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Blog – Posted on Friday, Mar 29
17 book review examples to help you write the perfect review.
It’s an exciting time to be a book reviewer. Once confined to print newspapers and journals, reviews now dot many corridors of the Internet — forever helping others discover their next great read. That said, every book reviewer will face a familiar panic: how can you do justice to a great book in just a thousand words?
As you know, the best way to learn how to do something is by immersing yourself in it. Luckily, the Internet (i.e. Goodreads and other review sites , in particular) has made book reviews more accessible than ever — which means that there are a lot of book reviews examples out there for you to view!
In this post, we compiled 17 prototypical book review examples in multiple genres to help you figure out how to write the perfect review . If you want to jump straight to the examples, you can skip the next section. Otherwise, let’s first check out what makes up a good review.
Are you interested in becoming a book reviewer? We recommend you check out Reedsy Discovery , where you can earn money for writing reviews — and are guaranteed people will read your reviews! To register as a book reviewer, sign up here.
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What must a book review contain?
Like all works of art, no two book reviews will be identical. But fear not: there are a few guidelines for any aspiring book reviewer to follow. Most book reviews, for instance, are less than 1,500 words long, with the sweet spot hitting somewhere around the 1,000-word mark. (However, this may vary depending on the platform on which you’re writing, as we’ll see later.)
In addition, all reviews share some universal elements, as shown in our book review templates . These include:
- A review will offer a concise plot summary of the book.
- A book review will offer an evaluation of the work.
- A book review will offer a recommendation for the audience.
If these are the basic ingredients that make up a book review, it’s the tone and style with which the book reviewer writes that brings the extra panache. This will differ from platform to platform, of course. A book review on Goodreads, for instance, will be much more informal and personal than a book review on Kirkus Reviews, as it is catering to a different audience. However, at the end of the day, the goal of all book reviews is to give the audience the tools to determine whether or not they’d like to read the book themselves.
Keeping that in mind, let’s proceed to some book review examples to put all of this in action.
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Book review examples for fiction books
Since story is king in the world of fiction, it probably won’t come as any surprise to learn that a book review for a novel will concentrate on how well the story was told .
That said, book reviews in all genres follow the same basic formula that we discussed earlier. In these examples, you’ll be able to see how book reviewers on different platforms expertly intertwine the plot summary and their personal opinions of the book to produce a clear, informative, and concise review.
Note: Some of the book review examples run very long. If a book review is truncated in this post, we’ve indicated by including a […] at the end, but you can always read the entire review if you click on the link provided.
Examples of literary fiction book reviews
Kirkus Reviews reviews Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man :
An extremely powerful story of a young Southern Negro, from his late high school days through three years of college to his life in Harlem.
His early training prepared him for a life of humility before white men, but through injustices- large and small, he came to realize that he was an "invisible man". People saw in him only a reflection of their preconceived ideas of what he was, denied his individuality, and ultimately did not see him at all. This theme, which has implications far beyond the obvious racial parallel, is skillfully handled. The incidents of the story are wholly absorbing. The boy's dismissal from college because of an innocent mistake, his shocked reaction to the anonymity of the North and to Harlem, his nightmare experiences on a one-day job in a paint factory and in the hospital, his lightning success as the Harlem leader of a communistic organization known as the Brotherhood, his involvement in black versus white and black versus black clashes and his disillusion and understanding of his invisibility- all climax naturally in scenes of violence and riot, followed by a retreat which is both literal and figurative. Parts of this experience may have been told before, but never with such freshness, intensity and power.
This is Ellison's first novel, but he has complete control of his story and his style. Watch it.
Lyndsey reviews George Orwell’s 1984 on Goodreads:
YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good." Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried.
This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down.
I read Fahrenheit 451 over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read 1984, although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully. […]
The New York Times reviews Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry :
Three-quarters of the way through Lisa Halliday’s debut novel, “Asymmetry,” a British foreign correspondent named Alistair is spending Christmas on a compound outside of Baghdad. His fellow revelers include cameramen, defense contractors, United Nations employees and aid workers. Someone’s mother has FedExed a HoneyBaked ham from Maine; people are smoking by the swimming pool. It is 2003, just days after Saddam Hussein’s capture, and though the mood is optimistic, Alistair is worrying aloud about the ethics of his chosen profession, wondering if reporting on violence doesn’t indirectly abet violence and questioning why he’d rather be in a combat zone than reading a picture book to his son. But every time he returns to London, he begins to “spin out.” He can’t go home. “You observe what people do with their freedom — what they don’t do — and it’s impossible not to judge them for it,” he says.
The line, embedded unceremoniously in the middle of a page-long paragraph, doubles, like so many others in “Asymmetry,” as literary criticism. Halliday’s novel is so strange and startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction. One finishes “Asymmetry” for the first or second (or like this reader, third) time and is left wondering what other writers are not doing with their freedom — and, like Alistair, judging them for it.
Despite its title, “Asymmetry” comprises two seemingly unrelated sections of equal length, appended by a slim and quietly shocking coda. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W. G. Sebald, and like the murmurings of a shy person at a cocktail party, often comic only in single clauses. It’s a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years. […]
Emily W. Thompson reviews Michael Doane's The Crossing on Reedsy Discovery :
In Doane’s debut novel, a young man embarks on a journey of self-discovery with surprising results.
An unnamed protagonist (The Narrator) is dealing with heartbreak. His love, determined to see the world, sets out for Portland, Oregon. But he’s a small-town boy who hasn’t traveled much. So, the Narrator mourns her loss and hides from life, throwing himself into rehabbing an old motorcycle. Until one day, he takes a leap; he packs his bike and a few belongings and heads out to find the Girl.
Following in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and William Least Heat-Moon, Doane offers a coming of age story about a man finding himself on the backroads of America. Doane’s a gifted writer with fluid prose and insightful observations, using The Narrator’s personal interactions to illuminate the diversity of the United States.
The Narrator initially sticks to the highways, trying to make it to the West Coast as quickly as possible. But a hitchhiker named Duke convinces him to get off the beaten path and enjoy the ride. “There’s not a place that’s like any other,”  Dukes contends, and The Narrator realizes he’s right. Suddenly, the trip is about the journey, not just the destination. The Narrator ditches his truck and traverses the deserts and mountains on his bike. He destroys his phone, cutting off ties with his past and living only in the moment.
As he crosses the country, The Narrator connects with several unique personalities whose experiences and views deeply impact his own. Duke, the complicated cowboy and drifter, who opens The Narrator’s eyes to a larger world. Zooey, the waitress in Colorado who opens his heart and reminds him that love can be found in this big world. And Rosie, The Narrator’s sweet landlady in Portland, who helps piece him back together both physically and emotionally.
This supporting cast of characters is excellent. Duke, in particular, is wonderfully nuanced and complicated. He’s a throwback to another time, a man without a cell phone who reads Sartre and sleeps under the stars. Yet he’s also a grifter with a “love ‘em and leave ‘em” attitude that harms those around him. It’s fascinating to watch The Narrator wrestle with Duke’s behavior, trying to determine which to model and which to discard.
Doane creates a relatable protagonist in The Narrator, whose personal growth doesn’t erase his faults. His willingness to hit the road with few resources is admirable, and he’s prescient enough to recognize the jealousy of those who cannot or will not take the leap. His encounters with new foods, places, and people broaden his horizons. Yet his immaturity and selfishness persist. He tells Rosie she’s been a good mother to him but chooses to ignore the continuing concern from his own parents as he effectively disappears from his old life.
Despite his flaws, it’s a pleasure to accompany The Narrator on his physical and emotional journey. The unexpected ending is a fitting denouement to an epic and memorable road trip.
The Book Smugglers review Anissa Gray’s The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls :
I am still dipping my toes into the literally fiction pool, finding what works for me and what doesn’t. Books like The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray are definitely my cup of tea.
Althea and Proctor Cochran had been pillars of their economically disadvantaged community for years – with their local restaurant/small market and their charity drives. Until they are found guilty of fraud for stealing and keeping most of the money they raised and sent to jail. Now disgraced, their entire family is suffering the consequences, specially their twin teenage daughters Baby Vi and Kim. To complicate matters even more: Kim was actually the one to call the police on her parents after yet another fight with her mother. […]
Examples of children’s and YA fiction book reviews
The Book Hookup reviews Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give :
♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 5 stars! I can’t imagine how challenging it would be to tackle the voice of a movement like Black Lives Matter, but I do know that Thomas did it with a finesse only a talented author like herself possibly could. With an unapologetically realistic delivery packed with emotion, The Hate U Give is a crucially important portrayal of the difficulties minorities face in our country every single day. I have no doubt that this book will be met with resistance by some (possibly many) and slapped with a “controversial” label, but if you’ve ever wondered what it was like to walk in a POC’s shoes, then I feel like this is an unflinchingly honest place to start.
In Angie Thomas’s debut novel, Starr Carter bursts on to the YA scene with both heart-wrecking and heartwarming sincerity. This author is definitely one to watch.
