Tips for Writing Reviews

While there are no hard and fast rules about how to write a book review, a thoughtful one can help readers discover titles, authors and subjects they may never have found otherwise.  Reviews can be short and to the point or detailed and lengthy, with the most useful offering a short summary of the plot and description of the characters, as well as a personal opinion of the book.

Reviews can be positive or negative, and it’s important to explain why you liked or didn’t like a book (simply saying “This book was great!” or “This book was terrible!” is not as helpful to a potential reader).

Here are some things to consider including in your book reviews:

  • Tell us about the plot and setting
    • What, when, where, why and how
  • Tell us about some of the main characters
    • What happened to them?
    • How did they evolve?
  • Tell us about the author’s writing style
  • Tell us your opinion
    • Did you like/dislike it? Why/why not?
    • Would you recommend it to others? Why/why not?

Here are some things to avoid:

  • Spoilers
  • One sentence reviews
  • Overly lengthy quotes/excerpts
  • Plagiarizing the book jacket or other reviewers
  • Personal attacks on other reviewers
  • Profanity or off-color remarks
  • Personal information

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