text. They can also serve as an effective springboard into later discussion work based on the ideas and issues explored in a particular book. Though the book review does not hold the sway it once did in the mind’s of the reading public, it still serves as an effective teaching tool in our classrooms today.

how to write a book review | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

BOOK REVIEW GRAPHIC ORGANIZER (TEMPLATE)

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101 DIGITAL & PRINT GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS FOR ALL CURRICULUM AREAS

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Introduce your students to 21st-century learning with this GROWING BUNDLE OF 101 EDITABLE & PRINTABLE GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS. ✌ NO PREP REQUIRED!!! ✌ Go paperless, and let your students express their knowledge and creativity through the power of technology and collaboration inside and outside the classroom with ease.

Whilst you don’t have to have a 1:1 or BYOD classroom to benefit from this bundle, it has been purpose-built to deliver through platforms such as ✔ GOOGLE CLASSROOM, ✔ OFFICE 365, ✔ or any CLOUD-BASED LEARNING PLATFORM.

Book and Movie review writing examples (Student Writing Samples)

Below are a collection of student writing samples of book reviews.  Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail.  Please take a moment to both read the movie or book review in detail but also the teacher and student guides which highlight some of the key elements of writing a text review

Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of book review writing.

We would recommend reading the example either a year above and below, as well as the grade you are currently working with to gain a broader appreciation of this text type .

how to write a book review | book review year 3 | How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

BOOK REVIEW VIDEO TUTORIALS

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How to Write a Book Review: A Comprehensive Tutorial With Examples

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You don’t need to be a literary expert to craft captivating book reviews. With one in every three readers selecting books based on insightful reviews, your opinions can guide fellow bibliophiles toward their next literary adventure.

Learning how to write a book review will not only help you excel at your assigned tasks, but you’ll also contribute valuable insights to the book-loving community and turn your passion into a professional pursuit.

In this comprehensive guide,  PaperPerk  will walk you through a few simple steps to master the art of writing book reviews so you can confidently embark on this rewarding journey.

What is a Book Review?

A book review is a critical evaluation of a book, offering insights into its content, quality, and impact. It helps readers make informed decisions about whether to read the book.

Writing a book review as an assignment benefits students in multiple ways. Firstly, it teaches them how to write a book review by developing their analytical skills as they evaluate the content, themes, and writing style .

Secondly, it enhances their ability to express opinions and provide constructive criticism. Additionally, book review assignments expose students to various publications and genres, broadening their knowledge.

Furthermore, these tasks foster essential skills for academic success, like critical thinking and the ability to synthesize information. By now, we’re sure you want to learn how to write a book review, so let’s look at the book review template first.

Table of Contents

Book Review Template

How to write a book review- a step by step guide.

Check out these 5 straightforward steps for composing the best book review.

Step 1: Planning Your Book Review – The Art of Getting Started

You’ve decided to take the plunge and share your thoughts on a book that has captivated (or perhaps disappointed) you. Before you start book reviewing, let’s take a step back and plan your approach. Since knowing how to write a book review that’s both informative and engaging is an art in itself.

Choosing Your Literature

First things first, pick the book you want to review. This might seem like a no-brainer, but selecting a book that genuinely interests you will make the review process more enjoyable and your insights more authentic.

Crafting the Master Plan

Next, create an  outline  that covers all the essential points you want to discuss in your review. This will serve as the roadmap for your writing journey.

The Devil is in the Details

As you read, note any information that stands out, whether it overwhelms, underwhelms, or simply intrigues you. Pay attention to:

  • The characters and their development
  • The plot and its intricacies
  • Any themes, symbols, or motifs you find noteworthy

Remember to reserve a body paragraph for each point you want to discuss.

The Key Questions to Ponder

When planning your book review, consider the following questions:

  • What’s the plot (if any)? Understanding the driving force behind the book will help you craft a more effective review.
  • Is the plot interesting? Did the book hold your attention and keep you turning the pages?
  • Are the writing techniques effective? Does the author’s style captivate you, making you want to read (or reread) the text?
  • Are the characters or the information believable? Do the characters/plot/information feel real, and can you relate to them?
  • Would you recommend the book to anyone? Consider if the book is worthy of being recommended, whether to impress someone or to support a point in a literature class.
  • What could improve? Always keep an eye out for areas that could be improved. Providing constructive criticism can enhance the quality of literature.

Step 2 – Crafting the Perfect Introduction to Write a Book Review

In this second step of “how to write a book review,” we’re focusing on the art of creating a powerful opening that will hook your audience and set the stage for your analysis.

Identify Your Book and Author

Begin by mentioning the book you’ve chosen, including its  title  and the author’s name. This informs your readers and establishes the subject of your review.

Ponder the Title

Next, discuss the mental images or emotions the book’s title evokes in your mind . This helps your readers understand your initial feelings and expectations before diving into the book.

Judge the Book by Its Cover (Just a Little)

Take a moment to talk about the book’s cover. Did it intrigue you? Did it hint at what to expect from the story or the author’s writing style? Sharing your thoughts on the cover can offer a unique perspective on how the book presents itself to potential readers.

Present Your Thesis

Now it’s time to introduce your thesis. This statement should be a concise and insightful summary of your opinion of the book. For example:

“Normal People” by Sally Rooney is a captivating portrayal of the complexities of human relationships, exploring themes of love, class, and self-discovery with exceptional depth and authenticity.

Ensure that your thesis is relevant to the points or quotes you plan to discuss throughout your review.

Incorporating these elements into your introduction will create a strong foundation for your book review. Your readers will be eager to learn more about your thoughts and insights on the book, setting the stage for a compelling and thought-provoking analysis.

How to Write a Book Review: Step 3 – Building Brilliant Body Paragraphs

You’ve planned your review and written an attention-grabbing introduction. Now it’s time for the main event: crafting the body paragraphs of your book review. In this step of “how to write a book review,” we’ll explore the art of constructing engaging and insightful body paragraphs that will keep your readers hooked.

Summarize Without Spoilers

Begin by summarizing a specific section of the book, not revealing any major plot twists or spoilers. Your goal is to give your readers a taste of the story without ruining surprises.

Support Your Viewpoint with Quotes

Next, choose three quotes from the book that support your viewpoint or opinion. These quotes should be relevant to the section you’re summarizing and help illustrate your thoughts on the book.

Analyze the Quotes

Write a summary of each quote in your own words, explaining how it made you feel or what it led you to think about the book or the author’s writing. This analysis should provide insight into your perspective and demonstrate your understanding of the text.

Structure Your Body Paragraphs

Dedicate one body paragraph to each quote, ensuring your writing is well-connected, coherent, and easy to understand.

For example:

  • In  Jane Eyre , Charlotte Brontë writes, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me.” This powerful statement highlights Jane’s fierce independence and refusal to be trapped by societal expectations.
  • In  Normal People , Sally Rooney explores the complexities of love and friendship when she writes, “It was culture as class performance, literature fetishized for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys.” This quote reveals the author’s astute observations on the role of culture and class in shaping personal relationships.
  • In  Wuthering Heights , Emily Brontë captures the tumultuous nature of love with the quote, “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” This poignant line emphasizes the deep, unbreakable bond between the story’s central characters.

By following these guidelines, you’ll create body paragraphs that are both captivating and insightful, enhancing your book review and providing your readers with a deeper understanding of the literary work. 

How to Write a Book Review: Step 4 – Crafting a Captivating Conclusion

You’ve navigated through planning, introductions, and body paragraphs with finesse. Now it’s time to wrap up your book review with a  conclusion that leaves a lasting impression . In this final step of “how to write a book review,” we’ll explore the art of writing a memorable and persuasive conclusion.

Summarize Your Analysis

Begin by summarizing the key points you’ve presented in the body paragraphs. This helps to remind your readers of the insights and arguments you’ve shared throughout your review.

Offer Your Final Conclusion

Next, provide a conclusion that reflects your overall feelings about the book. This is your chance to leave a lasting impression and persuade your readers to consider your perspective.

Address the Book’s Appeal

Now, answer the question: Is this book worth reading? Be clear about who would enjoy the book and who might not. Discuss the taste preferences and circumstances that make the book more appealing to some readers than others.

For example:  The Alchemist is a book that can enchant a young teen, but those who are already well-versed in classic literature might find it less engaging.

Be Subtle and Balanced

Avoid simply stating whether you “liked” or “disliked” the book. Instead, use nuanced language to convey your message. Highlight the pros and cons of reading the type of literature you’ve reviewed, offering a balanced perspective.

Bringing It All Together

By following these guidelines, you’ll craft a conclusion that leaves your readers with a clear understanding of your thoughts and opinions on the book. Your review will be a valuable resource for those considering whether to pick up the book, and your witty and insightful analysis will make your review a pleasure to read. So conquer the world of book reviews, one captivating conclusion at a time!

How to Write a Book Review: Step 5 – Rating the Book (Optional)

You’ve masterfully crafted your book review, from the introduction to the conclusion. But wait, there’s one more step you might consider before calling it a day: rating the book. In this optional step of “how to write a book review,” we’ll explore the benefits and methods of assigning a rating to the book you’ve reviewed.

Why Rate the Book?

Sometimes, when writing a professional book review, it may not be appropriate to state whether you liked or disliked the book. In such cases, assigning a rating can be an effective way to get your message across without explicitly sharing your personal opinion.

How to Rate the Book

There are various rating systems you can use to evaluate the book, such as:

  • A star rating (e.g., 1 to 5 stars)
  • A numerical score (e.g., 1 to 10)
  • A letter grade (e.g., A+ to F)

Choose a rating system that best suits your style and the format of your review. Be consistent in your rating criteria, considering writing quality, character development, plot, and overall enjoyment.

Tips for Rating the Book

Here are some tips for rating the book effectively:

  • Be honest: Your rating should reflect your true feelings about the book. Don’t inflate or deflate your rating based on external factors, such as the book’s popularity or the author’s reputation.
  • Be fair:Consider the book’s merits and shortcomings when rating. Even if you didn’t enjoy the book, recognize its strengths and acknowledge them in your rating.
  • Be clear: Explain the rationale behind your rating so your readers understand the factors that influenced your evaluation.

Wrapping Up

By including a rating in your book review, you provide your readers with an additional insight into your thoughts on the book. While this step is optional, it can be a valuable tool for conveying your message subtly yet effectively. So, rate those books confidently, adding a touch of wit and wisdom to your book reviews.

Additional Tips on How to Write a Book Review: A Guide

In this segment, we’ll explore additional tips on how to write a book review. Get ready to captivate your readers and make your review a memorable one!

Hook ’em with an Intriguing Introduction

Keep your introduction precise and to the point. Readers have the attention span of a goldfish these days, so don’t let them swim away in boredom. Start with a bang and keep them hooked!

Embrace the World of Fiction

When learning how to write a book review, remember that reviewing fiction is often more engaging and effective. If your professor hasn’t assigned you a specific book, dive into the realm of fiction and select a novel that piques your interest.

Opinionated with Gusto

Don’t shy away from adding your own opinion to your review. A good book review always features the writer’s viewpoint and constructive criticism. After all, your readers want to know what  you  think!

Express Your Love (or Lack Thereof)

If you adored the book, let your readers know! Use phrases like “I’ll definitely return to this book again” to convey your enthusiasm. Conversely, be honest but respectful even if the book wasn’t your cup of tea.

Templates and Examples and Expert Help: Your Trusty Sidekicks

Feeling lost? You can always get help from formats, book review examples or online  college paper writing service  platforms. These trusty sidekicks will help you navigate the world of book reviews with ease. 

Be a Champion for New Writers and Literature

Remember to uplift new writers and pieces of literature. If you want to suggest improvements, do so kindly and constructively. There’s no need to be mean about anyone’s books – we’re all in this literary adventure together!

Criticize with Clarity, Not Cruelty

When adding criticism to your review, be clear but not mean. Remember, there’s a fine line between constructive criticism and cruelty. Tread lightly and keep your reader’s feelings in mind.

Avoid the Comparison Trap

Resist the urge to compare one writer’s book with another. Every book holds its worth, and comparing them will only confuse your reader. Stick to discussing the book at hand, and let it shine in its own light.

