Thursday 9 October 2014

How to Write a Book Review

Writing a book review isn't too bad once you know what you're doing. You read the book, you write down what you thought and then you publish it on your blog, Goodreads or any other place you can give reviews. When I started blogging I learned from other bloggers that there are ways to make your reviews more informative and also, look easier on the eye. Here are a few tips to get you started if you’re new to the book reviewing game:

1.       Bookmark pages: Keep tabs or stickers on pages you found interesting in the book so that you can easily refer back to it in your review. This has helped me write my reviews faster as it means I don’t have to memorise everything that I want to write. It’s easy to forget interesting points after you’ve finished reading a book and you might not write a review straight away so it can help to keep tabs on key pages and chapters.

2.       Writing the review: Normally I start by saying a general sentence about the book. Usually just referring to the main plot. I’ll then say what I liked and what I didn’t like in separate paragraphs. Normally the final paragraph is a summary of my overall thoughts on the book and then I give a rating. This is a basic skeleton for my reviews which I don’t always completely follow. I like to add a bit of humour here and there to keep it upbeat. Especially if the book gets a bad rating. I normally centre my reviews around these three things:
  • Characters
  • Plot
  • Writing

3.       Formatting: Everyone does this a bit differently so it doesn’t really matter how you do it. The basic components reviews that I’ve seen are similar to what's shown below:

The main things I'd take away are:
  • Large Title
  • Synopsis in italics
  • Book Cover
  • Book info (e.g page count)
  • Review below

As long as it's easy to read its fine. I've seen really cool review formats from other bloggers like on Candace's Book Blog.  Colour scheme can also be important. Always try to pick a font and background colour that clearly contrast each other so they're easy to read.

4.       Spoilers: If you have any spoilers in your review it always nice to say so in your title so the readers don’t get a shock when they find out their favourite character dies in the book they haven’t read yet.

5.       Give it a rating: This can be fun if you have a new blog but you haven’t established a rating system yet. Most people use stars but I use a rating from 1-5, with 1 being the worst and 5 being exemplary. I’ve seen letters from A-F like school grades and I’ve also seen people use funny things like cats and ice-cream (e.g. 2/5 ice-creams). I try to rate things before I've seen other reviews so my opinion isn't influenced.

These are just a few basic ways to help get your review started if you’re not sure how. If you have any more ideas say so in the comments!


  1. Honestly until now, I don't have a basic template on how I review books. They sort of just go in whatever is the first idea that came to mind. Reading your post made me want to somehow streamline the way I review a book coz sometimes I think I'm all over the place :)

    1. Glad I could help. :)
      Some of my older reviews used to be a bit all over the place because they lacked structure. It took me a while to figure out a template to use when I write a review. I'm much more organised now.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thanks for the tips! I've been trying to follow a guideline for my blog recently since I have a tendency to ramble a new format might help me have more clear and concise reviews! Thanks again

    1. No problem, I'm always looking for ways to make my posts tidier since they used to be a bit all over the place. I'm glad to help. :)

      Thanks for commenting!