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Blog – Posted on Friday, Mar 29
17 book review examples to help you write the perfect review.
It’s an exciting time to be a book reviewer. Once confined to print newspapers and journals, reviews now dot many corridors of the Internet — forever helping others discover their next great read. That said, every book reviewer will face a familiar panic: how can you do justice to a great book in just a thousand words?
As you know, the best way to learn how to do something is by immersing yourself in it. Luckily, the Internet (i.e. Goodreads and other review sites , in particular) has made book reviews more accessible than ever — which means that there are a lot of book reviews examples out there for you to view!
In this post, we compiled 17 prototypical book review examples in multiple genres to help you figure out how to write the perfect review . If you want to jump straight to the examples, you can skip the next section. Otherwise, let’s first check out what makes up a good review.
Are you interested in becoming a book reviewer? We recommend you check out Reedsy Discovery , where you can earn money for writing reviews — and are guaranteed people will read your reviews! To register as a book reviewer, sign up here.
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What must a book review contain?
Like all works of art, no two book reviews will be identical. But fear not: there are a few guidelines for any aspiring book reviewer to follow. Most book reviews, for instance, are less than 1,500 words long, with the sweet spot hitting somewhere around the 1,000-word mark. (However, this may vary depending on the platform on which you’re writing, as we’ll see later.)
In addition, all reviews share some universal elements, as shown in our book review templates . These include:
- A review will offer a concise plot summary of the book.
- A book review will offer an evaluation of the work.
- A book review will offer a recommendation for the audience.
If these are the basic ingredients that make up a book review, it’s the tone and style with which the book reviewer writes that brings the extra panache. This will differ from platform to platform, of course. A book review on Goodreads, for instance, will be much more informal and personal than a book review on Kirkus Reviews, as it is catering to a different audience. However, at the end of the day, the goal of all book reviews is to give the audience the tools to determine whether or not they’d like to read the book themselves.
Keeping that in mind, let’s proceed to some book review examples to put all of this in action.
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Book review examples for fiction books
Since story is king in the world of fiction, it probably won’t come as any surprise to learn that a book review for a novel will concentrate on how well the story was told .
That said, book reviews in all genres follow the same basic formula that we discussed earlier. In these examples, you’ll be able to see how book reviewers on different platforms expertly intertwine the plot summary and their personal opinions of the book to produce a clear, informative, and concise review.
Note: Some of the book review examples run very long. If a book review is truncated in this post, we’ve indicated by including a […] at the end, but you can always read the entire review if you click on the link provided.
Examples of literary fiction book reviews
Kirkus Reviews reviews Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man :
An extremely powerful story of a young Southern Negro, from his late high school days through three years of college to his life in Harlem.
His early training prepared him for a life of humility before white men, but through injustices- large and small, he came to realize that he was an "invisible man". People saw in him only a reflection of their preconceived ideas of what he was, denied his individuality, and ultimately did not see him at all. This theme, which has implications far beyond the obvious racial parallel, is skillfully handled. The incidents of the story are wholly absorbing. The boy's dismissal from college because of an innocent mistake, his shocked reaction to the anonymity of the North and to Harlem, his nightmare experiences on a one-day job in a paint factory and in the hospital, his lightning success as the Harlem leader of a communistic organization known as the Brotherhood, his involvement in black versus white and black versus black clashes and his disillusion and understanding of his invisibility- all climax naturally in scenes of violence and riot, followed by a retreat which is both literal and figurative. Parts of this experience may have been told before, but never with such freshness, intensity and power.
This is Ellison's first novel, but he has complete control of his story and his style. Watch it.
Lyndsey reviews George Orwell’s 1984 on Goodreads:
YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good." Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried.
This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down.
I read Fahrenheit 451 over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read 1984, although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully. […]
The New York Times reviews Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry :
Three-quarters of the way through Lisa Halliday’s debut novel, “Asymmetry,” a British foreign correspondent named Alistair is spending Christmas on a compound outside of Baghdad. His fellow revelers include cameramen, defense contractors, United Nations employees and aid workers. Someone’s mother has FedExed a HoneyBaked ham from Maine; people are smoking by the swimming pool. It is 2003, just days after Saddam Hussein’s capture, and though the mood is optimistic, Alistair is worrying aloud about the ethics of his chosen profession, wondering if reporting on violence doesn’t indirectly abet violence and questioning why he’d rather be in a combat zone than reading a picture book to his son. But every time he returns to London, he begins to “spin out.” He can’t go home. “You observe what people do with their freedom — what they don’t do — and it’s impossible not to judge them for it,” he says.
The line, embedded unceremoniously in the middle of a page-long paragraph, doubles, like so many others in “Asymmetry,” as literary criticism. Halliday’s novel is so strange and startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction. One finishes “Asymmetry” for the first or second (or like this reader, third) time and is left wondering what other writers are not doing with their freedom — and, like Alistair, judging them for it.
Despite its title, “Asymmetry” comprises two seemingly unrelated sections of equal length, appended by a slim and quietly shocking coda. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W. G. Sebald, and like the murmurings of a shy person at a cocktail party, often comic only in single clauses. It’s a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years. […]
Emily W. Thompson reviews Michael Doane's The Crossing on Reedsy Discovery :
In Doane’s debut novel, a young man embarks on a journey of self-discovery with surprising results.
An unnamed protagonist (The Narrator) is dealing with heartbreak. His love, determined to see the world, sets out for Portland, Oregon. But he’s a small-town boy who hasn’t traveled much. So, the Narrator mourns her loss and hides from life, throwing himself into rehabbing an old motorcycle. Until one day, he takes a leap; he packs his bike and a few belongings and heads out to find the Girl.
Following in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and William Least Heat-Moon, Doane offers a coming of age story about a man finding himself on the backroads of America. Doane’s a gifted writer with fluid prose and insightful observations, using The Narrator’s personal interactions to illuminate the diversity of the United States.
The Narrator initially sticks to the highways, trying to make it to the West Coast as quickly as possible. But a hitchhiker named Duke convinces him to get off the beaten path and enjoy the ride. “There’s not a place that’s like any other,”  Dukes contends, and The Narrator realizes he’s right. Suddenly, the trip is about the journey, not just the destination. The Narrator ditches his truck and traverses the deserts and mountains on his bike. He destroys his phone, cutting off ties with his past and living only in the moment.
As he crosses the country, The Narrator connects with several unique personalities whose experiences and views deeply impact his own. Duke, the complicated cowboy and drifter, who opens The Narrator’s eyes to a larger world. Zooey, the waitress in Colorado who opens his heart and reminds him that love can be found in this big world. And Rosie, The Narrator’s sweet landlady in Portland, who helps piece him back together both physically and emotionally.
This supporting cast of characters is excellent. Duke, in particular, is wonderfully nuanced and complicated. He’s a throwback to another time, a man without a cell phone who reads Sartre and sleeps under the stars. Yet he’s also a grifter with a “love ‘em and leave ‘em” attitude that harms those around him. It’s fascinating to watch The Narrator wrestle with Duke’s behavior, trying to determine which to model and which to discard.
Doane creates a relatable protagonist in The Narrator, whose personal growth doesn’t erase his faults. His willingness to hit the road with few resources is admirable, and he’s prescient enough to recognize the jealousy of those who cannot or will not take the leap. His encounters with new foods, places, and people broaden his horizons. Yet his immaturity and selfishness persist. He tells Rosie she’s been a good mother to him but chooses to ignore the continuing concern from his own parents as he effectively disappears from his old life.
Despite his flaws, it’s a pleasure to accompany The Narrator on his physical and emotional journey. The unexpected ending is a fitting denouement to an epic and memorable road trip.
The Book Smugglers review Anissa Gray’s The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls :
I am still dipping my toes into the literally fiction pool, finding what works for me and what doesn’t. Books like The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray are definitely my cup of tea.
Althea and Proctor Cochran had been pillars of their economically disadvantaged community for years – with their local restaurant/small market and their charity drives. Until they are found guilty of fraud for stealing and keeping most of the money they raised and sent to jail. Now disgraced, their entire family is suffering the consequences, specially their twin teenage daughters Baby Vi and Kim. To complicate matters even more: Kim was actually the one to call the police on her parents after yet another fight with her mother. […]
Examples of children’s and YA fiction book reviews
The Book Hookup reviews Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give :
♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 5 stars! I can’t imagine how challenging it would be to tackle the voice of a movement like Black Lives Matter, but I do know that Thomas did it with a finesse only a talented author like herself possibly could. With an unapologetically realistic delivery packed with emotion, The Hate U Give is a crucially important portrayal of the difficulties minorities face in our country every single day. I have no doubt that this book will be met with resistance by some (possibly many) and slapped with a “controversial” label, but if you’ve ever wondered what it was like to walk in a POC’s shoes, then I feel like this is an unflinchingly honest place to start.
In Angie Thomas’s debut novel, Starr Carter bursts on to the YA scene with both heart-wrecking and heartwarming sincerity. This author is definitely one to watch.
♥ Review: The hype around this book has been unquestionable and, admittedly, that made me both eager to get my hands on it and terrified to read it. I mean, what if I was to be the one person that didn’t love it as much as others? (That seems silly now because of how truly mesmerizing THUG was in the most heartbreakingly realistic way.) However, with the relevancy of its summary in regards to the unjust predicaments POC currently face in the US, I knew this one was a must-read, so I was ready to set my fears aside and dive in. That said, I had an altogether more personal, ulterior motive for wanting to read this book. […]
The New York Times reviews Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood :
Alice Crewe (a last name she’s chosen for herself) is a fairy tale legacy: the granddaughter of Althea Proserpine, author of a collection of dark-as-night fairy tales called “Tales From the Hinterland.” The book has a cult following, and though Alice has never met her grandmother, she’s learned a little about her through internet research. She hasn’t read the stories, because her mother, Ella Proserpine, forbids it.
Alice and Ella have moved from place to place in an attempt to avoid the “bad luck” that seems to follow them. Weird things have happened. As a child, Alice was kidnapped by a man who took her on a road trip to find her grandmother; he was stopped by the police before they did so. When at 17 she sees that man again, unchanged despite the years, Alice panics. Then Ella goes missing, and Alice turns to Ellery Finch, a schoolmate who’s an Althea Proserpine superfan, for help in tracking down her mother. Not only has Finch read every fairy tale in the collection, but handily, he remembers them, sharing them with Alice as they journey to the mysterious Hazel Wood, the estate of her now-dead grandmother, where they hope to find Ella.
“The Hazel Wood” starts out strange and gets stranger, in the best way possible. (The fairy stories Finch relays, which Albert includes as their own chapters, are as creepy and evocative as you’d hope.) Albert seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth and the world as it appears is false, where just about anything can happen, particularly in the pages of a very good book. It’s a captivating debut. […]
James reviews Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight, Moon on Goodreads:
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children's Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!
This picture book was such a delight. I hadn't remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me... either way, it was like a whole new experience! It's always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don't have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he'll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I've been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it's time to sleep.