Top 7 Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Writing a book review can be a delightful and rewarding experience, especially when you balance analysis, wit, and personal insights. However, some common mistakes can kill the brilliance of your review. 

In this section of “how to write a book review,” we’ll explore the top 7 blunders writers commit and how to steer clear of them, with a dash of  modernist literature  examples and tips for students writing book reviews as assignments.

Succumbing to the Lure of Plot Summaries

Mistake: Diving headfirst into a plot summary instead of dissecting the book’s themes, characters, and writing style.

Example: “The Bell Jar chronicles the life of a young woman who experiences a mental breakdown.”

How to Avoid: Delve into the book’s deeper aspects, such as its portrayal of mental health, societal expectations, and the author’s distinctive narrative voice. Offer thoughtful insights and reflections, making your review a treasure trove of analysis.

Unleashing the Spoiler Kraken

Mistake: Spilling major plot twists or the ending without providing a spoiler warning, effectively ruining the reading experience for potential readers.

Example: “In Metamorphosis, the protagonist’s transformation into a monstrous insect leads to…”

How to Avoid: Tread carefully when discussing significant plot developments, and consider using spoiler warnings. Focus on the impact of these plot points on the overall narrative, character growth, or thematic resonance.

Riding the Personal Bias Express

Mistake: Allowing personal bias to hijack the review without providing sufficient evidence or reasoning to support opinions.

Example: “I detest books about existential crises, so The Sun Also Rises was a snoozefest.”

How to Avoid: While personal opinions are valid, it’s crucial to back them up with specific examples from the book. Discuss aspects like writing style, character development, or pacing to support your evaluation and provide a more balanced perspective.

Wielding the Vague Language Saber

Mistake: Resorting to generic, vague language that fails to capture the nuances of the book and can come across as clichéd.

Example: “This book was mind-blowing. It’s a must-read for everyone.”

How to Avoid: Use precise and descriptive language to express your thoughts. Employ specific examples and quotations to highlight memorable scenes, the author’s unique writing style, or the impact of the book’s themes on readers.

Ignoring the Contextualization Compass

Mistake: Neglecting to provide context about the author, genre, or cultural relevance of the book, leaving readers without a proper frame of reference.

Example: “This book is dull and unoriginal.”

How to Avoid: Offer readers a broader understanding by discussing the author’s background, the genre conventions the book adheres to or subverts, and any societal or historical contexts that inform the narrative. This helps readers appreciate the book’s uniqueness and relevance.

Overindulging in Personal Preferences

Mistake: Letting personal preferences overshadow an objective assessment of the book’s merits.

Example: “I don’t like stream-of-consciousness writing, so this book is automatically bad.”

How to Avoid: Acknowledge personal preferences but strive to evaluate the book objectively. Focus on the book’s strengths and weaknesses, considering how well it achieves its goals within its genre or intended audience.

Forgetting the Target Audience Telescope

Mistake: Failing to mention the book’s target audience or who might enjoy it, leading to confusion for potential readers.

Example: “This book is great for everyone.”

How to Avoid: Contemplate the book’s intended audience, genre, and themes. Mention who might particularly enjoy the book based on these factors, whether it’s fans of a specific genre, readers interested in character-driven stories, or those seeking thought-provoking narratives.

By dodging these common pitfalls, writers can craft insightful, balanced, and engaging book reviews that help readers make informed decisions about their reading choices.

These tips are particularly beneficial for students writing book reviews as assignments, as they ensure a well-rounded and thoughtful analysis.!

Many students requested us to cover how to write a book review. This thorough guide is sure to help you. At Paperperk, professionals are dedicated to helping students find their balance. We understand the importance of good grades, so we offer the finest writing service , ensuring students stay ahead of the curve. So seek expert help because only Paperperk is your perfect solution!

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17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

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Blog – Posted on Friday, Mar 29

17 book review examples to help you write the perfect review.

17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

It’s an exciting time to be a book reviewer. Once confined to print newspapers and journals, reviews now dot many corridors of the Internet — forever helping others discover their next great read. That said, every book reviewer will face a familiar panic: how can you do justice to a great book in just a thousand words?

As you know, the best way to learn how to do something is by immersing yourself in it. Luckily, the Internet (i.e. Goodreads and other review sites , in particular) has made book reviews more accessible than ever — which means that there are a lot of book reviews examples out there for you to view!

In this post, we compiled 17 prototypical book review examples in multiple genres to help you figure out how to write the perfect review . If you want to jump straight to the examples, you can skip the next section. Otherwise, let’s first check out what makes up a good review.

Are you interested in becoming a book reviewer? We recommend you check out Reedsy Discovery , where you can earn money for writing reviews — and are guaranteed people will read your reviews! To register as a book reviewer, sign up here.

Pro-tip : But wait! How are you sure if you should become a book reviewer in the first place? If you're on the fence, or curious about your match with a book reviewing career, take our quick quiz:

Should you become a book reviewer?

Find out the answer. Takes 30 seconds!

What must a book review contain?

Like all works of art, no two book reviews will be identical. But fear not: there are a few guidelines for any aspiring book reviewer to follow. Most book reviews, for instance, are less than 1,500 words long, with the sweet spot hitting somewhere around the 1,000-word mark. (However, this may vary depending on the platform on which you’re writing, as we’ll see later.)

In addition, all reviews share some universal elements, as shown in our book review templates . These include:

  • A review will offer a concise plot summary of the book. 
  • A book review will offer an evaluation of the work. 
  • A book review will offer a recommendation for the audience. 

If these are the basic ingredients that make up a book review, it’s the tone and style with which the book reviewer writes that brings the extra panache. This will differ from platform to platform, of course. A book review on Goodreads, for instance, will be much more informal and personal than a book review on Kirkus Reviews, as it is catering to a different audience. However, at the end of the day, the goal of all book reviews is to give the audience the tools to determine whether or not they’d like to read the book themselves.

Keeping that in mind, let’s proceed to some book review examples to put all of this in action.

How much of a book nerd are you, really?

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Book review examples for fiction books

Since story is king in the world of fiction, it probably won’t come as any surprise to learn that a book review for a novel will concentrate on how well the story was told .

That said, book reviews in all genres follow the same basic formula that we discussed earlier. In these examples, you’ll be able to see how book reviewers on different platforms expertly intertwine the plot summary and their personal opinions of the book to produce a clear, informative, and concise review.

Note: Some of the book review examples run very long. If a book review is truncated in this post, we’ve indicated by including a […] at the end, but you can always read the entire review if you click on the link provided.

Examples of literary fiction book reviews

Kirkus Reviews reviews Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man :

An extremely powerful story of a young Southern Negro, from his late high school days through three years of college to his life in Harlem.
His early training prepared him for a life of humility before white men, but through injustices- large and small, he came to realize that he was an "invisible man". People saw in him only a reflection of their preconceived ideas of what he was, denied his individuality, and ultimately did not see him at all. This theme, which has implications far beyond the obvious racial parallel, is skillfully handled. The incidents of the story are wholly absorbing. The boy's dismissal from college because of an innocent mistake, his shocked reaction to the anonymity of the North and to Harlem, his nightmare experiences on a one-day job in a paint factory and in the hospital, his lightning success as the Harlem leader of a communistic organization known as the Brotherhood, his involvement in black versus white and black versus black clashes and his disillusion and understanding of his invisibility- all climax naturally in scenes of violence and riot, followed by a retreat which is both literal and figurative. Parts of this experience may have been told before, but never with such freshness, intensity and power.
This is Ellison's first novel, but he has complete control of his story and his style. Watch it.

Lyndsey reviews George Orwell’s 1984 on Goodreads:

YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good." Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried.
This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down.
I read Fahrenheit 451 over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read 1984, although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully. […]

The New York Times reviews Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry :

Three-quarters of the way through Lisa Halliday’s debut novel, “Asymmetry,” a British foreign correspondent named Alistair is spending Christmas on a compound outside of Baghdad. His fellow revelers include cameramen, defense contractors, United Nations employees and aid workers. Someone’s mother has FedExed a HoneyBaked ham from Maine; people are smoking by the swimming pool. It is 2003, just days after Saddam Hussein’s capture, and though the mood is optimistic, Alistair is worrying aloud about the ethics of his chosen profession, wondering if reporting on violence doesn’t indirectly abet violence and questioning why he’d rather be in a combat zone than reading a picture book to his son. But every time he returns to London, he begins to “spin out.” He can’t go home. “You observe what people do with their freedom — what they don’t do — and it’s impossible not to judge them for it,” he says.
The line, embedded unceremoniously in the middle of a page-long paragraph, doubles, like so many others in “Asymmetry,” as literary criticism. Halliday’s novel is so strange and startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction. One finishes “Asymmetry” for the first or second (or like this reader, third) time and is left wondering what other writers are not doing with their freedom — and, like Alistair, judging them for it.
Despite its title, “Asymmetry” comprises two seemingly unrelated sections of equal length, appended by a slim and quietly shocking coda. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W. G. Sebald, and like the murmurings of a shy person at a cocktail party, often comic only in single clauses. It’s a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years. […]

Emily W. Thompson reviews Michael Doane's The Crossing on Reedsy Discovery :

In Doane’s debut novel, a young man embarks on a journey of self-discovery with surprising results.
An unnamed protagonist (The Narrator) is dealing with heartbreak. His love, determined to see the world, sets out for Portland, Oregon. But he’s a small-town boy who hasn’t traveled much. So, the Narrator mourns her loss and hides from life, throwing himself into rehabbing an old motorcycle. Until one day, he takes a leap; he packs his bike and a few belongings and heads out to find the Girl.
Following in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and William Least Heat-Moon, Doane offers a coming of age story about a man finding himself on the backroads of America. Doane’s a gifted writer with fluid prose and insightful observations, using The Narrator’s personal interactions to illuminate the diversity of the United States.
The Narrator initially sticks to the highways, trying to make it to the West Coast as quickly as possible. But a hitchhiker named Duke convinces him to get off the beaten path and enjoy the ride. “There’s not a place that’s like any other,” [39] Dukes contends, and The Narrator realizes he’s right. Suddenly, the trip is about the journey, not just the destination. The Narrator ditches his truck and traverses the deserts and mountains on his bike. He destroys his phone, cutting off ties with his past and living only in the moment.
As he crosses the country, The Narrator connects with several unique personalities whose experiences and views deeply impact his own. Duke, the complicated cowboy and drifter, who opens The Narrator’s eyes to a larger world. Zooey, the waitress in Colorado who opens his heart and reminds him that love can be found in this big world. And Rosie, The Narrator’s sweet landlady in Portland, who helps piece him back together both physically and emotionally.
This supporting cast of characters is excellent. Duke, in particular, is wonderfully nuanced and complicated. He’s a throwback to another time, a man without a cell phone who reads Sartre and sleeps under the stars. Yet he’s also a grifter with a “love ‘em and leave ‘em” attitude that harms those around him. It’s fascinating to watch The Narrator wrestle with Duke’s behavior, trying to determine which to model and which to discard.
Doane creates a relatable protagonist in The Narrator, whose personal growth doesn’t erase his faults. His willingness to hit the road with few resources is admirable, and he’s prescient enough to recognize the jealousy of those who cannot or will not take the leap. His encounters with new foods, places, and people broaden his horizons. Yet his immaturity and selfishness persist. He tells Rosie she’s been a good mother to him but chooses to ignore the continuing concern from his own parents as he effectively disappears from his old life.
Despite his flaws, it’s a pleasure to accompany The Narrator on his physical and emotional journey. The unexpected ending is a fitting denouement to an epic and memorable road trip.

