How to write a good book review and look professional for the readers
So you've been tasked to write a book review... Well, this task is definitely not the easiest one, and, frankly speaking, can even be stressful if literature and writing are not quite your thing. “How can I evaluate Shakespeare's eternal works if all I've ever created are two short poems about my cat written at the age of 10?” Fortunately, you don't need to be Shakespeare yourself to evaluate his work. All you need is observation talent and critical thinking to help you shape your opinion on a particular piece of writing.
Book review is a type of writing that requires critical thinking and ability to analyze tons of information. Not only are you required to read hundreds of pages, but also catch the most subtle ideas and undertones in the book. A good book review is much more than merely a plot description; it is more about thoughts and feelings that the story evokes, stylistic peculiarities, overall impressions and opinions. Your work should evaluate the main aspects of the book and serve as a recommendation for potential readers.
A good book review must hold value for readers. The writer’s main task is not just to give a personal opinion on a book, but also to provide strong arguments in support of his or her position. In order for readers to use your critique as a credible source of information, you should give a book a fair treatment, not just follow your gut feeling.
Top 5 tips to help you do with the best book review example
Read the book
This is the tip which may seem to be obvious, but, actually, it is a guarantee of your involvement in the task and ability to judge.
Stop summarizing! Analyze instead!
Writing a book review, remember that analysis implies not only having particularly selected evidence from the text, but also brief but clear explanation of how the theme is revealed through this evidence. Besides, it is important to explain the intention of the author in choosing various elements.
Keep the balance
Be critical but constructive. Take both pros and cons into consideration in your criticism, even if you consider the book a total failure or a masterpiece.
Demonstrate your sense of humor, wit, and personal opinions. It is your chance to show yourself to be a book analysis pro. Pretend that you chat with your friend and your book review will be full of energy.
Don’t be superficial – dig deep!
Yes, you can merely compile the scenes, plot, and main characters, but you should go much further to make your custom book review excellent. Explore the themes and the authors’ approach to them. Hint whether the book is worth buying for the readers.
There are a lot of persons who get down to completing the papers because they are sure that they know how to write book review. What they expect is a giveaway of a task but when push comes to shove, they give up on writing. Why does it happen? What makes it difficult for the persons not only to be theoretically aware of how to do a book review but to do it practically?
It is a time-consuming process
To give the honest opinion of the book, to involve the readers in your feelings and to get an amazing reading experience, you have to spend hours on the book itself and on subsequent analysis.
It is not possible to do a review straight away
Some people often put off their tasks till the last day. However, if you do not allow your opinions and thoughts to develop, a review will never be impressive. It is highly recommendable to leave at least a day or two between reading and writing a review.
A good review requires a lot of analysis!
You read the story, make notes, use bookmarks, look through the latest book review blogs, and then start reviewing. And then, after writing, it is good to leave the ready paper for one more day and then see it from another perspective. There is always something to be added, removed, replaced, or changed.
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If you prefer to have your reading experience as a source of inspiration and pleasure, you will not read a book with a notebook, bookmarks, and notes. If you read bending down the corners to mark the plot twists, characterizations, and impressive dialogues, you will lose the suspense and joy of reading. If you have a lot of tasks, you will not be able to devote sufficient time for writing a book review in a specific format. Reading and analysis take hours! Can you afford to spend half of your day at least on one task only?
Probably, you have already opened a lot of book review websites and even started working on the task. But then, bang! Your inspiration is paralyzed. You are completely stuck. You feel an unbearable burden of writing those several pages and great pressure because of the approaching deadline.
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