Ran out of ideas to write about? Want to get started with writing? No matter whichever state you’re in, writing a book review is a perfect choice you can make. If you’re not familiar with writing-up or thinking about writing one but have no clue, this article will help. While there are no hard and fast rules for a book review structure, having a template always helps, right? Read ahead, if you agree, curate in this article are steps that you can follow to write a book review.
Step 1: Pick a book
Yes, it goes without saying! That being said, here’s an optional step: read the summary, say, on Goodreads, get to know the genre before choosing a book. Also, keep in mind that many people find it intriguing to start a book without knowing the synopsis. Tick whichever suits you best: a trailer or oblivion.
Step 2: Read the book
I mean, do I need to tell you this? Perhaps, yes. Because reading a book for pleasure is a very different experience from reading a book for reviewing. Even if you’re a fast reader, you might have to re-read certain parts, which would make your overall pace slower. Even if you love the author, you have to read it from a neutral viewpoint. The point is, read the book by keeping in mind the purpose.
Step 3: Annotate or take notes
Rule 1 – Don’t trust your memory. Rule 2 – Don’t dare to oppose the first rule. While reading, you might find a line that made you want to pat the author. Maybe there’s another one who made you want to confiscate all the writing supplies of the author. Chances are, you’ll forget how you react to the small parts of the book. That said, annotating or taking notes would help you recollect all the memories. There are plenty of techniques for annotating a text. Look them up on YouTube. If you don’t want a mark on your book, take notes in a notebook.
Step 4: Form an opinion
You’ll unknowingly develop an opinion by the time you finish reading the book. But for drafting the write-up, you need to have enough content in your head. And this is the time when you review your notes or annotated portions in the book. It would immensely help you have the draft in mind before penning it down.
Step 5: Start writing the summary or synopsis
Now that you’re done with the reading and having a draft in mind or notebook start writing. Introducing the readers of your review to the summary or synopsis is an ideal starting point. Many reviewers directly copy-paste the overview from websites such as Amazon or Goodreads! If this isn’t your thing, then summarize in your own words. Make sure to talk about the characters (central and important ones), conflicts (what the storyline deals with), and questions (the point that would make the reader decide if they want to pick the book).
Step 6 and 7: Talk about what you felt
Although the review would be solely based on your opinions, try not to be too harsh or too sweet while expressing your thoughts. Even if you disliked the book, articulate your thoughts in a way that would explain why you disliked it. Maybe you can talk about what changes to the writing style or plot would’ve made you like it better. Similar applies to talking about the bright sides as well. Delineate why you liked and what you wanted. Merely mentioning the parts, you liked or disliked wouldn’t suffice. Pen-picturing a detailed perspective matters. Besides, talk about those aspects in different paragraphs, and feel free to choose their order.
Step 8: Conclude with a summary of your thoughts
This step is relatively self-explanatory. Either summarize all your thoughts or pick an opinion that you want the readers to take away. Along with that, finish with telling whether or not you’ll recommend the book to anyone. You can mention a relevant book, or the age-group you found the book to be appropriate for or the type of reading-taste.
Reading a book is a pleasant experience for many. If you still haven’t experienced writing down a review on a book you read, trust me, you’re missing out on something equally pleasant. Not reliable enough? Try it and see it by yourself!