Book reviews describe and evaluate the content, purpose, and techniques of fiction or non-fiction works. Here we share our exclusive tips on how to write a book review in only 4 steps.
👊 Step 1 – Destroy the Myths
Not to look like a freshman and to write a book review that rocks, you’ll need to destroy the popular myths:
|Book reviews retell the plot in detail||Book reviews require only a brief summary of the plot (key events)|
|You can’t express your personal opinion in a book review||Your personal opinion is more than welcome (In my opinion, to my mind…)|
|You can’t criticize the author’s work||Feel free to point out particular weaknesses, but be sure to give enough evidence to defend your position|
👀 Step 2 – Read Smart
Simply reading a book takes a lot of time, but it isn’t enough for writing a worthy book report. Read smart! Enjoy your reading, but pay attention to the following points to make book review writing easier:
- What is the art form – fiction or non-fiction; if fiction, then which particular form – novel, poem, short story etc?
- Who are the ideal readers for this book?
- What is the main purpose of this book? (To educate, inform, shock, or entertain readers)
- What is the main message from the author?
Briefly summarize the key events and search for some interesting devices
- Backstory – the events that precede the main plot line;
- Chekhov’s gun – a seemingly irrelevant object introduced early in the story but explained later
- Flashback – an irregular sequence of events, such as taking readers to the future or to the past, breaking the logic of narration;
- Framing – a story within a story, when one of the stories focuses solely on the narrator;
- Plot twist – an unexpected twist or ending of the story;
- Unreliable narrator – a story is told by someone who can’t fully be trusted.
- Are there many difficult words in the text?
- Are there any stylistic devices – metaphors, similes, allegories etc.?
- Is it the 1st or 3rd person narration (I or he/she/they)?
- Is the narrator reliable or biased?
🍓 Step 3 – Include the Best Ingredients
The main ingredients of a book review are:
📥 Step 4 – Use This Template
Though these schemes and questions make the main principles of a good book review/report/analysis crystal clear, there’s an even easier way to do this task. It’s using the following book review template.
Simply complete the following sentences:
- …(book title and author) is an excellent resource to students/ a big disappointment/ a classic example of…
- The main message conveyed by the author was…
- The author is a proven specialist in the field… and a master of…
- The overall impression of the book was… even though particular parts were…
- The techniques that intensified the effects of the main ideas were…
- The author used the language means wisely, for example,…
- The language used in the book was (in)appropriate for the target audience because…
- My personal favorite part was…
- I would highly recommend this book to…
- I would consider rereading particular parts of this book for a better understanding of…
Now you have all you need for writing book reviews that rock. Read smart, combine the best ingredients, use the template and voila – your excellent book review is ready.