The Book Smugglers review Anissa Gray’s The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls :

I am still dipping my toes into the literally fiction pool, finding what works for me and what doesn’t. Books like The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray are definitely my cup of tea.
Althea and Proctor Cochran had been pillars of their economically disadvantaged community for years – with their local restaurant/small market and their charity drives. Until they are found guilty of fraud for stealing and keeping most of the money they raised and sent to jail. Now disgraced, their entire family is suffering the consequences, specially their twin teenage daughters Baby Vi and Kim.  To complicate matters even more: Kim was actually the one to call the police on her parents after yet another fight with her mother. […]

Examples of children’s and YA fiction book reviews

The Book Hookup reviews Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give :

♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 5 stars! I can’t imagine how challenging it would be to tackle the voice of a movement like Black Lives Matter, but I do know that Thomas did it with a finesse only a talented author like herself possibly could. With an unapologetically realistic delivery packed with emotion, The Hate U Give is a crucially important portrayal of the difficulties minorities face in our country every single day. I have no doubt that this book will be met with resistance by some (possibly many) and slapped with a “controversial” label, but if you’ve ever wondered what it was like to walk in a POC’s shoes, then I feel like this is an unflinchingly honest place to start.
In Angie Thomas’s debut novel, Starr Carter bursts on to the YA scene with both heart-wrecking and heartwarming sincerity. This author is definitely one to watch.
♥ Review: The hype around this book has been unquestionable and, admittedly, that made me both eager to get my hands on it and terrified to read it. I mean, what if I was to be the one person that didn’t love it as much as others? (That seems silly now because of how truly mesmerizing THUG was in the most heartbreakingly realistic way.) However, with the relevancy of its summary in regards to the unjust predicaments POC currently face in the US, I knew this one was a must-read, so I was ready to set my fears aside and dive in. That said, I had an altogether more personal, ulterior motive for wanting to read this book. […]

The New York Times reviews Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood :

Alice Crewe (a last name she’s chosen for herself) is a fairy tale legacy: the granddaughter of Althea Proserpine, author of a collection of dark-as-night fairy tales called “Tales From the Hinterland.” The book has a cult following, and though Alice has never met her grandmother, she’s learned a little about her through internet research. She hasn’t read the stories, because her mother, Ella Proserpine, forbids it.
Alice and Ella have moved from place to place in an attempt to avoid the “bad luck” that seems to follow them. Weird things have happened. As a child, Alice was kidnapped by a man who took her on a road trip to find her grandmother; he was stopped by the police before they did so. When at 17 she sees that man again, unchanged despite the years, Alice panics. Then Ella goes missing, and Alice turns to Ellery Finch, a schoolmate who’s an Althea Proserpine superfan, for help in tracking down her mother. Not only has Finch read every fairy tale in the collection, but handily, he remembers them, sharing them with Alice as they journey to the mysterious Hazel Wood, the estate of her now-dead grandmother, where they hope to find Ella.
“The Hazel Wood” starts out strange and gets stranger, in the best way possible. (The fairy stories Finch relays, which Albert includes as their own chapters, are as creepy and evocative as you’d hope.) Albert seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth and the world as it appears is false, where just about anything can happen, particularly in the pages of a very good book. It’s a captivating debut. […]

James reviews Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight, Moon on Goodreads:

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children's Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!
This picture book was such a delight. I hadn't remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me... either way, it was like a whole new experience! It's always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don't have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he'll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I've been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it's time to sleep.
The bunny's are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren't normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.

Publishers Weekly reviews Elizabeth Lilly’s Geraldine :

This funny, thoroughly accomplished debut opens with two words: “I’m moving.” They’re spoken by the title character while she swoons across her family’s ottoman, and because Geraldine is a giraffe, her full-on melancholy mode is quite a spectacle. But while Geraldine may be a drama queen (even her mother says so), it won’t take readers long to warm up to her. The move takes Geraldine from Giraffe City, where everyone is like her, to a new school, where everyone else is human. Suddenly, the former extrovert becomes “That Giraffe Girl,” and all she wants to do is hide, which is pretty much impossible. “Even my voice tries to hide,” she says, in the book’s most poignant moment. “It’s gotten quiet and whispery.” Then she meets Cassie, who, though human, is also an outlier (“I’m that girl who wears glasses and likes MATH and always organizes her food”), and things begin to look up.
Lilly’s watercolor-and-ink drawings are as vividly comic and emotionally astute as her writing; just when readers think there are no more ways for Geraldine to contort her long neck, this highly promising talent comes up with something new.

Examples of genre fiction book reviews

Karlyn P reviews Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch , a paranormal romance novel , on Goodreads:

4 stars. Great world-building, weak romance, but still worth the read.
I hesitate to describe this book as a 'romance' novel simply because the book spent little time actually exploring the romance between Iona and Boyle. Sure, there IS a romance in this novel. Sprinkled throughout the book are a few scenes where Iona and Boyle meet, chat, wink at each, flirt some more, sleep together, have a misunderstanding, make up, and then profess their undying love. Very formulaic stuff, and all woven around the more important parts of this book.
The meat of this book is far more focused on the story of the Dark witch and her magically-gifted descendants living in Ireland. Despite being weak on the romance, I really enjoyed it. I think the book is probably better for it, because the romance itself was pretty lackluster stuff.
I absolutely plan to stick with this series as I enjoyed the world building, loved the Ireland setting, and was intrigued by all of the secondary characters. However, If you read Nora Roberts strictly for the romance scenes, this one might disappoint. But if you enjoy a solid background story with some dark magic and prophesies, you might enjoy it as much as I did.
I listened to this one on audio, and felt the narration was excellent.

Emily May reviews R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy Wars , an epic fantasy novel , on Goodreads:

“But I warn you, little warrior. The price of power is pain.”
Holy hell, what did I just read??
➽ A fantasy military school
➽ A rich world based on modern Chinese history
➽ Shamans and gods
➽ Detailed characterization leading to unforgettable characters
➽ Adorable, opium-smoking mentors
That's a basic list, but this book is all of that and SO MUCH MORE. I know 100% that The Poppy War will be one of my best reads of 2018.
Isn't it just so great when you find one of those books that completely drags you in, makes you fall in love with the characters, and demands that you sit on the edge of your seat for every horrific, nail-biting moment of it? This is one of those books for me. And I must issue a serious content warning: this book explores some very dark themes. Proceed with caution (or not at all) if you are particularly sensitive to scenes of war, drug use and addiction, genocide, racism, sexism, ableism, self-harm, torture, and rape (off-page but extremely horrific).
Because, despite the fairly innocuous first 200 pages, the title speaks the truth: this is a book about war. All of its horrors and atrocities. It is not sugar-coated, and it is often graphic. The "poppy" aspect refers to opium, which is a big part of this book. It is a fantasy, but the book draws inspiration from the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking.

Crime Fiction Lover reviews Jessica Barry’s Freefall , a crime novel:

In some crime novels, the wrongdoing hits you between the eyes from page one. With others it’s a more subtle process, and that’s OK too. So where does Freefall fit into the sliding scale?
In truth, it’s not clear. This is a novel with a thrilling concept at its core. A woman survives plane crash, then runs for her life. However, it is the subtleties at play that will draw you in like a spider beckoning to an unwitting fly.
Like the heroine in Sharon Bolton’s Dead Woman Walking, Allison is lucky to be alive. She was the only passenger in a private plane, belonging to her fiancé, Ben, who was piloting the expensive aircraft, when it came down in woodlands in the Colorado Rockies. Ally is also the only survivor, but rather than sitting back and waiting for rescue, she is soon pulling together items that may help her survive a little longer – first aid kit, energy bars, warm clothes, trainers – before fleeing the scene. If you’re hearing the faint sound of alarm bells ringing, get used to it. There’s much, much more to learn about Ally before this tale is over.

Kirkus Reviews reviews Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One , a science-fiction novel :

Video-game players embrace the quest of a lifetime in a virtual world; screenwriter Cline’s first novel is old wine in new bottles.
The real world, in 2045, is the usual dystopian horror story. So who can blame Wade, our narrator, if he spends most of his time in a virtual world? The 18-year-old, orphaned at 11, has no friends in his vertical trailer park in Oklahoma City, while the OASIS has captivating bells and whistles, and it’s free. Its creator, the legendary billionaire James Halliday, left a curious will. He had devised an elaborate online game, a hunt for a hidden Easter egg. The finder would inherit his estate. Old-fashioned riddles lead to three keys and three gates. Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, is the first gunter (egg-hunter) to win the Copper Key, first of three.
Halliday was obsessed with the pop culture of the 1980s, primarily the arcade games, so the novel is as much retro as futurist. Parzival’s great strength is that he has absorbed all Halliday’s obsessions; he knows by heart three essential movies, crossing the line from geek to freak. His most formidable competitors are the Sixers, contract gunters working for the evil conglomerate IOI, whose goal is to acquire the OASIS. Cline’s narrative is straightforward but loaded with exposition. It takes a while to reach a scene that crackles with excitement: the meeting between Parzival (now world famous as the lead contender) and Sorrento, the head of IOI. The latter tries to recruit Parzival; when he fails, he issues and executes a death threat. Wade’s trailer is demolished, his relatives killed; luckily Wade was not at home. Too bad this is the dramatic high point. Parzival threads his way between more ’80s games and movies to gain the other keys; it’s clever but not exciting. Even a romance with another avatar and the ultimate “epic throwdown” fail to stir the blood.
Too much puzzle-solving, not enough suspense.

Book review examples for non-fiction books

Nonfiction books are generally written to inform readers about a certain topic. As such, the focus of a nonfiction book review will be on the clarity and effectiveness of this communication . In carrying this out, a book review may analyze the author’s source materials and assess the thesis in order to determine whether or not the book meets expectations.

Again, we’ve included abbreviated versions of long reviews here, so feel free to click on the link to read the entire piece!

The Washington Post reviews David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon :

The arc of David Grann’s career reminds one of a software whiz-kid or a latest-thing talk-show host — certainly not an investigative reporter, even if he is one of the best in the business. The newly released movie of his first book, “The Lost City of Z,” is generating all kinds of Oscar talk, and now comes the release of his second book, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” the film rights to which have already been sold for $5 million in what one industry journal called the “biggest and wildest book rights auction in memory.”
Grann deserves the attention. He’s canny about the stories he chases, he’s willing to go anywhere to chase them, and he’s a maestro in his ability to parcel out information at just the right clip: a hint here, a shading of meaning there, a smartly paced buildup of multiple possibilities followed by an inevitable reversal of readerly expectations or, in some cases, by a thrilling and dislocating pull of the entire narrative rug.
All of these strengths are on display in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Around the turn of the 20th century, oil was discovered underneath Osage lands in the Oklahoma Territory, lands that were soon to become part of the state of Oklahoma. Through foresight and legal maneuvering, the Osage found a way to permanently attach that oil to themselves and shield it from the prying hands of white interlopers; this mechanism was known as “headrights,” which forbade the outright sale of oil rights and granted each full member of the tribe — and, supposedly, no one else — a share in the proceeds from any lease arrangement. For a while, the fail-safes did their job, and the Osage got rich — diamond-ring and chauffeured-car and imported-French-fashion rich — following which quite a large group of white men started to work like devils to separate the Osage from their money. And soon enough, and predictably enough, this work involved murder. Here in Jazz Age America’s most isolated of locales, dozens or even hundreds of Osage in possession of great fortunes — and of the potential for even greater fortunes in the future — were dispatched by poison, by gunshot and by dynamite. […]

Stacked Books reviews Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers :

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. Friends and co-workers tell me that his subjects are interesting and his writing style is easy to follow without talking down to the reader. I wasn’t disappointed with Outliers. In it, Gladwell tackles the subject of success – how people obtain it and what contributes to extraordinary success as opposed to everyday success.
The thesis – that our success depends much more on circumstances out of our control than any effort we put forth – isn’t exactly revolutionary. Most of us know it to be true. However, I don’t think I’m lying when I say that most of us also believe that we if we just try that much harder and develop our talent that much further, it will be enough to become wildly successful, despite bad or just mediocre beginnings. Not so, says Gladwell.
Most of the evidence Gladwell gives us is anecdotal, which is my favorite kind to read. I can’t really speak to how scientifically valid it is, but it sure makes for engrossing listening. For example, did you know that successful hockey players are almost all born in January, February, or March? Kids born during these months are older than the others kids when they start playing in the youth leagues, which means they’re already better at the game (because they’re bigger). Thus, they get more play time, which means their skill increases at a faster rate, and it compounds as time goes by. Within a few years, they’re much, much better than the kids born just a few months later in the year. Basically, these kids’ birthdates are a huge factor in their success as adults – and it’s nothing they can do anything about. If anyone could make hockey interesting to a Texan who only grudgingly admits the sport even exists, it’s Gladwell. […]

Quill and Quire reviews Rick Prashaw’s Soar, Adam, Soar :

