Writing a book review
In your next assignment you will have to write a book review based on the reader you have been working on this semester.
This is the basic structure for the book review:
- First, a review gives the reader a concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose. But without giving any spoilers or revealing plot twists. As a general rule, try to avoid writing in detail about anything that happens from about the middle of the book onwards. If the book is part of a series, it can be useful to mention this, and whether you think you’d need to have read other books in the series to enjoy this one.
- Second, and more importantly, a review offers a critical assessment of the content. This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective or persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.Focus on your thoughts and feelings about the story and the way it was told. You could try answering a couple of the following questions:
- Who was your favourite character, and why?
- Did the characters feel real to you?
- Did the story keep you guessing?
- What was your favourite part of the book, and why?
- Were certain types of scene written particularly well – for example sad scenes, tense scenes, mysterious ones…?
- Did the book make you laugh or cry?
- Did the story grip you and keep you turning the pages?
Talk about why you think it didn’t work for you. For example:
- Did you wish the ending hadn’t been a cliffhanger because you found it frustrating?
- Did you find it difficult to care about a main character, and could you work out why?
- Was the story too scary for your liking, or focused on a theme you didn’t find interesting?
3. Finally, in addition to analyzing the work, a review often suggests whether or not the audience would appreciate it.
Summarise some of your thoughts on the book by suggesting the type of reader you’d recommend the book to. For example: younger readers, older readers, fans of relationship drama/mystery stories/comedy. Are there any books or series you would compare it to?
You can give the book a rating, for example a mark out of five or ten, if you like
Luisa Plaja loves words and books, and she edits the teen book review site Chicklish. Her novels for teenagers include Split by a Kiss, Swapped by a Kiss and Kiss Date Love Hate. She lives in Devon, England, and has two young children
Here you can find some examples of book reviews