Have you wondered what makes a good book review? Have you wondered what you might be missing in writing a book review? You can find out how to write a quality book review in these pages.
A book review is a recommendation from you. Your review is telling your readers whether or not you recommend the book or suggest that they run very fast from it. Look at it like this. You are having coffee with a friend. Your conversation steers in a direction similar to this: “Hey, I just read a book that you have got to read. I couldn’t put it down. Though the language could be a little foul, the plot was outstanding.”
Or the conversation could have gone this route: “I don’t understand the fascination with that book all over the news. I tried reading it and I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. It was horrible. There was no plot and everything was so confusing.” Both conversations are the beginning of a book review and are a recommendation from you.
Yes, a book review is a critique, but in the end your review has to also give a recommendation regarding the book. You are suggesting your readers read it or not waste their money. If you are one that is honest with your reviews, people will listen. That is why you have to be very careful about what you say in a review. Don’t be personal. Don’t be biased. Let your friends know where you stand with the book, but give them good reasons. That is where the critique comes from. You can say you like the book or don’t like it, but tell your friends why. Your reasons might not be what turn your friends off of the book. I read one book that I just didn’t like. In critiquing it, the book wasn’t that bad. My readers could see that, but when I got to my recommendation I had to say the truth. “I really did not like the book. It was well written. The characters were entertaining, but the plot was not for me. For others, this might be an excellent book. If you like this genre, I highly recommend you give it a try and give your own review. For me, I’ll pass on the next one in the series.”
When you give a review, don’t forget to tell your recommendation to your readers. They want to know. You can critique it, but do you recommend it?
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It seems a little funny writing a book review on a book about how to write a book review, but that’s what I’m doing. I should start by saying I wish I’d read this before I ever wrote my first review. It’s a great resource! I would recommend this book to both old and new reviewers. Rebecca takes you through a step by step process on what to include, what not to include, and how to say it without stepping on any toes. For the most part, as book reviewers, we’re here to share our love of books, and those wonderful authors that put their heart into them. We aren’t doing that if we’re attacking an author.
Rebecca pointed out several things I had never thought about, and others that seemed like common sense, but I know are still missing in many reviews. She takes you through reviewing the different elements of a story, giving little tricks to help you out when it’s time to write your review. The book is a very easy read, and not something that will bore you to death reading. Every topic was presented in a very clear manner, and it never left me confused. The only topic that I wish she would have gone more indepth with was style. All the other topics were addressed thoroughly. Sometimes so thoroughly that I felt like there was a little too much repetition.
I especially liked that she covered topics such as writing a review on non-fiction, since this is afterall, my first review of a non-fiction work. I couldn’t stress enough how helpful this book is. I will use it as a guide for all future reviews. I give it a rating of a strong 4 stars!! I sincerely recommend it to ALL book reviewers out there!!
About the Author
Rebecca Graf was born in Russellville, Kentucky but grew up in Dothan, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Montevallo with an accounting degree. Given the chance to try her hand at writing, she began writing online articles leading to her first published book, A Gift for a Mouse. From there she ventured into romance, mystery, comedy and drama. The passion of writing was discovered. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and three children.
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*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*