HOWTO | How to Review a Book

Someone contacted me seeking guidance on reviewing a book. If only I knew!

I try to follow a set pattern, a template, if you will, in my reviews. However, as I am not learned, I primarily go with my instincts.

There are a few things I keep in mind.

1. The Theme

Explain the theme briefly. The reader should know what to expect from the book.

2. About the Writer

A little bit about the writer, his/her standing in the genre. The writing style, influence, adaptations etc. This comes purely from personal experiences and preferences.

3. No Spoilers

I try to keep my reviews spoiler free. Spoilers ruin the book for everyone, so, no spoilers, unless it is obvious. For instance, if I told you that Harry Potter series is about wizards, that’s obvious. Geddit?

4. Review

Review section contains my opinion on the story.

  1. If there are societal, religious and political issues, where do I stand on those issues.
  2. What I like and dislike about the narration.
  3. Is it interesting engaging or boring and confusing.
  4. Are the characters relatable?

This section is extremely personal and I quote personal experiences and stories as well. This might not work if you’re writing the review as part of academic assignment. Your professor wouldn’t want to know your rants, no?

5. No Stars / Rating

I don’t include star rating. A review is a combination of the hard work of the author and feelings of the reader. Initially, I struggled to bring that to a number on a 1-5 scale. Also, people begin to troll if I give a not-so-favourable rating. Don’t want haters around me.

6. All Reviews Are Mine

If you don’t agree with my opnions and my reviews, learn to agree to disagree. My reviews are mine. Everyone should have a right to voice their thoughts without being mean.

7. Copyrights Apply

Don’t copy my review to submit it elsewhere.

I hope it helps. If you like this post, support my blog.

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Shabana Mukhtar

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