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. 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 be improved? 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 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!

What is the difference between a book review and a report?

Who is the target audience for book reviews and book reports, how do book reviews and reports differ in length and content, can i write professional book reviews, what are the key aspects of writing professional book reviews, how can i enhance my book-reviewing skills to write professional reviews, what should be included in a good book review.

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Book Review

Book Review Examples

Last updated on: Nov 20, 2023

Good Book Review Examples to Help you Write a Great Review

By: Nova A.

Reviewed By: Chris H.

Published on: Mar 30, 2021

Book Review Examples

A book review is a common assignment that allows the students to demonstrate the author’s intentions in the book. It also provides them with the chance not only to criticize but also to give constructive criticism on how they can make improvements.

The purpose of writing a book review is to come up with your opinion about the author’s ideas presented in the book. On the other hand, a book analysis is completely based on opinions that are relevant to the book.

Writing a review is something that can be done with any book that you read. However, some genres are harder to write. But with a proper plan, you can easily write a great review on any book.

Read some short book review examples in this guide. They will help you understand the key elements of writing a great review in no time.

Book Review Examples

On this Page

Academic Book Review Examples

If you are assigned to write a book review, referring to some examples will be of great help. In addition, reading examples before starting the writing process will help you understand what elements are needed for a great book review. There are also many review sites online you can get help from.

Academic book reviews follow a fairly simple structure. It usually includes an introduction, middle paragraphs, and a conclusion that sums up all the ideas.

For a great book review, here are the things you need to focus on during the writing process.

  • The main argument presented by the author
  • Author’s methodologyAppropriateness for the audience
  • Relationship to the real world

Have a look at the following book review examples for kids before beginning the writing process.

Book Review Examples for Middle School Students

Book Review Example For Kids

Book Review Examples for High School Students

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Book Review Examples for College Students

Book Review Examples for University Students

How to Write a Book Review - Examples

If you don’t know how to write a book review, look at the following steps.

The first step is to plan and create an outline that includes all the points that you will have to cover in the review. Don’t forget to include all the information about the characters, plot information, and some other parts of the chosen book.

The three parts of a book review are:

1. Provide a Summary

What is the book about? Write about the main characters and what is the conflict that is discussed in the book.

2. Provide Your Evaluation

Share your thoughts about the book and what elements work best.

3. Rate the Book

Rate and recommend the book to others who will enjoy reading this book.

If you need to submit a book review soon, we suggest you start reading some book reviews online. Here you can also find some good book review writing examples to understand how to craft each section of a book review.

Book Review Introduction Examples

Thesis Statement Book Review Examples

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Book Review Conclusion Examples

Critical Book Review Examples

A book review is a critical evaluation of the book, movie, or any other literary work. It has two goals: the first is to inform the readers about the content of the book, and the second is to evaluate your judgment about the book.

A book review is more than a book report. A review is basically a critical essay that evaluates the merits of a literary work. The purpose of writing a book review is not to prove that you have read a book but to show that you think critically about the chosen book.

When you are asked to write a critical book review, you need to identify, summarize and evaluate the ideas of the author. In simpler words, you will be examining and evaluating another person’s work from your point of view.

Science Book Review Examples

A scientific book review will contain the same elements as writing a review for a fiction book; some elements might vary. When you are reviewing a scientific text, you need to pay attention to the writing style and the validity of the content.

Most students turn to non-fictional sources of information. It is important to make sure the information you provide in your review is factual and scientific.

Book review writing can be difficult if you don’t know how to follow the standard protocols. That’s where our reliable book review writing service aims to provide the necessary help.

No matter what your academic level is, we can provide you with the best book review writing help. This type of writing assignment can be tricky and time-consuming. So, if you don’t know how to crack this task, better get professional help.

We at 5StarEssays.com provide exceptional book review writing help. Not only book reviews, but we also provide the best ‘ write an essay for me ’ help to students. Moreover, we also have an AI essay writer to help you with tight deadlines, give it a try now!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a book review example.

Here are some steps that will help you to write a book review example.

  • Start writing with few sentences and describe what the book is all about
  • Focus on your thoughts
  • Mention things that you dont like about the book.
  • Summarize your thoughts.
  • Give rating to the book.

Nova A.

Thesis, Law

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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Book Review Examples

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How to Write a Book Review Tips

example essay for book review

Book reviews are like guiding lights in the world of literature, helping readers navigate through countless stories. But writing a good review isn't just about summarizing a book – it's about making your thoughts resonate with the audience. 

Whether you're a writer, a critic, or someone who loves books, knowing how to prepare a book review can enrich your reading experience and contribute to the literary community. 

In this article, experts of our book review writing service break down the key elements and tips for compelling book reviews that spark conversation and excitement.

What Is a Book Review

A book review is a critical evaluation of a book, where the reviewer discusses its content, themes, and overall impact. It typically includes a summary of the book's main points, the reviewer's analysis and opinions, and a recommendation for potential readers. The goal is to inform others about the book's strengths and weaknesses, helping them decide if it’s worth reading.

Later in the article, you’ll find a quality book review example for your inspiration and motivation. If you’re in a hurry, try our cheap essay writing service that covers all types of academic papers.

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

Writing a book review might seem complex, but in reality, the process can be divided into only three steps:

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

Summarize the Book's Content

Book reviews summarize the source's content by providing a brief and clear overview of the main plot, key characters, and central themes without giving away any spoilers. This helps readers understand the essence of the book and sets the stage for your analysis and evaluation.

Actionable Tips:

  • Read the Book Thoroughly: Ensure you grasp the full story, including subplots and character development.
  • Highlight Key Points: Note down significant events, character arcs, and main themes as you read.
  • Be Concise: Keep your summary short and to the point, focusing on the most important aspects.
  • Avoid Spoilers: Do not reveal major plot twists or the book’s ending.
  • Use Your Own Words: Write the summary in your own language to maintain originality and avoid plagiarism.
  • Provide Context: Include the book’s genre, setting, and relevant background information to help readers understand the summary.
  • Focus on Clarity: Ensure your summary is easy to read and understand, avoiding complex language or unnecessary details.

Feeling tired already? Maybe you should use our book report writing services and give yourself a break until tomorrow.

Analyze and Evaluate

You’re always halfway through writing a book review! Next, you have to critically examine its elements, such as the writing style, character development, plot structure, and thematic depth. This step is where you share your personal insights and opinions, providing evidence from the text to support your views.

Tips Explanation
Consider the Writing Style Assess the author's writing style, including tone, language, and pacing. Is it engaging and appropriate for the genre?
Evaluate Character Development Analyze how well the characters are developed. Are they believable and well-rounded? Do they evolve throughout the story?
Examine the Plot Look at the plot structure. Is it coherent and well-paced? Are there any plot holes or areas that felt rushed?
Assess Themes and Messages Identify the main themes and messages of the book. Are they effectively conveyed and thought-provoking?
Use Specific Examples Provide specific examples from the book to support your analysis. This could include quotes, key scenes, or significant events.
Reflect on the Emotional Impact Consider how the book made you feel. Did it evoke strong emotions or leave a lasting impression?
Compare with Similar Works If relevant, compare the book to other works in the same genre or by the same author. How does it stand out or fall short?
Balance Praise and Critique Offer a balanced perspective, highlighting both strengths and weaknesses. Be fair and objective in your evaluation.

Conclude with a Recommendation

We’re almost reached the finishing line of the how to write a book review race. Conclude your review of a book with either a summary, recommendation, or addressing readers directly. This step provides a clear and concise verdict based on your analysis, helping potential readers decide if the book is right for them.

Tips Example 1 Example 2
Summary "Overall, this book is a must-read for fans of historical fiction, offering a gripping narrative and well-researched background." "While the book has some strong points, such as vivid descriptions and compelling characters, its slow pace might not appeal to everyone."
Recommendation "I highly recommend it to those who enjoy rich historical settings and complex characters." "I recommend it with reservations; it's worth trying if you enjoy detailed world-building, but be prepared for a slower pace."
Audience "Ideal for readers who appreciate historical depth and emotional storytelling." "Best suited for readers who enjoy immersive settings and don’t mind a leisurely narrative."

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

Book Review Structure

A book review outline usually follows a structured format with an introduction, main body, and conclusion.

Introduction

This section introduces the book, mentioning its title, author, genre, and publication details. It gives a brief overview of the book's premise and main themes to provide context for the reader.

The main body offers a detailed analysis and critique of the book. It's divided into paragraphs focusing on specific aspects such as plot, characters, and writing style. Each paragraph provides evidence from the book to support the reviewer's analysis.

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The conclusion summarizes the reviewer's overall thoughts and impressions of the book, restating key points and the main argument. It often includes a recommendation for potential readers and may provide final reflections or insights about the book's significance.

Book Review Template

Here's a basic structure you can follow every time you’re tasked with such an assignment:

Section Description
Title [Book Title]
Author [Author's Name]
Genre [Genre of the Book]
Publication [Publication Date/Year]
Introduction - Briefly introduce the book, including its title, author, genre, and publication information.
Summary - Provide a concise overview of the book's premise and main themes.
- Summarize the main plot points, characters, and setting.
- Highlight key events and any significant themes or motifs.
Analysis - Evaluate the book's strengths and weaknesses.
- Discuss the writing style, character development, and pacing.
- Analyze how effectively the book conveys its themes and ideas.
Critique - Offer a critical assessment of the book.
- Discuss what you liked and disliked about the book.
- Compare the book to similar works in its genre.
Conclusion - Summarize your overall thoughts and impressions of the book.
- Restate your thesis statement or main argument.
- Recommend the book to potential readers or suggest its target audience.
- Provide any final reflections or insights.

Extra Tips for Writing Better Book Reviews

Here are 11 extra tips for writing better book reviews:

  • Look for essay topics that are interesting personally for you.
  • Consider your audience and what they might want to know about the book.
  • Be mindful not to give away major plot twists or endings that could ruin the reading experience for others.
  • Use quotes or examples from the book to support your analysis and critique.
  • Express your opinions openly, but respect the author and their work.
  • Think about the book's historical, cultural, or social context when evaluating its themes and messages.
  • Paint a vivid picture of the book's qualities using descriptive language to engage your readers.
  • Acknowledge the book's strengths and weaknesses to provide a balanced review.
  • Aim to be concise and to the point, focusing on the most important aspects of the book.
  • Let your enthusiasm for the book shine through in your review to captivate your readers.
  • Gain insights from reading other reviews to see different perspectives and approaches to reviewing books.

Book Review Example

As promised at the beginning of the article, we’d like to share a good example of a book review as it should be done by students either in school or college:

Final Thoughts

Book reviews empower students to become active participants in the literary conversation. They learn to contribute their unique perspectives and interpretations to the broader discourse. With a custom term paper writing service , learners can become true educational powerhouses who never miss deadlines.

Through critical engagement with literary sources, students develop a deeper understanding of complex themes and issues, honing their ability to think analytically and empathetically. At the end of the day, aren’t these two skills that every educated individual should possess? 

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How To Write A Book Review?

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

Adam Jason

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

example essay for book review

  • Added new infographics.
  • Updated writing tips.
  • Added new example.
  • How to write a book review | BookTrust. (n.d.-b). https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/tips-and-advice/writing-tips/writing-tips-for-teens/how-to-write-a-book-review/
  • Book Reviews – The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2024, May 14). The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/book-reviews/
  • Research Guides: Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments: Writing a Book Review. (n.d.). https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/assignments/bookreview  

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How to Write a Book Review: The Complete Guide

by Sue Weems | 23 comments

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?

How to Write Like Louise Penny

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 .

title on chalk board

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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Want to write a perfect book review that readers enjoy? Discover how to pen a book review in 6 easy steps. To help you understand, we’ve included amazing examples of book reviews. 

We’ve also answered many questions you might have such as: How long should a book review be? How to start a book review? How to conclude a book review? For beginners, we’ve also mentioned the basic book review format. So without further delay, let’s begin! 

Get a professional review for your book! Learn more

What is a book review? 

