How to Write a Book Review
The purpose of a review is to make your point of view known about how you rate the book. You hold the power to make or break whether or not others will buy the book and/or spend the time to read a book. YOU MUST CONVINCE PEOPLE of your valid point by covering all the bases as demonstrated in the following format. You may look at this as a four part essay.
Part† One: (Introduction) Describe your overall opinion of the book. This is the thesis to your review. Be sure to name the author of the book and the title. Basically, this paragraph also states whether or not you liked the book and IN GENERAL TERMS what was good or bad about it. Some works might have an important element that should be included in the first paragraph. For example, the book was written by an adult who only recently learned to write. Or, the book was written by a ghost writer. Examine the book and decide whether there is anything unusual about it that makes it stand out. Use varied vocabulary, specific and active words that clearly illustrate what the book was like. Donít say things like, ďI liked the booked because it was good.Ē Rather, write something like, ď(Authorís name) memoir poignantly narrates his experiences as a struggling ninja.Ē
PART Two: (Plot/events summary) Briefly describe the plot in order to get someone interested, just as a movie rental box or book jacket might appeal to you. DO NOT TELL EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, but give enough that piques our interest. [If your book has a clear, plot-like climax, donít give away the ending. Your reader will be less likely interested in reading the book if they already know every single detail.] Imagine that your summary is the book flap book descriptionÖ
***PART Three: (best/worst part/aspect supported by TBE)
This is the bulk of your review.†
This is where you will use text-based evidence to illustrate aspects of the writing and story.† Quote directly as well as paraphrase. Give your reader a taste of the style!
Concurrently, give your opinion of the writing and story.† In this part, you might want to include highlights of what makes the narrative interesting or parts that were tedious (if you are writing a pan review). Or, if writing a mixed review, clearly indicate what worked and what didnít. You can, quite feasibly, include both the †good as well as the bad. †
This part of the review is the part most heavily graded. Spend the time to find appropriate details from the text. You do not need to cite page numbers.
PART Four(Conclusion) You should conclude your review with any final thoughts on the work as a whole. Also, to WHOM would you recommend this? (i.e., what age group might enjoy this book? [WARNING: Donít limit it to teens unless itís clearly a teen work.] What type of person would dig this? Why?) Please donít just write a minimal final thought. Be thorough!
TIPS TO CONSIDER AND INCLUDE IN YOUR REVIEW:
Style of writing, target audience, previous works, publisher, cost, number of pages, plot summary, best/worst scene, and overall opinion.