Once upon a time, there was a book. It lived on a shelf far, far away. Nobody came to see it, until one day, when a student had to write a book review. As you can probably guess, it was on the last day before the deadline.
If that student was you, you can still hope for a happy ending and an excellent grade. Just follow the book review example below.
Book Reviews vs. Book Reports vs. Book Summaries
One of the first pitfalls on your way to an excellent grade can be the lack of a proper understanding of what a book review is and how it is different from book reports and summaries. Here are some clues:
|Book Reviews||Book Reports||Book Summaries|
|20% summary||50% summary||70% summary|
|40% stylistic analysis||20% stylistic analysis||20% interpretation of the author’s messages|
|40% subjective evaluation based on your impressions||30% objective evaluation based on the book’s content||10% objective evaluation of the plot lines and structure|
So, reviews, reports and summaries include almost the same ingredients, but in different proportions. A book review example is a subjective evaluation based on your personal impressions, whereas book reports and summaries are more objective and evaluate mainly the book’s content.
Book Review Example for Your Attention
A Sample Book Review of 1984 by George Orwell
(A good book review example includes a brief summary in the very beginning):
The 1949 dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is a piece of political science fiction criticizing public mind control, a characteristic of totalitarian states. Winston Smith, the central character of the novel, works as an editor at the Ministry of Truth, where he is assigned to rewrite historical records to meet the interests of the state. +Winston is a rebel at heart.
He falls in love with his brunette colleague Julia, whom he at first mistakenly suspects of being a worker of the Thought Police. The two lovers fail to conceal their affair from the state surveillance. Winston tries to join the Group of Revolutionaries, but the pitiless totalitarian machine tortures him and Julia. At the end, the characters feel nothing but apathy towards each other and the state which broke them.
40% stylistic analysis
(The next ingredient in a book review example is your comments on the stylistic devices you’ve noticed):
The third person narration used in the novel makes the story more objective, as the narrator is not involved into the events and sounds unbiased. The depicted reality, even though dystopian, seems realistic due to well-chosen specific details. The genre of dystopian novel chosen by the author exaggerates the drawbacks of totalitarian regimes, making them unnatural and ugly.
Instead of telling directly that socialism is bad, the author shows its negative effects on individuals and society in general. The concepts of Big Brother, thoughtcrime and memory hole have become widely spread in the popular culture. Orwell was a master of symbols and hyperboles. Most of the ideas developed in the dystopian world of Oceania have their analogues in the real world, which makes this novel influential and inspiring.
For instance, the well-known room 101 where everyone meets his/her worst fears exemplifies the manipulation of the audience by mass media and marketers. In the light of the latest events, Big Brother could be associated with Google, Facebook and NSA which have access to the personal information of Internet users. The latter example shows that the concepts created by Orwell in 1949 are still relevant today.
40% subjective evaluation
(Note that this sample book review is positive about the book, but you shouldn’t hesitate to criticize the book if you really feel like throwing a couple of rotten tomatoes at the author.)
I would highly recommend the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell to anyone interested in science fiction or political literature. This novel can stimulate readers’ critical thinking and influence their views on the current political situation.
The captivating plot lines and the author’s touch of humor won’t leave anyone indifferent. Despite the pessimistic ending, the plot lines, which sometimes are close to absurd, can encourage readers and awaken their rebellious spirit. In other words, the main message about the importance to be yourself, overcoming the influence of the state machine, makes this novel a good read for different categories of readers.
As you can see from the example of a book review above, writing a good review doesn’t take any special skills. So, use the formula from this sample, get a good grade and live happily ever after.