A book review is the critical analysis of the book’s content and significance. It includes an evaluation of the plot, character development, and writing style. A good book review highlights the book’s strengths and weaknesses. Reviewers often include quotes to support the opinions mentioned in the book review. A book review is different from a book report which objectively describes the book’s main content. 

Now that we know what is a book review, let’s understand their length. 

How long is a book review? 

The length of a book review can vary, depending on the purpose and the medium used. Book reviews in newspapers, magazines, and journals can range from 500-2000 words. In contrast, book reviews by readers on platforms like Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, or Google can range from 50-500 words. 

Now let us see the 6 easy steps to write book reviews. Whether you’re writing book reviews for your assignment or book promotion, these steps will help! 

How to write a book review

  • Note down the key points- This is an important step before writing a book review. Jot down your analysis about the characters, themes, plot, and your personal view. Also, note down the book title, author’s name, and any relevant information about the book. 
  • Start with a strong introduction- Mention the author’s name, book title, themes, and main characters in the introduction. The introduction should give a very brief book summary without giving spoilers. 
  • Analyze the book- Discuss the book’s strong points and weaknesses. This can include your opinion on the narrative pacing, writing style, character development , and structure. You can also compare it with books belonging to a similar genre. To enhance the review, you can also use relevant quotes to support your perspective. 
  • Reflect on your experience- Describe how the book makes you feel. Did you find it engaging or was it slow-paced? Were you happy with the climax or did you expect more? 
  • Conclude the review- Summarize the important points and end the review with a final evaluative statement about the book. This is where you can state whether you will recommend the book to readers or not. This is an important step in writing a book review. 
  • Rate the book (Optional)- Depending on the platform requirements, you can rate the book out of 5 or 10. 

Now that we’ve seen how to write a book review, let’s see five amazing tips to create the perfect book review.

Top 5 tips to create an amazing book review 

Here are the top 5 tips to create the perfect book review: 

  • Start with an attractive hook- Begin the review with an intriguing question or statement, capturing the book’s essence. For example, “In ‘The Enchanted Labyrinth’, every page takes you into a magical world of intrigue and wonder. 
  • Discuss originality- Write what makes the book unique as compared to other books in the same genre. If the book highlights an unexplored theme or gives a unique take on a common theme, you can mention it in the book review. 
  • Analyze worldbuilding- Review the fictional world created by the author (Its depth, complexity and detail). You can discuss how the setting of the story affected your experience as a reader. This is a good practice, especially while reviewing fantasy and science fiction novels. 
  • Evaluate key themes- Discuss how the central themes of the story are seamlessly woven into the narrative. You can do this by highlighting how the characters’ relationships and choices reflect the themes. Describe how themes add depth to the story. 
  • Edit and proofread- Once you’ve completed your book review, thoroughly check it. Correct any grammatical mistakes , spelling, and word choice errors. 

Book review examples

1. a thousand splendid suns by khaled hosseini .

“A Thousand Splendid Suns,” by Khaled Hosseini, is a profoundly moving story set against the backdrop of Afghan history. This novel tells the tale of two women, Mariam and Laila, whose lives become entwined in a harrowing journey of friendship, suffering, and redemption.

Mariam, an illegitimate child, suffers from stigma and rejection from an early age. Her tragic story evolves when she is forced into an abusive marriage with Rasheed, a brutish shoemaker. Laila, born generations later, is initially a symbol of the new Afghanistan – hopeful and educated. Their shared struggles against the backdrop of Afghanistan crumbling under Taliban rule form the novel’s heart.

Hosseini’s writing is evocative, capturing the stark realities in Afghanistan while also highlighting the profound resilience of his characters. The author masterfully portrays the emotional landscapes of Mariam and Laila, making them vividly relatable.

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” is more than a story of survival; it is a testament to the unyielding strength of human connection and endurance. This book is a must-read, not only for its storytelling brilliance but for its deep exploration of the often-unheard voices of Afghan women. It’s a heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful novel that stays with you long after the last page.

Now let’s see another example of a book review. 

2. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 

“A Man Called Ove ” by Fredrik Backman is a heartwarming novel that takes readers on an emotional journey of its titular character, Ove. At first glance, Ove appears to be nothing more than a grumpy old man. However, as the story unfolds, we discover that there is so much more to Ove than meets the eye.

The novel skillfully explores themes of loss, grief, and the human capacity for change. Ove’s journey is one of rediscovery and redemption, as he learns to open his heart to the people around him. Backman’s writing is both poignant and humorous, capturing the essence of human relationships and the power of community.

Ove is a character who is easy to relate to, with his quirks making him all the more endearing. As we delve into his past through flashbacks, we understand the events that shaped him. These glimpses provide depth and complexity to his character, making him incredibly three-dimensional.

The supporting characters are equally charming and well-developed. Parvaneh, the pregnant neighbor, and her family are a refreshing contrast to Ove’s gruff exterior. Their interactions with Ove are both heartwarming and hilarious, playing an important role in his transformation.

What makes “A Man Called Ove” truly exceptional is its ability to elicit a wide range of emotions from its readers. It can make you laugh out loud on one page and bring tears to your eyes on the next. The story is a testament to the importance of human connection.

In conclusion, “A Man Called Ove” is a beautifully written novel that explores the themes of love, friendship, and the capacity for change. Fredrik Backman’s storytelling is both touching and humorous, and his characters are unforgettable. For those who appreciate heartwarming stories that inspire the soul, this book is a must-read.”

After seeing these book review examples, let’s see a simple book review template you can use. 

Book review template

The following template highlights a basic book review format and book review outline. You can use this template for reference. 

We hope this book review template and book review examples have inspired you to start writing. Now that you’ve understood how to write a good book review, you can begin brainstorming. Want to get a polished, professional book review? At PaperTrue, our team of experts can help you craft the perfect review for your book. Get in touch with us and forget all stress about how to do a book review. 

You can also take advantage of our self-publishing services like editing, book cover design, securing an ISBN, and creating a copyright page. This ensures that your book is ready for publication. Whether you want a simple edit or an end-to-end service package, we’re here to help! 

Here are some other articles that you might find interesting: 

  • Top 10 Best Print-on-Demand Book Companies in 2024
  • Top 10 Book Formatting Software for Authors in 2024
  • What Is a Blurb? Meaning, Examples & 10 Expert Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

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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)

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

101 DIGITAL & PRINT GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS FOR ALL CURRICULUM AREAS

how to write a book review | digital graphic organizers 1 | How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

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

how to write a book review | 2 book review tutorial28129 | How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

OTHER GREAT ARTICLES RELATED TO BOOK REVIEWS

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Transactional Writing

how to write a book review | text response | How to write a text response | literacyideas.com

How to write a text response

how to write a book review | compare and contrast essay 1 | How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay | literacyideas.com

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

how to write a book review | expository essay writing guide | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com

How to Write Excellent Expository Essays

How to Write a Book Review: Everything You Need to Know

When we read a good and interesting book, we want to share our thoughts about it with someone else. The best way to do that is to write a book review. For students, it’s hard to evaluate great literary masterpieces without any guidelines. Analyzing the text, composing an outline, and structuring your thoughts is a challenging task, especially if your writing skills are not professional.

But, there is nothing impossible with well-written and simple instructions. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on how to write a book review. We’ll describe every stage of the writing process and give you a wide range of useful tips. On our blog, we also have numerous book review examples that you may find using the list of links at the end of our article. Don’t hesitate to start reading and learning!

What is a book review?

A book review is a critical evaluation and analysis of a book presented in written form. Book reviews can be classified both as academic and creative papers, as it depends on the purpose of writing. At university or school, professors often assign students with writing a book review in order to evaluate their writing skills and critical thinking on a particular subject. However, book reviews are frequently written by expert literary critics, as it is a part of their professional activities. Finally, anybody who wants to present his or her opinion about the book in written form may write a book review.

As a rule, the book review format depends on the requirements specified by your instructor or your own preferences. The structure type varies, but we highly recommend you to choose a standard essay format that includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion.

elements of a book review

How long is a book review?

The length of the book review depends on professors’ requirements. According to our statistics, on average, student’s are required to write from 600 to 1,000 words. It typically takes up to two weeks to complete the paper, including reading the original, planning section, additional research, and the writing itself.

5 common book review formats: make your choice

If your instructor always specifies all the details of the assignment, you have nothing to worry about. However, sometimes, you have to make a choice by yourself. Below, we’ll describe five popular book review formats to try. As a rule, you may pick any of them no matter what book you analyze. But choose wisely!

General impression

This type of book review may seem the easiest, but the first impression can be deceptive. If you miss a crucial aspect, your review will be superficial and insufficient. We recommend you to choose this format of writing a book review for short stories, as there is not so much material to analyze. A general impression includes a brief plot summary, analysis of the main aspects, and your overall evaluation.

Issue development

Every book focuses on one or two main issues, but there can also be a few additional themes. Such book reviews can be useful both for studying a particular book and for analyzing a concrete social, psychological, or moral problem. Thus, this format of a book review can be assigned to students who study not only English literature but also a wide range of other disciplines.

Character portrayal

This type of book review can be extremely interesting for those who study psychology. Literary characters are similar to human creatures. In high-quality books, authors create lifelike heroes who behave and evolve, just like real people do. This book review format might seem similar to a character analysis essay. However, in a good review, you don’t simply analyze a chosen character. You also have to evaluate how the writer managed to make the character realistic and vivid.

Aspect analysis

This type of book review will be perfect for novels where the author develops many various topics, describes lots of characters, and addresses different problems. You can pick any aspect and provide a deep and detailed analysis. Before writing a review, make sure that the chosen element is presented in the book at a sufficient level, and not in one short dialogue.

Comparative review

If you enjoy writing compare and contrast essays, you should certainly choose this book review format. You may compare various aspects in the books of the same or different authors: writing style, issue development, an opinion on a particular topic presented in the novel, etc. As in essays, you may analyze both similarities and differences in your book review.

Finally, you know what options you have when you need to compose a review. We also want to mention that you may combine different formats if you want and create totally unique types of papers. Your creativity should have no limits, especially when it comes to creative book reviews!

Let’s take a closer look at the writing process itself!

book review format

10 simple steps to writing a book review

Planning makes any task much easier. You feel confident when you know what exactly you have to do at every stage.

Learn how to write a book review step by step and start working immediately!

1. Read a book

This step is so obvious that it isn’t worth explanation, is it? Did you think you could get a good grade without reading the primary source? Actually, you may try. But we don’t recommend you to take this risk. Moreover, if your book is short, you can read it twice to get a better impression.

2. Make notes

Sometimes, your instructor may ask you to attach your notes and drafts to the final version of your book review in order to evaluate your writing process. Even when it is not necessary, the notes will be utterly helpful for you to memorize small details. You can also write down a few quotations that will help you to prove your point of view in the review.

3. Read critical articles

You don’t have to use additional materials in your writing if it isn’t specified by the instructions. Anyway, you may read a few articles in order to get inspiration or some ideas for your review. Please, avoid plagiarism! If you like the critic’s idea, don’t copy it thoughtlessly! Use paraphrasing or direct citation to use someone else’s opinion in your writing. Don’t forget that you should use only reliable sources like reputable newspapers, scientific journals, online encyclopedias, etc.

4. Choose a book review format

Pick an appropriate option from the list above. Take into account your instructions, personal preferences, word limit, and book genre.

5. Specify your topic and thesis statement

Without a clear understanding of your purpose, you won’t be able to compose a high-quality book review sample. Choose a particular problem and define your viewpoint on it, you can use our writing prompt generator to do this. Do you agree or disagree with the author’s position? Did the author manage to develop a theme or not? Remember that you can change your thesis statement later if it is not relevant to your review. However, you need a starting point to begin with.

6. Brainstorm

Time for creativity! Look at your topic from different perspectives to get a full picture. Use various brainstorming techniques to achieve the best result: associations, questions, rolestorming, mind mapping, etc. Unfortunately, you may not use group brainstorming for individual assignments, but we are sure that your excellent mind will be more than enough for a book review.