The bunny's are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren't normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.
Publishers Weekly reviews Elizabeth Lilly’s Geraldine :
This funny, thoroughly accomplished debut opens with two words: “I’m moving.” They’re spoken by the title character while she swoons across her family’s ottoman, and because Geraldine is a giraffe, her full-on melancholy mode is quite a spectacle. But while Geraldine may be a drama queen (even her mother says so), it won’t take readers long to warm up to her. The move takes Geraldine from Giraffe City, where everyone is like her, to a new school, where everyone else is human. Suddenly, the former extrovert becomes “That Giraffe Girl,” and all she wants to do is hide, which is pretty much impossible. “Even my voice tries to hide,” she says, in the book’s most poignant moment. “It’s gotten quiet and whispery.” Then she meets Cassie, who, though human, is also an outlier (“I’m that girl who wears glasses and likes MATH and always organizes her food”), and things begin to look up.
Lilly’s watercolor-and-ink drawings are as vividly comic and emotionally astute as her writing; just when readers think there are no more ways for Geraldine to contort her long neck, this highly promising talent comes up with something new.
Examples of genre fiction book reviews
Karlyn P reviews Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch , a paranormal romance novel , on Goodreads:
4 stars. Great world-building, weak romance, but still worth the read.
I hesitate to describe this book as a 'romance' novel simply because the book spent little time actually exploring the romance between Iona and Boyle. Sure, there IS a romance in this novel. Sprinkled throughout the book are a few scenes where Iona and Boyle meet, chat, wink at each, flirt some more, sleep together, have a misunderstanding, make up, and then profess their undying love. Very formulaic stuff, and all woven around the more important parts of this book.
The meat of this book is far more focused on the story of the Dark witch and her magically-gifted descendants living in Ireland. Despite being weak on the romance, I really enjoyed it. I think the book is probably better for it, because the romance itself was pretty lackluster stuff.
I absolutely plan to stick with this series as I enjoyed the world building, loved the Ireland setting, and was intrigued by all of the secondary characters. However, If you read Nora Roberts strictly for the romance scenes, this one might disappoint. But if you enjoy a solid background story with some dark magic and prophesies, you might enjoy it as much as I did.
I listened to this one on audio, and felt the narration was excellent.
Emily May reviews R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy Wars , an epic fantasy novel , on Goodreads:
“But I warn you, little warrior. The price of power is pain.”
Holy hell, what did I just read??
➽ A fantasy military school
➽ A rich world based on modern Chinese history
➽ Shamans and gods
➽ Detailed characterization leading to unforgettable characters
➽ Adorable, opium-smoking mentors
That's a basic list, but this book is all of that and SO MUCH MORE. I know 100% that The Poppy War will be one of my best reads of 2018.
Isn't it just so great when you find one of those books that completely drags you in, makes you fall in love with the characters, and demands that you sit on the edge of your seat for every horrific, nail-biting moment of it? This is one of those books for me. And I must issue a serious content warning: this book explores some very dark themes. Proceed with caution (or not at all) if you are particularly sensitive to scenes of war, drug use and addiction, genocide, racism, sexism, ableism, self-harm, torture, and rape (off-page but extremely horrific).
Because, despite the fairly innocuous first 200 pages, the title speaks the truth: this is a book about war. All of its horrors and atrocities. It is not sugar-coated, and it is often graphic. The "poppy" aspect refers to opium, which is a big part of this book. It is a fantasy, but the book draws inspiration from the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking.
Crime Fiction Lover reviews Jessica Barry’s Freefall , a crime novel:
In some crime novels, the wrongdoing hits you between the eyes from page one. With others it’s a more subtle process, and that’s OK too. So where does Freefall fit into the sliding scale?
In truth, it’s not clear. This is a novel with a thrilling concept at its core. A woman survives plane crash, then runs for her life. However, it is the subtleties at play that will draw you in like a spider beckoning to an unwitting fly.
Like the heroine in Sharon Bolton’s Dead Woman Walking, Allison is lucky to be alive. She was the only passenger in a private plane, belonging to her fiancé, Ben, who was piloting the expensive aircraft, when it came down in woodlands in the Colorado Rockies. Ally is also the only survivor, but rather than sitting back and waiting for rescue, she is soon pulling together items that may help her survive a little longer – first aid kit, energy bars, warm clothes, trainers – before fleeing the scene. If you’re hearing the faint sound of alarm bells ringing, get used to it. There’s much, much more to learn about Ally before this tale is over.
Kirkus Reviews reviews Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One , a science-fiction novel :
Video-game players embrace the quest of a lifetime in a virtual world; screenwriter Cline’s first novel is old wine in new bottles.
The real world, in 2045, is the usual dystopian horror story. So who can blame Wade, our narrator, if he spends most of his time in a virtual world? The 18-year-old, orphaned at 11, has no friends in his vertical trailer park in Oklahoma City, while the OASIS has captivating bells and whistles, and it’s free. Its creator, the legendary billionaire James Halliday, left a curious will. He had devised an elaborate online game, a hunt for a hidden Easter egg. The finder would inherit his estate. Old-fashioned riddles lead to three keys and three gates. Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, is the first gunter (egg-hunter) to win the Copper Key, first of three.
Halliday was obsessed with the pop culture of the 1980s, primarily the arcade games, so the novel is as much retro as futurist. Parzival’s great strength is that he has absorbed all Halliday’s obsessions; he knows by heart three essential movies, crossing the line from geek to freak. His most formidable competitors are the Sixers, contract gunters working for the evil conglomerate IOI, whose goal is to acquire the OASIS. Cline’s narrative is straightforward but loaded with exposition. It takes a while to reach a scene that crackles with excitement: the meeting between Parzival (now world famous as the lead contender) and Sorrento, the head of IOI. The latter tries to recruit Parzival; when he fails, he issues and executes a death threat. Wade’s trailer is demolished, his relatives killed; luckily Wade was not at home. Too bad this is the dramatic high point. Parzival threads his way between more ’80s games and movies to gain the other keys; it’s clever but not exciting. Even a romance with another avatar and the ultimate “epic throwdown” fail to stir the blood.
Too much puzzle-solving, not enough suspense.
Book review examples for non-fiction books
Nonfiction books are generally written to inform readers about a certain topic. As such, the focus of a nonfiction book review will be on the clarity and effectiveness of this communication . In carrying this out, a book review may analyze the author’s source materials and assess the thesis in order to determine whether or not the book meets expectations.
Again, we’ve included abbreviated versions of long reviews here, so feel free to click on the link to read the entire piece!
The Washington Post reviews David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon :
The arc of David Grann’s career reminds one of a software whiz-kid or a latest-thing talk-show host — certainly not an investigative reporter, even if he is one of the best in the business. The newly released movie of his first book, “The Lost City of Z,” is generating all kinds of Oscar talk, and now comes the release of his second book, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” the film rights to which have already been sold for $5 million in what one industry journal called the “biggest and wildest book rights auction in memory.”
Grann deserves the attention. He’s canny about the stories he chases, he’s willing to go anywhere to chase them, and he’s a maestro in his ability to parcel out information at just the right clip: a hint here, a shading of meaning there, a smartly paced buildup of multiple possibilities followed by an inevitable reversal of readerly expectations or, in some cases, by a thrilling and dislocating pull of the entire narrative rug.
All of these strengths are on display in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Around the turn of the 20th century, oil was discovered underneath Osage lands in the Oklahoma Territory, lands that were soon to become part of the state of Oklahoma. Through foresight and legal maneuvering, the Osage found a way to permanently attach that oil to themselves and shield it from the prying hands of white interlopers; this mechanism was known as “headrights,” which forbade the outright sale of oil rights and granted each full member of the tribe — and, supposedly, no one else — a share in the proceeds from any lease arrangement. For a while, the fail-safes did their job, and the Osage got rich — diamond-ring and chauffeured-car and imported-French-fashion rich — following which quite a large group of white men started to work like devils to separate the Osage from their money. And soon enough, and predictably enough, this work involved murder. Here in Jazz Age America’s most isolated of locales, dozens or even hundreds of Osage in possession of great fortunes — and of the potential for even greater fortunes in the future — were dispatched by poison, by gunshot and by dynamite. […]
Stacked Books reviews Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers :
I’ve heard a lot of great things about Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. Friends and co-workers tell me that his subjects are interesting and his writing style is easy to follow without talking down to the reader. I wasn’t disappointed with Outliers. In it, Gladwell tackles the subject of success – how people obtain it and what contributes to extraordinary success as opposed to everyday success.
The thesis – that our success depends much more on circumstances out of our control than any effort we put forth – isn’t exactly revolutionary. Most of us know it to be true. However, I don’t think I’m lying when I say that most of us also believe that we if we just try that much harder and develop our talent that much further, it will be enough to become wildly successful, despite bad or just mediocre beginnings. Not so, says Gladwell.
Most of the evidence Gladwell gives us is anecdotal, which is my favorite kind to read. I can’t really speak to how scientifically valid it is, but it sure makes for engrossing listening. For example, did you know that successful hockey players are almost all born in January, February, or March? Kids born during these months are older than the others kids when they start playing in the youth leagues, which means they’re already better at the game (because they’re bigger). Thus, they get more play time, which means their skill increases at a faster rate, and it compounds as time goes by. Within a few years, they’re much, much better than the kids born just a few months later in the year. Basically, these kids’ birthdates are a huge factor in their success as adults – and it’s nothing they can do anything about. If anyone could make hockey interesting to a Texan who only grudgingly admits the sport even exists, it’s Gladwell. […]
Quill and Quire reviews Rick Prashaw’s Soar, Adam, Soar :
Ten years ago, I read a book called Almost Perfect. The young-adult novel by Brian Katcher won some awards and was held up as a powerful, nuanced portrayal of a young trans person. But the reality did not live up to the book’s billing. Instead, it turned out to be a one-dimensional and highly fetishized portrait of a trans person’s life, one that was nevertheless repeatedly dubbed “realistic” and “affecting” by non-transgender readers possessing only a vague, mass-market understanding of trans experiences.
In the intervening decade, trans narratives have emerged further into the literary spotlight, but those authored by trans people ourselves – and by trans men in particular – have seemed to fall under the shadow of cisgender sensationalized imaginings. Two current Canadian releases – Soar, Adam, Soar and This One Looks Like a Boy – provide a pointed object lesson into why trans-authored work about transgender experiences remains critical.
