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10 Tips How to write a Book Review

10 Tips How to write a Book Review

Tip

Explanation

Example

1.  Don’t make your reader wait. 

At the beginning of your review, say the name of the book and the author.  Don’t leave it until mid-way through for the reader to find out. 

Award-winning author Philip Pullman’s novel His Dark Materialsis a compelling read…

2.  Give your opinion at the start

You don’t have to wait until the end of the review to say what you think of the book.  You can do that right at the start.  Give your reader a general idea of whether you enjoyed it or not. 

J. K. Rowling has once again surpassed herself with the final installment of the Harry Potterseries. 

3.  Don’t give away the ending 

When you are summarising the plot, you should only choose key details, and don’t talk about anything that happens in the last third of the book.  Plot summaries are quite boring, so keep them as short as possible. 

See the sample book review. 

4.  Give specifics

Refer to specific scenes or aspects of the book that you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy.  Don’t just say “the romantic scenes” were nice.

The scene in which Jack proposes to Jill is incredibly moving and even the most cynical critics cannot claim to have seen it coming. 

5.  Use positive adjectives

Adjectives such as ‘captivating’, ‘gripping’, and ‘mesmerising’ will help your reader to share your enthusiasm for the book.

The novel offers a fascinating insight into the inner world of teenage turmoil.

6.  Use negative adjectives

If you don’t like something, it’s important to use more adjectives than just “bad”.  Words such as ‘hackneyed’, ‘clichéd’ and ‘uneven’ will help here. 

 

Unfortunately, the plot was too clichéd to be believable. 

7.  Use some technical vocabulary

Don’t go overboard, but you should definitely be familiar with words such as ‘narrator’, ‘characterisation’ or ‘dramatic irony’

Shakespeare is a master of dramatic irony: the audience usually know what’s happening before his characters.

8.  Use the present tense

When you are writing about the plot of a book, it’s better to use the present tense.

Dahl creates a magical world inside a chocolate factory, where human beings and oompa-loompas live side by side in harmony. 

9.  Use appropriate connectors

Connecting phrases such as “as the plot progresses, we see…” and “on the surface it appears…” add a bit of variety to the normal supply of overused connectors.

As the plot progresses we see Harry develop into adulthood and fall in love.

 

10.  Make a recommendation 

At the end of the review, tell your reader whether you recommend the book or not.  This is the whole point of a book review, so don’t forget to include it. 

Fans of Pullman’s earlier work are sure to want to purchase a copy of his latest novel as soon as they can. 

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