7. Create an outline

Now, you have a collection of great ideas. The next step is structuring. Imagine how your book review will look and what parts it will have. Then, choose one main idea or a keyword for each section and write it down. For each point, select suitable expressions and quotations. In such a manner, you’ll get a solid foundation for your writing.

8. Write the first draft

You have everything you need to do this, believe us. Overcome your fear of writing the first sentence! You don’t have to make it perfect on the first try. But you need something to start from, okay? The first draft is always filled with inspiration and your personal voice. You can correct grammatical mistakes later, so don’t worry!

9. Proofread

And this is the less inspirational part of the writing process. Unfortunately, you can’t write a book review without proofreading. We’re sure that your paper will be great, but even the smallest mistakes can spoil the general impression. Before you start the editing process, have some rest. Your brain needs a restart to be on the appropriate level of concentration.

10. Add finishing touches

Bring it to perfection! If possible, get feedback from your friends or family members. A fresh perspective never hurts. Check your logic, argumentation, and wording. If you really like your book review sample, other people will like it too.

things to do before writing a book review

At this moment, you have a proper plan on how to write a review of a book. You’re ready to find out what the most common mistakes in reviews are. We’ll also explain to you how to avoid them efficiently!

6 mistakes to avoid while writing a book review template

Maybe you’ve already heard about these mistakes, but it is our duty to remind you of them one more time. We want to be sure that we’ve done everything possible to improve your writing.

  • Don’t write a summary

Book reviews are not summaries. A short summary can be included in the text of your review in order to inform your readers about the main plot events and characters. Don’t focus on details if they aren’t important for your topic. Unnecessary information will make your book review boring and wordy.

  • Express your evaluation

Along with a short summary, an assessment is an indispensable part of a good review. Don’t be afraid of expressing your personal opinion directly! Avoid words like “rather,” “enough,” and “almost,” as they will make your statements vague and uncertain. On the other hand, a bold statement without any arguments won’t be taken seriously. Always provide your readers with examples and other strong pieces of evidence.

  • Avoid a superficial manner

This mistake is the most common for novel reviews. The author can’t focus on one particular aspect or character and must write a few sentences about everything. Such a review won’t be useful or interesting for the general public. If you’ve decided to provide a general overview of the whole book, you have to make sure that your review is long enough to cover all the essential topics of the novel. Otherwise, you won’t be able to present the book in a proper way.

  • Stick to the writing style

Have you ever read formal letters that end with “XOXO” or “With love”? We doubt it. Before writing a book review example, define your purpose. If you compose a review as your academic assignment, stick to the formal writing style. If you create a review for your personal blog or just to share your thoughts with the general public, you don’t have to follow strict rules or formatting style. Sure, we still recommend you to avoid jargon, but you can freely use first-person pronouns and expressions like “In my opinion,” “I believe,” “My first impression,” etc.

  • Provide strong arguments

As in any other type of paper, argumentation is essential for a well-written book review. Each of your statements and ideas should be proven by one or several arguments. For book reviews, we recommend using examples, quotation, and comparisons as the best pieces of evidence. Remember that you can’t just say “I like/don’t like this book.” You have to be consistent and follow certain argumentation logic in your writing.

  • Don’t be a plagiarist

We will never tire of repeating this rule. We refuse to believe that you have no personal opinion or original thoughts! No doubt, you may look for inspiration in the articles written by professional critics, but you should never underestimate your writing skills. We believe that you’re able to create a fantastic text and avoid plagiarism.

Okay, that’s enough about mistakes for now! We’re sure that you’ll avoid them in the most elegant manner. If you need more tips for writing a book review, you can always check our amazing books for academic writing!

Our guide on how to write a book review is almost completed! The last thing you should learn about this type of paper is its structure. We’ll describe the essay-type structure for a review that will be appropriate for academic writing. If you choose a creative book review, you can break all the rules and compose the most extraordinary book review sample.

How to write a book review: simple structure

 Introduction
The main body
 Conclusion

We have told you everything you need to know about writing a book review. However, we have one more thing to surprise you with! Awesome book review samples from our talented writers are waiting for you below! Follow the links and find your inspiration in our texts!

Book review examples and how to use them

As we promised, we will share all these book review samples with you! Please, don’t copy them thoughtlessly to present as your own work. This will be considered as plagiarism, or in other words, theft of intellectual property. However, you have many legal opportunities to use our samples. They will teach you how to make a book review better than any theoretical guides. So, there are four ways to use our texts and make the writing process easier:

  • Source of information

Our writers use only reliable sources of data when they look for information about the topic. They avoid Wikipedia articles, personal blogs, and magazines to provide you only with valid facts and expert opinions. Thus, you can use our samples as a source of information without any fear of being misinformed.

This is an important technique to avoid plagiarism. Create a proper citation according to the required formatting style, and you’ll get a good piece of evidence for your argumentation! Don’t forget to list all your sources in your reference list!

  • Paraphrasing

This method is a bit more difficult in comparison to citing, as every college has its own rules of proper paraphrasing. Before writing a book review, ask your instructor to specify his or her requirements with regard to paraphrasing. Formatting mistakes will negatively influence your grade!

  • Inspiration

Finally, well-written samples may help you to overcome writer’s block and the fear of the first sentence. Inspiration and motivation are an indispensable part of the writing process. So, let the Muse be with you!

The Hound of the Baskervilles Book Review Sample

This example of a book review demonstrates how the writer can look from a fresh perspective even with the pieces of classical literature. The review is focused on the issue of guilt and its nature developed by Arthur Conan Doyle in his crime novel “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” A well-written sample will surprise you with an in-depth psychological approach.

Book Review Sample on Canadian History

If you have to write a book review about a history book, this sample will be a great help for you. The writer provided a detailed and well-structured analysis of the book “Alliance and Illusion: Canada and the World, 1945-1984” by Robert Bothwell. The review is a balanced combination of a summary, analysis, and critical evaluation.

The Book Thief Review Sample: Liesel Character

Here, we’ve placed an example of a different format of a book review. The writer is focused mostly on the main character of the novel, Liesel Meminger. The review analyzes her character and attitude. The writer examines how the character changes through the book and what causes these changes.

Little Women Book Review

This text is a short book review example about the novel “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. Although this book was written in the 19th century, it still develops feminist views and other social issues. This sample will be a good template for your own writing.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Book Review

The author of the review sample examines how the novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe pictures the social issue of slavery. The release of this book had both positive and negative consequences for the image of African Americans in the 19th century. If you’re going to create a book review about “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” our sample will be a great starting point for you.

Flowers for Algernon Book Review Sample

“Flowers for Algernon” is an amazing novel written by Daniel Keyes. It deserves thousands of reviews, and you won’t be disappointed if you decide to write another one. In our sample, the writer focuses on the theme of intelligence developed in the book. You can pick another aspect or follow the steps of our expert. It depends on you.

Now, we’re finally done. It has been a long path, but you can call yourself a real “book review guru”! Writing a book review is not as hard as you imagine. You just need to find a book that you’ll like and a good guide like the one above! Of course, you’ll also need inspiration, time, and energy. If you’re limited in one of these resources, there is always a way out!

Book review writing assistance from our writers

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example essay for book review

25+ Book Review Templates and Ideas to Organize Your Thoughts

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Danika Ellis

Danika spends most of her time talking about queer women books at the Lesbrary. Blog: The Lesbrary Twitter: @DanikaEllis

View All posts by Danika Ellis

When I was a kid I loved reading, but I hated book reports. It felt impossible to boil a book down to a few lines or even a page of writing. Besides, by the time I had to write the report, I had already forgotten a lot. It never ceases to be painful to try to pull my thoughts and opinions out of my head and put them on the page, especially in a coherent way.

As an adult, I continue to usually find writing book reviews painful . And yet, I maintain a book blog with reviews of all the (bi and lesbian) books I read. Why? For one thing, I want to raise the visibility of these books — or, in the case of a book I loathed, warn other readers of what to expect. It helps me to build community with other book lovers. It’s also a great way to force myself pay attention to how I’m feeling while I’m reading a book and what my thoughts are afterwards. I have learned to take notes as I go, so I have something to refer to by the time I write a review, and it has me notice what a book is doing well (and what it isn’t). The review at the end helps me to organize my thoughts. I also find that I remember more once I’ve written a review.

Once you’ve decided it’s worthwhile to write a review, though, how do you get started? It can be a daunting task. The good news is, book reviews can adapt to whatever you want them to be. A book review can be a tweet with a thumbs up or thumbs down emoji, maybe with a sentence or two of your thoughts; it can also be an in-depth essay on the themes of the book and its influence on literature. Most are going to fall somewhere between those two! Let go of the idea of trying to create the One True Book Review. Everyone is looking for something different, and there is space for GIF-filled squee fests about a book and thoughtful, meditative explorations of a work.

This post offers a variety of book reviews elements that you can mix and match to create a book review template that works for you. Before you get started, though, there are some questions worth addressing.

black pencil on top of ruled paper

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Book Review Template

Where will you be posting your book reviews.

An Instagram book review will likely look different from a blog book review. Consider which platform you will be using for your book review. You can adapt it for different platforms, or link to your original review, but it’s a good starting point. Instagram reviews tend to be a lot shorter than blog reviews, for instance.

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Will you be using the same template every time?

Some book reviewers have a go-to book review template. Others have a different one for each genre, while another group doesn’t use a template at all and just reacts to whatever each book brings up.

Heading or no headings?

When choosing which book review elements to mix and match, you can also decide whether to include a header for each section (like Plot, Characterization, Writing, etc). Headers make reviews easier to browse, but they may not have the professional, essay-style look that you’re going for.

Why are you writing a review?

When selecting which elements to include in your review, consider what the purpose is. Do you want to better remember the plot by writing about it? You probably want to include a plot summary, then. Do you want to help readers decide whether they should read this book? A pros and cons list might be helpful. Are you trying to track something about your reading, like an attempt to read more books in translation or more books by authors of color? Are you trying to buy fewer books and read off your TBR shelf instead? These are all things you can note in a review, usually in a point-form basic information block at the beginning.

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Book Review Templates and Formats

Essay-style.

This is a multi-paragraph review, usually with no headers. It’s the same format most newspapers and academics use for book reviews. Many essay-style reviews use informal categories in their writing, often discussing setting, writing, characters, and plot in their own paragraphs. They usually also discuss the big themes/messages of a story. Here are some questions to consider when writing an essay-style review:

What is the author trying to do? Don’t evaluate a romance novel based on a mystery novel’s criteria. First try to think about what the book was attempting to do, then try to evaluate if they achieved it. You can still note if you didn’t like it, but it’s good to know what it was aiming for first.

What are some of the themes of the story? What big message should the reader take away? Did you agree with what the book seemed to be saying? Why or why not?

How is this story relevant to the world? What is it saying about the time it was written in? About human nature? About society or current issues? Depending on the book, there may be more or less to dig into here.

What did this book make you think about? It may be that the themes in the book were just a launching off point. How did they inspire your own thinking? How did this book change you?

A Classic Book Review

This is probably the most common kind of book review template. It uses a few criteria, usually including Setting, Writing, Characters, and Plot (for a novel). The review then goes into some detail about each element, describing what the book did well, and where it fell short.

The advantage of this format is that it’s very straightforward and applies to almost any fiction read. It can also be adapted–you will likely have more to say about the plot in a mystery/thriller than a character study of a novel. A drawback, though, is that it can feel limiting. You might have thoughts that don’t neatly fit into these categories, or you could feel like you don’t have enough to say about some of the categories.

Pros and Cons

A common format for a Goodreads review is some variation of pros and cons. This might be “What I Liked/What I Didn’t Like” or “Reasons to Bump This Up Your TBR/Reasons to Bump This Down On Your TBR.” This is a very flexible system that can accommodate anything from a few bullet points each to paragraphs each. It gives a good at-a-glance impression of your thoughts (more cons than pros is a pretty good indication you didn’t like it). It also is broad enough that almost all your thoughts can likely be organized into those headings.

