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How to Write a Book Review (7 Basic Steps for a Beginner)

Steps of book reviewing

  1. Begin by reading instructions concerning the review or the site you want to write the review for.
  2. Select a book preferably a genre that interests you. There are various genres such as romance, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, non-fiction, and biography/autobiography. This is not an exhaustive list. This is the case if you are writing your first review.
  3. Note the deadlines for the review. This varies from hours to sixty days. Plan your reading to ensure your review is ready before the time expires.
  4. Read through the selected text. Read the whole material. This will help in forming an accurate opinion. If you do not understand, reread. Some books have a slow start, keep on reading. While reading there are important practices that you should adopt. These include:
  • Having a notebook and a pen. Electronic notebooks work as well.
  • Be in a good reading environment. This will vary from person to person.
  • Avoid biases like googling data concerning the book before reading it. To give an unbiased honest review, read about other reviews on that book after you have written yours.
  • Pay careful attention to the writing style, setting, characters, plot, point of view, themes, and stylistic devices.

It is not always difficult

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Tips continued

5. Note key points or your observations about the book. These could be metaphors, tone, contradictions, or emotions evoked.

6. Organize your thoughts. This is where you decide what to write. Remember to avoid spoilers but a hint for the reader who will come across your review. They should feel a little bit of your excitement. Remember do not exaggerate by creating false impressions.

7. Write a detailed review. A detailed review should contain:

  • A brief description of the book. The book title and the author's name as it appears on the cover are necessary. You might include the number of pages, publisher, publication date, and genre as per the instructions.
  • A paragraph on the positive aspects/ likes. This is your evaluation and opinion. These can be as few as three for a book you enjoyed but more than seven is overkill in a short review. Be specific by showing a point in the book.
  • A paragraph on the negative aspects/ dislikes of the book. These also are your opinions. These are weaknesses you found in the book. If a book promotes antisocial activities or dangerous practices, note it down here. Other things like foul language and poor editing can be noted here.
  • The next section should be the rating. There are various rating systems. The most common are three-star systems to five-star systems. As per instructions give the appropriate rating. For example, give 3 out of 5 stars for a book with a good plot but the characters did not impress you. Consider other factors.
  • The last important part is recommending the book. Recommendations will be done according to the genre, age appropriateness, demographic factors, and other things. Remember you have read the book and you will be helping people who might like it to find it faster.

Opinion about the art of book reviewing.

Always offer an honest review. If you find the book to your dislike then write a negative criticism. Explain the weaknesses you experienced and outstanding points that make it a poor book to read. For a book you like do not use cliché statements. In your positive aspects the paragraph, make the reader see what you liked. Use quotes and specific examples from the book.


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Be objective. Do not be biased by the knowledge of others' works, articles, publishers, or authors. Every book is different and should be treated independently.

Always justify your rating.


Write everything in your own words. Do not write a summary of other people's thoughts.

For longer reviews, analyze the structure of the book. Take into account if the book adds anything that you did not know about the topic discussed.

Read critiques from experienced reviewers to get the hang of it.


Remember the opinion is from your experience using the item. The main intention is to help others to make decisions concerning the item. Therefore give clear details.


It is annoying to read a review and fail to get the theme of the book or the genre. Make yours helpful all the time.

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