Are you unsure of how to write a book review? Honestly, any kind of constructive review is helpful, even if it’s only a couple of sentences, but it makes it easier to know how to start and what to write about if you have a simple structure to follow.
A simple book review structure
1. Start with a couple of sentences describing what the book is about
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.
2. Discuss what you particularly liked about the book
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?
3. Mention anything you disliked about the book
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 did it focus on a theme you didn’t find interesting?
4. Round up your review
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?
5. Give the book a rating out of five.
Going Deeper: 7 Tips on writing book reviews
Whether you’re a reader wanting to leave a brief review for an author who moved (or infuriated) you, or a book blogger wanting to write something deeper, the video below will give you some ideas for how to approach writing a book review. Authors will also find this a useful for evaluating their own work.
Here’s the topics I cover in the video. Click the links for a detailed examination of the points.
- There are two kinds of reviews. Personal opinion reviews and reviews of writing craftsmanship. The following points for writing reviews on the crafting of a book are covered in the video.
- Point of view. (5:29)
- Plot. (6:44)
- Pacing. (8:18)
- Characterisation. (9:50)
- Worldbuilding. (10:33)
- Prose. (12:33)
Reviewing AIA Publishing’s books
Sign up for the AIA Publishing Book Review Team and get a free Book Reviewer’s Checklist to help you with your book evaluation. If you review for us, you get to read our book for free in return for your review. We’re looking for team members who have an active Amazon account so they can leave a review on Amazon and/or have an active and engaged following on social media. We want people who will talk about our books with their friends. Click here to see what’s involved with being one of our reviewers.
Thanks to Pixabay for the image.