This is also a format that is easily mix and matched with the elements listed below. A brief review might give the title, author, genre, some brief selling points of the novel, and then a pros and cons list. Some reviews also include a “verdict” at the end. An example of this format:

example essay for book review

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

🌟 Fantasy All-Ages Comic 💫 Adorable pet dragons ✨ A diverse cast

Pros: This book has beautiful artwork. It is a soothing read, and all the character are supportive of each other. This is a story about friendship and kindness.

Cons: Don’t expect a fast-moving plot or a lot of conflict. This is a very gentle read.

Another approach to the review is not, strictly speaking, a book review template at all. Instead, it’s something like “5 Reasons to Read TITLE by Author” or “The # Most Shocking Plot Twists in X Series.” An advantage of this format is that it can be very to-the-point: if you want to convince people to read a book, it makes sense to just write a list of reasons they should read the book. It may also be more likely to get clicked on–traditional book reviews often get less views than more general posts.

On the other hand, listicles can come off as gimmicky or click-bait. You’ll have to decide for yourself if the book matches this format, and whether you are writing this out of genuine enthusiasm or are just trying to bend a review to be more clickable.

Your Own Original Rating System

Lots of reviewers decide to make their own review format based on what matters to them. This is often accompanied by a ratings system. For instance, the BookTube channel Book Roast uses the CAWPILE system:

CAWPILE is an acronym for the criteria she rates: Characters, Atmosphere, Writing, Plot, Intrigue, Logic, Enjoyment. Each of those are rated 1–10, and the average given is the overall rating. By making your own ratings/review system, you can prioritize what matters to you.

My favorite rating system is Njeri’s from Onyx Pages , because it shows exactly what she’s looking for from books, and it helps her to think about and speak about the things she values:

A “Live Tweet” or Chronological Review

Another format possibility is live tweeting (or updating as you go on Goodreads, or whatever your platform of choice is). This has you document your initial thoughts as you read, and it’s usually informal and often silly. You can add what you’re loving, what you’re hating, and what questions you have as you go.

This is a fun format for when you’re reading a popular book for the first time. That way, other people can cackle at how unprepared you are as you read it. This requires you to remember to always have your phone on you as you read, to get your authentic thoughts as they happen, but it saves on having to write a more in-depth review. Alternately, some people include both a “first impressions” section and a more in-depth analysis section in their final review.

Get Creative

There are plenty of book review templates to choose from and elements to mix-and-match, but you can also respond in a completely original way. You could create a work of art in response to the book! Here are some options:

  • Writing a song , a short story, or a poem
  • Writing a letter to the author or the main character (you don’t have to send it to the author!)
  • Writing an “interview” of a character from the book, talk show style
  • Making a visual response, like a collage or painting
  • Making a book diorama, like your elementary school days!

Mix-and-Match Elements of a Book Review

Most book reviews are made up of a few different parts, which can be combined in lots of different ways. Here is a selection to choose from! These might also give you ideas for your own elements. Don’t take on too much, though! It can easily become an overwhelming amount of information for readers.

Information

Usually a book review starts with some basic information about the book. What you consider basic information, though, is up for interpretation! Consider what you and your audience will think is important. Here are some ideas:

  • The title and author (pretty important)
  • The book’s cover
  • Format (audiobook, comic, poetry, etc)
  • Genre (this can be broad, like SFF, or narrow, like Silkpunk or Dark Academia)
  • Content warnings
  • Source (where did you get the book? Was is borrowed from the library, bought, or were you sent an ARC?)
  • Synopsis/plot summary (your own or the publisher’s)
  • What kind of representation there is in the novel (including race, disability, LGBTQ characters, etc)
  • Anything you’re tracking in your reading, including: authors of color, authors’ country, if a book is in translation, etc

Review Elements

Once you’ve established your basic information, you’re into the review itself! Some of these are small additions to a review, while others are a little more time-intensive.

Bullet point elements:

  • Rating (star rating, thumbs up/down, recommend/wouldn’t recommend, or your own scale)
  • Who would like it/Who wouldn’t like it
  • Read-alikes (or movies and TV shows like the book)
  • Describe the book using an emoji or emojis
  • Describe the book using a gif or gifs
  • Favorite line(s) from the book
  • New vocabulary/the most beautiful words in the novel
  • How it made you feel (in a sentence or two)
  • One word or one sentence review
  • Bullet points listing the selling points of a book
  • BooksandLala’s Scary, Unsettling, and Intrigue ratings, for horror
  • World-building, for fantasy and science fiction titles
  • Art, for comics
  • Narration, for audiobooks
  • Romance, for…romance
  • Heat level, for erotica

Visual elements:

  • Design a graphic (usually incorporating the cover, your star rating, and some other basic info)
  • Take a selfie of yourself holding the book, with your expression as the review
  • Make a mood board
  • Design your own book cover
  • Make fan art

Elements to incorporate into a review:

  • Quick/initial thoughts (often while reading or immediately after reading), then a more in-depth review (common on Goodreads)
  • A list of facts about the book or a character from the book
  • Book club questions about the book
  • Spoiler/non-spoiler sections
  • Research: look up interviews with the author and critique of the book, incorporate it (cited!) into your review
  • Links to other resources, such as interviews or other reviews — especially #OwnVoices reviews
  • A story of your own, whether it’s your experience reading the book, or something it reminded you of

This is not a complete list! There are so many ways to write a book review, and it should reflect your own relationship with books, as well as your audience. If you’re looking for more ways to keep track of your reading, you’ll also like 50+ Beautiful Bujo Spread Ideas to Track Your Reading .

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example essay for book review

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How to write a book review in 3 steps.

How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps

If the idea of reading for free — or even getting paid to read — sounds like a dream come true, remember that it isn’t a pipe dream. There are many places aspiring book reviewers can read books for free, such as Reedsy Discovery — a new platform for reviewing indie books. Of course, if you’re giving serious thought to becoming a book reviewer, your first step should be learning how to write a book review. To that end, this post covers all the basics of literary criticism. Let’s get started!

The three main steps of writing a book review are simple:

  • Provide a summary: What is story about? Who are the main characters and what is the main conflict? 
  • Present your evaluation: What did you think of the book? What elements worked well, and which ones didn’t? 
  • Give your recommendation: Would you recommend this book to others? If so, what kinds of readers will enjoy it?

You can also download our free book review templates and use it as a guide! Otherwise, let’s take a closer look at each element.

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:

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How to write a review of a book

Step 1. provide a summary.

Have you ever watched a movie only to realize that all the good bits were already in the trailer? Well, you don’t want the review to do that. What you do want the summary to do is reveal the genre, theme, main conflict, and main characters in the story — without giving away spoilers or revealing how the story ends.

A good rule of thumb is not to mention anything that happens beyond the midpoint. Set the stage and give readers a sense of the book without explaining how the central issue is resolved.

Emily W. Thompson's review of The Crossing :

In [Michael] 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. Read more...

Here are a few more reviews with well-written summaries for you to check out. The summary tend to be the longest part of the book review, so we won’t turn this post into a novel itself by pasting them all here: Le Cirque Navire reviewed by Anna Brill, The Heart of Stone reviewed by Kevin R. Dickinson, Fitting Out: The Friendship Experiment reviewed by Lianna Albrizio.

Non-fiction summary tip: The primary goal of a non-fiction summary is to provide context: what problems or issues has the book spotted, and how does it go about addressing them? Be sure to mention the authors of the title and what experience or expertise they bring to the title. Check Stefan Kløvning’s review of Creativity Cycling for an example of a summary that establishes the framework of the book within the context of its field.

Step 2. Present your evaluation

While you should absolutely weave your own personal take of a book into the review, your evaluation shouldn’t only be based on your subjective opinion. Along with presenting how you reacted to the story and how it affected you, you should also try to objectively critique the stronger and weaker elements of the story, and provide examples from the text to back up your points.

To help you write your evaluation, you should record your reactions and thoughts as you work your way through a novel you’re planning on reviewing. Here are some aspects of the book to keep in mind as you do.

Your evaluation might focus heartily on the book’s prose:

Donald Barker's review of Mercenary : 

Such are the bones of the story. But, of course, it is the manner in which Mr Gaughran puts the bones back together and fills them with life that makes “Mercenary” such a great read. The author’s style seems plain; it seems straightforward and even simple. But an attempt at imitation or emulation quickly proves that simple it is not. He employs short, punchy sentences that generate excellent dialogue dripping with irony, deadpan humour and wit. This, mixed with good descriptive prose, draws the characters – and what characters they are – along with the tumultuous events in which they participated amidst the stinking, steaming heat of the South American jungle, out from the past to the present; alive, scheming, drinking, womanising and fighting, onto the written page.

You can give readers a sense of the book by drawing comparisons to other well-known titles or authors:

Laura Hartman's review of The Mystery of Ruby's Mistletoe :

Reading Ms. Donovan’s book is reminiscent to one of my favorite authors, Dame Agatha Christie. Setting up the suspects in a snowbound house, asking them to meet in the drawing room and the cleverly satisfying conclusion was extremely gratifying. I can picture Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot nodding at Ms. Donovan saying “Well done!”

Not everyone’s tastes are the same, and you can always acknowledge this by calling out specific story elements in your evaluation: 

Kevin R. Dickinson's review of The Heart of Stone :

Whether you enjoy Galley’s worldbuilding will depend heavily on preference. Galley delivers information piecemeal, letting the characters, not the author, navigate the reader through Hartlund. A notable example is the magic system, an enigmatic force that lacks the ridge structures of, say, a Brandon Sanderson novel. While the world’s magical workings are explained, you only learn what the characters know and many mysteries remain by the end. Similar choices throughout make the world feel expansive and authentic.

Non-fiction evaluation tip: A book’s topic is only as compelling as its supporting arguments. Your evaluation of a nonfiction book should address that: how clearly and effectively are the points communicated? Turn back to Stefan’s critique for an example of a non-fiction critique that covers key takeaways and readability, without giving away any “big reveals.”

Step 3. Give your recommendation 

At the end of the day, your critique needs to answer this question: is this a book you would (or wouldn’t) recommend to other readers? You might wrap up by comparing it to other books in the same genre, or authors with similar styles, such as: “Fans of so-and-so will enjoy this book.” 

Let’s take a look at a few more tips:

You don’t need to write, “I recommend this book” — you can make it clear by highlighting your favorable opinion:

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.
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.

Add more punch to your rating by mentioning what kind of audience will or won’t enjoy the book:

Charleigh Aleyna Reid's review of The King of FU :

I would recommend this book to anyone who grew up in the 90’s and would like to reminisce about the time, someone who is interested to see what it was like to be a 90’s kid, or perhaps anyone who is looking for a unique, funny story about someone’s life.

Unless you found the title absolutely abhorrent, a good way to balance out a less favorable book review it to share what you did like about the book — before ultimately stating why you wouldn’t recommend the novel:

Nicola O's review of Secrets of the Sea Lord :

Overall, there are plenty of enjoyable elements in this story and fans of Atlantis and mer mythology should give it a try. Despite this, it does not rise above a three-star rating, and while I had some difficulty pinning down why this is, I concluded that it comes from a surprisingly unsophisticated vocabulary. There are a couple of graphic sex scenes, which is absolutely fine in a paranormal romance, but if they were removed, I could easily imagine this as an appealing story for middle-schoolers.

Non-fiction recommendation tip: As with fiction book reviews, share why you did or didn’t enjoy the title. However, in one of the starkest divergences from fiction book reviews it’s more important than ever that you mention your expectations coming into the non-fiction book. For instance, if you’re a cow farmer who’s reading a book on the benefits of becoming a vegetarian, you’re coming in with a large and inherent bias that the book will struggle to alter. So your recommendation should cover your thoughts about the book, while clearly taking account your perspective before you started reading. Let’s look once more at Stefan’s review for an example of a rating that includes an explanation of the reviewer’s own bias.

