How to Write a Book Review

How to write a simple book review.

Most people struggle with writing reviews of products. If you ask them to read a book and do a review, they often are happy to read the book but decline to write a review. What is it about those few words of expression that cause us to balk at writing a review? I am going to cover a simple method that helps me when I write reviews.

I will give you some simple steps to help guide you through the process and ensure you don’t find yourself at a loss for what to say.

  1. Read the book. Remember you can’t review something you haven’t read. If you should dislike the book and not finish it be sure to tell where and why you stopped reading. That is only fair.
  2. After you finish reading the book write three things you really liked about the book. It can be the title, cover art, a specific character, setting or anything that made you enjoy the book.
  3. Write three things you did not enjoy the book. Maybe you did not like a specific character, or you did not like certain words. You don’t have to use this in your review, but if you do make sure you tell the why behind your dislike.
  4. Now take the above likes and dislikes and start writing them into a paragraph. If you really hate the book feel free to focus on the why you dislike it. If you really enjoy the book focus on your likes. You do not have to have both in your review, but if you want to really be helpful, it is good to give constructive criticism. That is when you give in site into what you liked and why as well as telling what you disliked and why. You are not complaining, you are focused on saying where improvement could be made and showing how that development would cause you to enjoy the book more.

Here is an example of a poorly written review:

I hate this book. It is vulgar, and I wish I had not read it!

Here is an example of a well-written review:

I didn’t enjoy this book because of the vulgar language. The content made me uncomfortable, and I regret my choice to read it. I liked the cover art and the title of this book, but the way the subject matter was presented left me unsatisfied as a reader. I would not recommend this book to those who dislike vulgarity and immoral actions.

Here is another poorly written review:

I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down!

Here is another well-written review:

I loved this book! The main character is a lot like me, and I could relate to his struggles. The small town where this book is set is described well, and I felt like I had lived there myself. I think the title is brilliant and the opening chapter really grabbed my interest. I would recommend this book to those who like living in a small town.

Here is an example of a balanced review:

I love this book, it had me from the first paragraph with the description of the small town. The main character was easy for me to relate to and I found myself captivated by his struggles to overcome poverty. I think the title is perfect for this book, but I really don’t like the cover art. Something about the cover made me feel this book would be terrifying, but it is not a horror book at all! It is a sweet romance between two people who fight their way out of the poverty that is destroying their small town. I would like to see the cover reflect their journey more. I also didn’t really like the ending. I was left wondering what happened to them. I hope this is going to be a series and I can get answers as to what happens to them! If it is, I would have liked to see an advertisement telling me to look for book two at the end. As it is, I would definitely recommend this book to my friends. It is perfect for those who love romantic coming of age stories!

That was easy!

There you have it! That my dear reader is how easy a review can be. You do not have to do a lengthy in-depth review to do a good one. You don’t have to love or hate a book to do one either. It is okay to write a review just to practice. Remember those reviews tell others if they will like the book, but most importantly the reviews give us as writers a gage as to what we need to improve on or what you want to see more of! If you liked something specifically tell us so we can keep more of it coming!
Your favorite small town writer,
Deedra Mosley

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