Ten years ago, I read a book called Almost Perfect. The young-adult novel by Brian Katcher won some awards and was held up as a powerful, nuanced portrayal of a young trans person. But the reality did not live up to the book’s billing. Instead, it turned out to be a one-dimensional and highly fetishized portrait of a trans person’s life, one that was nevertheless repeatedly dubbed “realistic” and “affecting” by non-transgender readers possessing only a vague, mass-market understanding of trans experiences.
In the intervening decade, trans narratives have emerged further into the literary spotlight, but those authored by trans people ourselves – and by trans men in particular – have seemed to fall under the shadow of cisgender sensationalized imaginings. Two current Canadian releases – Soar, Adam, Soar and This One Looks Like a Boy – provide a pointed object lesson into why trans-authored work about transgender experiences remains critical.
To be fair, Soar, Adam, Soar isn’t just a story about a trans man. It’s also a story about epilepsy, the medical establishment, and coming of age as seen through a grieving father’s eyes. Adam, Prashaw’s trans son, died unexpectedly at age 22. Woven through the elder Prashaw’s narrative are excerpts from Adam’s social media posts, giving us glimpses into the young man’s interior life as he traverses his late teens and early 20s. […]

Book Geeks reviews Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love :

WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
SUBJECT: 4/5
CANDIDNESS: 4.5/5
RELEVANCE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“Eat Pray Love” is so popular that it is almost impossible to not read it. Having felt ashamed many times on my not having read this book, I quietly ordered the book (before I saw the movie) from amazon.in and sat down to read it. I don’t remember what I expected it to be – maybe more like a chick lit thing but it turned out quite different. The book is a real story and is a short journal from the time when its writer went travelling to three different countries in pursuit of three different things – Italy (Pleasure), India (Spirituality), Bali (Balance) and this is what corresponds to the book’s name – EAT (in Italy), PRAY (in India) and LOVE (in Bali, Indonesia). These are also the three Is – ITALY, INDIA, INDONESIA.
Though she had everything a middle-aged American woman can aspire for – MONEY, CAREER, FRIENDS, HUSBAND; Elizabeth was not happy in her life, she wasn’t happy in her marriage. Having suffered a terrible divorce and terrible breakup soon after, Elizabeth was shattered. She didn’t know where to go and what to do – all she knew was that she wanted to run away. So she set out on a weird adventure – she will go to three countries in a year and see if she can find out what she was looking for in life. This book is about that life changing journey that she takes for one whole year. […]

Emily May reviews Michelle Obama’s Becoming on Goodreads:

Look, I'm not a happy crier. I might cry at songs about leaving and missing someone; I might cry at books where things don't work out; I might cry at movies where someone dies. I've just never really understood why people get all choked up over happy, inspirational things. But Michelle Obama's kindness and empathy changed that. This book had me in tears for all the right reasons.
This is not really a book about politics, though political experiences obviously do come into it. It's a shame that some will dismiss this book because of a difference in political opinion, when it is really about a woman's life. About growing up poor and black on the South Side of Chicago; about getting married and struggling to maintain that marriage; about motherhood; about being thrown into an amazing and terrifying position.
I hate words like "inspirational" because they've become so overdone and cheesy, but I just have to say it-- Michelle Obama is an inspiration. I had the privilege of seeing her speak at The Forum in Inglewood, and she is one of the warmest, funniest, smartest, down-to-earth people I have ever seen in this world.
And yes, I know we present what we want the world to see, but I truly do think it's genuine. I think she is someone who really cares about people - especially kids - and wants to give them better lives and opportunities.
She's obviously intelligent, but she also doesn't gussy up her words. She talks straight, with an openness and honesty rarely seen. She's been one of the most powerful women in the world, she's been a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, she's had her own successful career, and yet she has remained throughout that same girl - Michelle Robinson - from a working class family in Chicago.
I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book.

Hopefully, this post has given you a better idea of how to write a book review. You might be wondering how to put all of this knowledge into action now! Many book reviewers start out by setting up a book blog. If you don’t have time to research the intricacies of HTML, check out Reedsy Discovery — where you can read indie books for free and review them without going through the hassle of creating a blog. To register as a book reviewer , go here .

And if you’d like to see even more book review examples, simply go to this directory of book review blogs and click on any one of them to see a wealth of good book reviews. Beyond that, it's up to you to pick up a book and pen — and start reviewing!

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Step-by-Step Guide: How to Write a Book Review for Beginners

Writing a book review can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for book lovers. It allows you to share your thoughts and opinions about a book while helping others make informed choices. it provides an opportunity to connect with a community of readers who share similar interests. Here are the steps to write a book review and some tips for writing an effective one.

Why Write a Book Review?

  • Share Your Opinion: Writing a book review allows you to express your thoughts, feelings, and insights about a book.
  • Help Others Make Informed Choices: Your review can assist potential readers in deciding whether a book aligns with their interests and preferences.
  • Connect with a Community: Engaging in book reviews allows you to connect with fellow readers, exchange recommendations, and participate in meaningful discussions.

Steps to Write a Book Review:

  • Read the Book Carefully: Take your time to read the book thoroughly, paying attention to its themes, plot, characters, and writing style.
  • Take Notes and Highlight Key Points: Make note of important ideas, memorable quotes, and significant moments that stand out to you while reading.
  • Structure Your Review: Organize your review into sections such as introduction, summary, plot analysis, writing style evaluation, personal thoughts, and conclusion.
  • Begin with an Engaging Introduction: Capture the reader’s attention by providing a brief overview of the book and its significance.
  • Provide a Brief Summary: Summarize the main plot and introduce the central characters without giving away any major spoilers.
  • Discuss the Plot and Characters: Analyze the plot’s development, pacing, and twists. Evaluate the strength of the characters and their impact on the story.
  • Evaluate the Writing Style and Organization: Assess the author’s writing style, use of language, and overall organization of the book.
  • Share your Personal Thoughts and Opinions: Express your likes, dislikes, and thoughts on the book’s themes, messages, and overall impact.
  • Give Examples and Supporting Evidence: Support your opinions with specific examples from the book, such as quotes or scenes, to strengthen your arguments.
  • Write a Clear and Concise Conclusion: Sum up your review in a concise manner and provide a final verdict on whether you recommend the book or not.

Tips for Writing an Effective Book Review:

  • Be Honest and Balanced: Present both the strengths and weaknesses of the book in a fair and balanced manner.
  • Avoid Spoilers: Be mindful of not revealing major plot twists or giving away the ending to preserve the reader’s experience.
  • Use Clear and Concise Language: Write in a clear, concise, and engaging manner to keep the reader’s attention.
  • Provide Context: Include relevant background information about the author, genre, or any historical context that may enhance the reader’s understanding.
  • Support Your Opinions with Evidence: Back up your opinions with examples, quotes, and references from the book to add credibility to your review.
  • Consider the Target Audience: Keep in mind the book’s intended audience and tailor your review accordingly to address their interests and expectations.

By following these steps and tips, you can confidently write a comprehensive and insightful book review that will help readers make informed choices and engage in meaningful discussions within the reading community.

Table of Contents

Key takeaways:

  • Writing a book review allows you to share your opinion, help others make informed choices, and connect with a community of readers.
  • To write an effective book review, carefully read the book, take notes, structure your review, and provide a brief summary, character and plot analysis, and evaluation of the writing style.
  • When writing a book review, be honest and balanced, avoid spoilers, use clear and concise language, provide context, support your opinions with evidence, and consider the target audience.

Why write a book review? It’s more than just sharing your opinion on a page-turner. It’s a chance to help others make informed choices, connect with a community of book lovers, and take notes on key points that truly resonated. So, grab that pen and paper, and unleash your creativity! From an engaging introduction to a clear and concise conclusion, we’ll explore the structure, plot, characters, writing style, and more. Get ready to dive into the exciting world of book reviews!

Share Your Opinion

To effectively share your opinion in a book review, there are several key factors to consider. Firstly, it’s important to be honest and balanced in your assessment of the book. Providing a fair evaluation will give readers a trustworthy perspective. Additionally, avoiding spoilers is crucial as it allows readers to discover the plot themselves, enhancing their reading experience.

To ensure your opinion is well-understood, it is essential to use clear and concise language. This will help convey your thoughts effectively and prevent any confusion. In addition, providing context by discussing the genre, themes , and target audience of the book will enrich your review. This allows readers to better understand the book’s intended audience and purpose.

To strengthen your opinion, supporting it with evidence is vital. Incorporate specific examples from the book to back up your arguments. This will demonstrate that your opinions are well-grounded and thoughtful.

Lastly, keep in mind the target audience when expressing your thoughts and opinions. Tailoring your review to match the interests and preferences of the intended readership will make your opinion more relevant and valuable to them.

By considering these guidelines, you can craft a book review that effectively shares your opinion while providing valuable insights for potential readers.

Help Others Make Informed Choices

Writing a book review can help others make informed choices when deciding what books to read. Here are some reasons why writing a book review is important:

  • Share your opinion: Your review can give readers an insight into your thoughts and feelings about the book.
  • Help others make informed choices : By sharing your evaluation of the book, you can help others make informed choices if it’s the right book for them.
  • Connect with a community: Book lovers can connect and engage in conversations about books through reviews.

By writing a comprehensive and well-structured review, you can provide valuable information to potential readers, guiding them in their book selection process. So, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and help others make informed choices!

Connect with a Community

Connecting with a community is one of the benefits of writing a book review. It allows you to connect with a community and share your thoughts and opinions with others who have similar interests. By engaging in discussions with fellow readers , you can connect with a community, gain new insights, recommendations , and perspectives. Writing a book review provides an opportunity to connect with a community of readers and establish meaningful connections. So, whether it’s joining a book club , participating in online forums , or attending literary events , connecting with a community is a great way to enhance your reading experience.

Pro-tip : Join online book communities or social media groups dedicated to book discussions to connect with a larger community of readers and discover new books.

Read the Book Carefully

When writing a book review, it is essential to thoroughly read the book in order to provide a meticulous and thoughtful analysis. Pay close attention to the plot , characters , writing style , and themes that are explored in the book. Take detailed notes while reading to ensure you remember the important details and impactful quotes. By comprehensively understanding the book, you will be able to offer a well-informed review that provides valuable insights to potential readers. Remember to take your time and fully immerse yourself in the book to grasp its nuances and appreciate the author’s craftsmanship .

Take Notes and Highlight Key Points

Taking comprehensive notes and highlighting key points while reading a book is crucial for writing an effective book review. Noting down significant details, memorable quotes , and important themes is essential for providing a comprehensive analysis of the book. Here’s how to efficiently take notes:

By taking comprehensive notes and highlighting key points, you’ll have a solid foundation for writing an insightful book review. Keep in mind that the purpose of a review is not only to summarize the book but also to provide your personal analysis and evaluation.

Structure Your Review

  • Structure Your Review by reading the book carefully to have a thorough understanding of its content.
  • Take notes and highlight key points that you want to discuss in your review in order to effectively Structure Your Review .
  • To Structure Your Review effectively, begin with an engaging introduction that grabs the reader’s attention.
  • Provide a brief summary of the book to give readers an overview and help Structure Your Review .
  • Discuss the plot and characters , exploring their development and impact on the story, as part of the process to Structure Your Review .
  • Evaluate the writing style and organization , commenting on the author’s technique and how well the book flows to Structure Your Review .
  • Share your personal thoughts and opinions, expressing what worked or didn’t work for you, as this is crucial to Structure Your Review .
  • Give examples and supporting evidence from the book to strengthen your review and further Structure Your Review with concrete evidence.
  • Write a clear and concise conclusion that summarizes your main points and final thoughts to Structure Your Review effectively.

Remember to be honest, avoid spoilers, use clear language, provide context, support your opinions with evidence, and consider the target audience. Have fun writing your book review!

Begin with an Engaging Introduction

When writing a book review, it is crucial to begin with an engaging introduction that grabs the reader’s attention. This introduction sets the tone for your review and piques the curiosity of your audience. You can start by providing a brief but captivating summary of the book, highlighting its main themes or unique aspects. Additionally, you can share your initial impressions or explain why you chose to read the book. However, it is important to avoid giving away any spoilers . By starting with an engaging introduction, you will hook your readers and leave them eager to continue reading your review.

