Whether you’re a student, a novice blogger, or just someone looking to become a more active user of Goodreads, writing a book review is an important skill to have! Here are six steps for how to write a book review for school and beyond.
1. Begin with a brief summary of the book
This is probably the best way to introduce any review because it gives context. But make sure to not go into too much detail. Keep it short and sweet since an official summary can be found through a quick google search!
2. Pick out the most important aspects of the book
I usually break this down with character, world-building, themes, and plot. But this might vary between books, genres, and your tastes! Dedicate a paragraph to each of these important aspects, discussing how well the author dealt with it, along with what you enjoyed and what you didn’t enjoy.
3. Include brief quotes as examples
Including quotes is always a great idea, because it gives examples for everything that you’re saying! If your review talks about a character being particularly witty, a witty line from the character lets your readers see exactly what kind of witty character you’re dealing with here. But be careful: lengthy quotes can take up big chunks of space and overpower your review. Short quotes will usually get your points across while letting your work shine through.
4. Write a conclusion that summarises everything
Like your introduction, keep your conclusion short and sweet! It should bring up the main points of your review, along with your overall opinion of the book.
5. Find similar books
A great way to wrap up a review is to find similar books to the one you’re reviewing. So you can say, “if you were a fan of X book, I think you’ll definitely like this one!” You can also be more specific, looking at the exact things that might make two books similar. So you can suggest something like…“if you liked that the main character in X book was a kick-ass superhero, then you’ll love the main character of this book!”
6. Give it a star rating
A star rating is obviously encouraged in a lot of review sites, but they’re not necessary! If you do want to give a star rating, you can go the conventional “out of five/ten” route. You could also try something slightly less conventional, and break down your star-rating into different categories for character/plot/world-building, etc.
Now go forth and review! And share any tips you have for how to write a book review in the comments.