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Book Review How-To

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

If you are new to writing book reviews, it might seem daunting. However, if you follow the tips below, which are based on an examination of hundreds of Amazon reviews, you can quickly write a helpful review in no time.


Award stars as follows:

5 Stars= I'm glad I read it, or I loved it (this doesn't mean it was your favorite book ever).

4 Stars = I liked it. It was sufficiently entertaining reading. It was really good but maybe not great.

3 Stars or less = The book had many grammatical errors. The story didn't match the description. The story made no sense. You could not follow the plot.


Write a fun and compelling title for your review.

Compelling title examples:

"Full of action and interesting characters."

"A nail-biter that kept me up all night."

"A real page-turner."

"Fantastic story with fun graphic illustrations as well."

"Perfect for anyone who loves crop circles, UFOs, and fun paranormal adventure."


"My favorite book since . . . "

"I hope there is a sequel."

"You will be hooked . . . "

"UFOs and crop circles, what could be better? An alien conspiracy, yes."

"LOVE IT!! Mystery, suspense, action, and so much more."

"Roller Coaster Ride of Fun, Action, and Aliens from Outer Space!"

"If you believe in UFOs or even if you don't, it's a fun ride."

"Brilliant, fast-moving fun."

"Couldn't put it down."

"Great buy for action fans."

Poor title examples:

"Really good book."

"Three stars."

"Pretty good."

"Quick read."


Length of Review

A review of between 100 and 400 words is probably plenty. You can reach that word-count easily with the (1) opening, (2) body, and (3) conclusion as described below.



Single Sentence Summary

"One thing leads to another as teenagers Natalie, Fletcher, and Chase pursue clues proving the existence of aliens and a sinister plot to rule the world."

"This book is about fun camaraderie, teenage mischief, and, of course, solving the mystery of the crop circle, plus a hint of girl meets boy."

"Natalie Dailey is a teenaged Agent Scully (X-files) to Fletcher's Agent Fox Mulder in the entertaining book about chasing the paranormal, deciphering clues, and solving mysteries."

"Natalie and her younger brother befriend their new foreign exchange student and join him on solving the mystery of the crop circle and alien conspiracies."

"This book is full of suspense as Natalie, Fletcher, and Chase follow clues proving the existence of aliens and a sinister plot to rule the world.

Option 2

Start with a quote that you liked from the book; then, add the single sentence summary from above.

"The knob began to turn . . .

"Yes. UFOs, the supernatural, and folklore are my hobbies."

"This is the work of a different kind of chupacabra."

"Do you think this is what Natalie meant when she told us not to do anything stupid."

"I believe this is alien technology."

The Rest

Include sentences responding to one or more of the prompts in each of the sections below. The compilation of sentences will be the body of your review.

General (1-3 of these)

Describe if the book was easy to read. (e.g., the book flowed well and was easy to read.)

List other books or movies that seemed similar to this one. (e.g. Druids reminded me of _______.)

State if you like the writing style and why.

Who (2-5 of these)

Describe the main characters and why you liked or didn't like them. (e.g. I really identified with __________. I liked ____________.)

Explain why the book's characters seemed real or, if they seemed unbelievable, why. (Give an example.)

State if you've ever done or felt something similar to a character's experience in the book. (e.g. When Chase did _______, it reminded me of a time when_________ )

Describe the conflicts the characters faced.

Describe exciting relationships between the characters.

What (1-4 of these)

Describe what is the book really about. (i.e., Was it about fun and adventure? Was it about romance? Was it about good versus evil? Was it about a mystery? Was it about confidence and growth? Was it about friendship?)

State if any of these made it worth reading.

List any lines or quotes that might support the ideas above.

Explain what the main characters did in the story. (Don't spoil the ending. Avoid spoilers.)

Where (1-2 of these)

Describe the setting. (The story takes place in ___________. The era is _________ (past, present, future).)

State if the setting seemed realistic (or not) and why. (Give an example or two.)

Opinion (3-10 of these)

State if the book made you laugh. (Add why and how.)

State if the book made you cry, feel anxious for the characters, or worried.

Describe how the book compared to books or movies in the same genre. (e.g., I liked Druids because it reminded me of ________.)

Write what you like or dislike about the author's writing style.

Make a note of any flow issues. (e.g., It started fast and finished faster. The pace started medium and then accelerated to a big finish.)

Describe anything you thought was missing from the book.

Describe any mistakes in the book.

State what your favorite thing about the book is.

List what, if anything, you have done anything differently had you been the author.

If you like to see a sequel, say so and explain what you think would be fun things to happen to the characters and story.

Conclusion (1-2 of these)

State who you would recommend this book to. (e.g., I recommend this book for _________________.)

Describe what type of readers you think would like this book. (e.g., Readers of all ages looking for a fun story would enjoy this book.)

Congratulation! You are finished. Post the well thought-out and helpful review!

Writing book reviews can be easy with this approach.

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