Bonus tips for writing a book review

Let’s wrap up with a few final tips for writing a compelling review.

  • Remember, this isn’t a book report. If someone wants the summary of a book, they can read the synopsis. People turn to book reviews for a fellow reader’s take on the book. And for that reason...
  • Have an opinion. Even if your opinion is totally middle-of-the-line — you didn’t hate the book but you didn’t love it either — state that clearly, and explain why.
  • Make your stance clear from the outset. Don’t save your opinion just for the evaluation/recommendation. Weave your thoughts about the book into your summary as well, so that readers have an idea of your opinion from the outset.
  • Back up your points. Instead of just saying, “the prose was evocative” — show readers by providing an actual passage that displays this. Same goes for negative points — don’t simply tell readers you found a character unbelievable, reference a certain (non-spoiler) scene that backs this up.
  • Provide the details. Don’t forget to weave the book’s information into the review: is this a debut author? Is this one installment of a series? What types of books has the author written before? What is their background? How many pages does the book have? Who published the book? What is the book’s price?
  • Follow guidelines. Is the review you’re writing for Goodreads? For The New York Times ? The content and tone of your review will vary a good deal from publication to publication.
  • Learn from others. One of the best ways to learn how to write a great review is to read other reviews! To help you out with that, we’ve published a post all about book review examples .

Writing book reviews can be a rewarding experience! As a book-lover yourself, it’s a great opportunity to help guide readers to their next favorite title. If you’re just getting started as a reviewer and could use a couple more tips and nudges in the right direction, check out our comprehensive blog post on how to become a book reviewer . And if you want to find out which review community is the right fit for you, we recommend taking this quick quiz:

Which review community should you join?

Find out which review community is best for your style. Takes 30 seconds!

Finally, if you feel you've nailed the basics of how to write a book review, we recommend you check out Reedsy Discovery , where you can review books for free and are guaranteed people will read them. To register as a book reviewer, simply go here !

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Book Review Writing

Book Review Examples

Cathy A.

Book Review Examples to Help You Get Started

Book Review Examples

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How to Write a Book Review - A Step By Step Guide

A Complete Book Review Format Guide For Students

Are you in desperate need of some assistance to up your book review writing game? 

We know that penning down a review can come off as a tricky challenge, but do not worry!

To help you write book reviews that carry the essence of the book and engage readers, we have collected a handful of book review examples in this blog. 

The included examples will enable you to understand different writing styles and approaches taken toward book review writing . So, you can use your words effectively to craft the perfect book review.

Let’s kickstart things off!

Arrow Down

  • 1. Good Book Review Examples for Students
  • 2. Short Book Review Examples for Fiction Books
  • 3. Non-Fiction Book Review Examples

Good Book Review Examples for Students

You might be a professional writer, or you may not have any experience in writing book reviews. Rest assured, we’ll show you how to write perfect book reviews with the help of a sample template and great examples.

See this template to know what you should include in your book review: 

Book Review Template

Here is a good book review example for 4th-grade students:


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Book Review Examples for Middle School Students

Reading reviews written by others can help you get a feel and flavor of good book reviews. Learning how to write a perfect book review can help students to:

  • Critically analyze a text
  • Give a personal opinion on the text
  • Improve analyzing and critical thinking skills 

Here are some interesting book review examples suitable for middle school students. 

Book Review Example for Middle School Students

Book Review Example for Kids

Book Review of Any Book in 300 Words

Science Book Review Example

Book Review Examples For High School Students

Below, you can also find some good book review examples for high school students. These real-life examples can help you get a clear understanding of the standard book review format that you should follow.

Book Review Example for High School Students

Book Review Examples for Class 9

Book Review Example for Grade 10

Book Review Examples for College Students

As a college student, you are required to demonstrate that you have examined the book from different angles. The points you raise in your book review need to be supported with clear facts and evidence.

The following are some interesting critical book review examples for college students to learn how to write a perfect review. 

Book Review Example for Class 12

Short Book Review for Students

Conclusion of Book Review Example

Short Book Review Examples for Fiction Books

Fiction book reviews follow the same basic formula as writing book reviews of any other genre. For your help, we have compiled exciting examples of fiction book reviews that you can get valuable assistance from. 

Short Book Review Example for Fiction Books

Book Review of Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

“The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert is a work of fiction and falls into fantasy and young adult fiction genres. The novel revolves around fantastical fairy tales, and magical realism, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.

Here is an example of a comprehensive review of the book Hazel Wood:



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Non-Fiction Book Review Examples

For reviewing a non-fiction book, you are required to describe the book and summarize major points of interest. You should evaluate the author’s contribution to a subject that you may know very little about.

Here is a great non-fiction book review example to help you come up with a critical perspective on a text. 

Non-Fiction Book Review Example

Hopefully, with the help of the above examples, you get a better idea of how to write a perfect book review.

To wrap it up, Writing a great book review is a tricky task, no matter if you are a high school, college, or university student. Book review writing might seem like a simple task, but it requires excellent analyzing and critical thinking skills.

But, not everyone can crack this task easily. They might need additional help from expert book review writers. That’s why our professional essay writing service offers book review writing help whenever you need it. 

Professional essay writers at MyPerfectWords.com can help you with all your academic requests within your specified timeline. Just contact our customer service and we’ll handle all your queries promptly.

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How to Write a Book Review

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Writing a Book Review

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Book reviews typically evaluate recently-written works. They offer a brief description of the text’s key points and often provide a short appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the work.

Readers sometimes confuse book reviews with book reports, but the two are not identical. Book reports commonly describe what happens in a work; their focus is primarily on giving an account of the major plot, characters, and/or main idea of the work. Most often, book reports are a K-12 assignment and range from 250 to 500 words. If you are looking to write a book report, please see the OWL resource, Writing a Book Report.

By contrast, book reviews are most often a college assignment, but they also appear in many professional works: magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. They typically range from 500-750 words, but may be longer or shorter. A book review gives readers a sneak peek at what a book is like, whether or not the reviewer enjoyed it, and details on purchasing the book.

Before You Read

Before you begin to read, consider the elements you will need to included in your review. The following items may help:

  • Author: Who is the author? What else has s/he written? Has this author won any awards? What is the author’s typical style?
  • Genre: What type of book is this: fiction, nonfiction, romance, poetry, youth fiction, etc.? Who is the intended audience for this work? What is the purpose of the work?
  • Title: Where does the title fit in? How is it applied in the work? Does it adequately encapsulate the message of the text? Is it interesting? Uninteresting?
  • Preface/Introduction/Table of Contents: Does the author provide any revealing information about the text in the preface/introduction? Does a “guest author” provide the introduction? What judgments or preconceptions do the author and/or “guest author” provide? How is the book arranged: sections, chapters?
  • Book Jacket/Cover/Printing: Book jackets are like mini-reviews. Does the book jacket provide any interesting details or spark your interest in some way? Are there pictures, maps, or graphs? Do the binding, page cut, or typescript contribute or take away from the work?

As You Read

As you read, determine how you will structure the summary portion or background structure of your review. Be ready to take notes on the book’s key points, characters, and/or themes.

  • Characters: Are there characters in the work? Who are the principal characters? How do they affect the story? Do you empathize with them?
  • Themes/Motifs/Style: What themes or motifs stand out? How do they contribute to the work? Are they effective or not? How would you describe this author’s particular style? Is it accessible to all readers or just some?
  • Argument: How is the work’s argument set up? What support does the author give for her/findings? Does the work fulfill its purpose/support its argument?
  • Key Ideas: What is the main idea of the work? What makes it good, different, or groundbreaking?
  • Quotes: What quotes stand out? How can you demonstrate the author’s talent or the feel of the book through a quote?

When You Are Ready to Write

Begin with a short summary or background of the work, but do not give too much away. Many reviews limit themselves only to the first couple of chapters or lead the reader up to the rising action of the work. Reviewers of nonfiction texts will provide the basic idea of the book’s argument without too much detailed.

The final portion of your review will detail your opinion of the work. When you are ready to begin your review, consider the following:

  • Establish a Background, Remember your Audience: Remember that your audience has not read the work; with this in mind, be sure to introduce characters and principles carefully and deliberately. What kind of summary can you provide of the main points or main characters that will help your readers gauge their interest? Does the author’s text adequately reach the intended audience? Will some readers be lost or find the text too easy?
  • Minor principles/characters: Deal only with the most pressing issues in the book. You will not be able to cover every character or idea. What principles/characters did you agree or disagree with? What other things might the author have researched or considered?
  • Organize: The purpose of the review is to critically evaluate the text, not just inform the readers about it. Leave plenty room for your evaluation by ensuring that your summary is brief. Determine what kind of balance to strike between your summary information and your evaluation. If you are writing your review for a class, ask your instructor. Often the ratio is half and half.
  • Your Evaluation: Choose one or a few points to discuss about the book. What worked well for you? How does this work compare with others by the same author or other books in the same genre? What major themes, motifs, or terms does the book introduce, and how effective are they? Did the book appeal to you on an emotional or logical way?
  • Publisher/Price: Most book reviews include the publisher and price of the book at the end of the article. Some reviews also include the year published and ISBN.

When making the final touches to your review, carefully verify the following:

  • Double-check the spelling of the author name(s), character names, special terms, and publisher.
  • Try to read from the vantage point of your audience. Is there too much/enough summary? Does your argument about the text make sense?
  • Should you include direct quotes from the reading? Do they help support your arguments? Double-check your quotes for accuracy.

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Book Review Examples

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Let's look at a book review example

As discussed in our article explaining how to write a book review , book reviews are very different from book reports. In order to illustrate what a book review is, we have provided a book review example for your reference. 

Here is an example of a book review opening

" The Devil's Company , a treat for lovers of historical fiction, sees the return of Benjamin Weaver in his third exciting romp through the varied and sometimes surreal landscape of 18th-century London. Weaver is an endearing protagonist, a former pugilist and investigator for hire whom we first met in David Liss's A Conspiracy of Paper (1999)."

In just a few short lines, reviewer Frank Tallis has told us about the genre, setting, and main character of this novel.

He concludes the favorable review by saying, "Historical fiction is mostly smoke and mirrors. Modern writers really don't know what it was like to live in the past—no matter how much research they do—so the success of the enterprise depends largely on creating a convincing illusion. Liss rises to this challenge with great skill in this accomplished, atmospheric and thoughtful novel."

This book review example illustrates another important question to be addressed in the review: how does the work compare to others similar to it? Does the book contribute to a particular field or genre, or is the book lacking in quality compared to the works of other writers?

Now that you have an idea of how to write a book review, try one of your own. Don't forget to send it in for an English academic editing . Good luck!

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How to Write a Book Review: Writing Guide, Structure & Examples

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A book review is a critical evaluation of a book that provides a brief summary and  discusses its strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of a book review is to help readers decide whether or not to read the book. You should provide insight into the book's content and assess its significance.

Writing a book review is an essential skill that every student must possess. In particular, your teacher may require you to prepare a book review to widen your knowledge of a subject matter or let you practice evaluating ideas critically. Follow this article to discover how to review a book and complete such projects easily. Even if you have never written reviews before, with our step-by-step guidelines, you will understand the basics. Book reviews examples are also offered to bolster your grasp of key points. As a book review writer , you might use our recommendations to express your opinion and make your writing shine. Let’s get started!

What Is a Book Review: Definition

A book review is a detailed assessment of text based on content, plot and writing style. It involves thoroughly describing, analyzing, and evaluating what a text means. Reviews often assess writing quality, topic importance and coverage. Most book reviews are brief and generally include 500-1000 words. However, factors such as your assignment length, manuscript complexity, and overall purpose of an evaluation may lead to longer or shorter papers. Students are mainly asked to write a book review as practice in carefully reading, examining, and forming an informed opinion on a volume’s context and author’s views. Unlike a book critique , reviews are more focused on plot summary and recommendations rather than providing critical analysis . The real value of crafting good book review essays for students is that they enhance critical thinking, writing, and interpretation skills. Commentary is a vital aspect of this task as this enables you to enter into discussion and dialogue with a novelist and other readers.

