Do you love reading book reviews? Why not try your hand at writing them.
What is a book review?
Essentially, a book review is a critical evaluation of a book. It isn’t just a summary, but gives commentary that will be uniquely yours as the writer of the review.
Why write book reviews?
Book reviews help books get noticed and gain credibility. As a published writer, you will want to receive reviews to show readers that your book is widely-read and well-received. You will probably give away books and ask for reviews as part of your marketing plan. It stands to reason that if you write positive, honest reviews for other writers, they will do the same for you.
Where are reviews posted?
These days, the answer is ‘lots of places.’ Many writers post book reviews on their own blogs. If you choose to do this, presumably you are reviewing books that will draw readers who will in turn be drawn to your books. You can also post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, library websites, or submit them to other people’s review blogs. If you really want to get serious, there are a lot of literary journals that accept freelance reviews.
How long are book reviews?
That will depend largely on where you are planning to submit your review. Check for guidelines, and assume that you will write anywhere from 100 to 1500 words. Be succinct, but give enough to serve the purpose of the review.
Points to Consider:
●What if you really don’t like the book? Always write your reviews with integrity. If you honestly don’t like a book, write your review as if you are in a critique session with the author. Use positive words and avoid sarcasm. If the author has given you the book and asked for a review, it is because she wants help promoting her book.
●Take the time to write reviews, but not at the expense of writing your own book.
●Take time to read reviews written by other readers, but keep in mind that many of them are not professional writers.
●Review the book that has been written, not the book you think the author should have written. For example, don’t criticize a book for being sci-fi instead of a romance. It isn’t fair to criticize an author for failing to achieve something he or she never intended to achieve.
●Choose your words with the same care you would use when writing your own book.
Fiction Book Review Template:
Opening statement: Include title, genre, and author.
Synopsis: Include main characters and brief overview of main plot. Be careful not to give away too much!
Overall impression: This is where you give your personal impression of the book.
Suggested points to include:
Were the characters credible?
What problems did the main characters encounter?
Who was your favorite character, and why?
Could you relate to any of the characters in the story?
What was your favorite part of the book?
Do you have a least favorite part of the book?
If you could change something, what would it be? (If you wish you could change the ending, don’t reveal it!)
Would you recommend this book?
What type of reader would enjoy this book?
Grab yourself a tall glass of Texas sweet tea, and curl up with “Deep in the Heart”, a new romance by Staci Stallings.
It roped me in from the start, putting me right there in the too-big shoes of MAGGIE MONTGOMERY, the fish-out-of-water poor girl who suddenly finds herself living on a sprawling Texas ranch. Feeling totally out of place as the new nanny to the two children of the ranch owner and his second wife, she tries to live up to their impossible expectations.
Enter KEITH AYER, the son of the ranch owner from his first marriage, who is something of a fish-out-of-water himself. He’s spent his whole life trying to live up to his father’s expectations, sacrificing his own identity in the process. There is an undeniable attraction between Maggie and Keith, but too many obstacles stand between them. Besides the obvious class difference, Keith is engaged to DALLAS, an ambitious socialite who has her heart set on steering Keith away from his beloved horses to a more high-powered career far from the ranch.
Through a series of challenging events, Maggie and Keith grow closer, and he begins to see the light of Jesus shining in her. Could this be the key to his own feeling of emptiness?
I found the characters engaging and their relationships believable. I especially enjoyed Keith’s journey toward self-awareness and his evolving perception of Dallas and his own family.
Staci does a fine job of keeping the story moving and the reader guessing. This is more than just a love story- it’s a tale of forgiveness and redemption that will touch your heart. This is a great book for any reader who enjoys romance with little meat on its bones. Make that a Texas sirloin!
Have you written any book reviews?
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy How to Write a Nonfiction Book Review.
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This was SO helpful! I feel uncomfortable telling the truth because, DUH, the author will probably read my review, and I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot. But, I don’t want to brown nose my way into the publishing industry, either. Thanks for giving me the guidelines to write a great book review. You’re awesome, Lesley!
It’s tricky, I know. I always want everyone to feel good about their work, but readers want an honest assessment.
Lesley, this was so helpful!!
Thanks, Danica. I love reading well-crafted reviews.
Sylvia Stewart says
I need to write a review soon. This is very helpful. Hope I can follow it to a T. Hugs
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Sylvia. I have to write a whole bunch of reviews.
Thanks Lesley. The tips for writing a review are very helpful. I also loved the “example” review that you gave for Deep In The Heart. I will definitely be putting it on my “to read” list!
I’m glad it was helpful for you, Allison. I hope you enjoy Staci’s book!
fantasy books says
Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment
but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not
writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say wonderful blog!
Sorry on behalf of WordPress, but I’m glad you enjoyed the post!
Thanks Kim. We’re all in it together.