In the realm of ancient literature , the art of storytelling has always held a special place in the hearts of readers. From Homer’s epic poems to Shakespeare’s masterful plays, the power of a well-crafted narrative has transcended time. Through the magic of literature , tales of triumph, tragedy, and everything in between have been passed down and cherished by countless generations. Therefore, when embarking on the task of writing a book review, it is essential to begin with an engaging introduction that draws readers into the enchanting world of words.

Provide a Brief Summary

A well-crafted book review includes the provision of a brief summary. It is essential to capture the main points of the book while avoiding excessive details or spoilers. The summary serves the purpose of giving readers a general understanding of the book’s content and what they can expect from it. A concise and clear summary emphasizes the crucial aspects of the plot, setting , and characters. By providing this brief overview, readers can quickly assess if the book matches their interests and make a decision regarding whether to read it. A noteworthy fact is that a skillfully written summary has the potential to entice readers to explore the book further, thereby increasing their interest and engagement.

Discuss the Plot and Characters

When writing a book review, it is crucial to thoroughly discuss the plot and characters in an insightful and detailed manner. Take the time to analyze the storyline , examining how the plot unfolds and develops, and evaluate how the characters contribute to the overall narrative. It is also important to assess the believability and depth of the characters, as well as explore their motivations and relationships . In addition, discuss whether the characters experience personal growth or remain stagnant throughout the book. Enhance your analysis by providing examples and specific evidence from the text to support your points. By delving into both the plot and characters, you will offer readers a comprehensive understanding of the book, allowing them to make an informed decision.

Evaluate the Writing Style and Organization

Evaluating the writing style and organization of a book is essential when writing a review. When analyzing a book’s qualities, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Clarity: Is the writing clear and easily understandable?
  • Flow: Does the book transition smoothly between ideas, or are there sudden shifts?
  • Structure: Does the book have a well-organized structure, including a clear beginning, middle, and end?
  • Pacing: Does the book maintain an appropriate pace, or does it feel either too slow or rushed?
  • Character development: Are the characters well-developed and believable?
  • Plot progression: Does the plot progress logically, or are there any inconsistencies?

By evaluating both the writing style and organization, you can provide readers with valuable insights to guide them in determining if the book suits their preferences. It is worth noting that a well-written book with strong organization has the potential to enhance the reading experience and captivate its audience.

Share your Personal Thoughts and Opinions

When writing a book review, it is crucial to share your personal thoughts and opinions . By doing this, you allow readers to comprehend your perspective and assist them in making well-informed choices . It is important to incorporate specific examples and evidence from the book to substantiate your viewpoints. Additionally, strive to maintain honesty and balance in your assessment by presenting both positive and negative aspects of the book. Using clear and concise language is also essential in effectively conveying your thoughts. Furthermore, always bear in mind the target audience of the book and tailor your opinions accordingly. By openly expressing your personal thoughts and opinions, you can actively contribute to a dynamic and captivating book review community .

Give Examples and Supporting Evidence

When writing a book review, it is crucial to provide examples and supporting evidence to substantiate your opinions. By furnishing specific examples from the book, you can effectively demonstrate your points and aid readers in comprehending your perspective. For instance, if you discovered the characterization in the book to be robust , you could present examples of well-developed and relatable characters. Similarly, if you sensed that the plot was feeble , you could provide particular instances where the story lacked tension or resolution. Incorporating supporting evidence bolsters your review and enhances its persuasiveness to others.

Write a Clear and Concise Conclusion

  • Summarize your main points: Briefly recap the key aspects of the book, including the plot, characters , and writing style .
  • Evaluate the overall impact: Share your overall assessment of the book . Did it meet your expectations? Did it fulfill its purpose?
  • Offer a recommendation: Based on your review, recommend whether or not others should read the book . Provide a concise reason for your recommendation.

A pro-tip for writing a conclusion: Keep it concise and impactful . Your conclusion should leave a lasting impression and encourage readers to take action, whether that’s picking up the book or skipping it.

Tips for Writing an Effective Book Review

Looking to write an effective book review? Look no further as we dive into some valuable tips that will elevate your review game. From being honest and balanced to avoiding spoilers, using clear and concise language, and providing context, we’ll cover it all. We’ll explore the importance of supporting your opinions with evidence and considering the target audience. With these guidelines, you’ll be equipped to write book reviews that captivate readers and offer valuable insights. So grab your pen and let’s get started!

Be Honest and Balanced

  • To write an effective book review, it is crucial to be honest and balanced in your assessment.
  • When evaluating the book , make sure to provide an objective and impartial evaluation, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses .
  • Avoid allowing personal biases or preferences to overly influence your review, and give credit where it is due.
  • Consider different perspectives and think about the potential audience for the book.
  • Present a well-rounded viewpoint by acknowledging any flaws or shortcomings in the book alongside its positive aspects .
  • Support your opinions with evidence from the book, such as specific examples or quotes .
  • Communicate your thoughts using clear and concise language, without resorting to excessive praise or criticism.

Avoid Spoilers

When writing a book review, it’s crucial to avoid spoilers in order to preserve the suspense and surprise for other readers. Here are some tips to help you steer clear of spoilers when crafting your review:

  • Emphasize the overarching themes and impressions of the book rather than divulging specific plot twists or endings.
  • Steer clear of discussing significant character developments or surprises that may impact the reader’s experience.
  • Instead of revealing specific details, delve into the author’s writing style, the pacing of the story, or the effectiveness of the narrative structure.
  • Provide enough information to give readers an idea of what to expect without giving away crucial plot points.
  • Consider using vague statements or generalizations to explore important aspects of the story without spoiling the specifics.

In a similar vein, when recounting a true historical event , it’s vital to gradually reveal the details in order to preserve the suspense and intrigue for the audience. By gradually unveiling the facts, it enables the reader or listener to engage with the event in a more captivating and profound manner.

Use Clear and Concise Language

When writing a book review , it’s crucial to incorporate the use of clear and concise language. This is important to effectively communicate your thoughts and opinions to the reader . Avoid the use of unnecessary jargon or complex vocabulary that may confuse the reader. Instead, focus on using straightforward sentences and expressing your ideas in a concise manner. Aim to be clear and direct in your language, getting straight to the point . By incorporating the use of clear and concise language, you can ensure that your book review is easily understandable and engaging for the reader. Always remember, simplicity is key in conveying your thoughts effectively.

Provide Context

To effectively provide context in a book review, it is of utmost importance to tactfully present readers with a brief background on the author , the genre , and any relevant historical or cultural context. This approach helps readers grasp the book’s significance and fully appreciate it within its specific context. For instance, when analyzing a historical fiction novel, mentioning the specific time period in which it is set, as well as any pertinent historical events that contribute to the story, becomes crucial. By incorporating context, readers gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the book’s themes, characters, and plot. As a result, they are empowered to make well-informed decisions about whether the book aligns with their interests and preferences.

In a similar vein, a true story serves as a powerful exemplification of the profound impact of providing context. A book reviewer shared their initial confusion and lack of interest in a classic novel. However, after delving deeper into the historical context surrounding the book’s creation and the personal experiences of the author, they found a newfound appreciation for the story and its underlying themes. This anecdote beautifully underscores how the inclusion of context can significantly augment readers’ understanding and enjoyment of a book.

Support Your Opinions with Evidence

To write an effective book review, it is vital to support your opinions with evidence. Here are some ways to accomplish that:

  • Present specific examples from the book to validate your arguments and opinions.
  • Show references to quotes or passages that stood out to you and explain why they carried significance.
  • Explore the author’s implementation of literary devices, such as symbolism or foreshadowing , and discuss how they influenced the story.
  • Analyze the development of characters and provide instances of their actions or dialogue that illustrate your points.
  • Draw comparisons between the book and other works by the same author or within the same genre to offer context and back your evaluation.

By incorporating evidence from the book, you can enhance your review and assist readers in making informed decisions about whether to read the book or not.

Consider the Target Audience

Considering the target audience is crucial when writing a book review . It is important to consider the target audience to ensure that your review is tailored to their specific needs and interests. By taking into account the age group , genre preferences , reading level , and cultural background of the readers, you can provide a more insightful and valuable review.

By considering the target audience , you can provide a more insightful and valuable review that caters to their specific needs and interests.

Some Facts About How to Write a Book Review:

  • ✅ A book review should offer a critical perspective and engage in dialogue with the work’s creator and other audiences. (Source: UNC Writing Center)
  • ✅ Reviews are typically brief and rarely exceed 1000 words. (Source: UNC Writing Center)
  • ✅ A book review should provide a concise summary of the content, offer a critical assessment of the work, and suggest whether the audience would appreciate it. (Source: UNC Writing Center)
  • ✅ Writing a book review can be daunting as it requires expressing opinions and making judgments. However, it is encouraged to provide concrete evidence for assertions and voice agreement or disagreement tactfully. (Source: UNC Writing Center)
  • ✅ A good book review should be concise, avoid repetition, be supported by evidence from the book, and be proofread before submission. (Source: Grammarly)

Frequently Asked Questions

Faqs on how to write a book review, 1. how can i write a concise summary of a book in my review.

A concise summary of a book in your review can be written by focusing on the main ideas, key events, and central themes of the book. Include a brief description of the plot or contents, highlighting the significant aspects without getting into excessive detail.

2. How should I analyze a book in my review?

To analyze a book in your review, pay attention to its literary elements, such as themes, characters, dialogue, and the author’s style. Discuss how these elements contribute to the overall message or impact of the book. It’s also helpful to consider the book’s historical, social, or cultural context.

3. What are some key steps for writing an effective introduction paragraph?

When writing the introduction paragraph of your book review, start with a captivating opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. Provide a brief overview of the book, including its title, author, and a short summary of its content. Finally, state your thesis statement, which outlines your main argument or evaluation of the book.

4. How can I offer a critical assessment of the book in my review?

To offer a critical assessment of the book in your review, carefully evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Discuss what aspects of the book worked well and what could have been improved. Support your assessment with specific examples, evidence from the book, and comparisons to relevant sources or similar works.

5. How do I write a conclusion paragraph for a book review?

The conclusion paragraph of your book review should summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement. You can also provide a final evaluation or recommendation for the book, explaining whether you would recommend it to others and why. Avoid introducing new ideas in the conclusion.

6. Where can I find additional resources to enhance my book review writing skills?

To enhance your book review writing skills, consider exploring academic journals, professional works, and recently written books in your field of interest. These sources can help you deepen your analytical skills and learn from expert reviewers. Additionally, online writing guides and resources provided by writing centers or universities can be valuable in improving your academic writing abilities.

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Tips for Writing a Good Book Review 

Now that you’ve prepped what you want to say, how you want to say it, and who you want to say it to, it’s time to start writing. Below we’ve gathered our favorite tips to help you write a good book review. Wait… make that a GREAT book review.

1. Include general information

Make sure to include all the relevant book information for your audience , including the title, author, genre, and publisher in your review. While not necessary, it is also helpful to include the number of pages, list price, and ISBN number.

2. Provide a brief plot summary

After the hook, you can then move on to the brief plot summary. This summary shouldn’t be too long, but it can be a paragraph that explains the basic plot so that the reader better understands if it’s a topic of interest. One pitfall to avoid is to give away spoilers in the plot summary. Don’t give away any plot twists, and err on the side of caution if you feel that the information is too much. For example, tell the reader that the plot has unexpected twists rather than explain any surprises in the summary.

3. Focus on the book, not the author

Keep in mind that your main job as a reviewer is to share your opinion on the book, not to critique the author. Keep the focus on the story. Avoid referencing pitfalls in any of the author’s past books or what you about them as a writer. You can provide a brief introduction to the story mentioning the author and past books, but don’t spend too much time focused on the author. The review should focus on the content of the book and its characters.

4. Be clear and specific

It is not enough to just say that you did or didn’t like the book. Let your readers know why. Make your thoughts clear as early as possible and explain the reasons why you liked or disliked specific storyline components and characters. Be specific about what you loved about the writing, what drew you to the characters, or what left you feeling lukewarm about the plot. You don’t need to explain every aspect of the book, but the reader should walk away with a sense that they understand the basic plot and determine from the review if they want to read the book for themselves.