Purpose of a Book Review

Features of Book Reviews

Formulating book reviews is an important task, as it requires appraising another person’s work. This may have a significant influence on readers because it guides their verdict on whether to consider the text. Thus, knowing how to write a good book review is essential. These components are what makes a good book review:

  • Provide a summary of a manuscript. Offer an overview of its purpose, argument, and perspective. Also, describe your topic and scope. This is an excellent way to introduce your review, as it offers context. Nonetheless, avoid giving too much information by keeping it nice and short.
  • Offer critical evaluation. Assess the key elements such as themes, plot, character, and overall development, depending on the genre. Identify strong points, weaknesses, and how effective an author is in building their work.
  • Give a rating. Recommend whether or not people should value it for its overall quality and authenticity. You can offer your general score using conventional techniques such as “seven out of ten”.

Book Review Outline

It is a good idea to start your paper by writing an outline of a book review. A decent layout usually begins with a heading or bibliographic data specifying the full title, publication place and date, author, and publisher. The second part of the structure of a book review is an introduction, consisting of a brief overview of the text, its purpose or audience, and your thesis statement or key observation.  The next section of your book review template is the body in which you describe the analysis and assessment of the manuscript. Here, describe its contents, argument, presentation, and evidence before offering your evaluation. A conclusion section follows where you tie together all raised points and offer your comments about the work. Finally, include a citation page for what you reviewed and any other sources used.  Here is a book review outline example:

  • Discuss the cover and title
  • Mention the author and date of publication
  • Present a thesis statement focusing on the central points
  • Provide a brief plot summary
  • Present your main point
  • Include supporting quotations
  • Discuss the quotes and symbolism
  • Wrap up your key points
  • Share your final opinion
  • Give recommendations

Things to Consider Before Writing a Book Review

As with all other essay genres that students complete, writing a book review requires considering several components. Therefore, if you are interested in knowing how to write a book review , make sure you attend to these aspects before beginning:

  • Author Within your book review essay, you must discuss who the novelist is and their previous works concerning your analysis. For example, you can identify the author’s style, prizes or rewards, and what they are popular for.
  • Genre Book reviews also include a genre. Examples are history, romance, fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and science fiction, among others. This helps you recognize the work’s audience and overall purpose.
  • Title In most cases, your heading corresponds to a text’s label. However, you can go further by examining how relevant a headline is to the work’s purpose. Maybe it conveys a specific message or reveals important themes.
  • Main theme and ideas Your book review must highlight its central points. Evaluate how they are explored. Are they examined deeply or trivially? Besides, assess if it includes any repetitive motifs.
  • Argument What is the author’s main argument or assumptions and conclusions? What evidence is used to support these claims? Also, identify if they are valid.
  • Writing style Here, explore the major aspects of an author’s style, such as word choice and dialogue setup. Explain or assess how it fits into the broader literary domain.
  • Plot Writing an academic book review also requires that you locate the main catalyst of the work’s contents or story. Describe any subplots and explain what happens as the action rises.
  • Characters You should also recognize the main characters and their motivations. Additionally, explain if they are empathetic or convincingly drawn.
  • Literary devices What techniques of analysis are used? Examples include allusions, sense appeal, quotations, imagery, metaphor, personification, characterization, dialogue, symbolism, etc.
  • Quotations You can include short quotes as examples to get your points across when writing book reviews. This allows your reader to see exactly what you are talking about. Practice carefulness and avoid long quotes as they suppress your analysis and take up large spaces. Check our guide on how to cite a quote if you have questions.

Questions to Ask While Reading a Book

An initial step before starting to write your book review is engaging in the active reading of what will be evaluated. Do it once or a couple of times to understand what it is about. Composing an academic book review without going through this phase is unwise because it is like going to an exam without studying a course or unit. Ask yourself these questions as you dig into the manuscript:

  • What is its genre?
  • Do you know anything about who wrote it?
  • Can you identify the main themes? Are they conveyed well?
  • What is the main argument?
  • What is the exact topic or subject?
  • How are the arguments supported and structured?
  • Can you identify how the events and characters relate to the subject matter?
  • Does it contain a major conflict? How does this develop throughout the work?
  • The author was trying to accomplish what?
  • How has it helped you understand the topic? How do you feel about the text?

How to Write a Book Review Step-By-Step

Once you have answered the aforementioned questions and made assessments and observations, it is time to start writing analysis. To do this, you must be familiar with how to write a book review. Specifically, you should understand what to do, beginning from assessing the report to composing your review up to writing a conclusion. Below is a step-by-step description of how to do a book review:

1. Read a Book and Take Notes

The first phase of composing a book review involves reading it and taking notes on key points. Start by attending closely to the preface and introduction sections because most authors describe the reasons for writing, their views, and the perspectives of any contributors here. Consider the structure and table of contents to get a quick overview of what is inside. In addition, look at any graphics to gain insights into what strategies are used to enhance meanings and which kinds of readers are targeted. Go through the summaries and abstracts to understand an author’s viewpoint. Note down your observations, including the logic of what is presented, organization, and structure.

Writing Notes for a Book Review While Reading

Additionally, identify if the information is new or developed based on previous works and existing ideas. Assessment should also include your view about how simple or hard it is to get a novelist’s standpoint and why. These transcripts will enable you to review a book effectively by revealing how distinctive it is and to what extent the author conveyed its motive. Learn more about how to write an academic book review in the sections below.

2. Develop an Outline of a Book Review

Writing an outline for a book review before constructing the actual piece helps ensure your work fulfills its goals. This is the basis of your entire task as it includes the major points you will address and gives you a reference point as you complete your schoolwork. A professional book review structure consists of at least five paragraphs. The main elements are the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Your academic book review template must cover all the primary arguments to be discussed, such as plot details, characters, themes, and other essential parts. Below you can see an example of how a book review can be outlined. Check best practices on how to outline an essay or review to organize your work properly. 

Example of a Book Review Outline

3. Write a Book Review Introduction

Start your book review with an anecdote or hook that conveys your argument succinctly. However, you can begin differently based on your audience and argument. Generally, you must include the author’s name, manuscript title, and primary theme. Besides, identify the work’s context in your book review introduction as this informs your claim. Also, offer relevant information about who the writer is and their stand in their field. Moreover, if you are not conversant with how to write a review of a book, remember that your thesis and that of the text are stated here.

How to Write a Book Review Introduction Example

Below is an introduction of a book review example. Examine it carefully and critically to deepen your understanding of composing this section.

John Boyne’s novel, The Boy in The Striped Pajamas, is based on real events during the Second World War. Published in 2006, it offers excellent information to teenagers who want to expand their historical knowledge. The novel follows a nine-year-old youngster, Bruno, whose father works as a Nazi soldier at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The story’s unfolding reveals what a curious boy lived during this desperate period in Germany.

4. Include a Brief Plot Summary

Next, write a book review summary to provide your audience with some background. Focus on pertinent events that occur throughout it, as this gives context. Be cautious here by not revealing the climax or ending because this does not form a major part of your analysis as you write your book review. Thus, keep this section short and brief, probably not more than two paragraphs, unless you are preparing an extended piece. Remember to prioritize your evaluation part. Your audience can also influence the necessary amount of synopsis. For example, if they have not read the work, you may need to offer a good summary. Nonetheless, if they have already gone through it, you can make a book review by examining more subtle arguments and highlighting your claim.

Example of Book Review Summary

Have a look at this example of a good book review summary:

Bruno, a nine-year-old boy, lives in a large house with his parents, sister, and maid during WW2 in Berlin. One day they all move to rural Poland occupied by Nazis after his father is promoted. Bruno identifies a concentration camp close to where they live but thinks it is a farm. A private tutor is allowed to teach him and his sister antisemitism and Nazi propaganda, but he struggles to understand lessons. He later befriends another young boy who lives on another side of a barbed wire fence.

5. Make an Assessment and Critique a Book

This is the main portion of a book review and includes your judgment and appraisal of what you read. You formulated a thesis at the beginning of the book review paper, which represents your view. Now, explain your reasoning. This is also a time for considering your notes and adding details from the manuscript, such as key themes, characters, and the author’s point of view. Here is how to write a book review essay for this segment:

  • Which writing style is used? Emphasize precise usage of words and sentences, text flow, clarity, and cohesion.
  • Describe how it affected you and if it changed any of your feelings or opinions.
  • Explain whether the author met their purpose, if others should read the work, and why.
  • Did the author describe facts or attempt to persuade the audience regarding the validity of a specific issue?
  • Was it suitable for the intended readers? How interesting was it?

Book Evaluation Example

This example gives you an idea of how to write a book evaluation:

The novel is an excellent revelation for all as it describes the Holocaust events and terrors objectively. Its narration from two perspectives simultaneously was very entertaining. For example, initially, it involved a story from Bruno’s view in the course of the war, including which hardships were endured. Then, the same character was also used in telling a story from the view of being held in a Nazi camp. Here, the examination focuses on how prisoners were treated and the horrible conditions they lived in.

6. Make a Book Recommendation

After evaluating and critiquing the text, it is now time to reveal your thoughts about it. Writing a good book review requires that you identify or explain in this section how suitable it is to your audience. In other words, who will be interested in reading this work? Also, explain in your book review assignment whether you liked or disliked it and why. Ascertain which type of people would love it because not every text is right for everyone. Even if you disliked it, this does not mean that the manuscript is not appealing to others. Therefore, make your review of a book useful by helping people discover it. Besides, identify any surprises you encountered.

Book Recommendation Example

The following sample demonstrates how to write a book recommendation:

Being majorly fictional, this text contains numerous factual elements and describes a lot of ideas and themes requiring mature individuals to deduce and understand properly. Therefore, I do not recommend it to youngsters under 12 years old. However, if you want to gain better insights into the dark events of the Second World War, then this is a perfect copy for you. Its only downside is that the novel does not offer adequate details about events and themes.

7. Write a Conclusion of a Book Review

Your knowledge of how to write book reviews will be incomplete without understanding this section. In particular, you need a strong ending, just like any other writing task you have done previously. So, you have a basic idea about how to write a conclusion for a book review. Specifically, make your final appraisal without introducing new evidence. Nonetheless, you can include new thoughts that go beyond the manuscript if they extend your argument’s logic. In this part, you need to balance what you wrote and found into a single assessment. Ask yourself, what do all summaries and analyses add up to? Also, identify if additional research is required on the topic now that the text is written. Remember to highlight the work’s contribution to its field. Ensure to leave your audience with a well-justified and articulated final evaluation.

Book Review Conclusion Example

Still stuck or need a sample to jog your memory? Look at this example of a book review conclusion:

While the author’s style is plain and natural, there are some weaknesses and errors in how he develops his work. However, this does not stop the author from answering many questions and offering valuable views into the horrors of WWII for young people. His argument is vitally crucial when understanding and coming to terms with the Holocaust. No teenager in the world should go without being exposed to these disastrous events.

Book Review Format

When professors assign tasks, they often require you to comply with a specified design. You may also be left to select an appropriate layout from major styles such as Chicago, APA, or MLA. If you are not asked to use any one particular citation, keep in mind that the format of book reviews depends on your discipline. Therefore, find out how to format a book review from your school department.  Do not forget to format your citations accordingly. We advise reading more articles on how to cite a book in APA or MLA, should you need any help.

Book Review Examples

Examples of book reviews are provided below. Click on each one and explore sample templates in more detail. Please, take your time to read all samples since they highlight some key components of writing this type of work. Also, understand that a particular academic book review example is intended to help you practice your analysis skills, enhance your writing skills, and develop your knowledge of reviewing books. Example of book review essay 1

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Sample book review 2

Book review essay example 3

Tips on How to Write Book Review

Your approach to composing a book review will vary and depend on what type of work and genre you are analyzing. However, when assessing a text, focus on how an author treats dialogue, setting, plot, and characters. In addition to viewing a book review sample for extra ideas, keep these tips in mind:

  • Characters Are they believable, different, or similar during dialogue? Can you tell one from another?
  • Plot Is it interesting enough? Does it emerge as original or has numerous dull parts? Identify if it has unresolved issues or is confusing. Remember that you do not know how to write a great book review if you cannot understand the plot.
  • Comparison Think about other works in the same genre. How does this volume compare to theirs?
  • Setting Can you visualize or imagine the described action? How is the setting used to create a mood?
  • Writing style What style is used in developing the text? Is there a consistent style throughout?