♥ Review: The hype around this book has been unquestionable and, admittedly, that made me both eager to get my hands on it and terrified to read it. I mean, what if I was to be the one person that didn’t love it as much as others? (That seems silly now because of how truly mesmerizing THUG was in the most heartbreakingly realistic way.) However, with the relevancy of its summary in regards to the unjust predicaments POC currently face in the US, I knew this one was a must-read, so I was ready to set my fears aside and dive in. That said, I had an altogether more personal, ulterior motive for wanting to read this book. […]
The New York Times reviews Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood :
Alice Crewe (a last name she’s chosen for herself) is a fairy tale legacy: the granddaughter of Althea Proserpine, author of a collection of dark-as-night fairy tales called “Tales From the Hinterland.” The book has a cult following, and though Alice has never met her grandmother, she’s learned a little about her through internet research. She hasn’t read the stories, because her mother, Ella Proserpine, forbids it.
Alice and Ella have moved from place to place in an attempt to avoid the “bad luck” that seems to follow them. Weird things have happened. As a child, Alice was kidnapped by a man who took her on a road trip to find her grandmother; he was stopped by the police before they did so. When at 17 she sees that man again, unchanged despite the years, Alice panics. Then Ella goes missing, and Alice turns to Ellery Finch, a schoolmate who’s an Althea Proserpine superfan, for help in tracking down her mother. Not only has Finch read every fairy tale in the collection, but handily, he remembers them, sharing them with Alice as they journey to the mysterious Hazel Wood, the estate of her now-dead grandmother, where they hope to find Ella.
“The Hazel Wood” starts out strange and gets stranger, in the best way possible. (The fairy stories Finch relays, which Albert includes as their own chapters, are as creepy and evocative as you’d hope.) Albert seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth and the world as it appears is false, where just about anything can happen, particularly in the pages of a very good book. It’s a captivating debut. […]
James reviews Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight, Moon on Goodreads:
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children's Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!
This picture book was such a delight. I hadn't remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me... either way, it was like a whole new experience! It's always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don't have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he'll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I've been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it's time to sleep.
The bunny's are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren't normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.
Publishers Weekly reviews Elizabeth Lilly’s Geraldine :
This funny, thoroughly accomplished debut opens with two words: “I’m moving.” They’re spoken by the title character while she swoons across her family’s ottoman, and because Geraldine is a giraffe, her full-on melancholy mode is quite a spectacle. But while Geraldine may be a drama queen (even her mother says so), it won’t take readers long to warm up to her. The move takes Geraldine from Giraffe City, where everyone is like her, to a new school, where everyone else is human. Suddenly, the former extrovert becomes “That Giraffe Girl,” and all she wants to do is hide, which is pretty much impossible. “Even my voice tries to hide,” she says, in the book’s most poignant moment. “It’s gotten quiet and whispery.” Then she meets Cassie, who, though human, is also an outlier (“I’m that girl who wears glasses and likes MATH and always organizes her food”), and things begin to look up.
Lilly’s watercolor-and-ink drawings are as vividly comic and emotionally astute as her writing; just when readers think there are no more ways for Geraldine to contort her long neck, this highly promising talent comes up with something new.
Examples of genre fiction book reviews
Karlyn P reviews Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch , a paranormal romance novel , on Goodreads:
4 stars. Great world-building, weak romance, but still worth the read.
I hesitate to describe this book as a 'romance' novel simply because the book spent little time actually exploring the romance between Iona and Boyle. Sure, there IS a romance in this novel. Sprinkled throughout the book are a few scenes where Iona and Boyle meet, chat, wink at each, flirt some more, sleep together, have a misunderstanding, make up, and then profess their undying love. Very formulaic stuff, and all woven around the more important parts of this book.
The meat of this book is far more focused on the story of the Dark witch and her magically-gifted descendants living in Ireland. Despite being weak on the romance, I really enjoyed it. I think the book is probably better for it, because the romance itself was pretty lackluster stuff.
I absolutely plan to stick with this series as I enjoyed the world building, loved the Ireland setting, and was intrigued by all of the secondary characters. However, If you read Nora Roberts strictly for the romance scenes, this one might disappoint. But if you enjoy a solid background story with some dark magic and prophesies, you might enjoy it as much as I did.
I listened to this one on audio, and felt the narration was excellent.
Emily May reviews R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy Wars , an epic fantasy novel , on Goodreads:
“But I warn you, little warrior. The price of power is pain.”
Holy hell, what did I just read??
➽ A fantasy military school
➽ A rich world based on modern Chinese history
➽ Shamans and gods
➽ Detailed characterization leading to unforgettable characters
➽ Adorable, opium-smoking mentors
That's a basic list, but this book is all of that and SO MUCH MORE. I know 100% that The Poppy War will be one of my best reads of 2018.
Isn't it just so great when you find one of those books that completely drags you in, makes you fall in love with the characters, and demands that you sit on the edge of your seat for every horrific, nail-biting moment of it? This is one of those books for me. And I must issue a serious content warning: this book explores some very dark themes. Proceed with caution (or not at all) if you are particularly sensitive to scenes of war, drug use and addiction, genocide, racism, sexism, ableism, self-harm, torture, and rape (off-page but extremely horrific).
Because, despite the fairly innocuous first 200 pages, the title speaks the truth: this is a book about war. All of its horrors and atrocities. It is not sugar-coated, and it is often graphic. The "poppy" aspect refers to opium, which is a big part of this book. It is a fantasy, but the book draws inspiration from the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking.
Crime Fiction Lover reviews Jessica Barry’s Freefall , a crime novel:
In some crime novels, the wrongdoing hits you between the eyes from page one. With others it’s a more subtle process, and that’s OK too. So where does Freefall fit into the sliding scale?
In truth, it’s not clear. This is a novel with a thrilling concept at its core. A woman survives plane crash, then runs for her life. However, it is the subtleties at play that will draw you in like a spider beckoning to an unwitting fly.
Like the heroine in Sharon Bolton’s Dead Woman Walking, Allison is lucky to be alive. She was the only passenger in a private plane, belonging to her fiancé, Ben, who was piloting the expensive aircraft, when it came down in woodlands in the Colorado Rockies. Ally is also the only survivor, but rather than sitting back and waiting for rescue, she is soon pulling together items that may help her survive a little longer – first aid kit, energy bars, warm clothes, trainers – before fleeing the scene. If you’re hearing the faint sound of alarm bells ringing, get used to it. There’s much, much more to learn about Ally before this tale is over.
Kirkus Reviews reviews Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One , a science-fiction novel :
Video-game players embrace the quest of a lifetime in a virtual world; screenwriter Cline’s first novel is old wine in new bottles.
The real world, in 2045, is the usual dystopian horror story. So who can blame Wade, our narrator, if he spends most of his time in a virtual world? The 18-year-old, orphaned at 11, has no friends in his vertical trailer park in Oklahoma City, while the OASIS has captivating bells and whistles, and it’s free. Its creator, the legendary billionaire James Halliday, left a curious will. He had devised an elaborate online game, a hunt for a hidden Easter egg. The finder would inherit his estate. Old-fashioned riddles lead to three keys and three gates. Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, is the first gunter (egg-hunter) to win the Copper Key, first of three.
Halliday was obsessed with the pop culture of the 1980s, primarily the arcade games, so the novel is as much retro as futurist. Parzival’s great strength is that he has absorbed all Halliday’s obsessions; he knows by heart three essential movies, crossing the line from geek to freak. His most formidable competitors are the Sixers, contract gunters working for the evil conglomerate IOI, whose goal is to acquire the OASIS. Cline’s narrative is straightforward but loaded with exposition. It takes a while to reach a scene that crackles with excitement: the meeting between Parzival (now world famous as the lead contender) and Sorrento, the head of IOI. The latter tries to recruit Parzival; when he fails, he issues and executes a death threat. Wade’s trailer is demolished, his relatives killed; luckily Wade was not at home. Too bad this is the dramatic high point. Parzival threads his way between more ’80s games and movies to gain the other keys; it’s clever but not exciting. Even a romance with another avatar and the ultimate “epic throwdown” fail to stir the blood.
Too much puzzle-solving, not enough suspense.
Book review examples for non-fiction books
Nonfiction books are generally written to inform readers about a certain topic. As such, the focus of a nonfiction book review will be on the clarity and effectiveness of this communication . In carrying this out, a book review may analyze the author’s source materials and assess the thesis in order to determine whether or not the book meets expectations.
Again, we’ve included abbreviated versions of long reviews here, so feel free to click on the link to read the entire piece!
The Washington Post reviews David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon :
The arc of David Grann’s career reminds one of a software whiz-kid or a latest-thing talk-show host — certainly not an investigative reporter, even if he is one of the best in the business. The newly released movie of his first book, “The Lost City of Z,” is generating all kinds of Oscar talk, and now comes the release of his second book, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” the film rights to which have already been sold for $5 million in what one industry journal called the “biggest and wildest book rights auction in memory.”
