Book Review Format – How To Write A Book Review

by Book Worm on November 30, 2011

The Perfect Book Review Format

I’ve been writing book reviews for quite some years now and some of the most common questions I get asked by readers are:

  • What Book Review Format should I follow?
  • How to Write a Book Review?
  • Can you share some Book Review Examples? What Should the Book Review Format  Be Like?
  • Is there a standard book review format or template that needs to be followed?

Now although I’m not a know-it-all on writing the perfect book review, I do know quite a lot about writing book reviews, having written over 100 of them to date. So I thought of putting together some major points that need to be followed while writing a book review. You might consider it a standard book review format and try to incorporate most of these points, if not all, while writing your own book review.

Book Review Format: Steps to Follow when Writing a Book Review

Step 1: Introduction

By Introduction, I don’t mean starting off with something like this:

“The Alchemist is written by a well-known author called Paulo Coelho and this book is 200 pages long”

Seriously speaking, I could manure my garden with trash like this! I love to start off a book review format by writing about how I came about the book, something that just builds up as a story before I dive into all those details about a dead grandmother and her murderous cook.  Lay the groundwork first by telling people what you are going to review or talk about. Let them get a feel for the book before they get to your opinions of it.

Step 2: The Summary of the Book

The main section in a book review format should ideally consist of two main sections – the description and the summary. The Summary should be a brief summary of the book and mind you, please keep the murderer out of it. All those spoilers that you’ve been dying to blurt out should be for your eyes only and are a strict no-no while writing a book review.

And then you need a description. What I like to do best is put a synopsis from the back of the book or a small chapter excerpt that of course clearly mentions that it’s from the book.

Step 3: Bring out that Critic in You!

And then it’s time for the critical analysis. This is one of the main ingredients in a book review format and something that most people just don’t do. I mean what is the point of doing a book review when your analysis of the book is missing from it!

[pullquote]This is your review, your personal account of your experience with the book. Just because the book lies on the list of top 100 books of the century doesn’t mean you should like it or lie about liking it. Also, because everyone is trashing the book doesn’t mean you have to jump into the bandwagon[/pullquote]

This section should also talk about one’s learning’s from the book and whether it holds an important or interesting message that caught your attention. What I like to do is add in my personal book review format is about two paragraphs on what I liked best about the book and what I didn’t like.

And remember one very important point while writing a book review. This is your review, your personal account of your experience with the book. Just because the book lies on the list of top 100 books of the century doesn’t mean you should like it or lie about liking it. Also, because everyone is trashing the book doesn’t mean you have to jump into the bandwagon. Notice how I’ve put you in bold in the above paragraph. That should be enough to convey my thoughts!

Step 4: Final Verdict

This is another key section of a good book review format. A lot of people don’t have the time to read your whole review so for all those skimmers out there; this is like a short bullet point summary that says Yes or No!

The Best Place to Buy Books!Also in case you know where one can get this book at the best possible price, then do it! There’s no harm in telling your readers where to go and buy it from. We all love a good discount, don’t we! For example, I almost always point my readers towards Flipkart.com to give them the best deals on books.

Book Review Examples:

Now that you know what a good book review format should look like, it’s time to take a look at some book review examples. They might deviate a bit from the above mentioned steps but overall, they capture the essence of a book review perfectly.

1) The Immortals of Meluha – Book Review

2) Book Review of Wings of Fire

3) Book Review of Oliver Twist

4) Tintin Comics: The Complete Collection Review

5) Book Review of Amar Chitra Katha

6) 34 Bubblegums and Candies – Book Review

7) Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal – Book Review

8 ) The Secret of the Nagas – Book Review

9) Rich Dad Poor Dad – Book Review

10) The Alchemist – Book Review

Well, there you have it! Some of the best book reviews that I’ve written and all laid out before you to analyze and criticize! Like I said earlier, I’m not the gold standard when it comes to writing book reviews so in case you have some better ideas as to the ideal book review format, don’t hesitate to comment below.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

updesh pal February 5, 2012 at 9:50 am

i like you this method………..

Reply

cealars March 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm

hi
i like this review formats. they have literally helped in my course work in the resent time in college.

Reply

Book Worm March 30, 2012 at 7:59 am

Hi,

Glad that I could be of some help and hope you found these tips useful while writing a book review

Reply

devang June 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Its an superb site.Lots of knowledge giving site and pretty good book revies.

Reply

Book Worm June 28, 2012 at 8:07 am

Thanks for the lovely comment Devang….glad to know that you liked the site and the reviews

Reply

anonymous September 22, 2012 at 11:31 am

short and simple tips easy to grasp for a beginner like me. i wanted to read someone doing a book review on ‘THE CITY OF JOY’

Reply

Book Worm September 24, 2012 at 6:52 am

Thanks…glad to know you liked it :)

Reply

m. Mohandas October 8, 2012 at 8:19 am

Good to know what do u mean by a Book Review. When we listen to someone else we get carried away and as we might have not read the book its all Greek and Latin . So thanks

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