How to Write a Book Review?

Writing Book Review\
Written by Em-em Avila

Table of Contents

You may want to write book reviews for several reasons. It can be to get books to read for free and earn through the reviews or a task from your university professor to write a review. No matter the reason, first, you have to know how to write a book review

Writing a critical book review is work that needs your full attention. You are a reviewer, and you have to think critically before writing the review. 

Another crucial thing for writing a book review is reading the book. After all, how would you write a book review if you aren’t aware of the contents present in the book? Hence, you have to take your time and read the book properly and come up with what you think of the book and its contents. 

Through your book review, you have to show your accurate and analytical reading skills and personal response while stating down your ideas of the book. 

Your review can help the readers in getting knowledge of the book and your views on it. Your review can have a significant impact on the readers. Thus, ensure that you don’t add any wrong information to your book review.

Let’s get some basic knowledge on book reviews, how to write them, and tips for writing reviews along with mistakes to avoid.

What is a book review? 

A book review refers to a thorough description, critical evaluation, or analysis of the contents, quality, significance, and meaning that a reviewer writes after properly researching the book. 

A critical book review isn’t merely a summary of a book. Instead, it’s a commentary of the book. Through writing a book review, you can share your thoughts and discussion on the author’s work on the selected book. You can either do book review writing as work or do a college-level book review as well. 

You may also get book reviews as college assignments so that the professor can get to know your critical analysis skills and ability to research effectively. Thus writing a book review properly is crucial for college students as well. 

Usually, the length of book reviews ranges from 500-2000, depending on certain factors. Such factors may include the book’s complexity and length, the purpose of your review, the number of reviewed books, etc. 

How to choose a book?

Before preparing a book review, you need to select a book you will be writing a review. You can think of the type of book that would be helpful for you to pass your exams, get more paid, etc. 

You have to focus while choosing a book since book review writing takes more time than other writings. Moreover, when selecting a book, get one that works for you more to read it then and adequately prepare a review. 

You can review any book- textbooks, anthologies, fiction, etc. You can write reviews on textbooks or anthologies since those reviews are rare to find to get more opportunities. If you want to do something more exciting and creative, then you can go for fiction. In fiction, you will be able to read the fiction book with interest, and it will be easier to write your views on it in your review.

To be more precise on how you can choose a book for your review, you can select a book which:

  • Is related to your field.
  • A reputable publisher has published.
  • Contains a topic of your choice or knowledge.
  • Has been published in the last 2-3 years.

What to include in a book review?

Before writing a book review, you should be aware of what you will include in it. It helps you to create an idea or draft of your book review in your mind. You can add several things to your book review to make it perfect for the readers. Below, you can see the format of writing a book review to help you understand what to write in your review.

  • A hook: To attract your readers into reading the book review.
  • Crucial book information: To make your review meaningful.
  • Plot/content summary: To give the readers an idea of the book.
  • Your views: To provide readers with your criticism and praise on the book.
  • Your recommendation: To let the readers know whether you think it’s worth reading or not.
  • Your rating: To allow the reader to understand how much you liked the book.

How to write a book review outline?

Before writing a book review, you also have to focus on writing a book review outline. Generally, you can follow the primary ways for writing a book review outline, which is as follows:

  • Introduction: Here, you can provide a brief introduction of your book review and tell your readers about the book and whether you recommend it or not.
  • Your likings: After the introduction part, you can write what you particularly liked about the book and what areas interested you the most about it.
  • Your dislikings: Next to the section of your likings, you can add what you didn’t like about the book. After all, you have to be honest. 
  • Additional ideas: After that, you can put in some additional thoughts and views on the book, the story (if any), or the concepts present in the book and whether some more additions would have been better according to you. 
  • Conclusion: Like any other writing piece, you have to add a conclusion in your book review. In conclusion, you can add a summary of what you have covered in the review, along with your opinions. 

How to write a book review?

Writing a good book review would be a hectic task for you, whether a scholarly book review or a fictional book review. But, it would be hectic only if you aren’t aware of the ways of writing a book review. 

You have done half the work if you know the steps of writing a book review and outline it. Then you would only have to put down your ideas into the document. 

Below are some of the ways or steps to write a book review that will conveniently help you write a book review. 