To be fair, Soar, Adam, Soar isn’t just a story about a trans man. It’s also a story about epilepsy, the medical establishment, and coming of age as seen through a grieving father’s eyes. Adam, Prashaw’s trans son, died unexpectedly at age 22. Woven through the elder Prashaw’s narrative are excerpts from Adam’s social media posts, giving us glimpses into the young man’s interior life as he traverses his late teens and early 20s. […]
Book Geeks reviews Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love :
WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“Eat Pray Love” is so popular that it is almost impossible to not read it. Having felt ashamed many times on my not having read this book, I quietly ordered the book (before I saw the movie) from amazon.in and sat down to read it. I don’t remember what I expected it to be – maybe more like a chick lit thing but it turned out quite different. The book is a real story and is a short journal from the time when its writer went travelling to three different countries in pursuit of three different things – Italy (Pleasure), India (Spirituality), Bali (Balance) and this is what corresponds to the book’s name – EAT (in Italy), PRAY (in India) and LOVE (in Bali, Indonesia). These are also the three Is – ITALY, INDIA, INDONESIA.
Though she had everything a middle-aged American woman can aspire for – MONEY, CAREER, FRIENDS, HUSBAND; Elizabeth was not happy in her life, she wasn’t happy in her marriage. Having suffered a terrible divorce and terrible breakup soon after, Elizabeth was shattered. She didn’t know where to go and what to do – all she knew was that she wanted to run away. So she set out on a weird adventure – she will go to three countries in a year and see if she can find out what she was looking for in life. This book is about that life changing journey that she takes for one whole year. […]
Emily May reviews Michelle Obama’s Becoming on Goodreads:
Look, I'm not a happy crier. I might cry at songs about leaving and missing someone; I might cry at books where things don't work out; I might cry at movies where someone dies. I've just never really understood why people get all choked up over happy, inspirational things. But Michelle Obama's kindness and empathy changed that. This book had me in tears for all the right reasons.
This is not really a book about politics, though political experiences obviously do come into it. It's a shame that some will dismiss this book because of a difference in political opinion, when it is really about a woman's life. About growing up poor and black on the South Side of Chicago; about getting married and struggling to maintain that marriage; about motherhood; about being thrown into an amazing and terrifying position.
I hate words like "inspirational" because they've become so overdone and cheesy, but I just have to say it-- Michelle Obama is an inspiration. I had the privilege of seeing her speak at The Forum in Inglewood, and she is one of the warmest, funniest, smartest, down-to-earth people I have ever seen in this world.
And yes, I know we present what we want the world to see, but I truly do think it's genuine. I think she is someone who really cares about people - especially kids - and wants to give them better lives and opportunities.
She's obviously intelligent, but she also doesn't gussy up her words. She talks straight, with an openness and honesty rarely seen. She's been one of the most powerful women in the world, she's been a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, she's had her own successful career, and yet she has remained throughout that same girl - Michelle Robinson - from a working class family in Chicago.
I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book.
Hopefully, this post has given you a better idea of how to write a book review. You might be wondering how to put all of this knowledge into action now! Many book reviewers start out by setting up a book blog. If you don’t have time to research the intricacies of HTML, check out Reedsy Discovery — where you can read indie books for free and review them without going through the hassle of creating a blog. To register as a book reviewer , go here .
And if you’d like to see even more book review examples, simply go to this directory of book review blogs and click on any one of them to see a wealth of good book reviews. Beyond that, it's up to you to pick up a book and pen — and start reviewing!
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Book Review Writing Examples
Examples: learn from the efforts of others.
Learning how to write strong reviews takes time and not a little effort. Reading the reviews others have done can help you get a feel for the flow and flavor of reviews.
If I Never Forever Endeavor Review by Hayden, age 4, Southeast Michigan Mensa
This book was about a bird who didn't yet know how to fly.
The bird has to decide if it will try to fly, but it was not sure if it wants to. The bird thought, "If I never forever endeavor" then I won't ever learn. On one wing, he worries he might fail and on the other wing he thinks of how he may succeed. He worries that if he tries, he may get lost in the world. That makes him want to stay in his nest where he's safe.
I think this book would help other children to learn that trying new things can be scary, but sometimes when we try, we can find things that make us happy too. And this book will help others know that mistakes are okay and part of learning.
My favorite part is that the bird tried and learned that she could fly. I also liked that I read this book because it gave me a chance to talk to mom about making mistakes and how I don't like making them. Then I learned they are good and part of learning.
Boys and girls who are 3 to 8 years old would like this book because it teaches about trying a new thing and how it's important to get past being scared so you can learn new things.
I give the book 5 stars since I think it's important for other children to learn about courage.
Flesh & Blood So Cheap Review by Umar B., age 8, Central New Jersy Mensa
I liked this book. People who are interested in national disasters and US history as well as immigration will most probably be interested in reading this book.
Readers can gain knowledge of what it was like to work in New York City in the early 1900s. One of the things that was especially interesting was that there were no safety laws at work. Also, there was a big contrast between the rich and the poor. Some people may not like this book because it is very depressing, but it is an important event in history to remember.
This book was very well written. It has black and white photos along with descriptions of the photos. These photos give us a better idea of what people's lives were like. This book is suitable for 9-20 year olds.
I give this book 5 stars.
Galaxy Zach: Journey to Juno Review by Young Mensan Connor C., age 6, Boston Mensa
Journey To Juno is the second book of the Galaxy Zack series. It is just as good as the first one. It's awesome!
Zack joins the Sprockets Academy Explorers Club at school. They fly on a special trip to Juno, a new planet no one has ever visited. Zack gets paired up with Seth, the class bully, and that's dreadful but Zack is excited when he finds a huge galaxy gemmite. A gemmite that large had not been found in 100 years! Kids will love this book!
Boys and girls will both like it. It's an easy chapter book with pictures on every page. I love the illustrations. I think ages 6-8 would like this but younger kids would like the story being read to them.
My favorite parts are the galactic blast game (it is similar to baseball except there are robots playing), recess at Zack's school where everything is 3-D holographic images, the rainbow river in a crystal cave on Juno, and the galaxy gemmite that Zack finds on Juno. I also loved when a life-size holographic image of his Earth friend appears in Zack's room because he calls him on a hyperphone. I give this book one hundred stars! There is a "to be continued" at the end so you have to read the next book see what's in store. I can't wait to find out what happens!!!
I Capture the Castle Review by Lauren W., age 17, Mensa in Georgia
Dodie Smith's novel I Capture the Castle is a journey through the mind of a young writer as she attempts to chronicle her daily life. Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain has recently learned to speed-write, and she decides to work on her writing skills by describing the actions and conversations of those around her.
Cassandra lives in a fourteenth-century English castle with an interesting cast of characters: her beautiful older sister, Rose; her rather unsociable author father and his second wife, artist-model Topaz; Stephen, the garden boy; a cat and a bull terrier; and sometimes her brother Thomas when he is home from school. One fateful day they make the acquaintance of the Cotton family, including the two sons, and a web of tangled relationships ensues.
While I definitely recommend this book to other readers, I would recommend it to older teenagers, mainly because it will resonate better with them. The writing is tame enough that younger teens could also read it, but most of the characters are adults or on the verge of adulthood. Older readers would take the most from it since they can not only relate, but they may also better pick up on and appreciate Cassandra's sometimes subtle humor.
Over the course of the novel, Cassandra undergoes a definite transformation from child to mature young adult, even though it's only over the course of several months. I love that I could see into her mindset and read exactly what she was feeling when she thought out situations. Her thoughts flowed well and moved the book along very quickly.
Cassandra's narrative voice is wonderful. She is serious at times, but also very witty, which makes for an engaging read. It feels absolutely real, as though I'm reading someone's actual journal. Sometimes I forget that I am reading a story and not a real-life account. Her emotions and the dialogue are so genuine, and they are spot-on for a seventeen-year-old girl in her situation.
Cassandra has many wonderful insights on life, on topics ranging from writing to faith to matters of the heart. I personally have had some of the same thoughts as Cassandra, except Ms. Smith was able to put them into words.
Capture the Castle should be essential reading for aspiring writers, those looking for historical fiction or romance, or anyone who loves reading amazing classic books. Dodie Smith is an exceptional writer, and I Capture the Castle is a book that will never become obsolete.
Frankenstein's Cat Review by Zander H., age 12, Mid-America Mensa
I appreciated Frankenstein's Cat for its fascinating explanation about the often baffling subject of bioengineering and its sister sciences. Emily Anthes explains the many sides of today's modern technology, such as gene modification, cloning, pharmaceutical products (from the farm), prosthesis, animal tag and tracking and gene cryogenics. This book provides a well-rounded summary of these complicated sciences without being boring or simply factual. Her real world examples take us on a journey from the farm, to the pet store and then from the pharmacy to the frozen arc.
Have you ever wondered if the neighborhood cat is spying on you? Read about Operation Acoustic Kitty and find out if this feline fantasy fiction or fact. Do you think bugs are creepy? What about a zombified cyborg beetle? Is Fido so special that you want two of him? Money can buy you an almost exact copy of your pooch BUT don't expect the same personality. Emily Anthes makes you crave more information. She makes you want to know the future of Earth's flora and fauna, as well as humanity itself.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who desires a guide to the future of biological science and technology. Frankenstein's Cat is best read by the light of a glow-in-the-dark fish, while cuddling your favorite cloned dog and drinking a glass of genetically modified milk.
About Marsupials Review by Connor C., age 6, Boston Mensa
About Marsupials is the title so the book is about...marsupials, of course. It's non-fiction. I really think everyone would like the book. I think someone who likes animals would especially like to read it.
The glossary of facts in the back of About Marsupials is the most useful part. I thought the most interesting parts were that some marsupials have their pouch at their back legs and one marsupial, the Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, is very small but can jump 13 feet wide!
Kids in the 4-8 age range would like this book. Even though it's not a story book, 4 year olds would like the few words on each page and they would love the beautiful pictures. But older kids would like it because of all the facts in the back of the book. There's a lot of information for each animal. I think boys and girls (and parents) would enjoy reading it. This book is very interesting. I give it 4 stars.
Mapping the World Review by Umar A., age 10, Central New Jersey Mensa
Every day, people around the world use maps. Whether it is an airplane pilot or businessman, housewife or museum group, maps have always and will continue to provide useful information for all.
Mapping the World talks about the uses of maps, as well as how to differentiate between the type of map projection and type of map.
In this series, we travel to the past and learn about historical mapmakers, from Claudius Ptolemy (who stated the idea that the Earth is at the center of the universe) to Gerardus Mercator (who created one of the most widely used map projections) and more. This series goes into tremendous detail on the cartographer's life and maps. We then journey to the present era to learn about map projections and the diverse types of maps used today. You might ask, "What is the difference between the two? They sound the same to me." No map projection is perfect, because you cannot really flatten a sphere into a rectangle. An uncolored projection could be used in many ways. We could use it for population concentration, highways, land elevation, and so many other things!
For example, we could make a topographic map of the U.S., which shows land elevation. We could make it a colorful map that shows the amount of pollution in different areas, or it could be a population map, or it could even be a map that shows the 50 states, their capitals and borders! Our last step in this amazing excursion is the near future, where we see some hypothetical solutions as to what maps will be used for. Currently, we are working on better virtual map technology.
Now, scientists have been able to put maps on phones. Back in the early 1900s, people had to lug a lot of maps around to find your way from place to place, or just keep asking for directions. Now, all the information is on a phone or global positioning system (GPS). It is amazing how much maps have changed technology and the world in this century.
