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How to Write an Engaging Book Review

Writing a book review is a common assignment for students at the college. The ability to analyze what you have read is a very useful skill. It is also important to develop a way of how you express your unique point of view. In addition to this, being able to concisely and clearly convey the main message of the book will help your reader decide whether the story is worth reading.

As we can see, writing a book review is an interesting but challenging task. Let’s have a look at how to create a quality piece of writing so that it could become useful for potential readers.

What Is a Book Review?

A book review is a critical analysis of the text the aim of which is to help a potential reader decide whether reading the book will be useful for him/her or not.

Choose a Book Carefully

This step is crucial for the success of your book review. If you like the book and find its topic interesting to you, the chances of composing an effective review are very high. If you are excited about the ideas outlined in the story, you will want to share your enthusiasm with other readers. If you find the book difficult to understand or the ideas are alien and odd to you, the review that you will come up with may end up being boring and unenthusiastic.

Before You Start Reading

Check out how the book looks like and memorize your first impression. Examine the pictures on the cover and think over the title of the book. You may try answering the following questions:

  • Can you predict what the author is going to tell and what message he wants to convey?
  • What do the preface and contents tell you?
  • How long will it take to read the book?
  • Does the cover make you interested?
  • Who is the audience?

Write down your reflections so that you can compare your preliminary expectations with your feelings, which you will get after you finish reading the book.

While You Are Reading

Engaging with a text is crucial so approach the content critically and write down your thoughts in the process. Reading actively is a key element of writing a great book review. Document all your thoughts by writing them down on paper. You can also capture your insights with the help of a voice recorder or camera. If the book belongs to you, you can mark the important passages in the book highlighting them as you go along.

Write a Review

1. Define the main idea. There might be several ideas explored in the book and if you are unsure, which one is the main, check out preface, introduction, and conclusion one more time.

2. Write the first draft. After you have figured out what the key author’s message was, start creating your first draft. Do not worry if you find your text incoherent. The main purpose is to express your reflections and organize them later on.

3. Write an introduction. Here you need to present the book title, author and the main idea of the book.

4. Give a summary of the book. Make sure that the summary is short, clear and concise. The evaluation and discussion will be included in the main body of the review.

5. Start analysis. If in the previous paragraphs you stated factual information, now a critical analysis needs to be written. Here you can express your personal point of view and let the reader know whether you agree with the author or not. Tell about your feelings and share what was your favorite part and why. Do not be afraid to mention something that you disliked about the plot, characters or the general idea. You may compare the book to the similar literary works and specify whether this author managed to approach the issue better than other writers did.

6. Write a conclusion. In a brief and concise manner, tell about your reaction to what you have read. Give reasons of why you would like to advise someone else to read the book. Similarly, by providing valid supporting evidence, you can warn the potential readers that this particular piece of writing might be a waste of time.

7. Do not forget to proofread. Any type of writing requires revision and book review is not an exception. Make sure that you do a thorough check to avoid having any spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes in your text.Writing an engaging and compelling book review is a great way to voice your thoughts and emotions. A proper analysis can be a useful aid for readers who cannot decide whether they need to read a book or not. We hope that our tips will help you write an informative and effective book review easily.