Grann deserves the attention. He’s canny about the stories he chases, he’s willing to go anywhere to chase them, and he’s a maestro in his ability to parcel out information at just the right clip: a hint here, a shading of meaning there, a smartly paced buildup of multiple possibilities followed by an inevitable reversal of readerly expectations or, in some cases, by a thrilling and dislocating pull of the entire narrative rug.
All of these strengths are on display in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Around the turn of the 20th century, oil was discovered underneath Osage lands in the Oklahoma Territory, lands that were soon to become part of the state of Oklahoma. Through foresight and legal maneuvering, the Osage found a way to permanently attach that oil to themselves and shield it from the prying hands of white interlopers; this mechanism was known as “headrights,” which forbade the outright sale of oil rights and granted each full member of the tribe — and, supposedly, no one else — a share in the proceeds from any lease arrangement. For a while, the fail-safes did their job, and the Osage got rich — diamond-ring and chauffeured-car and imported-French-fashion rich — following which quite a large group of white men started to work like devils to separate the Osage from their money. And soon enough, and predictably enough, this work involved murder. Here in Jazz Age America’s most isolated of locales, dozens or even hundreds of Osage in possession of great fortunes — and of the potential for even greater fortunes in the future — were dispatched by poison, by gunshot and by dynamite. […]
Stacked Books reviews Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers :
I’ve heard a lot of great things about Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. Friends and co-workers tell me that his subjects are interesting and his writing style is easy to follow without talking down to the reader. I wasn’t disappointed with Outliers. In it, Gladwell tackles the subject of success – how people obtain it and what contributes to extraordinary success as opposed to everyday success.
The thesis – that our success depends much more on circumstances out of our control than any effort we put forth – isn’t exactly revolutionary. Most of us know it to be true. However, I don’t think I’m lying when I say that most of us also believe that we if we just try that much harder and develop our talent that much further, it will be enough to become wildly successful, despite bad or just mediocre beginnings. Not so, says Gladwell.
Most of the evidence Gladwell gives us is anecdotal, which is my favorite kind to read. I can’t really speak to how scientifically valid it is, but it sure makes for engrossing listening. For example, did you know that successful hockey players are almost all born in January, February, or March? Kids born during these months are older than the others kids when they start playing in the youth leagues, which means they’re already better at the game (because they’re bigger). Thus, they get more play time, which means their skill increases at a faster rate, and it compounds as time goes by. Within a few years, they’re much, much better than the kids born just a few months later in the year. Basically, these kids’ birthdates are a huge factor in their success as adults – and it’s nothing they can do anything about. If anyone could make hockey interesting to a Texan who only grudgingly admits the sport even exists, it’s Gladwell. […]
Quill and Quire reviews Rick Prashaw’s Soar, Adam, Soar :
Ten years ago, I read a book called Almost Perfect. The young-adult novel by Brian Katcher won some awards and was held up as a powerful, nuanced portrayal of a young trans person. But the reality did not live up to the book’s billing. Instead, it turned out to be a one-dimensional and highly fetishized portrait of a trans person’s life, one that was nevertheless repeatedly dubbed “realistic” and “affecting” by non-transgender readers possessing only a vague, mass-market understanding of trans experiences.
In the intervening decade, trans narratives have emerged further into the literary spotlight, but those authored by trans people ourselves – and by trans men in particular – have seemed to fall under the shadow of cisgender sensationalized imaginings. Two current Canadian releases – Soar, Adam, Soar and This One Looks Like a Boy – provide a pointed object lesson into why trans-authored work about transgender experiences remains critical.
To be fair, Soar, Adam, Soar isn’t just a story about a trans man. It’s also a story about epilepsy, the medical establishment, and coming of age as seen through a grieving father’s eyes. Adam, Prashaw’s trans son, died unexpectedly at age 22. Woven through the elder Prashaw’s narrative are excerpts from Adam’s social media posts, giving us glimpses into the young man’s interior life as he traverses his late teens and early 20s. […]
Book Geeks reviews Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love :
WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“Eat Pray Love” is so popular that it is almost impossible to not read it. Having felt ashamed many times on my not having read this book, I quietly ordered the book (before I saw the movie) from amazon.in and sat down to read it. I don’t remember what I expected it to be – maybe more like a chick lit thing but it turned out quite different. The book is a real story and is a short journal from the time when its writer went travelling to three different countries in pursuit of three different things – Italy (Pleasure), India (Spirituality), Bali (Balance) and this is what corresponds to the book’s name – EAT (in Italy), PRAY (in India) and LOVE (in Bali, Indonesia). These are also the three Is – ITALY, INDIA, INDONESIA.
Though she had everything a middle-aged American woman can aspire for – MONEY, CAREER, FRIENDS, HUSBAND; Elizabeth was not happy in her life, she wasn’t happy in her marriage. Having suffered a terrible divorce and terrible breakup soon after, Elizabeth was shattered. She didn’t know where to go and what to do – all she knew was that she wanted to run away. So she set out on a weird adventure – she will go to three countries in a year and see if she can find out what she was looking for in life. This book is about that life changing journey that she takes for one whole year. […]
Emily May reviews Michelle Obama’s Becoming on Goodreads:
Look, I'm not a happy crier. I might cry at songs about leaving and missing someone; I might cry at books where things don't work out; I might cry at movies where someone dies. I've just never really understood why people get all choked up over happy, inspirational things. But Michelle Obama's kindness and empathy changed that. This book had me in tears for all the right reasons.
This is not really a book about politics, though political experiences obviously do come into it. It's a shame that some will dismiss this book because of a difference in political opinion, when it is really about a woman's life. About growing up poor and black on the South Side of Chicago; about getting married and struggling to maintain that marriage; about motherhood; about being thrown into an amazing and terrifying position.
I hate words like "inspirational" because they've become so overdone and cheesy, but I just have to say it-- Michelle Obama is an inspiration. I had the privilege of seeing her speak at The Forum in Inglewood, and she is one of the warmest, funniest, smartest, down-to-earth people I have ever seen in this world.
And yes, I know we present what we want the world to see, but I truly do think it's genuine. I think she is someone who really cares about people - especially kids - and wants to give them better lives and opportunities.
She's obviously intelligent, but she also doesn't gussy up her words. She talks straight, with an openness and honesty rarely seen. She's been one of the most powerful women in the world, she's been a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, she's had her own successful career, and yet she has remained throughout that same girl - Michelle Robinson - from a working class family in Chicago.
I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book.
Hopefully, this post has given you a better idea of how to write a book review. You might be wondering how to put all of this knowledge into action now! Many book reviewers start out by setting up a book blog. If you don’t have time to research the intricacies of HTML, check out Reedsy Discovery — where you can read indie books for free and review them without going through the hassle of creating a blog. To register as a book reviewer , go here .
And if you’d like to see even more book review examples, simply go to this directory of book review blogs and click on any one of them to see a wealth of good book reviews. Beyond that, it's up to you to pick up a book and pen — and start reviewing!
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Who Wants Green Fingers Anyway? | Geeta Dharmarajan | Book Review
By Sankalpita on March 8, 2023 in Book Reviews , Children's Books , Fiction
The story takes us to a middle-class house where Amma loves gardening but is in a foul mood today because her plants are all dull and droopy. Now, Amma can be very competitive and when Appa makes the nasty mistake of complimenting her neighbour’s plants over hers, Amma’s anger bursts out of her. The result is a banter that sees Appa take on a gargantuan challenge, all in the pursuit of proving a point.
Durga | Kevin Missal | Book Review
By Dr. Nitisha Shah on March 6, 2023 in Book Reviews , Fiction , Mythological Fiction Books
Mahisha is a demon king who comes to rule the land of Jambudvipa. However, due to his cruel and violent ways, he has angered a lot of people and hence he must be stopped now. Maybe destiny has decided that his time has come. But there is only one person who can stop him and that’s DURGA, a young girl who was mistreated many years ago.
MultiRealm: When Brahma Prays | Arjuna K | Book Review
By Tasnima on March 4, 2023 in Book Reviews , Fiction , Mythological Fiction Books
In The MultiRealm: When Brahma Prays, the Multi-realm is portrayed as a conglomeration of several realms or worlds which are populated by many types of beings. These beings comprise of beings who are both mortal and immortal. They include Gods, demi-Gods, some reincarnated humans, resurrected humans, mythological legends, some energies, some powers, and some intangible forces which are hard to describe or categorize as God but are higher-order God-like entities.
The Loyal Wife | Natalie Barelli | Book Review
By Sankalpita on March 3, 2023 in Book Reviews , Chick-Lit Books , Drama Books , Fiction , Thriller & Mystery Books
When young Tamara ends up marrying Mike Mitchell, she never believes her luck. Having come from a humble background and with no decent education, Tamara could have never imagined that someone as rich, handsome, and sophisticated as Mike would ever become her husband. Mike is not just the perfect gentleman but also the perfect husband, the most caring, loving, and kind. But Tamara’s steady and guarded world is shattered when she discovers that Mike is cheating on her.
