How to write book reviews
Table of Contents
In the lives of most authors, writers and even bloggers, books are their life and their soul. If it were not for books, life would possibly not seem feasible. Furthermore, out of every two people who read blogs or material on websites, one of them would be likely to feel deprived if they did not have a book at the ready – either a book they are currently reading or one to look forward to digging into. So, to change the cycle, why not consider writing a review of a book you recently read and give your readers the opportunity to learn.
Perhaps you are not sure what is involved in writing book reviews? If so, you need not worry. Below are ten great tips that should help you on your way!
Our 10 top tips on how to write a book review
- Read the book you intend to review thoroughly
It is not possible to practice as a medical doctor without acquiring the necessary qualifications. Likewise, it is essential for a book reviewer to know their subject well before they start writing and/or sharing information on the subject matter.
- Collect as much information as you can about the book
You might think you know a great deal about a specific book you consider important. However, it is best to gather more information about it from other reviews that have been written on it (possibly reviews you find online) or from sources like Wikipedia. This additional information could turn out to be invaluable.
- Write a rough first draft
Begin by writing a rough or basic outline about the book's plot, any flaws you perceive it to have, or any other elements you think are worth writing about. It is only after this that you should start to think about editing your work and adding more information to it.
- Aim for uniqueness
When you are writing a review of a given book, it is essential your reader does not end up reading someone else's review of it. Reviewers frequently take the easy way out and simply copy the review or information from the book's back cover and cleverly present it as if they had written it themselves!
- Be careful not to reveal the book's entire plot
You might notice that some writers seem to enjoy revealing a book's plot and all its secrets (this happens mostly with fictional works – novels, short stories, and so on). Some people will describe how their enjoyment of a much-anticipated book was spoiled because other readers had revealed most of that book's secrets over the Internet. So do bear in mind how exciting the experience of reading a book is and how important anticipation is and avoid the temptation to reveal the entire plot. Instead, just reveal the amount you feel you would benefit from knowing if you were to read a review of a particular book.
- Enhance your review by adding your own view
The primary purpose of review writing is sharing your views about a book with your readers. Therefore, you should mention all the book's good and bad points and any possible improvements you feel would have been beneficial.
See also: "Top tips for writing article reviews"
- Do not forget the book's author
No doubt you have read book reviews that mentioned everything about the book including its plot. Unfortunately, however, the review writer neglected to say anything about the book's author. Make sure you criticize or credit the author as you see fit. Above all, make sure you do not neglect mentioning him or her altogether. The author, after all, is the person responsible for creating the book and they should certainly not be denied some credit!
- Consider the audience - Aim your review appropriately
If, for example, your reviews concerns a Harry Potter book, it would not be appropriate to post this on a platform that primary deals with technical material. However, it might be helpful if you mentioned the book in such a post or pointed to your review of it. But, generally, it is best not to stray from a site's normal content merely to fill it up!
- Use good judgment
It is important to offer a final opinion concerning your view of the book's worthiness – do you believe readers of your review should or should not spend their money on a particular book? In the event you believe they should not, you should convey this opinion in suitable words.
- Give the book a rating
Some reviewers do not give ratings while others think it is important to do so. If it is the case you like writing book or other types of reviews, it is a very good idea to give the book a rating using, for example, a scale ranging from five to ten. This has the potential to give your readers a clearer view of your views!
Book review sample for free ("Night" by Elie Wiesel)
Eli Wiesel is the author of the book known as Night, which he explains the experience he had with his father at the height of the Holocaust. The book also demonstrates various experiences that the author went through during the end of the Second World War. The Author tries to show the death of God because of the increased inhumanity he experienced. He illustrates that within one night, their enemies destroyed everything that they owned and this was the start of hard life. The author explains that one of his worst experiences is when their enemies killed his father while he was watching. He illustrates that the experience affected his life for a long period. He took more than ten years being in silence, because he did not have the courage to explain all bad things he saw during the war. During this period, the author explains that he was 16 years of age, too young to offer any help for his deceased father at the time that the enemies killed him. The author also explains that he witnessed the death of his other family members and may people of his community. The book gives a detailed explanation of the deaths that occurred in the camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. The book has a very interesting story and the authors experience towards starvation and brutality that they went through is overwhelming.
The author uses a strident and vengeful tone while explaining the experiences that he witnessed in the war. The book also depicts to have a somber and serious tone in order to give help the readers get to understand more on what the author intends to illustrate. Throughout the whole story that the author illustrates in the book, he makes sure that he has not employed any jokes. This is because most of the experience that he underwent through depicts acts of inhumanity and the bad things that human beings can be able to do to one another. He explains that many of the acts that occurred were as result of influence by powerful people in the community who held the power. The book illustrates that most of the people who influenced the war only cared for their well-being and financial gains. According to the author, most of the people of his community experienced psychological problems because of the acts they experienced and because of what the enemies did to them. The book illustrates the theme of death throughout the whole story that the author illustrates. However, the author uses other themes that include faith, survival and perseverance. According to the book, many people died during the period while others were left with serious defects on their body. The book also explains how people go against the moral values of the society while trying to fulfill their anger.
The author illustrates that on March 1944, the real fight against the Jews started. The Nazi community that was lead by Hitler managed to kill over 560,000 Hungarian Jews. This was the worst experience that the whole European Jews community had ever experienced. The Jews from Hungary were the only jews community that had remained with a well controlled leadership but the killing of members in the community what they had managed to achieve. Many of them became refugees in various parts like in Germany and Poland. The author illustrates that the Jews of his community were the most affected by the killings because only 15 families were left after the Holocaust. The author was a member of the Sighet community and they were deported to Austchiwtz concentration camp. According to the author, this was one of the most deadly camps in the whole of the European Jewish community. The camp of Austchiwtz was the site of death where more than 1,300,000 deaths occurred. The author indicates that he managed to survive because of lack but experienced the death of his family members. His father, mother and sister lost their lives in the camp. The Holocaust was the major worst experience according to the author.
One of the conclusions that readers can depict from the book is about the experience that the Jews went through during the war. The author illustrates that during the period before 1944; most of the Jews from Hungary did not experience various issues that destroyed other Jews community in the whole world. After 1944, the leader of the Nazi party in Germany, Adolf Hitler, who was in power since 1933, started the real fight against the Jews. The author calls it the real fight because even though the Jews experienced various inhuman acts since Hitler took over the power, they had not experience such a tempting situation that emerged in 1944. The Anti –Jewish legislation was common in Hungary but did not depict any indication of the start of any war. The Holocaust itself started after 1944 according to the author.
The book is one of the literary works that depicts the occurrence of a real holocaust. The author demonstrates very well about the experience that the Jews went through in the Holocaust. He manages to make the readers understand the effects of engaging in a tribal conflict and in a war. The author manages to give a clear illustration of the psychological consequences that most of the people go through after experiencing various acts of war. The only part that the author did not manage to come out clearly is when explaining the effects of the war using the boy named Eliezer. Although the book give the experience that the author himself went thorough during the Holocaust; he uses the boy named Eliezer to present him. The author does not manage to give clear illustrations while using Elizer. For example, the author indicates that the boy wounds his foot. However, Weisel himself wounded his knee. He could have done it better if he gave the very same occurrences he experienced even when using Elizer.
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