How to Write a Book Review

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Seems that writing a book review is a nova in this industry, I am seeing more and more newly born blogs are focusing on book reviews and recommendations, and all kinds of book reviews and questions about how to start a book review are flooding my twitter.

questions about how to write a book review on twitter

I believe if you are touched by a breathtaking book, you will hear a voice from the deepest corner of your heart murmuring:"Hey, now that you have so many feelings about it, why not writing something down?" Then you may think:"Come on, I even can't finish a passable blog, how can I write a good book review that people and author will love?"

Write a book review is not that difficult as you thought. It is just a plot description, some brilliant highlights, and the most important, what can you feel from those pages.

write a book review in 10 steps

Here I've summed up 10 steps about how to write a book review, and in my opinion, it will be more feasible when you are required to do so. Let's be more straight, if you need to write a review for someone's new book on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to cooperate with his ebook promotion campaign, this is exactly what you need.

Here we go! Finish your book review in just 10 steps

Step 1. Try to dig out some clues about this book without reading it. For example: Does the book having an elegant typography? Can you figure out what the book will tell you from the cover? Is the book advertised exaggeratedly? In which genre does the publisher classify it? All these will tell you who is the target-reader of this book.

Step 2. Open the book and scan it fast, and find out how the author organizes the sentences, there are how many pages and chapters, the paragraphs are long or short in average, and whether there are many dialogs in the content. From the elements above, you can have a rough idea about if this book is easy to read, and how the author builds the structure.

Step 3. Create a frame to take notes, this will help you concentrate on some details when you read the book. You must have already drawn a outline for this book through the preparations above, then you can divide the entire book into several parts upon chapters or how the story goes, you can even sort them out by roles in the story. And you can write down some questions, like "Why this book ranks top 5 in the list", "Why the editor recommends this book" and all other questions you want to know.

Step 4. Read this book over.

Step 5. Concentrate. This is the biggest challenge for most readers, when you read a book, you need to be aware of the reading experience. Which part attracts you most? Which one make you feel boring? Which chapter is the key-point of the story? Which role you like most? And why?

Step 6. It's time to fulfill the frame which you created in step 3. Now you backward to the beginning of the book, and take notes with the questions. What happened in the first chapter? How did it affect the story and how you feel about this chapter? Repeat this work one chapter by one chapter, and don't forget to mark those highlights. Finally answer these questions: "How does this book affect you on the whole?" "How does the author achieve this?" "How does each role affect the story?"

Step 7. Sum the book up. This is the beginning of your book review, you have to keep it short and to the throat.

Step 8. Judge the book. This is the other part of your book review, you should tell your readers do you think this book is good or bad? And don't just give the result, you need to explain why. Now it is the show time for all your notes, you should use those notes, questions and answers to support your points from every angle.

Step 9. Spend some time on the book's related information as the supplement for your book review. For instance, in which genre will you classify this book? Is this book a pioneer in this kind of style, or it's just a simulation? Is this the first book of the author? If not, compare it to other works of the same author. And compare it to other works of the same genre.

Step 10. Now you have almost finished your book review, time to look back and test your points. Have you covered all the important elements of the book? Who are your target reader? Are you writing this review to serve someone? Is your review outstanding among all the reviews of this book? If not, then you need to check the previous 9 steps and enhance your book review; if yes, your book review is finished!

Now let's take a NY Times book review as example

I randomly pick a book review from the New York Times, it's a review on the book The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War.

book information

From the first glance on this book's information, we can know it's a book about war in Iraq, and it's written by Fred Kaplan. This book ranks #151 in all the Amazon Best-Sellers, and its book review appears on many authority sites. Upon the information above, we can figure out some clues about this book. Obviously, if you are writing for a book review blog, and its target readers are teenage women, then you definitely can't choose this book.

The American occupation of Iraq in its early years was a swamp of incompetence and self-delusion. The tales of hubris and reality-denial have already passed into folklore.......and many of the most egregious foul-ups of the era stemmed from abstract theories mindlessly applied to the real world.

The first 2 paragraphs introduce what happened in the story, this is exactly what I said "Sum the book up" in the steps above.

Fred Kaplan, a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter.......he brings genuine expertise to his fine storytelling

The third paragraph begins the judgement. And what I quote above is the information about the author, which was prepared in step 1 of my guide.

It’s breathtaking to realize just how hidebound and doctrinaire the Pentagon had become in the decades before 9/11.......Kaplan explains how officers bent on preserving their careers and avoiding “another Vietnam” happily parroted nonsense to climb the ladder.


Today, it’s easy to condemn its faddish and facile elements, accentuated by its smug advocates .......bad things had gotten in military circles by the time the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.


Tell us your thoughts with the story goes on, this part you can refer to your notes on each chapter.

The savvy Petraeus invited journalists everywhere, spawning the best kind of free publicity.......both the military’s aversion to change and Petraeus’s style of forcing it.


By the time he was appointed the top commander in Iraq in 2007......surrounded himself with old friends and mentees.


Petraeus and his merry band changed tactics......so its leader could purge rogue units.

These are how the roles affect the story and how they touched you. With your notes on each role, you can easily compile these paragraphs.

Obama has ordered the Pentagon to preserve the lessons......was more than a fad, Kaplan establishes. But it was much less than a revolution.

How this author and this book affect the real world. The judgement is pretty obvious, this is a good book and you need to read it. This is a typical example of how a good and complete book review looks like. And click here to read the original text.

Some good sites to help you write a better book review

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joined Epubor since 2011, loves everything about eBooks and eReaders. He seeks the methods to read eBooks more freely and wants to share all he has got with you.

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