Write a 5 star book review

5. Remain subjective

Not all book reviews have to be glowing, but they should be subjective. Rather than just saying you didn’t like something, support it by letting your readers know why. We all gravitate towards different things, so what may not appeal to you may appeal to someone else. If you remain subjective, then you can explain to the reader the basic story and let them decide for themselves. The review can include your likes and dislikes, but they should focus on what you felt the story did well and what parts of the story you didn’t like. However, the main focus of the review should be to explain the story so that readers can determine if they want to read the book further.

6. Avoid spoilers

We know it can be tempting, but do your best not to let any spoilers slip in your book review. Have you ever been excited to see the latest blockbuster hit (or watch the season cliffhanger to your favorite TV show) and then someone spoils the end before you even have time to watch? That is exactly what you don’t want to do to your reader. As you explain the book in your summary, ask yourself if what you are explaining ruins any surprises or twists. As you write the review, keep it vague. For example, explain that there is a major plot twist but don’t go into the specifics.

7. Be transparent

Always share if you received an incentive to review the book, got an advance copy, or have any connection to the author. Your readers will appreciate your honesty. Plus, it helps you avoid the negative impact on your credibility if they find out later. Getting paid for a review is a perfectly reasonable excuse to read a book, but it does allow readers to determine if you’re being unbiased. By specifying if you have any relationship with the author, the reader can better trust your opinion, even if they feel you’re being more biased.

8. Keep it short

While book reviews can be any length, it is always best to keep it short and succinct. Pull in your reader with a strong first sentence that sets the tone of the review and end with your recommendation. Remember, most people start to scan when something gets too long. A book review is a short summary, so writing a novel-length review loses reader interests. Keeping it short will ensure that your readers will dive into your likes and dislikes and use your reviews to determine if they have an interest in the books.

9. Proofread before posting

The quickest way to lose credibility is to post a review filled with typos. Make sure to give your final book review a thorough read before posting it and double check the spelling of any character names or places that you mention. Even better, ask someone else to read it over. It is always good to have a fresh pair of eyes proof to catch any typos. If you don’t have a family or friend who will help with proofreader, you can join a writing community where members offer test reads and proofreading. Make sure that you don’t post the review publicly, because search engines will index it and the review will no longer be unique content.

Also, keep in mind that you will want to write different book reviews for different sites. Don’t just copy and paste the same review. Google search engines scan for duplicate content and if flagged, your review won’t appear.

10. Add a hook

The hook is one or two sentences that grab the reader and convince them to keep going. It should be interesting, but it should also stick with the topic without misleading readers. The hook could be a simple statement that explains the main character of the book, or it could ask a question that resonates with the reader. Don’t make the hook too sensational to avoid sounding like a sales pitch. It should simply provide an introduction that grabs reader interests.

11. Explain what you liked about the book

Writing your own book review is a way to explain what you liked about it, and what you liked could be of interest to another reader. This section allows you to personalize the review. You can explain what you liked about the characters, who was your favorite character, what part of the book was your favorite, and if the book invoked any personal feelings (e.g., you laughed or cried).

12. Explain what you disliked about the book

You likely have something that you disliked about the book, and this section explains what you wish would have been different about the storyline or the characters. Just like the other sections, make sure that you do not reveal too much and give away important plot lines that could be considered spoilers for the rest of the story.

13. Include brief quotes as examples

Brief quotes provide readers with better insight into characters. Using quotes from characters will help the reader follow the plot summary and determine if the characters are people they can relate to. Avoid using excessively long quotes. Since the reader hasn’t read the book, a long quote could ruin plot twists or overpower the review.

14. Reference similar books

A great way to introduce readers to a specific book is to compare your book review with other books. For example, you can explain to the reader that they will like the current book you’re reviewing if they like another similar book. Alternatively, you can also compare characters between books to provide better insight into the story’s characters and the dynamic between individual characters.

Ready to make your own book? Get started quickly and easily with our free bookmaking software, Bookwright .

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How to Spot a Fake Review on Amazon

Last Updated: June 22, 2022 Approved

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 43 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 91% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 257,462 times. Learn more...

If you use reviews on Amazon.com to make purchasing decisions, be aware that not all reviews are unbiased. Friends, relatives, and paid reviewers may leave glowing 5-star reviews, while enemies and rivals may hope to damage the item's reputation with 1-star "put-down" reviews—all without revealing their personal association, bias, or financial incentive. How can you tell if a review has a hidden agenda?

Spotting a Fake Review

Step 1 Consider the length and tone of the review:

  • If the review is very short, it may be a fake. If the writer just wants to affect the overall score, their main intent may be to vote via the "star" rating, and to boost or lower it. But because one must write a review as well, the review itself may be very short -- 4 or 5 lines at most. [1] X Research source
  • If the review is vague and doesn't have details about the product itself, it may not be genuine. It uses generalities that could apply to many different books or products. [2] X Research source

Step 2 Check if the review uses emotional language.

  • If the review was written for a friend, the book or item may be merely described as wonderful, great for everybody, amazing, etc., and the reviewer may say that they're planning to purchase one for everyone they know for the holidays.
  • If the review is by an enemy or rival, on the other hand, the item may be called pathetic, ridiculous, or a waste of time. The reviewer may recommend an alternate product or author that "has more credibility" or that you will like better.

Step 3 See whether the reviewer has written other reviews.

Considering and Reacting to the Reviews

Step 1 Disregard the highest and lowest ratings.

  • One-star reviews should always be suspect, especially if it's a review for a book by a controversial author.

Step 2 Read many reviews and apply critical thinking.

  • When reading a review, don't judge it based on whether you share the writer's opinions of the product or book; consider instead if the review is thoughtful, fair, and well-written. Even people who disagree with you may have valid points that warrant a "helpful" click.

Step 3 Leave feedback to help others who are reading reviews.

Community Q&A

Jmwala

  • If a review includes spam, offensive language, or other wording that is contrary to Amazon.com's review policies, click the link to "Report Abuse" (above the Yes/No buttons for "Was this review helpful to you?"). This allows you to "Report this content as inappropriate" and include a reason if you wish; Amazon.com staff will then evaluate the review and take appropriate action. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Consider the shape of the five-star review profile especially if there are a large number of reviews. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Remember the bell curve from your statistics and probability class? A bell curve shape (actually half of a bell curve) of the one to five star ratings is to be expected if the product generally is good. This is a mathematical way of stating the old maxim, "You can't please everyone." Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to write a fake book review

  • If the five-star review profile has a dumbbell shape then the product generally is good except that there are quality control issues in the manufacturing that too frequently results in a dud. Thanks Helpful 8 Not Helpful 4
  • Lastly, if the large number of ratings are heavily or nearly exclusively one star or five stars then the product is exceedingly poor or excellent respectively. Thanks Helpful 9 Not Helpful 7

You Might Also Like

Leave Seller Feedback on Amazon

  • ↑ https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/12/prime-day-tips-for-spotting-a-fake-reviews-on-amazon.html
  • ↑ https://www.digitaltrends.com/web/how-to-spot-fake-reviews-on-amazon/
  • ↑ https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-it-really-five-stars-how-to-spot-fake-amazon-reviews-11545314400
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/business/book-reviewers-for-hire-meet-a-demand-for-online-raves.html

About This Article

Fake reviews on Amazon are inescapable, but there are some telltale signs you can look out for to help you make better purchasing decisions. Fake reviewers are usually short and vague, and they give you almost no information on the product. If a review claims the product is amazing or terrible but doesn’t give any details, it’s possible that it’s fake. Try clicking on the reviewer's name and looking at how many reviews they've left recently. If they’ve only reviewed that product or they’ve recently left a lot of vague, short reviews, they may have been paid for it. Look for the “verified purchase” tag on reviews when forming an opinion about a product, which tells you that they bought it directly from Amazon. For more tips, including how to leave feedback on reviews to help other buyers, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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In the digital age, online reviews play a pivotal role in shaping consumer decisions. Whether it's purchasing a product, booking a hotel, or trying out a new restaurant, people heavily rely on reviews to inform their choices. This reliance has led to an increasing demand for review generation tools that can save time and effort while maintaining quality. WriterHand.com has taken the lead in this field with its groundbreaking 100% free Review Generator AI. In this article, we will explore the features and benefits of this powerful tool and how it can revolutionize the way writers and businesses generate authentic and persuasive reviews.

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how to write a fake book review

How to Write a Book Review: Awesome Guide

how to write a fake book review

A book review allows students to illustrate the author's intentions of writing the piece, as well as create a criticism of the book — as a whole. In other words, form an opinion of the author's presented ideas. Check out this guide from EssayPro - book review writing service to learn how to write a book review successfully.

What Is a Book Review?

You may prosper, “what is a book review?”. Book reviews are commonly assigned students to allow them to show a clear understanding of the novel. And to check if the students have actually read the book. The essay format is highly important for your consideration, take a look at the book review format below.

Book reviews are assigned to allow students to present their own opinion regarding the author’s ideas included in the book or passage. They are a form of literary criticism that analyzes the author’s ideas, writing techniques, and quality. A book analysis is entirely opinion-based, in relevance to the book. They are good practice for those who wish to become editors, due to the fact, editing requires a lot of criticism.

Book Review Template

The book review format includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.

  • Introduction
  • Describe the book cover and title.
  • Include any subtitles at this stage.
  • Include the Author’s Name.
  • Write a brief description of the novel.
  • Briefly introduce the main points of the body in your book review.
  • Avoid mentioning any opinions at this time.
  • Use about 3 quotations from the author’s novel.
  • Summarize the quotations in your own words.
  • Mention your own point-of-view of the quotation.
  • Remember to keep every point included in its own paragraph.
  • In brief, summarize the quotations.
  • In brief, summarize the explanations.
  • Finish with a concluding sentence.
  • This can include your final opinion of the book.
  • Star-Rating (Optional).

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How to Write a Book Review: Step-By-Step

Writing a book review is something that can be done with every novel. Book reviews can apply to all novels, no matter the genre. Some genres may be harder than others. On the other hand, the book review format remains the same. Take a look at these step-by-step instructions from our professional writers to learn how to write a book review in-depth.

how to write a book review

Step 1: Planning

Create an essay outline which includes all of the main points you wish to summarise in your book analysis. Include information about the characters, details of the plot, and some other important parts of your chosen novel. Reserve a body paragraph for each point you wish to talk about.

Consider these points before writing:

  • What is the plot of the book? Understanding the plot enables you to write an effective review.
  • Is the plot gripping? Does the plot make you want to continue reading the novel? Did you enjoy the plot? Does it manage to grab a reader’s attention?
  • Are the writing techniques used by the author effective? Does the writer imply factors in-between the lines? What are they?
  • Are the characters believable? Are the characters logical? Does the book make the characters are real while reading?
  • Would you recommend the book to anyone? The most important thing: would you tell others to read this book? Is it good enough? Is it bad?
  • What could be better? Keep in mind the quotes that could have been presented better. Criticize the writer.

Step 2: Introduction

Presumably, you have chosen your book. To begin, mention the book title and author’s name. Talk about the cover of the book. Write a thesis statement regarding the fictitious story or non-fictional novel. Which briefly describes the quoted material in the book review.

Step 3: Body

Choose a specific chapter or scenario to summarise. Include about 3 quotes in the body. Create summaries of each quote in your own words. It is also encouraged to include your own point-of-view and the way you interpret the quote. It is highly important to have one quote per paragraph.

Step 4: Conclusion

Write a summary of the summarised quotations and explanations, included in the body paragraphs. After doing so, finish book analysis with a concluding sentence to show the bigger picture of the book. Think to yourself, “Is it worth reading?”, and answer the question in black and white. However, write in-between the lines. Avoid stating “I like/dislike this book.”

Step 5: Rate the Book (Optional)

After writing a book review, you may want to include a rating. Including a star-rating provides further insight into the quality of the book, to your readers. Book reviews with star-ratings can be more effective, compared to those which don’t. Though, this is entirely optional.