The Mapping the World 8-book set goes into amazing levels of detail. It is a long read, but it gives an immense range and amount of information that you would not find in any other book or series on maps. The flowing way the chapters and books are organized makes it easy to link passages from different books in this series together. Mapping the World is a treasure box, filled with the seeds of cartography. Collect and plant them, and you soon will have the fruits of cartography, beneficial to those who want to be cartographers. Use this series to the utmost, then the fruits of mapping will be sweet for all who endeavor to succeed in cartography.
This series of lessons was designed to meet the needs of gifted children for extension beyond the standard curriculum with the greatest ease of use for the educator. The lessons may be given to the students for individual self-guided work, or they may be taught in a classroom or a home-school setting. Assessment strategies and rubrics are included at the end of each section. The rubrics often include a column for "scholar points," which are invitations for students to extend their efforts beyond that which is required, incorporating creativity or higher level technical skills.
How to Write a Book Review: Awesome Guide
A book review allows students to illustrate the author's intentions of writing the piece, as well as create a criticism of the book — as a whole. In other words, form an opinion of the author's presented ideas. Check out this guide from EssayPro — dissertation writing service to learn how to write a book review successfully.
What Is a Book Review?
You may prosper, “what is a book review?”. Book reviews are commonly assigned students to allow them to show a clear understanding of the novel. And to check if the students have actually read the book. The essay format is highly important for your consideration, take a look at the book review format below.
Book reviews are assigned to allow students to present their own opinion regarding the author’s ideas included in the book or passage. They are a form of literary criticism that analyzes the author’s ideas, writing techniques, and quality. A book analysis is entirely opinion-based, in relevance to the book. They are good practice for those who wish to become editors, due to the fact, editing requires a lot of criticism.
Book Review Template
The book review format includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Describe the book cover and title.
- Include any subtitles at this stage.
- Include the Author’s Name.
- Write a brief description of the novel.
- Briefly introduce the main points of the body in your book review.
- Avoid mentioning any opinions at this time.
- Use about 3 quotations from the author’s novel.
- Summarize the quotations in your own words.
- Mention your own point-of-view of the quotation.
- Remember to keep every point included in its own paragraph.
- In brief, summarize the quotations.
- In brief, summarize the explanations.
- Finish with a concluding sentence.
- This can include your final opinion of the book.
- Star-Rating (Optional).
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How to Write a Book Review: Step-By-Step
Writing a book review is something that can be done with every novel. Book reviews can apply to all novels, no matter the genre. Some genres may be harder than others. On the other hand, the book review format remains the same. Take a look at these step-by-step instructions from our professional writers to learn how to write a book review in-depth.
Step 1: Planning
Create an essay outline which includes all of the main points you wish to summarise in your book analysis. Include information about the characters, details of the plot, and some other important parts of your chosen novel. Reserve a body paragraph for each point you wish to talk about.
Consider these points before writing:
- What is the plot of the book? Understanding the plot enables you to write an effective review.
- Is the plot gripping? Does the plot make you want to continue reading the novel? Did you enjoy the plot? Does it manage to grab a reader’s attention?
- Are the writing techniques used by the author effective? Does the writer imply factors in-between the lines? What are they?
- Are the characters believable? Are the characters logical? Does the book make the characters are real while reading?
- Would you recommend the book to anyone? The most important thing: would you tell others to read this book? Is it good enough? Is it bad?
- What could be better? Keep in mind the quotes that could have been presented better. Criticize the writer.
Step 2: Introduction
Presumably, you have chosen your book. To begin, mention the book title and author’s name. Talk about the cover of the book. Write a thesis statement regarding the fictitious story or non-fictional novel. Which briefly describes the quoted material in the book review.
Step 3: Body
Choose a specific chapter or scenario to summarise. Include about 3 quotes in the body. Create summaries of each quote in your own words. It is also encouraged to include your own point-of-view and the way you interpret the quote. It is highly important to have one quote per paragraph.
Step 4: Conclusion
Write a summary of the summarised quotations and explanations, included in the body paragraphs. After doing so, finish book analysis with a concluding sentence to show the bigger picture of the book. Think to yourself, “Is it worth reading?”, and answer the question in black and white. However, write in-between the lines. Avoid stating “I like/dislike this book.”
Step 5: Rate the Book (Optional)
After writing a book review, you may want to include a rating. Including a star-rating provides further insight into the quality of the book, to your readers. Book reviews with star-ratings can be more effective, compared to those which don’t. Though, this is entirely optional.
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Here is the list of tips for the book review:
- A long introduction can certainly lower one’s grade: keep the beginning short. Readers don’t like to read the long introduction for any essay style.
- It is advisable to write book reviews about fiction: it is not a must. Though, reviewing fiction can be far more effective than writing about a piece of nonfiction
- Avoid Comparing: avoid comparing your chosen novel with other books you have previously read. Doing so can be confusing for the reader.
- Opinion Matters: including your own point-of-view is something that is often encouraged when writing book reviews.
- Refer to Templates: a book review template can help a student get a clearer understanding of the required writing style.
- Don’t be Afraid to Criticize: usually, your own opinion isn’t required for academic papers below Ph.D. level. On the other hand, for book reviews, there’s an exception.
- Use Positivity: include a fair amount of positive comments and criticism.
- Review The Chosen Novel: avoid making things up. Review only what is presented in the chosen book.
- Enjoyed the book? If you loved reading the book, state it. Doing so makes your book analysis more personalized.
Writing a book review is something worth thinking about. Professors commonly assign this form of an assignment to students to enable them to express a grasp of a novel. Following the book review format is highly useful for beginners, as well as reading step-by-step instructions. Writing tips is also useful for people who are new to this essay type. If you need a book review or essay, ask our book report writing services ' write paper for me ' and we'll give you a hand asap!
We also recommend that everyone read the article about essay topics . It will help broaden your horizons in writing a book review as well as other papers.
Book Review Examples
Referring to a book review example is highly useful to those who wish to get a clearer understanding of how to review a book. Take a look at our examples written by our professional writers. Click on the button to open the book review examples and feel free to use them as a reference.
Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’
Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’ is a novel aimed at youngsters. The plot, itself, is not American humor, but that of Great Britain. In terms of sarcasm, and British-related jokes. The novel illustrates a fair mix of the relationships between the human-like animals, and wildlife. The narrative acts as an important milestone in post-Victorian children’s literature.
Dr. John’s ‘Pollution’
Dr. John’s ‘Pollution’ consists of 3 major parts. The first part is all about the polluted ocean. The second being about the pollution of the sky. The third part is an in-depth study of how humans can resolve these issues. The book is a piece of non-fiction that focuses on modern-day pollution ordeals faced by both animals and humans on Planet Earth. It also focuses on climate change, being the result of the global pollution ordeal.
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Top 10 Book Reviews with Examples for College Students [A Much Needed Read]
Table of content
Part 1. What is A Book Review?
Part 2. what should a book review include, part 3. 10 book review examples for students, part 4. how to write a perfect book review as a college student.
Are you a college student wanting to learn how to write an effective and engaging book review? Learning the different elements of writing successful reviews can help you hone your critical analysis and communication skills while also giving your opinions on books that may be interesting to fellow students.
We’ve compiled the best book review examples for college students so that you can get an idea of what makes for compelling, impactful book reviews and how to write a book review as a college student. Also, we will introduce one awesome tool, UPDF , to help you write the book review you need. Without wasting time, let's go to check.
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A book review is an objective and comprehensive evaluation of a particular book. It assesses the book's content, style, and relevance to the field it covers. Written by scholars, experts, or avid readers, book reviews provide potential readers with an insight into the quality, content, and significance of a given book. They are usually written in newspapers, magazines, online platforms, and academic journals.
Book reviews can be used as a valuable resource for readers who want to make an informed decision when choosing what to read. For college students especially, reading reviews can help them gain insight into books that may be interesting and helpful for their studies.
Here's an in-depth overview of the elements of a book review:
1. Basic Information
In a book review, the basic information section provides readers with information on the:
- Author's name
- Date of publication
- Other relevant details
In today's age where customer ratings and reviews play an important role in helping potential readers decide if a book may be worth their time and money, customer ratings from popular websites such as Amazon or Goodreads are also included in this section.
Providing readers a place to buy the book at the end of the review ensures they can easily locate it and make the purchase if they wish to do so.
As such, this section provides a helpful overview of what the book entails without risking spoilers or giving away plot points that may take away from the reading experience.
A thorough book review should provide an analysis of how a story is developed by the author. It should pay special attention to examining how the plot progresses from beginning to end, what characters are introduced and how they help move the story forward, and any underlying themes or messages that contribute meaningfully to the narrative.
A successful book review will look at each of these elements in depth, explaining the important events, relationships between characters and themes, and why they all matter.
By providing readers with an understanding and appreciation of this complex structure created by the author, a book review can bring added insight into why certain books work so well for certain readers.
Quotes from the book can be a great way to support your review and provide a vivid illustration of why certain portions of the book are so insightful or humorous. This also helps readers have an understanding of what to expect when reading the book, aiding them in deciding if this is something they would like to spend their time with.
Quotes should be chosen well and given in a way that they maintain the integrity of the book’s content while still providing an accurate representation of what to expect when reading it.
4. Your Thoughts After Reading
This is the most important and personal part of any book review. Here, you will be able to share your own opinion on the book and give it a rating. This section should not just focus on your feelings about the book, but also provide an in-depth analysis of how it made you feel, what stayed with you after reading it, and why. This is your opportunity to explain why you would or wouldn’t recommend this book to others, so use it well.
You may also provide some helpful advice on who would best enjoy this book, such as what age group it's most suitable for or if there are particular topics that it may be helpful to those who are more deeply interested in.
5. Your Rate
At the end of a book review, you should provide your own rating of the book (on a scale from 1 to 5 stars or whatever other rating systems you prefer).
Your rating should reflect your honest opinion and provide readers with an understanding of how much you enjoyed the book. It is also important to remember that ratings are subjective and should be based on your individual experience with the book.
Your rating should reflect your opinion of the quality of the writing, the characters, and the overall story that you experienced while reading. This rating should be your final opinion on the book and will help potential readers in deciding if it is something they would like to commit their time and money to.
A great book review should end with a concise summary of the work as a whole. Here you should include your overall opinion on the book and what elements you found most enjoyable. This can help readers gain a better understanding of why the book was so successful, and how it may have impacted your life in some way.
This is also a great place to provide readers with information on where they can find the book so that they can look into it further if they choose to do so.
Book review examples are a great way for students to get more out of the books they read. Not only do examples of book reviews provide readers with an in-depth evaluation of the book’s content and quality, but they also offer students an opportunity to practice their critical thinking and writing skills.
To help you get started, we have compiled 10 book review examples for students.
