First of all, writing a book review is a process that provides a critical evaluation of a particular piece of literature, in our case, a book. It is something more than just sharing your opinion on the book. It is about your ability to criticize and comment, make the author and readers close to each other. Keep in mind one thing – critique covers not only disadvantages or some negative aspects but also praises and highlights strengths. Otherwise, you are at risk of bias.
Of course, you should offer a summary of the book. But there is no need to focus on the plot. It is much better to discover the topic, purposes, and perspectives. Don’t forget about your evaluation in a critical manner. Describe your reactions while you were reading: what impressed or shocked you, what episodes were persuasive and compelling. And a final step is to suggest whether or not readers would accept this book, or what type of audience would find it worth reading.
Things You Should Pay Attention to While Writing a Book Review
Work with your voice. To create a worthy product means to work with what you review and how you do it. These two factors mainly determine how many people would like to take a look at our review. To tune your writing voice is not a quick thing, but it can attract the attention of a broad audience. You should practice all the time to find out your unique manner and style.
Read reviews created by others. At the very beginning, it is an excellent practice to learn from more experienced ones. You probably have review sites you like to visit or even favorite review writers. If not, don’t despair. Thanks to the internet, you can surf a little bit and visit well-known book bloggers or critics on specialized pages such as Goodreads, or YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and so on. Looking at the samples of others, you will understand what is close to you, for example, serious tone or a little bit of humor, conversational, or more precise manner of writing.
Focus on the audience. As we know, tastes differ, and this statement appeals to books as well. So when you review some book, you should be specific about what part of the audience may be interested in it. It’s obvious that you wouldn’t recommend a historical novel to those who like young adult fantasy. Be honest and don’t hide whether you like or don’t like this or that book. It may happen that you aren’t fond of a particular book, as that’s not your type, but other readers will be able to evaluate it.
Book ratings. This option is mostly needed by those who review books for a personal blog. A rating system is a great tool, but you should think carefully about what criteria to take as a basis.
Explain the strengths and weaknesses. It’s a pivotal moment to present the whole picture to the audience. Remember that you deal with two sides of the same coin. If you like some element of the book, you should explain. At the same time, don’t be too adamant. You should say that this book is a failure; it’s much better to tell what moments did not meet your expectations.
Writing Book Reviews in a Few Stages
After you are done with reading and observation of the book, it’s high time to work practically and find your answer on how to review a book. In most cases, reviews aren’t long. They cover less than 1000 words.
Introduction. Due to the word limits, many people start reviews with a hook such as an anecdote or question. You can follow their example or add a little bit of creativity and start in a way that is more relevant to your audience and a thesis statement. The thesis should reflect what contribution the book is making to a particular problem.
Undoubtedly, the introduction must include the book title, the name of the author, and the central theme. Besides, you should depict the place of the book in context. That will significantly increase attention to your review.
Summary. Don’t abuse summarizing, because your priority is analysis. Soon you will use specific evidence from the book to support your assessment. For that reason, your audience should be aware of what is happening.
Analysis and evaluation. This part of the review should be organized into paragraphs. One aspect should be considered in one paragraph, even if you want to deal with a book as a whole. Such a step will help to keep the structure clear and differentiate positive and negative sides. You may organize your arguments according to the chronological principle of the book, methods, or themes. Prefer your own words and paraphrasing to direct quotation.
Conclusion. Look at the thesis from another angle and offer your final word about the book. We don’t recommend you to present new evidence or other facts. You need to balance everything you said before. Look through the pros and cons you and make your final evaluation.
We hope that after reading this article, you have found all the necessary answers. Practice, and maybe soon, you will consult other students about how to write book reviews.