Book Review Writing Checklist

Here is a checklist about how to write a book review for school or college. Use it to examine your book review or get another student or peer to assist you:

  • checkbox Essential biographical details are provided.
  • checkbox My introduction is interesting.
  • checkbox I have identified the author and text title/type in my introduction.
  • checkbox I stated what the work is about and offered adequate background information.
  • checkbox I mentioned the book’s thesis and stated my claim.
  • checkbox I described key points in the body, such as summary, purpose, arguments, intended audience, layout, organization, and sources.
  • checkbox I backed up my description with evidence or quotations.
  • checkbox I critically evaluated key areas.
  • checkbox I discussed all strengths and weaknesses and summarized them.
  • checkbox I included my rating and recommendations.
  • checkbox I restated my thesis and offered a memorable ending.

Final Thoughts on How to Write a Book Review

This article described the whole process of reviewing a book. Completing these types of tasks should not be complicated or demanding if you follow the discussed guidelines and tips comprehensively. Cement your understanding by checking out how to write a book review example from a list of samples provided previously. Pay attention to how key ideas from this guide are implemented. Also, don’t forget to explore all the examples of good book reviews for a complete overview. There is no need for you to seek more information outside once you have read all the segments. Just start writing your assignment.

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FAQ About Book Reviews

1. what is the purpose of a book review.

Book reviews usually inform readers about a specific volume’s purpose, argument, and quality. They also explain how it fits into the existing literature. This can be helpful to others who have not read the work so that they can choose whether to go through it or if it’s worth their time and effort.

2. What to include in a book review?

The elements of a book review include a citation, introduction, relevance and intended audience, a brief plot summary or main arguments, critique, evaluation and importance, recommendation, and conclusion. The review offers a critical analysis, assessment, and connection to other relevant works. A reviewer also provides personal views and recommendations.

3. How to start a book review?

Start a book review by reading the work to understand elements such as writing style, plot, characters, literary devices, and the main argument. Then, summarize the major claims made throughout the manuscript by explicitly stating them in your introduction. Also, offer relevant context for your analysis and declare your thesis.

4. How to end a book review?

Finish your book review by giving your overall impression of the work. Conclude and summarize the strengths and weaknesses you found, demonstrate how useful the text is, identify its contribution to the wider field, and offer your recommendations. In addition, mention the type of audience who will benefit from reading it.

5. How long should a book review be?

Traditionally, a book review is usually about 500-1000 words long. However, be sure to have a clear idea regarding your assignment expectations since specific tasks mostly have guidelines. In general, however, most evaluations will not exceed 1000 words.

6. What to avoid when writing a book review?

These are what to avoid when writing your book review:

  • Retelling a story without an in-depth analysis.
  • Summarizing the text only without critical evaluation.
  • Using imprecise language.
  • Providing harsh evaluations rather than constructive assessments.
  • Not using evidence to back up your views.

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The Handmaid’s Tale, Book Review Example

Authored in 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a dystopian fiction that has often been compared to Orwell’s 1984. The book was written in response to the rise [...]

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👀 Book Review Example

🔗 references, ❓ what is a book review.

A book review is a form of literary criticism. There are several important elements to consider when writing one, such as the author’s style and themes of interest. The two most popular types are short summary reviews and critical reviews, which are longer.

The two most popular types are short summary reviews and critical reviews, which are longer.

Summary Book Review

The format of a book review depends on the purpose of your writing. A short summary review will not include any in-depth analysis. It’s merely a descriptive piece of writing that overviews key information about the book and its author. An effective summary review consists of:

  • Reference to a chosen book in the form of a citation.
  • A few words on the book’s purpose.
  • Description of the main themes, ideas, and issues highlighted by the author.
  • Brief information about other works on this topic, if applicable.
  • A note about the author and visual materials of the book, along with its structure.

Critical Book Review

A critical book review is much longer than its summary counterpart and looks more like an analytical essay. You may be asked to write one as a college student. It includes:

  • Book citation and a hook in the introduction.
  • A few words about the author’s intentions.
  • An academic description of the main ideas and themes.
  • Mention of errors in the text, if you found any.
  • Discussion of the chosen book’s significance and how it has influenced the field.
  • Some information about the author and the physical content of the book.
  • Description of the audience and whether the writer’s style and ideas are engaging.

🧩 Book Review Outline

Check out the book review outline template below to learn more about structuring your paper.

Introduction

The introduction of a book review should include some background information and your thesis statement.

  • What is this book about?
  • Who is the author?
  • What were the reasons for writing this book?
  • Who is this book for?
  • What is the general problem the book addresses?

Brief book summary

A brief summary should provide an outline of the book’s main ideas or events.

  • What are the main themes/ideas of the book?
  • What is the plot?
  • Who are the characters?
  • What is the major emphasis of the work?

Critical review 

A critical review should focus on your evaluation of the author’s approach to writing about a particular issue.

  • What did you like/dislike in the book?
  • What are the book’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do you agree/disagree with? Why?
  • How does this book compare to other books on this topic?
  • What matters does the book leave out?

The conclusion of a book review should finish with your personal assessment of the work.

  • Has the author achieved the purpose of writing the book?
  • Is this book worth reading?
  • To whom would you recommend this book?
  • What is your final opinion about it?
  • What steel needs to be written on this subject?

Book Review Outline Example

We have prepared for you a book review outline example on Looking for Alaska by John Green. Check it out:

  • Hook: Have you ever searched for meaning amidst the chaos of teenage life? John Green’s Looking for Alaska embarks on that very journey, unveiling the messy realities of adolescence.
  • Overview of the book.
  • Information about the author.
  • Thesis statement: In Looking for Alaska , John Green skillfully crafts a narrative that delves into the turbulent journey of adolescence, exploring themes of friendship, identity, and the quest for meaning.
  • Introduction of the protagonist, Miles Halter.
  • Introduction of other characters and their roles in Halter’s life.
  • Key events of the book.
  • Green’s writing style and its effectiveness in portraying the turbulent emotions and confusion of adolescence.
  • The character development of Miles and his journey of self-discovery, grief, and understanding.
  • Exploration of how themes of friendship, identity, and the quest for meaning are depicted throughout the narrative.
  • Restated thesis.
  • Brief summary of main points.
  • Recommendation: I would recommend this thought-provoking book to fans of realistic fiction that doesn’t shy away from difficult topics.

📋 Book Review Format

Here are several practical tips that can aid you in formatting your book review:

  • Start with the book citation. Provide the necessary publication information about the book, including the author’s name, the full title of the book, and other elements required by your chosen citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).
  • Italicize the book title in the text. Whenever you mention the book title in your review, remember to type it in italics without using quotation marks. However, if you include the title of a book chapter, enclose it in quotation marks and don’t italicize it.
  • Use a readable font. Type your book reviews using a 12-pt Arial or Times New Roman font.
  • Apply standard document settings. These include 1-inch margins on all sides, double spacing, and flush left paragraph alignment.
  • Use in-text citations. Always cite the information borrowed from other authors. This way, your readers will understand the origin of your ideas and distinguish your thoughts from those of others.
  • Keep your review to 500-1500 words. When the professor does not indicate how many words to include in your book review, keep it to 2-5 double-spaced pages.

✍️ How to Write a Book Review?

The structure of a book review is like any other essay. That said, the process of writing one has its own idiosyncrasies. So, before moving to the three parts of the review (introduction, main body, and conclusion), you should study the chosen piece and make enough notes to work with.

Step #1: Choose a Book and Read It

Being interested in a book you’re about to analyze is one thing. Reading it deeply is quite another.

Before you even dive into the text proper, think about what you already know about the book. Then, study the table of contents and make some predictions. What’s your first impression?

Now, it’s time to read it! Don’t take this step lightly. Keep a note log throughout the reading process and stop after each chapter to jot down a quick summary. If you find any particular point of interest along the way and feel you might want to discuss it in the review, highlight it to make it easier to find when you go back through the text. If you happen to have a digital copy, you can even use a shorten essay generator and save yourself some time.

Answering the following questions can also help you with this process.

How does the book compare to others you might have read or heard about on the same subject?
Did it meet your expectations?
How clear are the ?
To what would the target audience pay more attention?

Step #2: Create Your Book Review Outline

A solid outline should be the foundation of any worthy book review. It includes the key points you want to address and gives you a place to start from (and refer back to) throughout the writing process.

You are expected to produce at least five paragraphs if you want your review to look professional, including an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion .

While analyzing your notes , consider the questions below.

What’s the book’s theme? How well can you understand it?
How engaging is the plot? Was there ever a point where you felt like putting the book down?
How effective is the author’s writing technique? Can you read anything between the lines?
Are the characters well-developed? Is their behavior logical?
Is the book worth recommending to others? How can you tell that it’s good?
What could be improved? Here’s your chance to criticize the author.

Step #3: Write Your Book Review Introduction

With a layout firmly in place, it’s time to start writing your introduction. This process should be straightforward: mention the name of the book and its author and specify your first impression. The last sentence should always be your thesis statement, which summarizes your review’s thrust and critical findings.

Step #4: Write Your Book Review Body

Include at least three main ideas you wish to highlight. These can be about the writing style, themes, character, or plot. Be sure to support your arguments with evidence in the form of direct quotes (at least one per paragraph). Don’t be afraid to paraphrase the sentences that feel off. It’s better to aknowledge the mistakes yourself than have someone else point them out.

Step #5: Write Your Book Review Conclusion

Compose a brief summary of everything you wrote about in the main body. You should also paraphrase your thesis statement . For your closing sentence, comment on the value of the book. Perhaps it served as a source of useful insight, or you just appreciate the author’s intention to shed light on a particular issue.

Now you know how to write a book review. But if you need some more inspiration, check out the following sample review, which follows the basic outline described above.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Book Review Example

Mary Shelley’s is a perennial classic and has been translated into many languages. Few know, however, that it came into existence thanks to a contest that Shelley and her friends organized to entertain themselves. In addition to setting the stage for much horror fiction to follow, the book highlights timeless themes of revenge, prejudice, and excessive ambitions.
Victor Frankenstein becomes deeply obsessed with the idea of conquering the power of nature. So intent is he on knowing the secret of life that he distances himself from society until he finally succeeds. Only when he sees the Monster he has created does he realize the magnitude of his mistake: “I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished.”The abandoned Monster’s tragic fate appears to be much more complicated than it seems at first glance. He despises the whole world for rejecting him and seeks revenge against his creator. Such feelings become his sense of life: “revenge, henceforth dearer than the light of food.” Thus, a vicious cycle of hate is set in motion as Victor chases the Monster to exact revenge on him for killing his family.Despite his fearsome appearance, the Monster is gentle and kind inside. But he knows that humans are naturally biased and will always judge his exterior: “All men hate the wretched.” There is a hidden irony in the fact that the Monster decides to act the part of the dangerous creature people take him to be.
The themes of are still relevant in today’s world. We continue to be overly ambitious, judging every book by its cover against unreachable ideals of beauty and success. But our failure to forgive and empathize with others creates a chain of hate and revenge that is hard to break. Through the moral lessons of her fiction, Mary Shelley managed to show us that the horrors of real life are even darker than those on the printed page.

If you want more examples, check out the list below!

