A book review describes and evaluates the content of a book and conveys your opinion with supporting evidence from the book. Book review differs from a business analysis report in the sense that it critically analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of a published work.
An outstanding reviewer can influence the way people perceive a book. That’s why; authors try to get their books reviewed by professional critics as a published review can result in publicity (even if it is negative).
Here are a few things to bear in mind while writing a book review
Voice your opinion
Your opinion is valuable to a lot of readers. Make sure you present your honest and clear thoughts so that people can decide whether a book is right for them or not. There is no need to be intimidated by prominent authors since many have written mediocre books during their career.
There is a huge possibility of bias creeping in when you review books by people you admire or hate so, avoid reviewing books by people you know.
Not a school assignment
A book review is not a school assignment. You don’t repeat the high school English class formula of summarizing the characters, story, and the theme. The readers don’t want the book to be narrated to them and have the ending spoiled. In contrast, you should tell the readers whether a particular book is interesting, original, and worth their money.
Preparation before writing a review
Before you start writing, you must read the book. Just flipping through the pages and glancing at the book cover won’t do. You have to read the complete book and making short notes about your thoughts as you read.
It is important that you ask yourself questions while reading. These questions can be “What does the book’s title suggest?”, “Does the preface of the book provide essential information about the author’s objective or the purpose of the book?’, “What is the argument that the author is trying to prove?”, “Has the author proved the argument effectively?”, “Is the book well-written and well-researched?” “Has the author included all the relevant information?”, “Is this an original work?”, “Whether the author has portrayed well- rounded and believable characters?”, “Are the dialogues realistic?”, “Whether the author has a cheeky or dry writing style?” By finding answers to these questions, you will be able to analyze the book and present your views on it.
Come to the point
When you start writing the review, decide what your argument is. Whether you want to write a favorable review or do you want to advise readers to use their money elsewhere? Remember, your argument should come at the beginning itself so that the readers get an idea of what you will discuss in the review.
Don’t forget the details
Include biographical information about the book’s author. Describe briefly if it is the author’s first book and what other types of books have the author written before? Write the book’s title, its price, total number of pages, publication date, edition, and the name of the publisher.
Before embarking on your analysis, briefly describe the theme of the book, its genre, and who its target audience is. Explain whether the book is intended for the masses or the classes. By providing this information, you are allowing readers to decide whether they should read the entire review.
Give evidence to support your argument
While reading the book, carefully mark the passages or quotes from the book that support your argument. These will help you to reinforce your argument about whether it is a love story, a murder mystery, or a boring read.
These were a few things that you need to remember before you start writing a book review. If you are clear on these things, let’s get on with the review:
Start with your opening sentence that hooks the readers and sets the tone of the review. In a few sentences, describe what the book is about without revealing plot twists or giving any spoilers! Avoid mentioning every detail about the event that takes place in the book. Tell the readers if this book is part of a series so they can read other books as well to enjoy this one.
Discuss what you liked about the book. Focus on the people who will read the review and what information are they looking for. Share your feelings and ideas about the plot of the book and the way it is told. Talk about your favorite characters. Did the characters seem real to you? Was the storyline gripping? What was the highlight of the book, any particular scenes or events that you want to talk about? Did the book entertain you? This type of information will widen the perspective of the readers about the theme and plot of the book.
- Talk about things that didn’t appeal to you. For instance: Was the ending so stretched out that it started frustrating you? What were your feelings about the main characters of the book, and did they work out for you? Was the story interesting or too scary, or did it emphasize a theme that failed to capture your interest?
- Summarize your opinion on the book by telling whether the book is a ‘must read’. Do you want the readers to stay away from the book? What type of readers would like the book – the younger generation, older readers, people who adore thrillers/relationship drama/comedy? Do you want to suggest other books by the same author or other authors? Are there other books that you can compare this book to? You can even rate the book, on a scale of 1 to 5, if you like!
- Try to maintain a natural, easy tone. A book review does not involve complex writing; it is simply an expression of your opinion and thoughts on an author’s work. In order to write an excellent review, make sure you proofread and edit it several times before sending it for publishing. If you intend to hurl brickbat on a novel for being over exaggerated and hard to understand, you should cross-check it carefully to ensure your review is technically sound and clear.
If you want to become a book reviewer, you can start by writing book reviews for local magazines and newspapers. You can recommend starting a book review segment if they don’t have one. Think if you have some particular interest – love stories, thrillers, or dark humor—hone it and become an expert. If you need more help in writing a book review or understanding how to write it, Oman essay experts are available round the clock for your support. Get in touch now.