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Dive into literary analysis with EssayPro . Our experts can help you craft insightful book reviews that delve deep into the themes, characters, and narratives of your chosen books. Enhance your understanding and appreciation of literature with us.

book review order

Writing Tips

Here is the list of tips for the book review:

tips for book review

  • A long introduction can certainly lower one’s grade: keep the beginning short. Readers don’t like to read the long introduction for any essay style.
  • It is advisable to write book reviews about fiction: it is not a must. Though, reviewing fiction can be far more effective than writing about a piece of nonfiction
  • Avoid Comparing: avoid comparing your chosen novel with other books you have previously read. Doing so can be confusing for the reader.
  • Opinion Matters: including your own point-of-view is something that is often encouraged when writing book reviews.
  • Refer to Templates: a book review template can help a student get a clearer understanding of the required writing style.
  • Don’t be Afraid to Criticize: usually, your own opinion isn’t required for academic papers below Ph.D. level. On the other hand, for book reviews, there’s an exception.
  • Use Positivity: include a fair amount of positive comments and criticism.
  • Review The Chosen Novel: avoid making things up. Review only what is presented in the chosen book.
  • Enjoyed the book? If you loved reading the book, state it. Doing so makes your book analysis more personalized.

Writing a book review is something worth thinking about. Professors commonly assign this form of an assignment to students to enable them to express a grasp of a novel. Following the book review format is highly useful for beginners, as well as reading step-by-step instructions. Writing tips is also useful for people who are new to this essay type. If you need a book review or essay, ask our book report writing services ' write paper for me ' and we'll give you a hand asap!

We also recommend that everyone read the article about essay topics . It will help broaden your horizons in writing a book review as well as other papers.

Book Review Examples

Referring to a book review example is highly useful to those who wish to get a clearer understanding of how to review a book. Take a look at our examples written by our professional writers. Click on the button to open the book review examples and feel free to use them as a reference.

Book review

Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’

Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’ is a novel aimed at youngsters. The plot, itself, is not American humor, but that of Great Britain. In terms of sarcasm, and British-related jokes. The novel illustrates a fair mix of the relationships between the human-like animals, and wildlife. The narrative acts as an important milestone in post-Victorian children’s literature.

Book Review

Dr. John’s ‘Pollution’

Dr. John’s ‘Pollution’ consists of 3 major parts. The first part is all about the polluted ocean. The second being about the pollution of the sky. The third part is an in-depth study of how humans can resolve these issues. The book is a piece of non-fiction that focuses on modern-day pollution ordeals faced by both animals and humans on Planet Earth. It also focuses on climate change, being the result of the global pollution ordeal.

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How To Write A Book Review?

What to include in a book review, what is a book review, related articles.

How to Write a Summary of a Book with an Example

AMANDA RADLEY

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  • Apr 24, 2018

Introducing… the Random Review Generator

It’s been a topic of discussion for a while that many people don’t feel qualified to leave reviews on books they’ve read. When I ran the  Lesbian and Bi women Fiction Questionnaire last year , I was surprised by the number of people who said they didn’t review. I was more surprised when I saw some of the reasons why. Many people didn’t feel they had the language skills or ability to review a book and even more people said they didn’t know how to write a review.

The Importance of a Review

I think it’s common knowledge that authors need reviews, it isn’t a nice to have or simply an ego boost, it’s an essential part of the author marketing toolkit. I blogged last year about how essential reviews are and how without them a book simply will get lost in the thousands of other books released every month.

This year’s questionnaire is showing the same issue; people still feel unable to review and the same reasons are being named:

lack of English skills

don’t know what a review should look like

not sure what to say

feel stupid in comparison to other reviews

This is where the Random Review Generator comes in.

This nifty little tool will produce a random and completely generic review. If you don’t like it, just refresh the webpage and another review will appear. You can use these reviews as they are and simply copy and paste them, or you can use them as guidance and rephrase in your own words. You can even string several together and create a longer review.

I sincerely hope that the Random Review Generator will help people who feel they are unable to write their own review to get started and build their confidence to become seasoned reviewers.

Other ways to help…

If you still don’t want to review, there are other ways you can help. Reviews on Amazon can be up-voted and down-voted by just clicking a button. At the bottom of all reviews, you will see “Was the review helpful to you?” and yes/no buttons.

If you like a book, but you don’t want to write a review, go and up-vote positive reviews that you agree with. This gives these reviews more presence and makes them “worth” more to the Amazon algorithm.

Likewise, if someone has left a bad review on a book you like, you can down-vote that review so it doesn’t have as much of an impact.

I hope this helps and that you will find use in the Random Review Generator !

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I think this is a really fun thing to do to get rid of time.

I loved the review generator!! But the link isn't working anymore. Is it still available?

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Looking for a tool to help you generate reviews for your business? Check out AI Review Generator! This tool can help you create fake reviews that look real, helping you boost your business and reputation.

How does an review generator tool work

An review generator tool is a web tool allows you to automatically generate reviews for a product or service. This can be done by scraping review sites or by using natural language processing to generate fake reviews.

What are the benefits of using an AI review generator tool

If you are looking for a way to get more reviews for your business, product, or service, you may want to consider using an AI review generator tool. This type of tool can help you to automatically generate reviews from real people, which can help to improve your online reputation and visibility.

There are a number of benefits that you can enjoy by using an AI review generator tool, including:

1. Increased online visibility: When you have more reviews, you are more likely to show up in search engine results pages (SERPs), which can help you to attract more customers and boost your bottom line.

2. improved customer satisfaction: Customers are more likely to be satisfied with your business if they can see that you have a good online reputation. By using an AI review generator tool, you can help to ensure that your customers are happy with their experience.

3. Boosted search engine optimization (SEO): Good reviews can help to improve your website's SEO, making it easier for customers to find you online.

4. More social proof: Social proof is an important factor in consumer decision-making, and reviews can help to provide it. Having more reviews can make it more likely that people will trust your business and be more.

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How to Write a Book Review That Captivates Readers

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Julia McCoy

how to write a book review

Writing a book review can be both exciting and daunting. It’s an opportunity to share your insights, critique, and appreciation for a literary work while navigating the delicate balance between subjective opinion and objective analysis.

An honest and compelling book review can help you connect with other readers, spark meaningful discussions, and maybe even inspire someone to pick up a new favorite read.

Whether you’re a seasoned reviewer or diving into this craft for the first time, join us as we unlock the art of writing insightful and engaging book reviews.

Get ready to unleash your inner book critic and make your mark in the literary world!

Table Of Contents:

What is a book review, how to write a great book review, tips for writing an effective book review, faqs – how to write a book review.

Read any good books lately? Want to share your thoughts about them?

A book review is a great way to shed insight and give your opinion on a book you’ve read, whether it’s nonfiction, a mystery novel, or a collection of poems.

But what exactly is a book review? And how do you go about writing one that’s engaging, informative, and helpful to other readers?

Elements of a Book Review

What goes into a well-rounded book review? Here are the key elements:

  • The book’s title, author, genre, and publication details
  • A brief summary of the plot and main characters (without spoiling the ending.)
  • Your analysis of the book’s themes, writing style, pacing, and character development
  • Your honest opinion on what worked and what didn’t
  • A star rating or recommendation for who would enjoy the book

The key is to provide enough context and detail to give readers a sense of the book, while also injecting your unique perspective and voice.

how to write a book review

Types of Book Reviews

Book reviews come in all shapes and sizes, from a quick Goodreads rating to an in-depth essay.

Here are a few common types:

  • Reader reviews: These are casual reviews written by everyday readers, often posted on blogs, Goodreads, or Amazon. They tend to be short, personal, and focus on the reader’s experience.
  • Editorial reviews: These are professional reviews written by critics, journalists, or subject matter experts. You’ll find them in newspapers, magazines, and trade publications. They’re more formal in tone and go deeper into literary analysis.
  • Academic reviews: Written by scholars for academic journals, these reviews place the book in a larger context and often compare it to other works in the field. They’re very niche and targeted at fellow academics.

No matter what type of book review you’re writing, the goal is the same: to share your unique take on the book and guide other readers.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to write a book review that stands out.

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating: you need to read the entire book before you can review it. No skimming or skipping chapters allowed.

As you’re reading, pay attention to the book’s overall structure, pacing, and style. Jot down any passages or quotes that stand out to you, both positive and negative. These will come in handy later when you’re writing your review.

Take Notes While Reading

Don’t rely on your memory alone. As you’re reading, take notes on the following:

  • The main characters and their development throughout the story
  • The central themes and messages of the book
  • The author’s writing style and tone
  • Any major plot points or twists (just be careful not to give away spoilers in your review)
  • Your emotional reactions to the book – what made you laugh, cry, or think differently?

I like to keep a notebook handy or jot down notes on my phone as I’m reading. That way, I can easily refer back to my initial impressions when I’m ready to start writing my review.

Just like any good essay, your book review should have a clear thesis statement. This is essentially your main argument or opinion about the book, which you’ll then support with examples and evidence from the text.

Your thesis could be as simple as “I loved this book because…” or “This book fell short for me because…”

The key is to make a strong, opinionated statement that you can back up with specific details.

Organize Your Thoughts

Before diving into the writing process, take a moment to organize your thoughts. I like to create a rough outline with the following sections:

  • Introduction: Hook the reader with a strong opening line and briefly summarize the book’s plot and main themes.
  • Summary:  In a paragraph or two, give an overview of the story, main characters, and central conflict. Remember, this isn’t a play-by-play recap, just the broad strokes.
  • Analysis: This is the meat of your review, where you’ll discuss the book’s strengths and weaknesses in detail. Touch on the writing style, pacing, character development, and how well the author executed their vision.
  • Conclusion: Wrap up your review with a concise summary of your thoughts and a recommendation for those who would enjoy the book.

Having a clear structure in mind will make the writing process much smoother. Plus, it ensures you cover all the essential points without rambling or getting off track.

You’ve hooked the reader with your title and subtitle – now it’s time to reel them in with your introduction. Aim for an opening line that’s bold, opinionated, and intriguing, like: “I couldn’t put this book down” or “I had high hopes for this novel, but it left me feeling disappointed.”

From there, give a brief overview of the book’s genre, themes, and place in the author’s larger body of work (if relevant).

For example: “In her debut novel, [Author] transports readers to a dystopian future where [brief plot summary]. With shades of [similar well-known book], it’s a fast-paced, action-packed story that explores themes of [theme 1] and [theme 2].” 

The key is to give readers just enough context to understand what the book is about and why it’s significant, without giving away too much of the plot.

Provide a Brief Summary

Next, it’s time to write a brief summary of the book’s plot, main characters, and central themes.

But remember, a book review is not a book report . You don’t need to recap every single plot point or detail. Instead, focus on the broad strokes:

  • Who are the main characters?
  • What’s the central conflict or problem they face?
  • What themes or messages does the story explore?
  • And most importantly, what makes this book unique or noteworthy?

For example: “The story follows [character name], a [brief description] who must [central conflict]. Along the way, [he/she/they] encounters [brief description of key events or supporting characters]. Through [character name]’s journey, [author] explores themes of [theme 1], [theme 2], and [theme 3].”

Keep your summary concise – a couple of paragraphs at most. The goal is to give readers a taste of the story, not a full plot synopsis.

Analyze and Evaluate the Book

Now it’s time to dive into your analysis and evaluation of the book. This is where you’ll discuss the book’s strengths and weaknesses in detail, and share your honest opinions on what worked and what didn’t.

Some key points to consider:

  • Writing style: Is the author’s prose clear, engaging, and easy to follow? Do they have a distinctive voice or tone?
  • Pacing: Does the story move at a good pace, or does it drag in places? Are there any parts that feel rushed or glossed over?
  • Character development: Are the characters well-rounded and believable? Do they undergo meaningful change or growth throughout the story?
  • Themes and messages: What big ideas or questions does the book grapple with? Does it offer any fresh insights or perspectives?
  • Originality: Does the book bring something new to its genre, or does it feel derivative of other works?

As you discuss these elements, be sure to back up your opinions with specific examples and quotes from the text.

For instance: “One of the book’s greatest strengths is its vivid, immersive world-building. [Author] brings the [setting] to life with lush, sensory details, like this description of [quote from book]. As a reader, I felt fully transported to this [adjective] world.”

Or: “Unfortunately, the pacing of the novel is uneven. The first half moves at a glacial pace, with long stretches of exposition and little action. It’s not until the midpoint that the story really finds its momentum, with a series of shocking plot twists and high-stakes confrontations.”