1. The List That Changed My Life By Olivia Beirne Book Review Example
This example of a book review offers an honest and detailed analysis of the book. It highlights both the positive aspects, such as the strong relationship between Georgia and her sister, as well as some of the more contrived elements of the plot.
Providing a thorough assessment, it allows readers to make an informed decision before deciding whether or not to pick up the book. Additionally, the review is written in a professional and accessible tone, making it enjoyable to read.
2. The People We Keep By Allison Larkin Book Review Example
This example of a book review does an excellent job of providing a comprehensive look at the novel, covering elements such as the characters, setting, plot, and themes. It provides a well-rounded overview that will give potential readers an accurate idea of what to expect from the book.
Additionally, it includes personal insights from the reviewer which adds a level of depth and enthusiasm that can help pique the interest of potential readers.
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Book Review Example
This example of a book review provides an in-depth look at Brave New World and its themes. It clearly explains the book's content and offers a thoughtful analysis of the ideas presented.
The reviewer also provides some insight into their personal experience with the novel which makes it more relatable to other readers. Additionally, the reviewer offers advice on who they think the book is suitable for, making it easier to decide if the book is right for them.
4. Lord Of The Flies by William Golding Book Review Example
This example of a book review offers an honest and detailed evaluation of the book "Lord of the Flies" which makes it helpful for readers who are considering reading this book.
The review offers a thoughtful perspective on how young adult readers may appreciate the story, as well as provides information about where to buy the book.
Additionally, the review covers key plot points such as the Lord of the Flies and how the events escalated, as well as pointing out potential plot holes. This makes it an excellent resource for readers looking to gain a better understanding of this classic novel.
Finally, this review provides insight into how easily human nature can be manipulated which is an important point that is often overlooked.
All in all, this review is an excellent resource for readers interested in the book "Lord of the Flies" and offers an informed opinion on what to expect.
5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee Book Review Example
This example of a book review offers a comprehensive overview of Harper Lee's classic novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. It provides an analysis of the book's characters and themes, giving readers a clear understanding of why it is considered one of the greatest novels ever written.
Additionally, it touches on various topics such as racism and sexism that are still relevant today.
This review is a great resource for readers who are looking to gain a deeper understanding of the novel and its themes. It is also useful for readers who want to get a better idea of how Lee's writing style has stood the test of time.
Finally, it provides an insightful look into why To Kill A Mockingbird continues to be read and enjoyed worldwide. Therefore, it is a great review to check if you are considering picking up this classic book.
6. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald Book Review Example
This review example is a great resource for students to use as an introduction to book reviews. It provides them with a comprehensive overview of the content and structure of a typical book review, while also highlighting some of the unique features that make This Side of Paradise so special.
In addition, reading it gives readers an insight into the historical context in which Fitzgerald wrote, making it an invaluable tool for literary analysis and appreciation.
Finally, the review also contains insightful comments about Fitzgerald's writing style, which may provide valuable tips for aspiring authors.
7. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Book Review Example
This example of a book review provides a comprehensive overview of Dostoevsky's 'Crime and Punishment', highlighting the pros and cons of the work. It also offers insight into the characters and their relationships, as well as an in-depth look at Dostoevsky's purpose for writing the novel - to defeat nihilism.
Students should read this review example to gain a better understanding of Dostoevsky's masterpiece and the impact it had on 19th-century literature.
Students can also learn valuable lessons from the novel, such as how to think critically about radical ideas and how not to fall into nihilism. Additionally, by studying this review example students can develop their own critical analysis skills. They can learn how to identify a work's strengths and weaknesses, as well as its overarching themes and purpose. This review example provides students with the perfect starting point for further research into 'Crime and Punishment' and Dostoevsky's other works.
8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Book Review Example
This example of a book review shows how to analyze a text analytically and draw conclusions about the book's themes, characters, and motifs. It provides an in-depth look at how different elements of the book combine together to create a powerful story.
Additionally, this review provides insight into why certain aspects of the novel might be interpreted differently by different readers. By reading this review, students can gain a better understanding of the novel, its themes, and how they may relate to their own lives. This will help them form their own opinions on the book and connect with it more deeply.
9. Animal Farm by George Orwell Book Review Example
This review example of Animal Farm by George Orwell provides an in-depth analysis of the book that goes beyond a basic plot summary. It uses historical events to illustrate many of the themes present in the novel, and it also explores how religion can be used to control people's thoughts and actions.
By reading this example of a book review, students can get a better understanding of the book, its characters, and its broader messages. Furthermore, it provides a useful template for writing their own reviews of the book in preparation for exams or other assignments.
Overall, this review serves as an informative introduction to Animal Farm and is sure to help students better understand the themes present in the novel.
10. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg Book Review Example
This example of a book review offers a great insight into the power of habits and how they can be changed. It includes an explanation of the principles behind habit formation and highlights some tips for creating new habits to replace old ones. The review also provides an engaging story that showcases how these principles worked in one person's life, which is helpful for readers who are looking for personal insight and motivation.
Additionally, this review includes an infographic that summarizes the key points from the book, making it easy for students to understand and remember the material. This example is a great reference point for anyone looking to apply the principles of habit formation in their own lives.
Writing an effective and meaningful book review can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach and some helpful tips, anyone can craft a great book review.
We will walk you through how to write a book review example, from taking notes while reading to writing your first draft and beyond.
So if you want to know what it takes for success in this endeavor, read on!
Step 1. Taking Notes When Reading
The first step in writing a book review is to take notes while you read the book. This will help you remember key points and details that you can reference when writing your review.
If you are reading a PDF format book, we recommend using the UPDF app to take notes.
UPDF gives users the ability to highlight text, add comments and annotations, and stickers to their PDF book – all within a single interface.
Here's how to use UPDF for note-taking:
1. Select the book you want to read and open it in the UPDF reader and editor.
2. Head to the left toolbar and click on the comment or pencil icon.
3. Now you can add comments in three ways:
- Text Comment (Typewriter) – add comments in the form of text.
- Text Box – insert a box to write down your thoughts.
- Sticky Note – add a sticky note to mark important points.
4. Once you have added your comments, click save and you’re done!
By taking notes with UPDF, you can easily refer back to your notes when it's time to write your review.
Also Read: 5 Best Note-taking Apps for Students
Step 2. Outline the Book Review
Before you start writing your review, it is important to create an outline. This will help you organize your thoughts and identify the main points of your review.
A general outline for a book review should include:
Introduction: Provide an overview of the book and explain its main takeaways.
Summary: Summarize the plot, characters, and themes of the book.
Analysis: Analyze the author's writing style and technique, as well as the book's overall message.
Opinion: Share your personal opinion on the book and any ideas or insights you've gained by reading it.
Final Thoughts: Wrap up your review with a conclusion.
Step 3. Checking Book Reviews Examples
Before writing your own review, it can be helpful to check examples of book reviews. A good example of a book review provides an insightful analysis of what makes the book worth reading, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses.
As you go through examples, take note of the structure and tone used in each review. You can also take note of any key points in the book that may have been overlooked or not covered.
Reading reviews can help you get a better understanding of the book and gain valuable insights into its content, in preparation for exams or other assignments.
Step 4. Writing the First Draft
Now that you have taken notes and created an outline, it is time to start writing your first draft. As you write, remember to keep the tone of your review professional and unbiased.
Make sure to include in-text citations and a list of any sources you use when relevant, as this will add credibility to your review. Additionally, use language that is easy to understand, and don’t be afraid to inject some of your own thoughts and opinions.
Once you have written the first draft, take a break and come back to it with fresh eyes before revising and editing.
Step 5. Reread The Book Review and Update
Once you have written the first draft of your book review, it is important to reread it and make any necessary updates. Pay close attention to any grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Additionally, ensure that all the points you mentioned in your review are accurate and true to the book's content.
Finally, make sure you have written in an organized and coherent manner that is easy for the reader to follow.
Writing a book review for college students can seem challenging but with the right preparation and some helpful tips, anyone can craft a great book review. By taking notes when reading, creating an outline before you start writing, checking book review examples, and revising your work after writing the first draft - you can create a thoughtful and insightful review. And we are sure these 10 book review examples for college students will be very helpful to you.
So, the next time you are assigned to write a book review, keep these tips in mind and you will be sure to impress your teacher or professor.
If you're up for a challenge, try using UPDF to take notes and track your progress as you read – it might just give you the extra edge in writing a great book review.
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Book Review Examples
Book Review Examples: Get Inspiration With 10+ Examples!
Published on: Jun 19, 2023
Last updated on: Nov 30, 2023
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Quick and Easy Guide to Learn How to Write a Book Review
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Are you eager to enhance your book-reviewing skills?
Writing reviews can be frustrating. You put the effort in, yet feel like you have failed to capture the essence of the book.
But worry no more! To inspire and guide you, we've collected a variety of book review examples from different genres. These examples will show you different writing styles and approaches, giving you plenty of ideas for your own reviews.
So, keep on reading to learn more!
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Understanding Book Review
A book review is like a detailed analysis and opinion about a book. It's not just a summary; the review talks about the book's strengths, weaknesses, and overall quality .
When you write a review, you'll give an in-depth evaluation of the bookâs writing style. Moreover, youâd be exploring its plot and the characters, the themes, and what impact the book has.
The goal of a book review is to help you decide if a book is worth reading or not. It also encourages discussions and lets people share their thoughts and perspectives.
Book reviews are helpful because they guide readers in choosing books, provide feedback to authors, and inspire a love for reading.
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A book review for fictional books typically includes an introduction where the book and author are introduced. Mainly for fiction, the plot summary is discussed, without giving away major spoilers.
The reviewer shares their personal opinion and evaluation, expressing what they liked or disliked about the book. It concludes with a recommendation, indicating whether they would suggest it to others.
Here is a review by The New York Times on The Hazel Woods by Melissa Albert:
Here are some more good book review examples on literary and fictional works:
Book Review Examples for High School
Book Review Examples for Grade 6
Book Review Examples for Class 9
Book Review Examples for Class 11
4th Grade Book Review Examples
Book Review Examples for Students
Book Reviews On Non-Fictional Books
To write a book review on nonfiction books, you have to take a different approach compared to reviews of fiction.
It typically begins with an introduction, providing background information about the book and author. The review then includes a concise summary of the content, highlighting the main ideas and arguments.
Non-fiction book reviews aim to inform readers about the content, quality, and significance of the book, helping them make informed decisions and engage in meaningful discussions.
Here are some non-fiction book review examples:
Science Book Review Examples
Academic Book Review Examples
Conclusion of Book Review Examples
How To Write A Good Book Review
Writing a good book review is easier than you might think! Here are some simple tips to help you:
- Read the book carefully: Take your time to read the book thoroughly, paying attention to the book title, the story, the characters, and the writing style.
- Start with a brief summary: Begin your review by giving a short overview of the book, including the main plot points and what it's about.
- Share your thoughts: Feel free to express your opinions and feelings about the book. Did you enjoy it? Was it a powerful story? Be honest in your assessment.