Ghats of Varanasi: Varanasi Walks 1 | Dr. Rajnish Mishra | Book Review
By Sankalpita on March 2, 2023 in Book Reviews , Non-Fiction , Travel and Places
Rows after rows of stone steps rising from the mighty Ganga and rows after rows of stone falling into the same – this is the quintessential picture of the city that comes to mind when one thinks about Varanasi. This is also what the author quite aptly refers to as the ghatscape. This ghatscape covered in the book has been divided into seven sections, with each section dedicated to its most famous ghat – Assi, Kedar, Dashashwamedh, Manikarnika, Panchganga, Trilochan, and Adikeshav.
Finding Manmeet | Anuj Tikku | Book Review
By Sankalpita on February 17, 2023 in Book Reviews , Fiction , Thriller & Mystery Books
Smita Dixit, a psychic is asked to fly down to New York and help the NYPD in solving the gruesome crime involving three teenage girls who went missing from the city, leaving no clues behind.
Aranika and the Syamantaka Jewel | Aparajita Bose | Book Review
By Sankalpita on February 10, 2023 in Book Reviews , Children's Books , Fiction
Aranika, a brilliant and accomplished young girl, is bestowed with great responsibility – that of the Syamantaka Jewel. A jewel that bestows unparalleled power to its possessor and that has the ability to change the course of human history. But Aranika is not the only one looking for it. Evil forces have been at play since the beginning of modern history, and now the wickedly powerful Iraavanan is also after the jewel.
Project Hail Mary | Andy Weir | Book Review
By Dr. Nitisha Shah on February 6, 2023 in Book Reviews , Fiction , Sci-Fi Books
Ryland Grace is one of the coolest middle-school science teachers ever born, but one day he wakes up to find himself on a spaceship, with the feeling that he has woken up from a deep deep sleep. In the form of recollections, he gets these vague random memories and has to piece them together one by one to solve the mystery of finding his purpose on a totally different star system that is many many light years away from Earth.
Carrie Soto Is Back | Taylor Jenkins Reid | Book Review
By Dr. Nitisha Shah on February 4, 2023 in Book Reviews , Drama Books , Fiction , Historical Fiction Books
Carrie Soto is the best tennis player ever to walk this planet, She retired after having won twenty Grand Slam titles, but now six years later, as she is sitting in the stands to watch the 1994 US open and her world record being broken by the stunning and magnificent player Nicki Chan, she can’t help but feel a tad disappointed. Now at 37, she decides to come out of her retirement and play for one last year so that she may reclaim her record.
When I Lost You | Kelly Rimmer | Book Review
By Aishwarya Moyal on February 2, 2023 in Book Reviews , Fiction , Romance Novels
Leo, is a war journalist, from an Aboriginal background and Molly, is the daughter of a famous business tycoon. They fall in love while confiding in each other about their past grief and married each other despite their differences. What will happen when they will have to go through the worst side of marriage and relationship, will their love for each other will be enough?
Hanging Palande | Anuj Tikku | Book Review
By Sankalpita on January 21, 2023 in Biography & Memoir , Book Reviews , Non-Fiction
Whenever we think of true crime, we think of books or web series, or even movies. But we never do think of people and events from a personal angle. But what when that true crime becomes your own story to tell? This is what happened with Anuj Tikku when the tragic and ghastly murder of his father Arun Kumar Tikku took place on the night of 7th April 2012.
The Goodness of Bad | Ravi Raman | Book Review
By Sankalpita on January 5, 2023 in Biography & Memoir , Book Reviews , Non-Fiction
Expect a medium-length slow paced read that traverses the journey of the author’s life. Expect a book that offers some deep insights into the practicalities and realities of everyday life. Expect a book that will inspire you to be a better version of yourself. In the author’s trials and tribulations, success, and joys, you will find a striking resemblance to your own life.
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A stolen South Seas treasure that helps reveal colonial crimes
In ‘the magnificent boat,’ götz aly examines the history of imperial germany’s cruelty through the lens of one powerful artifact.
In “ The Magnificent Boat: The Colonial Theft of a South Seas Cultural Treasure , ” Götz Aly, one of Germany’s most prominent historians of the Third Reich and the Holocaust, brings to light one of his country’s lesser-known historical crimes: the campaign of looting and destruction carried out as part of Imperial Germany’s colonization of New Guinea and Micronesia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Published two years ago in Germany and now available in English, translated by Jefferson Chase, “The Magnificent Boat” is a major contribution to the debate over whether and how to repatriate the countless objects and artworks acquired through dubious means that reside in the museums of former colonial powers. The recently opened Humboldt Forum has been at the center of these debates. Just last year, the German government agreed to send 20 valuable Benin Bronzes to Nigeria, from which they were looted in a late-19th-century raid. Here, Aly’s “jumping off point” to explore this dark history of colonial violence is a 50-foot-long outrigger sailboat, ornamented with ornate carvings and built out of wood without a single nail.
Why is it so hard to bring brutal despots to justice?
The stunning craft in question comes from the island of Luf, which is now part of Papua New Guinea but was part of the German Empire from 1884 to 1914. The archipelago in which it is located still bears the name of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Aly has his own, more personal relationship to the region: The author first took an interest in the boat and this period of German colonial history because of a relative of his who had served as a chaplain in the imperial navy in the region at the time.
Today, the boat sits in Berlin’s Humboldt Forum museum. The exact method by which the boat was originally acquired is still a little murky. But the circumstantial evidence uncovered by Aly’s formidable research is pretty damning. The Germans at the time were interested in the islands for their natural resources, most notably copra, or dried coconut, which can be used to make soap and a variety of other products. The Indigenous inhabitants of these islands were devastated by the import of European diseases — syphilis worst of all — and by punitive expeditions carried out by the German navy in response to perceived acts of rebellion.
Not long before the boat was acquired in 1903, Luf was subjected to one of these raids, during which, Aly writes, “Germans burned down all the huts, smashed all the canoes, murdered and raped, and allowed the Indigenous population to perish from starvation or disease.” The exact number of islanders killed in the raid itself is unknown, but by a few years later, as a result of the devastation, Luf’s population of 300 to 400 had been reduced by about half.
In one of his best-known books, “ Architects of Annihilation ,” co-authored with Susanne Heim, Aly examined the role that Germany’s top scientists and academics played in the Holocaust. His latest work is something of a continuation, showing how the leading lights in the then-cutting-edge field of ethnography worked hand-in-hand with the German imperialist enterprise, eagerly paying high prices for cultural artifacts. The Luf Boat is just one particularly notable example: Today there are approximately 65,000 South Seas objects in Berlin’s museums, and, Aly writes, “every one of these items carries the legitimate suspicion of having been acquired at an unfair price or with deceit and violence by hunters, collectors, and traders of ethnographic valuables.”
“The Magnificent Boat” appears at a time of renewed focus on Germany’s pre-Nazi colonial history and atrocities such as the campaign of extermination against the Herero in what is now Namibia in the early 20th century. Aly said in a 2021 interview that until recently, he also shared the widespread view in Germany that the country’s colonial holdings outside Europe had been small and that “compared to what the English and Belgians did over the centuries, it wasn’t that bad.” It’s hard to imagine still holding such a view after reading this book.
The giant, bearded explorer who became a Hollywood celebrity
As an indictment of German colonial policies and leading scholars’ complicity in them, the book is unsparing and convincing. Its publication caused a stir in the German media, and its findings are now addressed in the Humboldt Forum’s publicity materials around the boat.
If anything feels missing from this account, it’s the islanders themselves. Given that this is not a work of pure historical scholarship but a contribution to contemporary debates, it’s striking that Aly seems to have little interest in the current condition of this region or how these events are now viewed in Papua New Guinea. A reader of the book might not even realize that the island of Luf is still inhabited. These omissions feel particularly glaring in light of how Aly excoriates the scholars of the era for viewing the islanders as history-less primitives who simply “died out” after contact with the modern world.
Aly writes at the end of the English edition that he is particularly happy that the translation will allow “interested Anglophone readers in Papua New Guinea to learn how many of their cultural treasure were once removed to Berlin.” This book might have benefited if its author had also tried to learn something from them.
The Magnificent Boat
The Colonial Theft of a South Seas Cultural Treasure
By Götz Aly, translated by Jefferson Chase
Belknap. 207 pp. $29.95
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Here are the Books We Love: 400+ great 2022 reads recommended by NPR
November 22, 2022 Books We Love returns with 400+ new titles handpicked by NPR staff and trusted critics. Find 10 years of recommendations all in one place – that's more than 3,200 great reads.
