How To Write A Book Review
While many people might love reading books and writing stories, very few have actually taken their hand at crafting a book review. Knowing how to write a proper book review is a skill that can be more beneficial than one might think. If you want to try out writing for a book-related website or want to create your own book blog (which is becoming a popular hobby for those who like writing about reading), knowing how to write a great book review is crucial to experiencing any sort of success in this field.
Writing book reviews on a daily basis is also an easy way to practice your writing skills since it’s not an extremely time-consuming activity and it’s hard to experience writer’s block since you already know what you are supposed to be writing about. You can learn how to expand your vocabulary and strengthen your writing style all while more deeply exploring the books you are reading.
In this post, the elements of a proper book review will be introduced and explained. This, of course, is not a set of rules that have to be strictly followed on a consistent basis; instead, it should be viewed as a way to get familiar with what writing a book review entails. As with most writing, the main point is that it should be both fun and rewarding.
First thing’s first: start off your book review with the title of the book, the name of the author, and a very brief blurb describing the book. You could also include the genre of the book here.
The summary of the book can be as long or as short as you feel necessary. It’s always a good idea to begin with the main premise, and introduce the main characters and the setting. Also, beware of spoilers! It is possible to give a good summary of the book without giving away major plot points or the ending. However, if you do want to include spoilers in your book review, just make sure you warn your readers ahead of time!
Now it’s time to look at a quick checklist! Depending on the particular book, some of the aspects included in this checklist may be extremely important or not important at all. Some can be glossed over, while over may require a long, detailed paragraph. That is up to you to determine.
- Plot. Branching off the summary, you may choose to analyze the plot more deeply. Did the plot live up to the book’s initial premise? Was it unique or was it similar to a book you’ve previously read? Was the plot emotional, engaging, or unrealistic? Also, remember not to give away spoilers.
- Characters. Did you like the characters in the novel? Did you hate them? Were they dynamic and complex, or static and flat? Did any characters feel bland or stereotypical?
- Setting. Some authors can breathe settings to life and are able to make the place itself into a character. Did that happen in the particular book you’re reviewing? Did the setting contribute meaningfully to the overall story?
- Writing Style. How would you describe the writing style – was it clear and precise or did it come off as jumbled and confusing?
- Point of View. Was the story told from the POV of just one character or was it told from the POV of multiple? Was the POV ever confusing?
- Pacing. Did the story feel fast-paced or slow-paced to you? Did the pacing help or harm the story?
- Formatting. Some books may format their story in a unique or daring way. Was that the case for this particular book you’re reviewing? Did you like the formatting?
- What You Liked and What You Didn’t Like. This is pretty self-explanatory.
Make sure to wrap up the book review with your final thoughts, such as:
- Did you love the book, like it, or hate it?
- You can also recap your favorite and least favorite aspects that you have previously mentioned in the post if you want.
- If you liked the book, you always can say that you would ‘recommend’ the book to others who have an interest in the genre.
- As well, you can say if you plan on reading more books that the author has written.
When it comes down to it, your book reviews can be anything that you want them to be! However, these tips can be useful when you are first getting started.
Our staff at Sheepshead Review is still hard at work putting together our Spring 2018 issue! You can stay up-to-date on all things Sheepshead Review by checking out our website and finding us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.