- Discuss the characters: Explore the real-world aspects of the characters and their development. Were they relatable and intriguing to you?
- Highlight the strengths: Identify the book's strong points, such as an exciting plot, beautiful descriptions, or thought-provoking themes.
- Mention any weaknesses: It's okay to point out areas where the book fell short. Maybe the pacing was slow or the ending was unsatisfying. Be respectful but honest.
- Use examples: Support your opinions with specific examples from the book. Quote a favorite passage or describe a scene that impacted you. You can refer to book review templates as well!
- Consider the target audience: Think about who would enjoy this book. Is it suitable for a certain age group or specific interests?
- Wrap up with a recommendation: Based on your review, would you recommend this book to others? Let readers know who might enjoy it.
- Proofread and edit: Before publishing or sharing your review, proofread it for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Make sure your thoughts are clear and well-organized.
Remember, a good book review reflects your honest opinion and helps others decide whether to read the book.
Need to know more about writing a book review? Check out our comprehensive guide on book reviews to learn all about it!
To wrap it up, writing a book review can be a fun and rewarding activity. By following the examples and tips shared in this blog, you can create amazing reviews!
However, if you're still not sure where to start, you can get our expert writers to help you out! Our review essay writing service can provide original book reviews crafted by experienced professionals.
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How to Write a Book Review: Writing Guide, Structure & Examples
Table of contents
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A book review is a critical evaluation of a book that provides a brief summary and discusses its strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of a book review is to help readers decide whether or not to read the book. You should provide insight into the book's content and assess its significance.
Writing a book review is an essential skill that every student must possess. In particular, your teacher may require you to prepare a book review to widen your knowledge of a subject matter or let you practice evaluating ideas critically. Follow this article to discover how to review a book and complete such projects easily. Even if you have never written reviews before, with our step-by-step guidelines, you will understand the basics. Book reviews examples are also offered to bolster your grasp of key points. As a book review writer , you might use our recommendations to express your opinion and make your writing shine. Let’s get started!
What Is a Book Review: Definition
A book review is a detailed assessment of text based on content, plot and writing style. It involves thoroughly describing, analyzing, and evaluating what a text means. Reviews often assess writing quality, topic importance and coverage. Most book reviews are brief and generally include 500-1000 words. However, factors such as your assignment length, manuscript complexity, and overall purpose of an evaluation may lead to longer or shorter papers. Students are mainly asked to write a book review as practice in carefully reading, examining, and forming an informed opinion on a volume’s context and author’s views. Unlike a book critique , reviews are more focused on plot summary and recommendations rather than providing critical analysis . The real value of crafting good book review essays for students is that they enhance critical thinking, writing, and interpretation skills. Commentary is a vital aspect of this task as this enables you to enter into discussion and dialogue with a novelist and other readers.
Features of Book Reviews
Formulating book reviews is an important task, as it requires appraising another person’s work. This may have a significant influence on readers because it guides their verdict on whether to consider the text. Thus, knowing how to write a good book review is essential. These components are what makes a good book review:
- Provide a summary of a manuscript. Offer an overview of its purpose, argument, and perspective. Also, describe your topic and scope. This is an excellent way to introduce your review, as it offers context. Nonetheless, avoid giving too much information by keeping it nice and short.
- Offer critical evaluation. Assess the key elements such as themes, plot, character, and overall development, depending on the genre. Identify strong points, weaknesses, and how effective an author is in building their work.
- Give a rating. Recommend whether or not people should value it for its overall quality and authenticity. You can offer your general score using conventional techniques such as “seven out of ten”.
Book Review Outline
It is a good idea to start your paper by writing an outline of a book review. A decent layout usually begins with a heading or bibliographic data specifying the full title, publication place and date, author, and publisher. The second part of the structure of a book review is an introduction, consisting of a brief overview of the text, its purpose or audience, and your thesis statement or key observation. The next section of your book review template is the body in which you describe the analysis and assessment of the manuscript. Here, describe its contents, argument, presentation, and evidence before offering your evaluation. A conclusion section follows where you tie together all raised points and offer your comments about the work. Finally, include a citation page for what you reviewed and any other sources used. Here is a book review outline example:
- Discuss the cover and title
- Mention the author and date of publication
- Present a thesis statement focusing on the central points
- Provide a brief plot summary
- Present your main point
- Include supporting quotations
- Discuss the quotes and symbolism
- Wrap up your key points
- Share your final opinion
- Give recommendations
Things to Consider Before Writing a Book Review
As with all other essay genres that students complete, writing a book review requires considering several components. Therefore, if you are interested in knowing how to write a book review , make sure you attend to these aspects before beginning:
- Author Within your book review essay, you must discuss who the novelist is and their previous works concerning your analysis. For example, you can identify the author’s style, prizes or rewards, and what they are popular for.
- Genre Book reviews also include a genre. Examples are history, romance, fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and science fiction, among others. This helps you recognize the work’s audience and overall purpose.
- Title In most cases, your heading corresponds to a text’s label. However, you can go further by examining how relevant a headline is to the work’s purpose. Maybe it conveys a specific message or reveals important themes.
- Main theme and ideas Your book review must highlight its central points. Evaluate how they are explored. Are they examined deeply or trivially? Besides, assess if it includes any repetitive motifs.
- Argument What is the author’s main argument or assumptions and conclusions? What evidence is used to support these claims? Also, identify if they are valid.
- Writing style Here, explore the major aspects of an author’s style, such as word choice and dialogue setup. Explain or assess how it fits into the broader literary domain.
- Plot Writing an academic book review also requires that you locate the main catalyst of the work’s contents or story. Describe any subplots and explain what happens as the action rises.
- Characters You should also recognize the main characters and their motivations. Additionally, explain if they are empathetic or convincingly drawn.
- Literary devices What techniques of analysis are used? Examples include allusions, sense appeal, quotations, imagery, metaphor, personification, characterization, dialogue, symbolism, etc.
- Quotations You can include short quotes as examples to get your points across when writing book reviews. This allows your reader to see exactly what you are talking about. Practice carefulness and avoid long quotes as they suppress your analysis and take up large spaces. Check our guide on how to cite a quote if you have questions.
Questions to Ask While Reading a Book
An initial step before starting to write your book review is engaging in the active reading of what will be evaluated. Do it once or a couple of times to understand what it is about. Composing an academic book review without going through this phase is unwise because it is like going to an exam without studying a course or unit. Ask yourself these questions as you dig into the manuscript:
- What is its genre?
- Do you know anything about who wrote it?
- Can you identify the main themes? Are they conveyed well?
- What is the main argument?
- What is the exact topic or subject?
- How are the arguments supported and structured?
- Can you identify how the events and characters relate to the subject matter?
- Does it contain a major conflict? How does this develop throughout the work?
- The author was trying to accomplish what?
- How has it helped you understand the topic? How do you feel about the text?
How to Write a Book Review Step-By-Step
Once you have answered the aforementioned questions and made assessments and observations, it is time to start writing analysis. To do this, you must be familiar with how to write a book review. Specifically, you should understand what to do, beginning from assessing the report to composing your review up to writing a conclusion. Below is a step-by-step description of how to do a book review:
1. Read a Book and Take Notes
The first phase of composing a book review involves reading it and taking notes on key points. Start by attending closely to the preface and introduction sections because most authors describe the reasons for writing, their views, and the perspectives of any contributors here. Consider the structure and table of contents to get a quick overview of what is inside. In addition, look at any graphics to gain insights into what strategies are used to enhance meanings and which kinds of readers are targeted. Go through the summaries and abstracts to understand an author’s viewpoint. Note down your observations, including the logic of what is presented, organization, and structure.
Additionally, identify if the information is new or developed based on previous works and existing ideas. Assessment should also include your view about how simple or hard it is to get a novelist’s standpoint and why. These transcripts will enable you to review a book effectively by revealing how distinctive it is and to what extent the author conveyed its motive. Learn more about how to write an academic book review in the sections below.
2. Develop an Outline of a Book Review
Writing an outline for a book review before constructing the actual piece helps ensure your work fulfills its goals. This is the basis of your entire task as it includes the major points you will address and gives you a reference point as you complete your schoolwork. A professional book review structure consists of at least five paragraphs. The main elements are the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Your academic book review template must cover all the primary arguments to be discussed, such as plot details, characters, themes, and other essential parts. Below you can see an example of how a book review can be outlined. Check best practices on how to outline an essay or review to organize your work properly.
3. Write a Book Review Introduction
Start your book review with an anecdote or hook that conveys your argument succinctly. However, you can begin differently based on your audience and argument. Generally, you must include the author’s name, manuscript title, and primary theme. Besides, identify the work’s context in your book review introduction as this informs your claim. Also, offer relevant information about who the writer is and their stand in their field. Moreover, if you are not conversant with how to write a review of a book, remember that your thesis and that of the text are stated here.
How to Write a Book Review Introduction Example
Below is an introduction of a book review example. Examine it carefully and critically to deepen your understanding of composing this section.
John Boyne’s novel, The Boy in The Striped Pajamas, is based on real events during the Second World War. Published in 2006, it offers excellent information to teenagers who want to expand their historical knowledge. The novel follows a nine-year-old youngster, Bruno, whose father works as a Nazi soldier at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The story’s unfolding reveals what a curious boy lived during this desperate period in Germany.
4. Include a Brief Plot Summary
Next, write a book review summary to provide your audience with some background. Focus on pertinent events that occur throughout it, as this gives context. Be cautious here by not revealing the climax or ending because this does not form a major part of your analysis as you write your book review. Thus, keep this section short and brief, probably not more than two paragraphs, unless you are preparing an extended piece. Remember to prioritize your evaluation part. Your audience can also influence the necessary amount of synopsis. For example, if they have not read the work, you may need to offer a good summary. Nonetheless, if they have already gone through it, you can make a book review by examining more subtle arguments and highlighting your claim.
Example of Book Review Summary
Have a look at this example of a good book review summary:
Bruno, a nine-year-old boy, lives in a large house with his parents, sister, and maid during WW2 in Berlin. One day they all move to rural Poland occupied by Nazis after his father is promoted. Bruno identifies a concentration camp close to where they live but thinks it is a farm. A private tutor is allowed to teach him and his sister antisemitism and Nazi propaganda, but he struggles to understand lessons. He later befriends another young boy who lives on another side of a barbed wire fence.
5. Make an Assessment and Critique a Book
This is the main portion of a book review and includes your judgment and appraisal of what you read. You formulated a thesis at the beginning of the book review paper, which represents your view. Now, explain your reasoning. This is also a time for considering your notes and adding details from the manuscript, such as key themes, characters, and the author’s point of view. Here is how to write a book review essay for this segment:
- Which writing style is used? Emphasize precise usage of words and sentences, text flow, clarity, and cohesion.
- Describe how it affected you and if it changed any of your feelings or opinions.
- Explain whether the author met their purpose, if others should read the work, and why.
- Did the author describe facts or attempt to persuade the audience regarding the validity of a specific issue?