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Cuddy by Benjamin Myers review – a visionary history
An Anglo-Saxon saint speaks down the centuries in a sensational piece of storytelling about Britain’s past and present
C uddy is the affectionate name for Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (c634-687), a shepherd boy born in the Border country who rose to become prior of Melrose Abbey and who ended his life as a hermit on a tiny, inhospitable island off the coast of Northumbria. Cuthbert is one of Britain’s most popular saints, widely venerated for his affinity with animals, his sympathy for ordinary working people and his association with the landscapes and holy places of the north of England. At the time he died, Christianity was a relatively new religion in Britain. Following his interment on Lindisfarne, Cuthbert’s remains were removed to the mainland in order to prevent their desecration by invading Danes. Loyal monks and shifting bands of followers conveyed Cuthbert’s coffin to Chester-le-Street, where it remained until 995, when Viking invaders again made it necessary to move it to safety. It is on the final leg of this journey that Benjamin Myers’s novel opens, with the great cathedral, founded in Cuthbert’s honour in 1093 at what will later be Durham, still nothing but a holy vision of his most fervent disciples.
Cuddy is divided into four parts, with an additional prologue and interlude. In order to fully disentangle the mostly factual from the possibly fictional, you would need to immerse yourself in the surfeit of sources liberally quoted by Myers in his construction of this literary edifice. You may well be inspired to do so, if only to prolong your acquaintanceship with its landscapes and people; but you might equally embark on this journey as I did, knowing next to nothing about the titular figure, and find yourself swept along on a tide of pure literary sensation.
The first part of the novel, Saint Cuddy, is told in the voice of Ediva, an orphan taken in by the monks as a child, now travelling with them as healer, cook and helper as they search for a final resting place for Cuddy’s coffin. Ediva is alive to the rhythms of the landscape in a way that marks her out as different; she also sees visions of the future cathedral – a building “bigger than anything man has ever built, so big it rears up like a mountain, like a great beast” – where the saint will finally be laid to rest.
Book two, The Mason’s Mark, carries us forward to 1346. Fletcher Bullard – champion archer, domestic abuser – is off fighting the Scots. When his wife, Eda, meets Francis Rolfe, one of a team of masons engaged in repairing and enhancing Durham Cathedral’s decorative stonework, what occurs will live on in the stone.
Book three, The Corpse in the Cathedral, finds us in the company of a 19th-century Oxford professor, Forbes Fawcett-Black, invited to witness the opening of Cuthbert’s tomb. Entertaining though the professor is, with his insufferably cocksure tone and almost cartoonish hatred of the north of England, he initially had me wondering if Myers had committed a misstep. The increasingly serious turn taken by this chapter had the effect of removing my doubts, as well as shaking the professor’s loudly proclaimed contempt for the ineffable. Forbes Fawcett-Black resembles those unfortunate scholars dreamed up by MR James, whose much verbalised confidence in the scientific pursuit of knowledge is no defence against the darker forces they have dismissed as superstition. The Corpse in the Cathedral is a ghost story all the more satisfying for being populated by ghosts we have already met.
The final part of the novel, Daft Lad, brings us at last to the present, or rather the very recent past of 2019. Michael Cuthbert lives with his dying mother in a village three miles outside Durham. He never knew his father, who has done time in prison, and his lack of qualifications leaves him dependent on zero-hours labouring contracts. After an off-the-books job removing old asbestos, Michael is offered a stint of lifting and carrying at Durham Cathedral, where his personal history and unconscious heritage combine to open his eyes to a world that has previously seemed closed to him.
One of the many pleasures of Cuddy lies in spotting the multitude of links between the chapters. There is always an owl-eyed youth, a provider of victuals and seer of visions, a bad monk and a violent man, their prominence ebbing and flowing from story to story. Always and throughout there is the voice of Cuddy, speaking to them in dreams, borne on the wind and in the sound of the sea, passed down the generations through the memories and cherished relics of those who went before.
The language of this novel is as essential to its storytelling as the characters. Ediva’s narrative in book one dances off the page in a free-flowing, discursive stream, forever on the point of coalescing into more formal poetic structures. Book two is delivered in monolithic slabs of language, monumental as the blocks of stone that made the cathedral itself. The playscript of the interlude and the ornate pastiche of the Victorian ghost story lead us to the rich and resonant prosody of the final section, its twin emphasis on sense of place and societal disjuncture keenly familiar from Myers’s previous work in novels including The Gallows Pole and The Perfect Golden Circle .
Michael Cuthbert’s connection with the landscape is of an intensity we might expect from a character in an Alan Garner novel. Michael’s elegiac, impassioned narrative, with its layered connections back to earlier chapters, sets the seal on a novel that has far more to say about who we are as a nation, where we came from and where we are headed than any number of more self-consciously political “state of England” novels. Myers’s experience as a writer shows in his elliptical approach to history and those who make it, and his willingness to take on complex material that retains its mystery even as it compels further discussion. The symbiosis of poetry and story, of knowledge and deep love, marks out Cuddy as a singular and significant achievement.
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By the Book
Alan Lightman, the Physicist Who Craves Books on Philosophy
“There are already many wonderful books about science,” says the author and M.I.T. professor, whose new book is “The Transcendent Brain.” “I wish more authors would write about philosophy in an accessible and meaningful way.”
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What books are on your night stand?
“A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles, “At Random,” by Bennett Cerf, “The Pope at War,” by David I. Kertzer.
Are there any classic novels that you only recently read for the first time?
“Crime and Punishment,” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, “Bleak House,” by Charles Dickens.
Describe your ideal reading experience (when, where, what, how).
My ideal reading experience is the same as my ideal writing experience. I like to be in a quiet and serene space, without phones ringing in the background or other distractions. As long as the place is quiet, I can be anywhere, because after a few minutes I have disappeared into that magical realm where we lose awareness of who we are, where we are, our bodies, even time. It is a purely creative space. If we are the writer, we are listening to our characters speak, not telling them what to say, but listening. If we are the reader, we are bringing our own life experiences to the scene and using those experiences to help create the scene. Good books are not completed until they are read by a reader, and each reader completes the book in a different way.
What’s your favorite book no one else has heard of?
That’s a tall order, because I don’t know what books most people have read. But a book I love that receives very little attention these days is “Far Away and Long Ago,” by W.H. Hudson. It’s Hudson’s memoir of growing up in the pampas of Argentina in the mid-19th century and contains the most gorgeous descriptions of flora, fauna and landscape that I’ve ever read.
You’re a physicist as well as a writer. Who writes especially well about science for a lay audience?
Some of my favorite science writers, not in any particular order, are James Gleick, E.O. Wilson, Janna Levin, Lewis Thomas, Rachel Carson, David Quammen, Natalie Angier, Richard Feynman, Mary Roach, Steven Weinberg, Marcia Bartusiak.
What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently?
In David Kertzer’s magnificent history of Mussolini and Pope Pius XII during World War II, “The Pope at War,” I learned that Mussolini, who was no friend of the church, ordered many thousands of church bells confiscated in order to be melted down for war munitions.
Which subjects do you wish more authors would write about?
As a scientist, it would be natural for me to say the subject of science, but there are already many wonderful books about science. I wish more authors would write about philosophy in an accessible and meaningful way, as does the writer Rebecca Goldstein.
What moves you most in a work of literature?
Our lives are so brief, and in those few years there’s only a limited amount we can see and experience. Great works of literature can partly compensate for these limitations by allowing us to travel to different places and times in our minds. I am moved by those mental adventures in a book. I also love complex and troubled characters, and difficult moral situations. Of course, I always appreciate good dialogue, which is so hard to write, and skillful scene setting.
How do you organize your books?
I organize my books by fiction and nonfiction. The fiction books I arrange by author, and the nonfiction by subject matter. There are about 20 books that I cannot do without, and whenever I go somewhere for more than a month, I try to take them with me if possible. These books keep me company. They remind me of places and experiences I’ve had in my mind. Some of these essential books are: “Mrs. Dalloway," by Virginia Woolf, “Letters to a Young Poet,” by Rainer Maria Rilke, “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” by Gabriel García Márquez, “The Periodic Table,” by Primo Levi, “Invisible Cities,” by Italo Calvino, “The Character of Physical Law,” by Richard Feynman, “The Blue Flower,” by Penelope Fitzgerald, “The Trial,” by Franz Kafka.
What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?
“The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying,” by Sogyal Rinpoche. Although I do not believe in rebirth, I have come to admire many of the elements of Buddhism, such as being present in the moment, accepting the impermanence of existence, and being able to observe the world and your own behavior from outside of yourself, in a humble and egoless manner. My wife meditates every day and has introduced me to Buddhism. Our house is littered with books on the subject.
What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?
When I was a child, I began my lifelong schizophrenic passions for both science and the arts, and my reading reflected that combination. Some of the books I read in science included the physicist George Gamow’s “Mr. Tompkins” series (“Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland,” “Mr. Tompkins Explores the Atom,” etc.), in which a fantasy reality allows a timid bank clerk to experience the effects of relativity, quantum physics and the atom. I also loved the science fiction romance novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, in which a young fighting man is mysteriously transported to Mars and falls in love with a beautiful Martian princess. These books combine both science and romance. I also read the science fiction novels of Robert A. Heinlein. As a child, I loved the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost and began developing an ear for the sounds and cadences of words. I read John Fowles’s “The Magus” soon after it came out and was fascinated by the idea of psychological illusions.
