A book review is different from a book report. A fiction book review is a way of writing about real things. A fiction book review usually consists of recent or new information about the text, as well as questions answered about the text. A fiction book review can include a lot of different types of information relating to the text, to the reader as well as to books in general.
Photo by Nicole Honeywill / Sincerely Media on Unsplash
Like other academic writing, fiction book reviews also have a standard structure. This can vary from time to time, however, the below framework provides a general outline of the sections to cover in a book review. Each section will need to have one paragraph.
As with any academic piece of writing, an introduction is vital and the same applies when writing fiction book reviews. Start your review with a general overview of the topic or the issue to address and then try and find a hook to get your reader interested
Analysis of the argument
You need to summarize the argument in the book as concisely as possible. Discuss the reason for the book.
Note some biographical information about the author or editor of the book in question. For example, who are they, what they do, are they known for anything in particular? etc
Point out one aspect of the book that the book shows strength in.
Identify an aspect of the book that you think needs improving.
Your review needs to end with a final statement which provides your opinion of the book. You also need to state the audience that this book will appeal to.
With practice, fiction book reviews do get easier, similar to any other skill. However, it is quite easy, at first, to mistakes. We will now take a look at the typical mistakes and pitfalls that are made when writing book reviews and how you can overcome them.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Mistakes to avoid when writing fiction book reviews
Focusing on the plot too much
If you lack critical abilities, then you may focus on the plot too much. So, when writing a fiction book review you need to avoid focusing on the plot alone. You don’t want to give the plot away and you only want to highlight the major parts of the plot so that your reader knows enough and can decide whether the book is something that they would read. Another important factor to consider is that fiction book reviews are critical. Therefore, if you decide to spend your whole fiction book review talking about the plot, you will fail to look at other aspects of the book such as the characters, themes, structure, and originality of the book. Finally, always remember, it is important to never fully describe any part of the plot.
Not being clear
Make sure any points you make are clear and are not lost in the language that you use. If you have any sentences that you don’t wish to rewrite, then you may need to look at them again as it could be that they do need rewriting in a more straightforward manner.
Making over the top statements
Don’t open up your fiction book review with exaggerated statements as your reader is likely to become suspicious of your opinion. Keep any claims that you make clear and well supported. If you make a statement such as ‘it’s the best thing you will read this year,’ then you will have needed to have read every other fiction book that’s been released this year too or your claim will not be well supported.
A lengthy book review
You want to make sure that your book review is not too long or not too short. You may feel confident to write a very long book review, but you have to have a certain amount of authority to be able to do this and get away with it. Also, you don’t want to lose your reader’s interest by having a review that’s too long.
Avoid sounding self absorbent
So we know that you are writing a fiction book review, but you don’t need to keep pointing this fact out. Avoid using the pronoun ‘I’ when writing a fiction book review. You also don’t need to labor who you are, as, after all, your name will be at the top of your review. If you avoid being too personal your fiction book review will come across stronger and more powerful. At the end of the day, you need to remember that a fiction book review provides a service to the reader and the author is second in command.
Avoid being repetitive
It’s easy to be repetitive if you’ve got a point to make that you really do not want your reader to miss. However, if you are repetitive it could end up looking like you are insecure about the argument you have put forward and this will devalue the confidence a reader has in your review. You want to avoid repetitively mentioning the same point across your review.
Along with professional book review writing services available online, there are some useful sources that may help you when writing Fiction book reviews.
Name: How To Write a Simple Book Review: It’s easier than you think!
- Author: Allyson R. Abbott
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition
- Year: 2015
This book explains all aspects of how to write a book review, how long it needs to be, the different kinds of reviews, how to get tips for reviewing a book etc..
Name: How to Write a Book Review
- Author: Noah Ras
- Publisher: Kindle Edition
This text provides a ten-step guide on writing a book review.
* This is a pre-written sponsored post
Very useful! I’ve yet to do such a review but funnily enough actually received a book this morning so will be using these tips to attack my first book review haha. Thanks!
Thank you for posting this- I often struggled with writing book reviews. Considering the fact I do so much reading you would think I’m good at it. But, I’m not. Thank you for giving me some guidelines. I hope to follow them carefully and practice getting better.
These are some great tips & “what-not-to-do’s” to keep in mind! Considering my more recent shift in creating book-related content, I have to remember these as I write book reviews. I think I definitely have a tendency to go on and on, especially if I loved the book :’) I’m working on that!!
Great advice! Since I love reading, I’ve been considering getting into book reviewing. I’ll be bookmarking this post so I can remember what mistakes not to make! 😄
Ha ha! Well, I’m probably a culprit in many of these “what not to do” ESPECIALLY being over the top!! But, I just write my thoughts for fun, and I like to be myself in my writing. I’m not trying to write a professional review for the New Yorker or something. Sometimes it’s fun to just be yourself and let loose your feelingings! My reviews are like a Jackson Pollock painting… Splattered all over the page! 😂😂
I started this blog a while back by writing book reviews. They are harder to write than I thought. I had read many and tried to copy the style but failed at writing
These are good tips! I find the hardest thing is to not be repetitive over all my reviews (for example book review structure). Sometimes you need to shake it up a bit!