How To Write A Book Review

by anneforest1994

Tips and instructions on writing a good book review. Making sure your book review is appealing to the readers and yet contains no spoilers

You just finished reading a book. You liked it, or you thought it was an-okay read, or you hated it. Whatever it is, you ‘felt’ something about the book after you completed it. The organization of such 'feelings' into words is Book Reviewing.
Book reviewing is an art. It requires practice and analyzing skills. Fortunately, it is also very easy. Following these simple instructions and it will help you to write better reviews.


Book reviewing is an art. It requires practice and analyzing skills. Fortunately, it is also very easy. Following these simple instructions and it will help you to write better reviews.

First thing you have to keep in mind is that your feelings for a particular book cannot be generalized. It depends from person to person and also on an individual's taste. For example- you like fantasy and praise a book for its fantastic use of mythical creatures. But another person, who absolutely hates fantasy, might go on to criticize the same book. You cannot exercise your opinions on somebody. You must just state your opinions and leave the judgment to the reader. Ultimately, it is he/she who has to decide whether to read the particular book or not.

The next thing is, though it has no particular format, a book review must contain the following elements. But never give a separate heading for a particular section. Each section of the review should flow easily.

Title and Author

That is obvious. Without the title of the book and author, your readers will have no idea about which book you are talking about. You might also include the genre and a small bio about the author.

A small description of the story

This is the most important part of the review, which decides whether the reader is willing to read the book or not. It is also the part where most review writers go wrong. They may include too many or too little of the plot and this result in a sub standard review.

 The thrill of reading a book lies in the speculation of what happens next. If the suspense is revealed even before they read one page of the book, then the readers will definitely not buy the book. The job of the reviewer is to help readers in deciding whether to read the book or not. It is not to tell them the summary of the novel.

Similarly, if you give them too little of the plot, then they might not be interested enough to buy or read the book. Care should be taken to include details which do not reveal much of the story, yet provide sufficient features to catch the interest of the reader.

You can also write a little about the main character and his/her goal. Again, if his/her goal or identity itself is a mystery, then it should not be revealed.

What you liked about the book

In this section, you might want to include certain parts or aspects of the book that captured your interest. It can be any dialogue, incident or description as long as it does not reveal too much about the story. For example- if you liked the author’s description of autumn, you can include it in your review. It, in no way, hampers the suspense. But if you liked the climax where the protagonist is killed, then do not include it. You can include the narrative style, editing and other technical aspects of a novel in this section.

What you did not like about the book

This is exactly like what you liked about the book, but you write about what you did not like. You can also include individual aspects as well as the story as whole.


At the end, you can recommend to read or not read this book. You can also generalize certain group of people like, “Everyone who loves fantasy should read this” or “This book is not for you if you don’t like dark and depressing novels”

No matter which part of the review you are writing, never curse the writer or use swear words, not even when you loathed particular book. You give reasons politely for your non-recommendation of the book and that’s it. Practice reviewing for many books and you can even get paid to write book reviews in magazines or newspapers.

Good luck and Happy Book Reviewing!

Updated: 01/14/2014, anneforest1994
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sandyspider on 01/07/2016

Too bad I had not read this prior to my updated book review article here. Good information.

anneforest1994 on 01/14/2014

Thanks, Mira.
I will make sure I use an image next time. I am still new here and I don't know how to go around the website.
I thought I was giving an excerpt of the article in the intro. But it's repeated. Thanks for pointing it out.

Mira on 01/14/2014

Hi Anne, welcome to Wizzley!
You make some good points here but make sure you don't repeat blocks of text (you do here in the beginning). Also, an image does help. I even had trouble clicking on your article when I browsed the New articles page, because usually I click on the image. Now when I clicked on the title it showed me some other info. Also, an image helps a lot in social media.

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