Our week of book reviewing posts starts with advice from Terry.
How to write a book review – an easy, step-by-step guide.
First of all, thank you if you’ve already signed up for the Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC – if you haven’t seen the post yet and your interest is piqued (lots of great books to choose from!), you can see our introductory post HERE.
Have you often wanted to write a review for a book, but are not sure how to go about it? This is a basic guide that can be adapted to suit any book. A tip to help: think about what YOU would want to know – I’ve asked you questions to help you on your way, and shown you how to tell someone what the book is like without giving spoilers!
What is the book about? A simple sentence to give an overview.
Example #1: The Last Warrior is historical fiction set in 18th Century Scotland, about the struggle between the Highlanders and the English landowners.
Example #2: The Banker’s Daughter is a romantic thriller set in London and New York.
Can you tell me more? A short paragraph to show the main characters and basic plot outline. In this part, you can let the reader know if the book is particularly violent or has sexual content, if you wish, or anything else that you think needs mentioning.
Example #1: In the hills of Sutherland, Rob McDougall, a crofter’s son, grows increasingly angry as the clan’s landlord aims to evict them from the homes in which they have lived for centuries. He comes up against the landlord’s fixer, Jamie Strong, who will stop at nothing. There are a few battle scenes that are quite gory.
Example #2: Emma Blake has lived the good life since she was a child, in her wealthy banker father’s world. Then she meets up with Sam Williams, a New York financial whizz-kid who turns her world upside down. Problems arise when Emma’s father tells her that Sam is working against the bank. Contains some non-graphic sex scenes.
What did you like about it?
Example #1: I loved every minute of this book. The descriptions of the 18th Century Scotland made me feel as if I was there, and I was rooting for Rob all the way through. The characters were so realistic, and the story was a real page-turner. The relationship between Rob and his father was so touching, and brought a tear to my eye.
Example #2: I really felt the atmosphere of Emma’s London life – it was great to read about all the glamorous settings, the wheeling and dealing. At first I was on her father’s side, but as the book went on I found that I liked Sam more and more. Emma was lovely; I so wanted her to do the right thing. I liked how the suspense builds throughout the book – I found myself turning the pages faster and faster.
What were you less sure about?
Example #1: There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book. I enjoyed it all the way through. At first I found the Scottish dialect a bit hard to read, but I soon got used to it, and it’s not overdone.
Example #2: At times, I thought it concentrated more on the romance angle than I would have liked, and I was looking forward to getting back to the plot, with all of its clever twists. The two chapters when Emma and Sam were being loved-up in New York slowed it down too much.
Can you sum the book up? Would you recommend it?
Example #1: This is a terrific, well-researched novel that I recommend to all lovers of historical fiction, or even those who don’t usually read this genre.
Example #2: I’d definitely recommend this book to readers who love romantic suspense thrillers – it’s about half romantic suspense, half thriller.
These are very basic examples for a short review, and you may want to write more if you have a lot to say! I hope this helps; please stay tuned for more advice from Rosie and her team.
Coming up tomorrow: Star Ratings.