Start by reading the book:

The first thing to do before writing a book review is read the book you will be reviewing. Hence, start by correctly reading the book that you have chosen for your book review. It would be perfect if you took your time while reading the book to understand its concept entirely. Usually, you can take a week to read the book. But still, the time you can take to read it depends on the book’s length and complexity and your reading skills. Once you are done reading and comprehending the book, you can start with the next step.

Write a summary of your book:

The perfect way to introduce your book to the readers is to provide a summary as it gives context. However, ensure that you aren’t exposing all the details in it. You have to keep this part of your review precise and concise. If you are publishing it online, it can even come in the google search if it’s well-optimized and short and sweet.

Add some brief quotes:  

Whatever you say in your book review, you can back them up with some examples. The best way to give examples while writing a book review is by adding brief quotes. For example, if you write about a particular character being very kind and generous, you can show some evidence in the form of quotes or lines by that character in the book. 

Write about your opinions:

As per a book review’s outlines, you have to add your opinions of the book in your book review. In these sections, you have to write what you liked in the book, how it went as per your preference, and what wasn’t good enough or better. It would be the base of your book review since it contains what’s right and wrong about the book and its concepts.

Write a conclusion to wrap it up:

You have to write an excellent conclusion for your book review the way you did for the introduction. In this section, you can bring up the main points of your book review and your overall opinion of the book.

Add a book rating to your review:

At the end of your book review, you can add a rating to let the readers understand how much you liked the book. You can either do a star rating since it’s the most preferred way of rating. However, you can also add an “out of 10” rating to the book review if you want.

Tips for writing a book review

Now that you are aware of writing a book review, you can write your book review effectively. But, if it to be perfect and eye-catching, you need to follow some tips. Following tips will help you to ensure writing an excellent book review.

Avoid Spoilers: Spoilers, as the name suggests, can instantly spoil the mood of the readers. Adding anything which would disclose the significant parts of the plot would be annoying to the readers. Hence, you shouldn’t add any spoilers to the book in your book review. 

Add content warnings: You can add content warnings in your book review to make it better for readers. Specific contents may trigger traumatic memories, upset, or cause anxiety to the readers. You can include in your review such elements of the book so that the reader can choose whether to read the book or not based on their mental ability.

Create the hook: While writing a book review, don’t wait for the middle section of the review to add a hook. You have to write a hook at the beginning, which can stop the readers from scrolling down and compel them to read it. The very first sentence can be the best way to hook the readers.

Add your uniqueness: Describing the book, its contents, and opinions won’t be enough; everyone does that. You have to add your voice to the review, which can make it unique. Hence, write the review in your voice by adding a signature writing style so that readers can know that it’s your way of reviewing.

Mistakes you should avoid when writing a book review.

While writing a book review, there are certain things that you are practicing and aren’t aware of that it’s wrong. Hence, the following are some of the mistakes that you should avoid while writing a book review.

  • Don’t focus too much on the book’s plot since the reader can get it. Instead, try to discuss only the main points of the book along with your opinions.
  • Be consistent with the pronouns that you use to address the readers. Don’t jump from ‘you,’ ‘we,’ ‘reader,’ ‘one,’ etc. Use one type of pronoun consistently. 
  • Consider the length of your book review. Yes, you can make it longer, up to 3000, but it doesn’t imply that you should do it. Instead, stick to 1000-1500 words because if people had time to read a 3000-word book review, then they would have just read the book itself. 
  • Don’t repeat yourself or your opinions in the book review since it can bore your readers.


Writing book reviews can be a great experience. If you are a book lover, then you would love to write a book review. The only part where you can get stuck is how to write a book review. But say no more to this confusion since this article is all you need right now. 

So, if you have started writing a book review and don’t know where to start, this article can help you write a book review and some fantastic tips for the same. Just read the book with your heart, read this article, and start writing your book review. Once you know the tricks, you will become a pro in book review writing in no time.

About the author

Em-em Avila

Em-em Avila is a creative content writer from a leading Online Freelancing Platform---24Task. She loves to share information about a variety of topics including Academic Writing Tips, Freelancing Jobs, Digital Marketing Strategies, Virtual Assistance, and many more. Her passion for writing and sharing valuable information and helpful tips with other people is her inspiration in her every piece.

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