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
I would invite Emily Dickinson, Margaret Fuller and Gertrude Stein. It would be a memorable party. All of them were deep thinkers. Stein, who led salons of writers, artists and intellectuals at her apartment in Paris, would make sure the conversation never lagged. She and Fuller could probably bring out the shy and delicate Dickinson. Stein and Dickinson were both subversive in their own ways and might appreciate each other’s poetry. Margaret Fuller was a leading journalist and intellectual. She would have lots of interesting things to say about the world of today, including the polarization of American society. I would like to hear how Fuller, who was possibly more worldly than Stein and certainly more worldly than Dickinson, could get the others to comment on the issues of today.
What do you plan to read next?
I’ve just started “Circe,” by Madeline Miller. Miller is a classics scholar and brings that knowledge to imagine the life of Circe, who was a sorceress. In Homer’s “Odyssey,” Circe seduces Odysseus. He is so infatuated with her that he lingers with her for a year on his way back home from the Trojan War. Miller’s writing is poetic.
Top 5 Book Review Examples
A book review is a description and a critical evaluation of a book. It aims at informing the reader about the content or message of a book. The review also provides an assessment and the reviewer’s opinion about the book’s strengths and weaknesses.
A good book review is written after having read and understood the book. It should be a balanced and objective critique of the text and accurately describe its content. Below are the top five examples of book reviews that you can consider:
“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
The author creates a world of darkness where children are forced to kill each other to entertain the rich. The skills used in The Hunger Games are similar to those that Katniss uses in survival adventures in the wild.
Generally, the storyline is intriguing, and the characters are perfect. The author controlled the pace of the action so well that it enables readers to have a great read.
The Hunger Games is an exciting book that fans of post-apocalyptic fiction would undoubtedly enjoy. It is a gripping adventure with great characters and an exciting plot. This book will surely be able to engage readers from all age groups.
However, there are some problems with the book. One of them is that characters appear too serious, and they sometimes seem flat. There exist no conversational parts among two or more characters, leaving readers feeling like they were told a story instead of experiencing it.
Also, the cruelty involved in the selection process of the contestants is hard to swallow. Instead of being afraid, children are eager to volunteer for their district’s representative to have a chance to win the prize.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a young adult novel, which is different from other books. It is written as a series of letters to an unknown person.
This piece of literature has won several awards and is praised for portraying teen life in modern society.
In the book, Charlie is a freshman who has just entered high school. He is shy, introverted, and intelligent in his way.
He finds himself befriending two seniors, Sam and Patrick. The three of them have a unique circle of friends that help each other grow as they experience first love, heartbreak, and a lot more.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age story about Charlie’s journey from being an introverted, lonely freshman to a free-spirited young man.
During his transition, Charlie finds himself and gains essential life lessons along the way. He matures, learns to stand up for himself, and lives life on his terms.
This book tackles the problems of teenage life and how they deal with them. It also deals with mental health issues such as depression, suicide, and drug abuse. Another issue tackled is sexual abuse.
The book’s popularity is attributed to the fact that it has a “novelty factor.” It is written as a series of letters and not as an ordinary narration. It is said that the book is very relatable to young adults, especially those who suffer from teenage angst and first love.
The characters are colorful and interesting. The plot has excellent pacing that enables people to get into the story easily. The message of this book is also very inspiring.
However, it leaves a few gaps and unanswered questions. For example, the letters don’t say what Charlie’s parents do. They also don’t explain where the characters go to college and how they eventually turn out.
Also, the book lacks depth in that it does not discuss higher concepts or more profound meanings. The reader only gets a glimpse into Charlie’s world, an ordinary life worth exploring.
“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars is about sixteen-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster, who has cancer. Not only is she trying to live with cancer, but she has also survived a severe illness that took her lung. She has to carry an oxygen tank with her, where ever she goes.
She meets 17-year-old Augustus Waters at a cancer support group. They are both looking for a reason to live. Augustus was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, but he had his leg amputated and is now in remission.
During Augustus’s time in the hospital, he met Isaac, who has eye cancer. All of them are trying to live life as normally as they can be.
Green’s writing style is very effective. His words flow smoothly, and there is excellent pacing with vivid imagery. This flow enables readers to feel like they are in the same room throughout the book.
It was also clever how Green wrote Hazel Grace with a snarky voice and very intelligent. She acts mature for her age because of the hardships she’s faced throughout her life.
Hazel’s depression was the most interesting thing about her and how she was open to life even though she lived with cancer. Also, Augustus had a certain charm that made the story more interesting because he knows how to have fun and isn’t afraid of living life.
The best part about the book is that it teaches readers that they have to seize the moment because you never know when life will end. It also shows them that they have to embrace the pain that comes with being alive.
In addition, it shows them that death is not a bad thing as long as you had a good life and did the things that made you happy before you died.
The author’s writing is humorous and clever. However, there are other parts of the book that may appear weak to any informed reader. For example, the first few chapters are boring, and it takes time for this story to pick up speed.
Apart from those weaknesses, this book is considered a great read. However, not all readers can appreciate it due to its rich content.
“ The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
This novel has won several awards, and readers describe it as heart-wrenching and suspenseful. It is for those who can stand sad and tragic stories. The book tells the story of Amir, a young boy growing up in Afghanistan. He lives a privileged life and has a close relationship with his father.
When he was twelve years old, Amir betrayed his friend, Hassan. He feels guilty for what he had done to Hassan and tries to redeem himself later in life. Amir later leaves Afghanistan for America, where he starts a new life.
The young boy’s life in America is a mix of feelings. He has abandoned his home, his father, and all that he had once loved. The life he chose wasn’t as great as he expected.
He struggles to fit in and finds it hard to accept that his father can no longer protect him. Upon reaching adulthood, Amir returns to Afghanistan to undo his mistake and redeem himself. His life changes when he meets his long-lost son.
The central theme of this book is redemption through facing your mistakes and making up for them. It shows that no matter what you do, there are always consequences for your actions.
It also shows people the fragility of life. Even though the characters are flawed, the story is well written and has an interesting plot worth reading.
This book is an example of the best kind of storytelling. It provides readers with an insight into Afghanistan. It also covers the problems that Afghans go through, including the Taliban and wars.
One major weakness in this story is that the narrator never actually says what happened to Hassan. He assumes that something terrible has happened, but it doesn’t give the reader a clear answer.
“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
This novel takes the reader to a different time and place. Here, we’ll talk about the main character, Liesel Meminger. During World War II, she is sent to live with foster parents in Himmel Street in Molching, Germany.
Liesel does not know how or why she got there, but her new parents take care of her and treat her kindly. She gets in trouble at school for reading during class, but she is very clever and begins to steal books from the mayor’s wife.
Liesel’s life quickly changes when she discovers the power of words. She learns to read and begins stealing books for her foster father, who is obsessed with them.
At the age of nine, Liesel experiences something that changes her. Her brother dies, and it leaves a huge impact on her. The story goes into detail, describing how her brother dies.
The author’s writing style is very effective. The story is written from death’s perspective, and it is clever how he narrates. He uses words to describe emotions in any situation.
This story is a tale of love, family, and friendship. It is pretty different from other books about the war because it takes a child’s perspective of life. The author’s strength is in character development and book descriptions.
The main weakness is that the storyline may not be easy for some readers to follow. Also, some readers may find the book relatively slow-paced because it covers the main character growing up.
Tips on How To Write A Book Review
- The tone in a book review is reflective and analytic, not argumentative. Some reviews argue for or against a particular idea or statement in the book. However, such reviews do not add significant information to the main point of the book.
- The review should provide the reader with an idea of whether they will enjoy reading a certain story. However, it should not be a complete summary of the entire book, just snippets of the juice.
- If readers are interested in the romance part of a book, kindly give them that. Long paragraphs about the main character’s childhood will put the readers off.
- Book reviews give honest feedback and do not contain any major spoilers in terms of content. It is safe to say that if this is not the case, readers should avoid reading the review until they have read the book.
- It is always best to read the book before reading its review, as it may contain some mild spoilers. The review must not reveal the ending or any major plot points.
- Book reviews are meant to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a particular story. They are not meant for people to copy word-for-word, so this should be kept in mind!
- Reviews tend to be short and sweet. They are not meant for writers to express their personal feelings about a book and should NOT contain any persuasive essay characteristics.
- A book review is meant to be an opinion of the writer. It should not delve into personal matters. This doesn’t mean that it should include a lack of emotion, but it should be free of personal attacks on the author.
- Also, book reviews are meant to focus entirely on the story itself and give an overall impression to the reader. They should not include comparisons, as it may influence whether or not a certain book is bought.
- Do not leave out any critical information about the book. If it is a certain strength, highlight it. If there is an important aspect you feel should not be missed, mention it.
- A book review should mention the title and author, and the main idea of the story. It should also provide some background information on where or when it is set.
- The rest of the review is entirely up to the writer’s discretion. If there are a lot of interesting points, feel free to discuss them all. If the book is very well written, it’s worth mentioning.
