How To Write A Book Review

A red-haired girl in a ball gown reading pages from an old manuscript.

For most of us, when we think of book reviews we think about the reports we had to write in school, analysing and dissecting the importance of blue in some boring book we had to read in English class. Ugh.

A review isn’t that. 

A review is your opinion of a book. It doesn’t have to be a long, complicated work of literary art (although some are), it just needs to be honest.

If you’d like to try your hand at writing reviews, here are some tips to make it easier.

1) Keep it short

A review need not be super long, it can in fact be super short. Personally, I like to write short reviews, often less than three sentences. 

A short, concise review can be just as effective as a one that’s several paragraphs long, and it’s much easier to read. 

2) Use the review formula

There isn’t actually a review formula, but if there was, I reckon it’d go something like this.

Did I like the book? What about it did I like? What about it didn’t I like? (If a series) Would I read the next book? Who would I recommend this book to?

Pretty easy, right?

Some people might get hung up on the recommendation part of the formula. If this is you either leave it out or think about what other books, movies or even games this book reminds you of, and mention them. 

3) Hit the highlights

If you don’t know what to write, pick out two or three things that stuck with you after you finished the book. These are the highlights of the story, the aspects that make you love it or hate it. 

Once you’ve identified these high- or lowlights, answer the following. 

  • What where the high/lowlights? 
  • Did you like them or hate them? 
  • Did they want you giggle or cry? 
  • Will they stop you from reading the next book or are you jumping out of your PJs in anticipation?

4) When in doubt, use dot points

This is my go-to solution when I’m stuck, for everything from essays to novels and shopping lists. In fact, this post started as dot points.

When you’re stuck, separate the review formula into headers and answer each section as dot points, jotting down your immediate response to each question.

Voila! You’ve written a review!

How easy was that?!

A review doesn’t have to be pretty or long or even written in complete sentences. It just needs to be your honest thoughts about the book you just read, the movie you watched or the game you played. 

What do you think? Are you ready to give this review business a go? 

Featured image by reaklop2 from Pixabay.

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