- Was it suitable for the intended readers? How interesting was it?
Book Evaluation Example
This example gives you an idea of how to write a book evaluation:
The novel is an excellent revelation for all as it describes the Holocaust events and terrors objectively. Its narration from two perspectives simultaneously was very entertaining. For example, initially, it involved a story from Bruno’s view in the course of the war, including which hardships were endured. Then, the same character was also used in telling a story from the view of being held in a Nazi camp. Here, the examination focuses on how prisoners were treated and the horrible conditions they lived in.
6. Make a Book Recommendation
After evaluating and critiquing the text, it is now time to reveal your thoughts about it. Writing a good book review requires that you identify or explain in this section how suitable it is to your audience. In other words, who will be interested in reading this work? Also, explain in your book review assignment whether you liked or disliked it and why. Ascertain which type of people would love it because not every text is right for everyone. Even if you disliked it, this does not mean that the manuscript is not appealing to others. Therefore, make your review of a book useful by helping people discover it. Besides, identify any surprises you encountered.
Book Recommendation Example
The following sample demonstrates how to write a book recommendation:
Being majorly fictional, this text contains numerous factual elements and describes a lot of ideas and themes requiring mature individuals to deduce and understand properly. Therefore, I do not recommend it to youngsters under 12 years old. However, if you want to gain better insights into the dark events of the Second World War, then this is a perfect copy for you. Its only downside is that the novel does not offer adequate details about events and themes.
7. Write a Conclusion of a Book Review
Your knowledge of how to write book reviews will be incomplete without understanding this section. In particular, you need a strong ending, just like any other writing task you have done previously. So, you have a basic idea about how to write a conclusion for a book review. Specifically, make your final appraisal without introducing new evidence. Nonetheless, you can include new thoughts that go beyond the manuscript if they extend your argument’s logic. In this part, you need to balance what you wrote and found into a single assessment. Ask yourself, what do all summaries and analyses add up to? Also, identify if additional research is required on the topic now that the text is written. Remember to highlight the work’s contribution to its field. Ensure to leave your audience with a well-justified and articulated final evaluation.
Book Review Conclusion Example
Still stuck or need a sample to jog your memory? Look at this example of a book review conclusion:
While the author’s style is plain and natural, there are some weaknesses and errors in how he develops his work. However, this does not stop the author from answering many questions and offering valuable views into the horrors of WWII for young people. His argument is vitally crucial when understanding and coming to terms with the Holocaust. No teenager in the world should go without being exposed to these disastrous events.
Book Review Format
When professors assign tasks, they often require you to comply with a specified design. You may also be left to select an appropriate layout from major styles such as Chicago, APA, or MLA. If you are not asked to use any one particular citation, keep in mind that the format of book reviews depends on your discipline. Therefore, find out how to format a book review from your school department. Do not forget to format your citations accordingly. We advise reading more articles on how to cite a book in APA or MLA, should you need any help.
Book Review Examples
Examples of book reviews are provided below. Click on each one and explore sample templates in more detail. Please, take your time to read all samples since they highlight some key components of writing this type of work. Also, understand that a particular academic book review example is intended to help you practice your analysis skills, enhance your writing skills, and develop your knowledge of reviewing books. Example of book review essay 1
Sample book review 2
Book review essay example 3
Tips on How to Write Book Review
Your approach to composing a book review will vary and depend on what type of work and genre you are analyzing. However, when assessing a text, focus on how an author treats dialogue, setting, plot, and characters. In addition to viewing a book review sample for extra ideas, keep these tips in mind:
- Characters Are they believable, different, or similar during dialogue? Can you tell one from another?
- Plot Is it interesting enough? Does it emerge as original or has numerous dull parts? Identify if it has unresolved issues or is confusing. Remember that you do not know how to write a great book review if you cannot understand the plot.
- Comparison Think about other works in the same genre. How does this volume compare to theirs?
- Setting Can you visualize or imagine the described action? How is the setting used to create a mood?
- Writing style What style is used in developing the text? Is there a consistent style throughout?
Book Review Writing Checklist
Here is a checklist about how to write a book review for school or college. Use it to examine your book review or get another student or peer to assist you:
- checkbox Essential biographical details are provided.
- checkbox My introduction is interesting.
- checkbox I have identified the author and text title/type in my introduction.
- checkbox I stated what the work is about and offered adequate background information.
- checkbox I mentioned the book’s thesis and stated my claim.
- checkbox I described key points in the body, such as summary, purpose, arguments, intended audience, layout, organization, and sources.
- checkbox I backed up my description with evidence or quotations.
- checkbox I critically evaluated key areas.
- checkbox I discussed all strengths and weaknesses and summarized them.
- checkbox I included my rating and recommendations.
- checkbox I restated my thesis and offered a memorable ending.
Final Thoughts on How to Write a Book Review
This article described the whole process of reviewing a book. Completing these types of tasks should not be complicated or demanding if you follow the discussed guidelines and tips comprehensively. Cement your understanding by checking out how to write a book review example from a list of samples provided previously. Pay attention to how key ideas from this guide are implemented. Also, don’t forget to explore all the examples of good book reviews for a complete overview. There is no need for you to seek more information outside once you have read all the segments. Just start writing your assignment.
If you feel that it is difficult for you to handle your work, you can ask to ‘do my assignment for me’ at StudyCrumb . Our academic writing service will provide you with high-quality and timely paperwork that will help you get the highest grade.
FAQ About Book Reviews
1. what is the purpose of a book review.
Book reviews usually inform readers about a specific volume’s purpose, argument, and quality. They also explain how it fits into the existing literature. This can be helpful to others who have not read the work so that they can choose whether to go through it or if it’s worth their time and effort.
2. What to include in a book review?
The elements of a book review include a citation, introduction, relevance and intended audience, a brief plot summary or main arguments, critique, evaluation and importance, recommendation, and conclusion. The review offers a critical analysis, assessment, and connection to other relevant works. A reviewer also provides personal views and recommendations.
3. How to start a book review?
Start a book review by reading the work to understand elements such as writing style, plot, characters, literary devices, and the main argument. Then, summarize the major claims made throughout the manuscript by explicitly stating them in your introduction. Also, offer relevant context for your analysis and declare your thesis.
4. How to end a book review?
Finish your book review by giving your overall impression of the work. Conclude and summarize the strengths and weaknesses you found, demonstrate how useful the text is, identify its contribution to the wider field, and offer your recommendations. In addition, mention the type of audience who will benefit from reading it.
5. How long should a book review be?
Traditionally, a book review is usually about 500-1000 words long. However, be sure to have a clear idea regarding your assignment expectations since specific tasks mostly have guidelines. In general, however, most evaluations will not exceed 1000 words.
6. What to avoid when writing a book review?
These are what to avoid when writing your book review:
- Retelling a story without an in-depth analysis.
- Summarizing the text only without critical evaluation.
- Using imprecise language.
- Providing harsh evaluations rather than constructive assessments.
- Not using evidence to back up your views.
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What this handout is about.
This handout will help you write a book review, a report or essay that offers a critical perspective on a text. It offers a process and suggests some strategies for writing book reviews.
What is a review?
A review is a critical evaluation of a text, event, object, or phenomenon. Reviews can consider books, articles, entire genres or fields of literature, architecture, art, fashion, restaurants, policies, exhibitions, performances, and many other forms. This handout will focus on book reviews. For a similar assignment, see our handout on literature reviews .
Above all, a review makes an argument. The most important element of a review is that it is a commentary, not merely a summary. It allows you to enter into dialogue and discussion with the work’s creator and with other audiences. You can offer agreement or disagreement and identify where you find the work exemplary or deficient in its knowledge, judgments, or organization. You should clearly state your opinion of the work in question, and that statement will probably resemble other types of academic writing, with a thesis statement, supporting body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Typically, reviews are brief. In newspapers and academic journals, they rarely exceed 1000 words, although you may encounter lengthier assignments and extended commentaries. In either case, reviews need to be succinct. While they vary in tone, subject, and style, they share some common features:
- First, a review gives the reader a concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose.
- Second, and more importantly, a review offers a critical assessment of the content. This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective or persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.
- Finally, in addition to analyzing the work, a review often suggests whether or not the audience would appreciate it.
Becoming an expert reviewer: three short examples
Reviewing can be a daunting task. Someone has asked for your opinion about something that you may feel unqualified to evaluate. Who are you to criticize Toni Morrison’s new book if you’ve never written a novel yourself, much less won a Nobel Prize? The point is that someone—a professor, a journal editor, peers in a study group—wants to know what you think about a particular work. You may not be (or feel like) an expert, but you need to pretend to be one for your particular audience. Nobody expects you to be the intellectual equal of the work’s creator, but your careful observations can provide you with the raw material to make reasoned judgments. Tactfully voicing agreement and disagreement, praise and criticism, is a valuable, challenging skill, and like many forms of writing, reviews require you to provide concrete evidence for your assertions.
Consider the following brief book review written for a history course on medieval Europe by a student who is fascinated with beer:
Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600, investigates how women used to brew and sell the majority of ale drunk in England. Historically, ale and beer (not milk, wine, or water) were important elements of the English diet. Ale brewing was low-skill and low status labor that was complimentary to women’s domestic responsibilities. In the early fifteenth century, brewers began to make ale with hops, and they called this new drink “beer.” This technique allowed brewers to produce their beverages at a lower cost and to sell it more easily, although women generally stopped brewing once the business became more profitable.
The student describes the subject of the book and provides an accurate summary of its contents. But the reader does not learn some key information expected from a review: the author’s argument, the student’s appraisal of the book and its argument, and whether or not the student would recommend the book. As a critical assessment, a book review should focus on opinions, not facts and details. Summary should be kept to a minimum, and specific details should serve to illustrate arguments.
Now consider a review of the same book written by a slightly more opinionated student:
Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 was a colossal disappointment. I wanted to know about the rituals surrounding drinking in medieval England: the songs, the games, the parties. Bennett provided none of that information. I liked how the book showed ale and beer brewing as an economic activity, but the reader gets lost in the details of prices and wages. I was more interested in the private lives of the women brewsters. The book was divided into eight long chapters, and I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to read it.
There’s no shortage of judgments in this review! But the student does not display a working knowledge of the book’s argument. The reader has a sense of what the student expected of the book, but no sense of what the author herself set out to prove. Although the student gives several reasons for the negative review, those examples do not clearly relate to each other as part of an overall evaluation—in other words, in support of a specific thesis. This review is indeed an assessment, but not a critical one.
Here is one final review of the same book:
One of feminism’s paradoxes—one that challenges many of its optimistic histories—is how patriarchy remains persistent over time. While Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 recognizes medieval women as historical actors through their ale brewing, it also shows that female agency had its limits with the advent of beer. I had assumed that those limits were religious and political, but Bennett shows how a “patriarchal equilibrium” shut women out of economic life as well. Her analysis of women’s wages in ale and beer production proves that a change in women’s work does not equate to a change in working women’s status. Contemporary feminists and historians alike should read Bennett’s book and think twice when they crack open their next brewsky.