- It all depends on what you are reviewing! Is it a book or a short story? If it is an autobiography, focus on the writing style and how well the author conveyed their experiences.
- When writing a book review on fiction, explain how well you think the author used description, dialogue, and character development to tell their story.
- If you don’t like it, very simply say so! You may want to mention the weak points of the book, but do not use personal attacks.
- Just be sure to provide a valid reason for your opinion, and the reader will highly regard it!
What are The Steps of Crafting a Good Book Review?
- The first step for writing a book review is to pick up the assigned book. After reading the book, schedule a time to think about it and develop ideas for your review. Take notes on what you want to say in your review and what you liked and didn’t like about the book.
It’s best to focus on the general idea of the book rather than individual details. Do not try to recreate your notes, but keep them to help you with your review.
- It’s time to start writing the actual review! Make sure you make the review personal but do not use any inappropriate language (be professional). Start by writing a short introduction about the book. Remember to include the title, author, and a general idea of what it is in the book. This will help you organize your review in a way that is easy to read for the reader.
Doing this makes it easier to discuss certain aspects of the book without jumping around. For example, if the book is about a dog and its owner, it would make sense to talk about the relationship between the two. This detail makes it easier to follow along with what you are trying to say about the book, which will make your review much better.
- After the introduction, you can move on to talking about the actual story. Discuss things like what was going on and any significant events that took place. This way, you’ll focus on important things that can help the reader find out more about what makes this book special. Don’t forget to include quotes from the book as well!
- Next, talk about what you thought of the book. Include any personal opinions and feelings you had while reading the book. These details are important because they give your review a more personal touch and make it relatable for the reader.
For example, if you felt angry with a character in the book or didn’t like how things turned out, mention it! It will help the reader understand that this book might not be for them.
- Conclude your review by summarizing what you liked and didn’t like about the book. Write a summary that can help look back on your review if needed, and then end with what you would rate the book. Be sure also to include your name and mention if you are a student or an author.
Book reviews are an essential part of the literary world and help readers decide if they want to read a specific book or not. The five examples given here will help you craft a winning book review for your readers.
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'Offensive' books that have been rewritten
From "charlie and the chocolate factory" to "james bond".
Illustrated | Gettyimages
Editing previously published books to remove content some might deem offensive is not new . In fact, there's a word for retroactively removing sensitive content: " bowdlerization ," named after Thomas Bowlder , an English editor who published expurgated versions of Shakespeare's work. While the book's frontispiece says, "nothing is added to the original text; but those words and expressions omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family," Bowlder still faced backlash for what some considered censorship that tainted the classic literature.
Modern publishers often enlist sensitivity readers ' to help to screen literature for potentially offensive material, especially for children's books . While some argue that the practice is a form of extreme censorship, others say it promotes diversity in publishing . Though it's more common for publishers to use sensitivity readers for future work, some have utilized their services to help identify published books that might need edits.
Here are some examples of books that have been rewritten under the guise of removing content unsuitable for readers.
'Charlie and The Chocolate Factory,' 'The Witches,' and other works by Roald Dahl
Recently publisher Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Random House, kicked up a storm of censorship accusations after announcing it would be making hundreds of changes to a collection of children's books by author Roald Dahl. The Roald Dahl Story Company, which owns the rights to Dahl's collection, told The Associated Press that it worked with Puffin Books to review and edit the books language to ensure "Dahl's wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today."
After reviewing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , editors altered the description of Augustus Gloop to "enormous" instead of "enormously fat." In the new edition of Witches , a supernatural female posing as an ordinary woman may be working as a "top scientist or running a business" instead of as a "cashier in a supermarket or typing letters for a businessman." News of the changes sparked criticism from free speech advocates, some politicians , and notable authors like Salman Rushdie . "Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship," Rushdie wrote on Twitter. "Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed."
In response to the backlash, Penguin Random House announced it would publish unexpurgated copies of 17 of Dahl's books as The Roald Dahl Classic Collection . Karen Sands-O'Connor, a professor of children's literature at Newcastle University, told Time that Dahl himself edited out potentially offensive material in his books during his lifetime. "Admittedly, under pressure from his publisher," Sands-O'Connor said, Dahl changed the origin of the Oompa Loompas in the 1964 edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from an African Pygmy tribe to the fictional Loompaland.
The James Bond series by Ian Fleming
Amid the debate over Dahl's collection, The Telegraph reported that Ian Fleming's series of spy novels would be reissued — sans some racial references — in time for the 70th anniversary of Casino Royale , the first book in the series.
Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, the company that owns the literary rights to the 007 series, hired sensitivity readers to review the classic books ahead of the reissue. The Telegraph said the new versions would feature a disclaimer: "This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. A number of updates have been made in this edition while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set."
"Racial slurs toward Black people will be removed, but depictions of other ethnic minorities, such as a Korean character called Oddjob in Goldfinger, the seventh book, will remain," Time wrote. In one passage, Bond's assertion that alleged African criminals are "pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought, except when they've drunk too much," has been shortened to "pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought." The revised novels have also removed racial slurs referencing Black people and changed them to "black person" or "black man."
Some critics point out that sexist and homophobic language passed the review. Australian author Clementine Ford said the selective edits are deliberate and wonders "why sexism and the dehumanization of women is not considered anathema to Bond's appeal, but central to it," Time reported.
The Doctor Doolittle series by Hugh Lofting
Hugh Lofting wrote and illustrated The Story of Doctor Dolittle in 1920. The story spawned 13 sequels, including two published posthumously. "In the rankings of children's literature, its popularity was for many years topped only by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ," per the Massachusetts Institute of Technology library . In the 1960s and '70s, editions of the book began to appear "with derogatory language and plot elements revised or removed entirely," MIT writes. In 1986 an edition of the book published in honor of the late author's 100th birthday was heavily censored at the request of the author's son, Christopher Lofting.
After reviewing the work, Christopher Lofting concluded some of the texts featured "certain incidents depicted that, in light of today's sensitivities, were considered by some to be disrespectful to ethnic minorities and, therefore, perhaps inappropriate for today's young reader," he wrote in the afterword of the 1986 reprinting.
"Hugh Lofting would have been appalled at the suggestion that any part of his work could give offense and would have been the first to have made the changes himself," the younger Lofting explained. "In any case, the alterations are minor enough not to interfere with the style and spirit of the original."
'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' by Mark Twain
Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has long been one of the most controversial entries in the literary canon. While the book is considered by many to be a classic work of American literature, others think the abundance of racially insensitive language makes it unsuitable for the modern reader. In 2011, Alan Gribben, a professor of English at Auburn University, published a new edition of Twain's novel, which replaced all 219 uses of the word "n----r" with "slave." Gribben said he made the changes to encourage instructors who would otherwise avoid the book to reintroduce it in their curriculums.
"I'm by no means sanitizing Mark Twain," Gribben told The New York Times in 2011. "The sharp social critiques are in there. The humor is intact. I just had the idea to get us away from obsessing about this one word, and just let the stories stand alone."
"Haven't we learned by now that removing books from the curriculum just deprives children of exposure to classic works of literature?" asked Times literary critic Michiko Kakutani at the time. By removing the racial epithet, she added, teachers lost the chance to use "its contested language as an opportunity to explore the painful complexities of race relations in this country." Kakutani said Gribben's efforts to update the book ratified "the narcissistic contemporary belief that art should be inoffensive and accessible."
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Table of Contents
Why Do Book Reviews Matter?
How many reviews do i need, editorial reviews, how to get amazon book reviews, how to get reviews for your book on amazon.
What good is writing a great book if no one knows that it’s worth reading?
That’s where book reviews come in.
Reviews matter. They’re a key influencer of buying behavior and provide important social proof even to non-buyers.
Just think about it: how many times have you bought a book without looking at the reviews? I can’t speak for you, but I always read at least a few reviews of every book I buy.
So how do you get more? Most important, more good reviews?
Lots of people are trying to make money off Authors’ confusion in this area, and giving out terrible, deceitful advice about getting reviews (and a few straight up scams).
That’s why I wrote this blog post.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting reviews effectively and ethically, especially on Amazon .
If you’ve put in the effort to write a good book, then it’s worth taking the time to get honest feedback from your readers.
Quick note: I said “a good book.” All of my advice assumes you wrote a good book. I’m going to teach you how to get honest reviews, so if your book is not good, my suggestions will backfire. You’ll get reviews, but they won’t be ones you like.
1. Credibility & Social Proof
Imagine that you’re going out for a nice dinner, and you have a choice between two restaurants. One of them has two Michelin Stars, received glowing reviews on Yelp, and even has reviews on Google Maps.
The other restaurant looks nice from the outside, but it doesn’t have a website, and you don’t know anyone who’s been. You know nothing about the chef, and your only guideline for the food comes from the very basic menu posted outside the door.
Which restaurant are you going to choose?
Books work the same way.
If you had to choose, would you buy the book with 50 5-star reviews, or would you buy the one without any reviews at all?