The key is to provide evidence for your claims, so readers understand where you’re coming from and can decide if they agree with your assessment.

Use Specific Examples

When it comes to writing book reviews, the devil is in the details. It’s not enough to say that you liked or disliked a book – you need to explain why, using concrete examples from the text.

For instance, instead of simply stating that the dialogue was awkward, show readers what you mean with a specific quote: “The dialogue often feels stilted and unnatural, like this exchange between [character 1] and [character 2]: ‘[quote from book].’ No one actually talks like that in real life.”

Or if you’re praising the author’s descriptive language, give readers a taste with a short excerpt: “[Author]’s prose is lush and evocative, painting vivid pictures in the reader’s mind. Take this description of [setting]: ‘[quote from book].’ With just a few well-chosen details, [he/she/they] transports us to this [adjective] place.”

Using specific examples not only makes your points more convincing but also gives readers a sense of the book’s style and tone. They can see for themselves if the writing resonates with them or not.

When discussing the book’s plot and characters, be careful not to give away any major twists or reveals – especially if they happen late in the story. No one likes having a book spoiled for them.

If you need to mention a plot point or character arc in your review, try to keep it vague and focus on the overall impact rather than the specific details.

For example: “The ending packs an emotional punch, with a series of surprising revelations that recontextualize everything that came before. It’s a bold choice that will leave readers thinking long after they turn the final page.”

Or: “[Character name]’s transformation from [adjective] to [adjective] is one of the book’s most compelling aspects. [His/her/their] journey is full of unexpected detours and setbacks, but the payoff is worth it in the end.”

If you absolutely must discuss a spoiler, be sure to give readers fair warning first. A simple “spoiler alert” or “warning: major plot point ahead” will do the trick.

Conclude with Your Recommendation

As you wrap up your review, it’s time to give your final verdict. Did you love the book? Hate it? Feel ambivalent?

Don’t be afraid to share your honest opinion, even if it goes against the grain.

Your conclusion should include:

  • A brief summary of your overall thoughts on the book
  • Who you think would enjoy the book (fans of a certain genre, readers who like a particular writing style, etc.)
  • Your star rating or grade (if applicable)
  • Where readers can find more information or purchase the book

For example: “Despite a few pacing issues, [Book Title] is a thrilling, thought-provoking read that will appeal to fans of [similar book or author]. With its richly drawn characters, immersive world-building, and timely themes, it’s a must-read for anyone who enjoys [genre]. 4/5 stars.”

Or: “Unfortunately, [Book Title] didn’t live up to my expectations. While the premise was intriguing, the execution fell flat, with one-dimensional characters, clunky dialogue, and a predictable plot. I wanted to love this book, but in the end, I can only recommend it to die-hard fans of [author]’s previous work. 2/5 stars.”

Remember, your goal is to give readers enough information to decide if the book is right for them. Be honest, be specific, and be true to your own reading experience.

We’ve covered the basics of how to write a book review – but how do you write a truly great one?

Here are a few tips to take your book reviews to the next level.

Before you start writing, think about who your review is for. Are you writing for a general audience of casual readers or a more niche group of fans or scholars? Are you posting on your personal blog or submitting to a professional publication?

Knowing your audience will help you tailor your language, tone, and level of detail to their needs and expectations.

For instance, a review for a YA book blog might be more casual and focused on the characters and romance, while a review for an academic journal would be more formal and analytical.

Be Honest and Objective

It’s important to be honest in your reviews, even if that means going against popular opinion or potentially offending the author. Your readers trust you to give them the straight scoop, not just tell them what they want to hear.

That said, there’s a difference between being honest and being mean. Avoid personal attacks or snide remarks about the author or their work.

Focus on the book itself, and express your opinions in a fair, constructive way.

For example, instead of saying “This book is a piece of garbage and the author should be ashamed,” try something like “While I appreciate what the author was trying to do, the execution fell short for me, with weak characterization and a lack of narrative tension.”

When writing a book review, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the author’s reputation, the book’s hype, or your personal biases. But remember, your job is to review the book itself, not the author or the cultural context around it.

Focus your analysis on the book’s content – the story, the characters, the themes, the writing style.

What works and what doesn’t? What insights or questions does the book raise? How does it compare to other books in its genre or by the same author?

Of course, you can mention relevant background information or context, but keep it brief and tie it back to your main points about the book.

Avoid Summarizing the Entire Plot

One of the biggest mistakes I see in book reviews is spending too much time summarizing the plot.

Remember, your review is not a book report. Readers can get a basic plot summary from the book jacket or Amazon page. Instead of recapping every twist and turn, focus on the big picture – the main characters, the central conflict, and the key themes.

Give readers just enough context to understand what the book is about and why it matters, without getting bogged down in the details. If you do need to discuss specific plot points, try to be vague and avoid major spoilers. You can allude to “a shocking twist” or “a satisfying resolution” without giving away the goods.

Use Quotes Sparingly

Quotes can be a great way to illustrate your points and give readers a taste of the author’s writing style. But use them sparingly — a few short excerpts are better than long block quotes that take up half the review.

Read our complete guide on how to properly quote a book .

How do I write a book review?

Dive into the book, jot down your thoughts, craft a thesis, organize your points, and share without spoiling. Wrap up with your verdict.

What are the 4 stages of writing a book review?

Start by reading critically. Next, outline your main points. Then analyze and evaluate. Finally, draft and polish your review.

What are the 3 elements of a book review?

A solid intro that hooks readers; an insightful analysis that digs deep; plus, an honest recommendation to wrap it up.

What are the five parts of a book review?

An engaging introduction sets the stage; a brief summary provides context; a detailed evaluation offers depth; examples bring clarity; and a final recommendation seals the deal.

Writing a book review is your chance to join the conversation and share your unique perspective with fellow book lovers. By following these tips on how to write a book review, you’ll be well on your way to crafting reviews that captivate readers and showcase your passion for literature.

how to write a fake book review

Written by Julia McCoy

how to write a fake book review

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For Caleb Carr, Salvation Arrived on Little Cat’s Feet

As he struggled with writing and illness, the “Alienist” author found comfort in the feline companions he recalls in a new memoir, “My Beloved Monster.”

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An illustration shows a fluffy, tawny-colored cat sitting in a garden of brightly colored lavender, red and purple flowers.

By Alexandra Jacobs

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When you purchase an independently reviewed book through our site, we earn an affiliate commission.

MY BELOVED MONSTER: Masha, the Half-Wild Rescue Cat Who Rescued Me, by Caleb Carr

J. Alfred Prufrock measured his life out in coffee spoons . Caleb Carr has done so in cats.

Carr is best known for his 1994 best-selling novel “ The Alienist ,” about the search for a serial killer of boy prostitutes, and his work as a military historian. You have to prod the old brain folds a little more to remember that he is the middle son of Lucien Carr , the Beat Generation figure convicted of manslaughter as a 19-year-old Columbia student after stabbing his infatuated former Boy Scout leader and rolling the body into the Hudson.

This crime is only fleetingly alluded to in “My Beloved Monster,” which tracks Carr’s intimate relationship with a blond Siberian feline he names Masha — but his father haunts the book, as fathers will, more sinisterly than most.

After a short prison term, Lucien went on to become a respectable longtime editor for United Press International. He was a drunk — no surprise there, with famous dissolute-author pals like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg hanging around the house. But that he regularly beat Caleb and threw him down flights of stairs, causing not just psychological but physical injuries that persist into adult life, adds further dark shadings to this particular chapter of literary history.

In a boyhood marred by abuse, neglect and the upheaval of his parents’ divorce, cats were there to comfort and commune with Caleb. Indeed, he long believed he was one in a previous life, “ imperfectly or incompletely reincarnated ” as human, he writes.

Before you summon Shirley MacLaine to convene 2024’s weirdest author panel, consider the new ground “My Beloved Monster” breaks just by existing. Even leaving aside the countless novels about them, dogs have long been thought valid subjects for book-length treatment, from Virginia Woolf’s “ Flush ,” about Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel, to John Grogan’s “ Marley and Me .” Meow-moirs are thinner on the ground.

It’s taken a younger generation of feminists, and probably the boredom and anxiety of quarantine, to destigmatize (and in some cases monetize ) being owned by a cat. Male cat fanciers, however, have long been stereotyped as epicene or eccentric, though their number has included such national pillars of machismo as Ernest Hemingway and Marlon Brando . When one male lawyer accidentally showed up to a civil forfeiture hearing behind a kitten filter on Zoom in 2021, America went wild with the incongruity.

Carr, though he’s a big one for research, doesn’t waste much time, as I just have, throat-clearing about cats’ perch in the culture. He’s suffered from one painful illness after another — neuropathy, pancreatitis, peritonitis, Covid or something Covid-like, cancer; and endured multiple treatments and surgeries, some “botched” — and his writing has the forthrightness and gravity of someone who wants to maximize his remaining time on Earth.

He capitalizes not only Earth, but the Sun, the Moon and the roles played by various important anonymous humans in his life, which gives his story a sometimes ponderous mythic tone: there’s the Mentor, the Lady Vet (a homage to Preston Sturges’ “The Lady Eve”; Carr is a classic movie buff), the Spinal Guru and so forth.

Names are reserved for a succession of cats, who have seemingly been as important to Carr as lovers or human friends, if not more so. (At least one ex felt shortchanged by comparison.) Masha is his spirit animal, a feminine counterpart better than any you could find in the old New York Review of Books personals . She eats, he notes admiringly, “like a barbarian queen”; she enjoys the music of Mahler, Sibelius, Rachmaninoff and Wagner (“nothing — and I’ll include catnip in this statement,” he writes, “made her as visibly overjoyed as the Prelude from ‘Das Rheingold’”); she has a really great set of whiskers.

Before Masha there was Suki, blond as well, but a bewitching emerald-eyed shorthair who chomped delicately around rodents’ organs and disappeared one night. Suki was preceded by Echo, a part-Abyssinian with an adorable-sounding penchant for sticking his head in Carr’s shirtfront pocket. Echo was preceded by Chimene, a tabby-splotched white tomcat the adolescent Caleb nurses miraculously through distemper. Chimene was preceded by Ching-ling, whose third litter of kittens suffer a deeply upsetting fate. And before Ching-ling there was Zorro, a white-socked “superlative mouser” who once stole an entire roast chicken from the top of the Carr family’s refrigerator.

To put it mildly, “My Beloved Monster” is no Fancy Feast commercial. All of the cats in it, city and country — Carr has lived in both, though the action is centered at his house on a foothill of Misery Mountain in Rensselaer County, N.Y— are semi-feral creatures themselves at constant risk of gruesome predation. Masha, rescued from a shelter, had also been likely abused, at the very least abandoned in a locked apartment, and Carr is immediately, keenly attuned to her need for wandering free.

This, of course, will put her at risk. The tension between keeping her safe and allowing her to roam, out there with bears, coyotes and fearsome-sounding creatures called fisher weasels, is the central vein of “My Beloved Monster,” and the foreboding is as thick as her triple-layered fur coat. More so when you learn Carr keeps a hunting rifle by one of his easy chairs.

But the book is also about Carr’s devotion to a line of work he likens to “professional gambling.” Despite his best sellers, Hollywood commissions and conscious decision not to have children to stop the “cycle of abuse,” Carr has faced money troubles. The I.R.S. comes to tape a placard to his door and he’s forced to sell vintage guitars to afford Masha’s medications, for she has begun in eerie parallel to develop ailments of her own.

“My Beloved Monster’ is a loving and lovely, lay-it-all-on-the-line explication of one man’s fierce attachment. If you love cats and feel slightly sheepish about it, it’s a sturdy defense weapon. If you hate them, well, there’s no hope for you.

MY BELOVED MONSTER : Masha, the Half-Wild Rescue Cat Who Rescued Me | By Caleb Carr | Little, Brown | 352 pp. | $32

Alexandra Jacobs is a Times book critic and occasional features writer. She joined The Times in 2010. More about Alexandra Jacobs

Explore More in Books

Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

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Recent books by Allen Bratton, Daniel Lefferts and Garrard Conley depict gay Christian characters not usually seen in queer literature.

What can fiction tell us about the apocalypse? The writer Ayana Mathis finds unexpected hope in novels of crisis by Ling Ma, Jenny Offill and Jesmyn Ward .

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