This student’s review avoids the problems of the previous two examples. It combines balanced opinion and concrete example, a critical assessment based on an explicitly stated rationale, and a recommendation to a potential audience. The reader gets a sense of what the book’s author intended to demonstrate. Moreover, the student refers to an argument about feminist history in general that places the book in a specific genre and that reaches out to a general audience. The example of analyzing wages illustrates an argument, the analysis engages significant intellectual debates, and the reasons for the overall positive review are plainly visible. The review offers criteria, opinions, and support with which the reader can agree or disagree.
Developing an assessment: before you write
There is no definitive method to writing a review, although some critical thinking about the work at hand is necessary before you actually begin writing. Thus, writing a review is a two-step process: developing an argument about the work under consideration, and making that argument as you write an organized and well-supported draft. See our handout on argument .
What follows is a series of questions to focus your thinking as you dig into the work at hand. While the questions specifically consider book reviews, you can easily transpose them to an analysis of performances, exhibitions, and other review subjects. Don’t feel obligated to address each of the questions; some will be more relevant than others to the book in question.
- What is the thesis—or main argument—of the book? If the author wanted you to get one idea from the book, what would it be? How does it compare or contrast to the world you know? What has the book accomplished?
- What exactly is the subject or topic of the book? Does the author cover the subject adequately? Does the author cover all aspects of the subject in a balanced fashion? What is the approach to the subject (topical, analytical, chronological, descriptive)?
- How does the author support her argument? What evidence does she use to prove her point? Do you find that evidence convincing? Why or why not? Does any of the author’s information (or conclusions) conflict with other books you’ve read, courses you’ve taken or just previous assumptions you had of the subject?
- How does the author structure her argument? What are the parts that make up the whole? Does the argument make sense? Does it persuade you? Why or why not?
- How has this book helped you understand the subject? Would you recommend the book to your reader?
Beyond the internal workings of the book, you may also consider some information about the author and the circumstances of the text’s production:
- Who is the author? Nationality, political persuasion, training, intellectual interests, personal history, and historical context may provide crucial details about how a work takes shape. Does it matter, for example, that the biographer was the subject’s best friend? What difference would it make if the author participated in the events she writes about?
- What is the book’s genre? Out of what field does it emerge? Does it conform to or depart from the conventions of its genre? These questions can provide a historical or literary standard on which to base your evaluations. If you are reviewing the first book ever written on the subject, it will be important for your readers to know. Keep in mind, though, that naming “firsts”—alongside naming “bests” and “onlys”—can be a risky business unless you’re absolutely certain.
Writing the review
Once you have made your observations and assessments of the work under review, carefully survey your notes and attempt to unify your impressions into a statement that will describe the purpose or thesis of your review. Check out our handout on thesis statements . Then, outline the arguments that support your thesis.
Your arguments should develop the thesis in a logical manner. That logic, unlike more standard academic writing, may initially emphasize the author’s argument while you develop your own in the course of the review. The relative emphasis depends on the nature of the review: if readers may be more interested in the work itself, you may want to make the work and the author more prominent; if you want the review to be about your perspective and opinions, then you may structure the review to privilege your observations over (but never separate from) those of the work under review. What follows is just one of many ways to organize a review.
Since most reviews are brief, many writers begin with a catchy quip or anecdote that succinctly delivers their argument. But you can introduce your review differently depending on the argument and audience. The Writing Center’s handout on introductions can help you find an approach that works. In general, you should include:
- The name of the author and the book title and the main theme.
- Relevant details about who the author is and where he/she stands in the genre or field of inquiry. You could also link the title to the subject to show how the title explains the subject matter.
- The context of the book and/or your review. Placing your review in a framework that makes sense to your audience alerts readers to your “take” on the book. Perhaps you want to situate a book about the Cuban revolution in the context of Cold War rivalries between the United States and the Soviet Union. Another reviewer might want to consider the book in the framework of Latin American social movements. Your choice of context informs your argument.
- The thesis of the book. If you are reviewing fiction, this may be difficult since novels, plays, and short stories rarely have explicit arguments. But identifying the book’s particular novelty, angle, or originality allows you to show what specific contribution the piece is trying to make.
- Your thesis about the book.
Summary of content
This should be brief, as analysis takes priority. In the course of making your assessment, you’ll hopefully be backing up your assertions with concrete evidence from the book, so some summary will be dispersed throughout other parts of the review.
The necessary amount of summary also depends on your audience. Graduate students, beware! If you are writing book reviews for colleagues—to prepare for comprehensive exams, for example—you may want to devote more attention to summarizing the book’s contents. If, on the other hand, your audience has already read the book—such as a class assignment on the same work—you may have more liberty to explore more subtle points and to emphasize your own argument. See our handout on summary for more tips.
Analysis and evaluation of the book
Your analysis and evaluation should be organized into paragraphs that deal with single aspects of your argument. This arrangement can be challenging when your purpose is to consider the book as a whole, but it can help you differentiate elements of your criticism and pair assertions with evidence more clearly. You do not necessarily need to work chronologically through the book as you discuss it. Given the argument you want to make, you can organize your paragraphs more usefully by themes, methods, or other elements of the book. If you find it useful to include comparisons to other books, keep them brief so that the book under review remains in the spotlight. Avoid excessive quotation and give a specific page reference in parentheses when you do quote. Remember that you can state many of the author’s points in your own words.
Sum up or restate your thesis or make the final judgment regarding the book. You should not introduce new evidence for your argument in the conclusion. You can, however, introduce new ideas that go beyond the book if they extend the logic of your own thesis. This paragraph needs to balance the book’s strengths and weaknesses in order to unify your evaluation. Did the body of your review have three negative paragraphs and one favorable one? What do they all add up to? The Writing Center’s handout on conclusions can help you make a final assessment.
Finally, a few general considerations:
- Review the book in front of you, not the book you wish the author had written. You can and should point out shortcomings or failures, but don’t criticize the book for not being something it was never intended to be.
- With any luck, the author of the book worked hard to find the right words to express her ideas. You should attempt to do the same. Precise language allows you to control the tone of your review.
- Never hesitate to challenge an assumption, approach, or argument. Be sure, however, to cite specific examples to back up your assertions carefully.
- Try to present a balanced argument about the value of the book for its audience. You’re entitled—and sometimes obligated—to voice strong agreement or disagreement. But keep in mind that a bad book takes as long to write as a good one, and every author deserves fair treatment. Harsh judgments are difficult to prove and can give readers the sense that you were unfair in your assessment.
- A great place to learn about book reviews is to look at examples. The New York Times Sunday Book Review and The New York Review of Books can show you how professional writers review books.
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
Drewry, John. 1974. Writing Book Reviews. Boston: Greenwood Press.
Hoge, James. 1987. Literary Reviewing. Charlottesville: University Virginia of Press.
Sova, Dawn, and Harry Teitelbaum. 2002. How to Write Book Reports , 4th ed. Lawrenceville, NY: Thomson/Arco.
Walford, A.J. 1986. Reviews and Reviewing: A Guide. Phoenix: Oryx Press.
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Book Review Examples
Last updated on: Nov 20, 2023
Good Book Review Examples to Help you Write a Great Review
By: Nova A.
Reviewed By: Chris H.
Published on: Mar 30, 2021
A book review is a common assignment that allows the students to demonstrate the author’s intentions in the book. It also provides them with the chance not only to criticize but also to give constructive criticism on how they can make improvements.
The purpose of writing a book review is to come up with your opinion about the author’s ideas presented in the book. On the other hand, a book analysis is completely based on opinions that are relevant to the book.
Writing a review is something that can be done with any book that you read. However, some genres are harder to write. But with a proper plan, you can easily write a great review on any book.
Read some short book review examples in this guide. They will help you understand the key elements of writing a great review in no time.
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Academic Book Review Examples
If you are assigned to write a book review, referring to some examples will be of great help. In addition, reading examples before starting the writing process will help you understand what elements are needed for a great book review. There are also many review sites online you can get help from.
Academic book reviews follow a fairly simple structure. It usually includes an introduction, middle paragraphs, and a conclusion that sums up all the ideas.
For a great book review, here are the things you need to focus on during the writing process.
- The main argument presented by the author
- Author’s methodologyAppropriateness for the audience
- Relationship to the real world
Have a look at the following book review examples for kids before beginning the writing process.
Book Review Examples for Middle School Students
Book Review Example For Kids
Book Review Examples for High School Students
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!
Book Review Examples for College Students
Book Review Examples for University Students
How to Write a Book Review - Examples
If you don’t know how to write a book review, look at the following steps.
The first step is to plan and create an outline that includes all the points that you will have to cover in the review. Don’t forget to include all the information about the characters, plot information, and some other parts of the chosen book.
The three parts of a book review are:
1. Provide a Summary
What is the book about? Write about the main characters and what is the conflict that is discussed in the book.
2. Provide Your Evaluation
Share your thoughts about the book and what elements work best.
3. Rate the Book
Rate and recommend the book to others who will enjoy reading this book.
If you need to submit a book review soon, we suggest you start reading some book reviews online. Here you can also find some good book review writing examples to understand how to craft each section of a book review.
Book Review Introduction Examples
Thesis Statement Book Review Examples
Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!
Book Review Conclusion Examples
Critical Book Review Examples
A book review is a critical evaluation of the book, movie, or any other literary work. It has two goals: the first is to inform the readers about the content of the book, and the second is to evaluate your judgment about the book.
A book review is more than a book report. A review is basically a critical essay that evaluates the merits of a literary work. The purpose of writing a book review is not to prove that you have read a book but to show that you think critically about the chosen book.
When you are asked to write a critical book review, you need to identify, summarize and evaluate the ideas of the author. In simpler words, you will be examining and evaluating another person’s work from your point of view.
Science Book Review Examples
A scientific book review will contain the same elements as writing a review for a fiction book; some elements might vary. When you are reviewing a scientific text, you need to pay attention to the writing style and the validity of the content.
Most students turn to non-fictional sources of information. It is important to make sure the information you provide in your review is factual and scientific.
Book review writing can be difficult if you don’t know how to follow the standard protocols. That’s where our reliable book review writing service aims to provide the necessary help.
No matter what your academic level is, we can provide you with the best book review writing help. This type of writing assignment can be tricky and time-consuming. So, if you don’t know how to crack this task, better get professional help.
We at 5StarEssays.com provide exceptional book review writing help. Not only book reviews, but we also provide the best ‘ write an essay for me ’ help to students. Moreover, we also have an AI essay writer to help you with tight deadlines, give it a try now!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you write a book review example.
Here are some steps that will help you to write a book review example.
- Start writing with few sentences and describe what the book is all about
- Focus on your thoughts
- Mention things that you dont like about the book.
- Summarize your thoughts.
- Give rating to the book.
As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.
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- Book Review - An Easy Guide To Write A Review
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