  • “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”: Book Review
  • The Great Gatsby: A Book Review and Summary  
  • Book Review: “They Say I Say”  
  • Book Review “Religious, Feminist, Activist ” by Laurel Zwissler
  • “Tell My Horse” by Zora Neale Hurston Book Review
  • “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman Book Review  

Book Review Essay Topics

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: book review.
  • The symbolic nature of the Canadian consumption culture in The Donut: A Canadian History by S. Penfold.
  • The key lessons of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
  • Big Talk, Small Talk by Shola Kaye : a guide to effective communication.
  • Review of the book The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
  • The main ideas promoted in Thinking About Crime: Sense and Sensibility in American Penal Culture by M. Tonry.
  • Exposition of young boys’ problems in Nikkah’s Our Boys Speak .
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf: book review.
  • Discuss the message to future entrepreneurs in Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog .
  • The main ideas of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
  • Magical realism in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Juno Diaz.
  • Book review: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.
  • Psychological struggles of identity and isolation in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
  • The principle of negotiation in the book Getting to Yes .
  • Analyze the symbolism in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 .
  • The role of family in Montana 1948 .
  • Weaving the Web by Tim Berners-Lee: book review.
  • Discuss the main topic of the book Death of a Salesman .
  • Tragedy of the family in A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor.
  • Realistic features of Afghanistan in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
  • Review of the book Montley Fool Money Guide .
  • Description of the gap between two cultures in The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.
  • The effect of Puritan beliefs in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown .
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad as a prominent example of symbolism.
  • The philosophical value of Oedipus the King by Sophocles.
  • Discuss the description of gradual personality changes in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat .
  • Review of the play Much Ado About Nothing by W. Shakespeare.
  • Analyze the core theme of Sherman Alexie’s book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian .
  • Family values and culture preservation issues in J.D. Vance Book Hillbilly Elegy .
  • Problems of teenagers’ behavior in Nothing but the Truth by Avi.
  • The role of women in society in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar .
  • Satire on the Victorian society customs in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde .
  • Danger of obsession with new technologies in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Birthmark .
  • Describe the controversial messages of Why Don’t You Dance by Raymond Carver .
  • Examine the central problem of the novel Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility by Patricia Santana.
  • Review of the book Billy Budd by Herman Melville.
  • The fundamental philosophical problems of perception and consciousness in The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares.
  • Discuss the role of the illusory world Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie .
  • Gender roles in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.
  • Analyze the main topic of Death by Landscape by Margaret Atwood.
  • Book Review – The New York Times
  • Book Reviews – UNC Writing Center
  • Writing a Book Review – USC Writing Center
  • Books | The Guardian
  • Book Reviews : NPR – NPR
  • Book Reviews // Purdue Writing Lab
  • Book Reviews | Nature
  • The New York Review of Books: Home
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I need a seven page Book report on Booker T. Washington. Instructions below from instructor title, your name, and then seven paragraphs and seven pages – no more no less.

get rid of the outline format.

They combine your ideas into seven paragraphs.

Each paragraph that has quotes should have a topic sentence followed by the five sentences with quotes and endnotes, followed by the concluding sentence.

You do not need any quotes in the introduction or in the summary.

So seven paragraphs total.

Each paragraph needs to be 13 – 17 lines, lines on a page and not sentences.

So, delete the outline format.

Combine your ideas into seven paragraphs.

Make sure that each paragraph has between 13–17 lines.

And make sure your overall length is in seven pages, no more no less.

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  • How to Write a Book Review Example
  • How to Write the Best Book Review Example

The Necessary Preparations Before Writing

A structure of your book review, why make a draft, what is a heading, introduction, what about a summary, great suggestions for successful writingit’s necessary to cover these basic elements in your book review:, character development, a great example of a book review, final words.

When teachers ask you to write a good book review example, you should understand that it's a summary of a particular story. Before you start completing this academic assignment , read a book that professors assign you to make it easier to determine what it's all about. Otherwise, your essay won't make any sense. There are some guidelines that can help you make the entire process simple and fast to complete and become a better writer even for bibliography .

Many students don't know how to create a great book review example and earn high grades after its submission. Are you one of them? Use these tips to prepare for writing a good analysis:

  • Research the author,
  • Read a book very attentively,
  • Take important notes,
  • Determine major themes,
  • Notice weak points,
  • Highlight unique ideas,
  • State your opinion.
Get some basic knowledge about the author to open up your mind to what to expect from a particular book. Read it a few times and take notes. They should be relevant and essential to document every important part of the story, including its plot, themes, characters, and others. Avoid referring to a book a lot.

Relate major themes to the modern world, see how they connect with each other, and define why the author decided to focus on them. Pay attention to all weak points. You need to highlight them in your book review. Focus on the uniqueness of a given story and determine what differentiates it from other literary pieces in the same genre. It can be a failure or a success. State your opinion about it.

There are different formats that you can use to structure this type of paper. It is not as simple as a persuasive essay is. Take into account the following, no matter what style you choose:

  • Make a draft,
  • The heading,
  • An introductory part,

The first stage of writing a perfect book review is making its draft or a rough outline that involves gathering and organizing your notes. Place them in chronological order. Decide what to include in your paper. Start drafting with no corrections to end up with a skeleton of your future book review and get a clear insight into how its final copy should be. Determine the best structure to use.

To create a good heading on a separate page, write the title of your chosen book and its author in bold and capital letters. 

In the introductory paragraph , state that your essay is about a specific book that you’ve read and start with a few sentences that describe its major themes and plot points. Don’t reveal important character plays and plot twists. Mention the author and other works. Make sure that the introduction doesn’t contain any spoilers because its basic purpose is just to lay a strong foundation for other paragraphs. Do not forget about transitionsal words .

It includes important details about a book. While writing a summary, observe an outline of your paper and show how the author told the story and how you feel about reading it.

  • Character development,

Who are your favorite characters? Explain to your target readers why they stand out and mention whether they feel real to you and how well they grow in the story. Show their development pattern from the start.

A good book has a lot of suspense until its end and its author should keep readers guessing what will happen next. Choose your favorite part, quote the most interesting phrases, and determine if the author brought out different emotions, such as sadness or happiness. Mention if the story was interesting or not. Do not forget to check and edit your book or paper, grammar and punctuation are very important.

The main theme is what a specific book is all about, and some of the most popular ones include:

  • Leadership,
  • Relationships.

Read a prologue to get a clear idea of what to expect when reading it and identify whether the author stuck to a major theme. This is what sells a story.

Behind Closed Doors is a book that tries to answer many important questions and describes what it’s like to be a member of the group of people who believe that they maintain the only pure religious path. Ngaire Thomas is its author. Her style is non-judgmental. In the story, she describes her personal experiences and acknowledgment of the right of Exclusive Brethren to follow a unique religious path.

The plot starts with her childhood. Ngaire is different from other kids because of her strict upbringing and long dresses, but she likes her school as it’s the only place where she can stop pretending. There are no radios. Life focuses on the Bible.

When she meets her future husband and they marry, church members can’t drink and eat with outsiders or participate in other associations. Even pets are called idols. The plot also describes confession madness. Priests are religious police and they examine the lives of other people like investigators, while church members must confess to both real and imagines sins.

It’s hard not to like the author’s forgiving style. She answers many questions that matter. Her story provides readers with an absorbing and valuable insight into a religious path that most of them would count inaccessible.

Use these simple tips and a helpful sample to write a perfect book review and impress your professors. Order it from online professionals if you need help.

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COMMENTS

  1. 17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

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  2. How to write a book review: format guide, & examples

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  3. 10+ Book Review Examples for Students of All Academic Levels

    The first step is to plan and create an outline that includes all the points that you will have to cover in the review. Don't forget to include all the information about the characters, plot information, and some other parts of the chosen book. The three parts of a book review are: 1. Provide a Summary.

  4. Book Reviews

    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. ... 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 ...

  5. How to Write a Book Review: Structure, Writing Tips, Template

    Avoid Spoilers: Do not reveal major plot twists or the book's ending. Use Your Own Words: Write the summary in your own language to maintain originality and avoid plagiarism. Provide Context: Include the book's genre, setting, and relevant background information to help readers understand the summary.

  6. How to Write a Book Review: The Complete Guide

    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 ...

  7. How to Write a Book Review (Meaning, Tips & Examples)

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    Book blog reviews — short personal essays about the book; and; Instagram reviews — one or two-paragraph reviews captioned under a nice photo. ... 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 ...

  9. How to Write a Book Review: The Ultimate Guide

    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.

  10. PDF How to Write a Critical Book Review

    The basic tasks in a multi-book review are the same, but you also have to compare the books and consider their strengths and weaknesses in relation to each other. These essays are usually longer than a review of a single book. If you are reviewing a work of literature, review the work as you would a primary source on the period you're studying.

  11. How to Write a Book Review: Formats, Steps, and Free Samples

    Choose a book review format. Pick an appropriate option from the list above. Take into account your instructions, personal preferences, word limit, and book genre. 5. Specify your topic and thesis statement. Without a clear understanding of your purpose, you won't be able to compose a high-quality book review sample.

  12. 25 Book Review Templates and Ideas to Organize Your Thoughts

    Book Review Templates and Formats Essay-Style. This is a multi-paragraph review, usually with no headers. It's the same format most newspapers and academics use for book reviews. Many essay-style reviews use informal categories in their writing, often discussing setting, writing, characters, and plot in their own paragraphs.

  13. How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps

    Let's look once more at Stefan's review for an example of a rating that includes an explanation of the reviewer's own bias. Bonus tips for writing a book review. Let's wrap up with a few final tips for writing a compelling review. Remember, this isn't a book report. If someone wants the summary of a book, they can read the synopsis.

  14. How To Write A Book Review Essay For SPM

    Step-By-Step Guide To Write A Book Review Essay For SPM. Step 1: Read the question carefully. The first thing to do is to read the essay question carefully so you are clear on what you must include in your SPM book review essay. Pay attention to any keywords in the question. For example, some questions may ask you to share a synopsis of the ...

  15. 18+ Book Review Examples for Various Academic Levels

    Book Review Template. Here is a good book review example for 4th-grade students: "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White — A Heartwarming Tale of Friendship. "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White is a heartwarming tale of friendship that takes us to Zuckerman's farm, where a special pig named Wilbur forms an unlikely bond with Charlotte, a clever ...

  16. Book Reviews

    By contrast, book reviews are most often a college assignment, but they also appear in many professional works: magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. They typically range from 500-750 words, but may be longer or shorter. A book review gives readers a sneak peek at what a book is like, whether or not the reviewer enjoyed it, and details ...

  17. PDF Book Reviews

    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. Above all, a review makes an argument. The most important element of a review is that it is a commentary, not merely a summary.

  18. Book Review Examples

    Here is an example of a book review opening "The Devil's Company, a treat for lovers of historical fiction, sees the return of Benjamin Weaver in his third exciting romp through the varied and sometimes surreal landscape of 18th-century London.Weaver is an endearing protagonist, a former pugilist and investigator for hire whom we first met in David Liss's A Conspiracy of Paper (1999)."

  19. How to Write a Book Review: Steps, Outline & Examples

    1. Read a Book and Take Notes. The first phase of composing a book review involves reading it and taking notes on key points. Start by attending closely to the preface and introduction sections because most authors describe the reasons for writing, their views, and the perspectives of any contributors here.

  20. Book Review Examples for College Students

    The Handmaid's Tale, Book Review Example. Authored in 1985, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is a dystopian fiction that has often been compared to Orwell's 1984. The book was written in response to the rise [...] Pages: 5. Words: 1298.

  21. Book Review Format, Outline, & Example

    Step #4: Write Your Book Review Body. Include at least three main ideas you wish to highlight. These can be about the writing style, themes, character, or plot. Be sure to support your arguments with evidence in the form of direct quotes (at least one per paragraph).

  22. Writing a Book Review Example: Useful Tips and a Sample

    Use these tips to prepare for writing a good analysis: Research the author, Read a book very attentively, Take important notes, Determine major themes, Notice weak points, Highlight unique ideas, State your opinion. Get some basic knowledge about the author to open up your mind to what to expect from a particular book.

  23. Review of Hanusik's "Into the Quiet and the Light"

    Review: Photos, essays tell story of water, life and land loss along Louisiana's coast