People want to read books other people have read. If a book has a solid number of reviews, a strong blurb, and plenty of customer feedback, it’s going to do better.
Reviews are social proof. Proof that you have something to say, that you have the chops to say it, and that you can be engaging while you say it.
A book without reviews isn’t necessarily a bad book, but it also won’t have the same appeal as a book that consistently gets rave comments.
2. Influence search algorithms
You know what the third biggest search engine is?
Google is first, YouTube is second, and Amazon is third.
When people use Amazon, what they see first is determined by Amazon’s search algorithm…and reviews are a very important part of that algorithm.
Most of our authors write books not just to sell copies, but to use as a tool to market themselves . If this is the case for you, then people searching for your book topic are very important.
The better your ranking , the more likely it is that people will find your book. And the more likely it is that people find your book, the more likely you are to sell it.
3. Drive sales
Reviews won’t automatically make you a New York Times bestseller , but it will make your book more visible to potential readers.
Every review boosts your rankings, emphasizes your credibility, or entices potential readers.
And good reviews drive sales. Think about it–when you go to buy a book, what is the first thing you do?
Read the reviews.
The more reviews you can get—assuming they are good—the better. Lots of reviews are strong social proof a book is popular, and popular books sell.
For a minimum, you should try to get 20 reviews within the first two months after your book release date. That shows your book has traction with real readers.
At around 50 reviews, you are probably good to go. Around that point, you have solidified the book as reputable and should continue to generate reviews.
A Note Before We Start: Don’t Try to Cheat Amazon
Amazon is savvy. Their algorithm is no joke, and if you try to cheat them, you will get caught. They actively look to find and remove any review that is not a real review written by a real person–and they’re very good at it.
Amazon also has a zero-tolerance policy for any review that is designed to mislead or manipulate customers. They’re not shy about removing reviews that violate that policy.
Here’s a list of things to avoid:
- You can’t pay for reviews. This includes cash or giving reviewers a free or discounted product.
- You can’t offer reviewers gifts in exchange for reviews.
- You can’t exchange positive book reviews with other Authors, so don’t head to Facebook or Twitter to find review swaps.
This may seem pretty restrictive. After all, don’t most of us rely on business associates, friends, and other members of our networks to sell books? And what about giving away free review copies? Does that violate the promotional terms?
Well, there are a few caveats .
You can give away free or discounted books to potential reviewers, but you can’t tell them what to write. If they hate it, they have to be able to rant and rave to their heart’s content.
That’s why I said earlier that you have to write a high-quality book. Any free copy you give away has to be given with no strings attached.
Most of this information applies to customer reviews, but they aren’t the only kind of reviews on Amazon.
Editorial reviews are either written by Amazon editors or they come from established publications like Publisher’s Weekly or Kirkus Reviews. Official book endorsements also fall under the category of editorial reviews.
Let’s say that you are a physical therapist, and you have a colleague who is very well known in the field. If she likes your work, it would probably be better to ask her for an editorial review. That way, when people look at the Amazon listing, her review will be front and center. It won’t be buried in the middle of 45 other reviews.
Editorial reviews aren’t subject to the same kinds of restrictions as customer reviews. It’s still not ethical to pay someone to give you a review, but you can and should make the most of your connections to get these.
Step 1: Set-up For Success: Ask for Reviews In Your Book
The easiest way to get book reviews is to ask for them. What better place to do that than in the book itself?
Usually, it’s best to include a short, direct review request towards the back of the book, since good reviewers tend to read all the way to the end.
Few people realize how important book reviews are to Authors. There are probably many people who enjoyed your book and would be willing to write about it if you give them a little nudge.
There are unethical ways to ask, and you should avoid them.
For starters, don’t say, “If you really loved my book, please leave a review.” I know that Authors say this all the time, but it’s presumptuous. It’s like telling someone that their opinion doesn’t matter unless it’s glowing.
People leave reviews because they want to express their feelings. Those feelings might be more complicated than, “I adored the book.” Of course you want positive reviews, but you also have to leave space for readers who enjoyed the book but are reluctant to call it the best thing they’ve ever read.
It’s better to ask readers, “I’d love to hear your honest opinion.”
Here’s another thing to avoid: Don’t ask readers, “Can you take a minute to review my book so I can sell more copies?” This comes across as desperate.
Other people typically don’t care how many books you sell. They need a better reason to take the time to write. Try framing your request around the impact that the book had on them and the impact it could have for others.
Here’s an example: “Did this book help you in some way? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Honest reviews help readers find the right book for their needs.”
Step 2: Ask Your Network for Reviews
One of the most effective ways to get reviews is to set up a launch team .
To do this, put together a list of people who would immediately do a favor for you. You want to aim for 30-50 people.
One month before the book release, send this team a copy of your book so they can read it in advance. It’s easiest to email the book as a PDF, along with a short call to action. Here’s a sample:
I’m excited to let you know that my new book, [Title], launches on [date]. It’s been an amazing journey to get it completed, and I’m excited to finally share it with the world.
If you’re receiving this email, it’s because you’re someone I trust enough to (a) send a free copy of the book to in advance and (b) ask that you leave an honest review when it goes live.
Early reviews are the single most important factor in determining if a book succeeds, so I’m incredibly thankful for people like you who I can rely on to leave one.
No action needed yet. Attached is your free PDF of the book, and I’ll follow up when the book launches with a reminder to leave a review.
Thanks so much for your support. I deeply appreciate it.
Just before the book launches, use KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to discount the e-reader version to 99 cents for the week of the book launch.
Then, follow up with your team, asking them to leave a review. You can highlight certain things that you would like reviewers to mention, but again, it’s good to emphasize that you want their honest opinion.
Also mention that your book is 99 cents, so if they’re feeling generous, they can buy a copy so their review will be verified. A verified review means that the writer purchased the product through Amazon, and they didn’t receive it at a deep discount. These matter more for your Amazon ranking.
Here’s a sample email: Hey [Name],
The day is here! My book, [Title + GENI.US link], is finally live on Amazon.
I have one simple ask:
If you were able to look at the book and enjoyed it, can you leave a short review?
Reviews should only be 1-2 sentences and should take about 30 seconds to leave (and would make a huge difference for me). If you can’t come up with one, here are some examples:
- [Insert example review]
Finally, I wanted to give you a heads up that Amazon can sometimes block or remove reviews if they deem our digital relationship too close, or if your account is too new. This is few and far between so I’m sorry if you run into this and thank you all the more for your support!
Thanks so much for your help! I can’t thank you enough.
As you can see, this email alludes to Amazon’s “family and friends” rule. Most book reviews and sales come from word of mouth, and you will of course be asking your network for support. The key here is that you aren’t forcing or bribing people to give you good feedback.
Step 3: Set Up Your Assets to Remind Your Network
Social media is a great way to remind your network that your book is ready to be reviewed.
Use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or whatever social media assets you have to keep your book present in people’s minds.
- Pin a tweet requesting reviews at the top of your Twitter feed
- Add the book to your email signature
- Put your book in the header of your Facebook and Twitter profiles
Step 4: Reach Out to Authority Reviewers & Top Reviewers
Amazon has a list of top reviewers who are enthusiastic and authoritative about certain areas. If you notice that someone consistently reviews books in your field, they might be a good person to reach out to.
Be cautious about contacting too many top reviewers, especially if your book isn’t in their realm of interest. No one likes spam, so only reach out with good reason.
You have to know your audience , so look at book bloggers who might have some knowledge in your area or podcasters who might be interested in your book’s topic.
Alternately, you could use a site like BookRazor to find people interested in your book. If you send them a free copy, they agree to follow up with a review.
Be aware though: cold calls have a high failure rate. We haven’t found this method as effective as tapping personal networks.
Step 5: Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews
It’s highly likely that, at some point, you will get a negative review . This is just a fact of life.
One thing to keep in mind before you get upset is that bad reviews aren’t always a bad thing. Books that only have 5-star reviews often don’t seem credible. Bad reviews can actually convince people that your other reviews are real.
There are many ways to deal with negative reviews:
- Ignore it. There’s no upside to responding to toxic people.
- Answer it…but be careful. Responding can be a double-edged sword. Respond in a way that addresses the issue without coming off as defensive.
- Admit it hurts to receive a bad review, then move on.
- Keep things in perspective. Don’t give negative reviews more weight than positive ones.
- Consider if the negative comments have any lessons for you.
- Try to get Amazon to take down the review if it doesn’t comply with their guidelines. They probably won’t remove it unless the person has been fraudulent or crude.
BONUS Step: Use Paid Services
Okay, I know I said that you shouldn’t use paid services. But what I meant was, “Don’t use paid services to directly buy reviews.” That’s cheating the system, and scamming Amazon isn’t a good idea if you’re trying to be a legitimate Author.
But there are paid opportunities that you can use to get the book into potential reviewers’ hands in an ethical way.
Goodreads is a social media site for book lovers. Their book giveaways are a good way to increase exposure and create hype. Goodreads requires participants to add the book to their wish list, and they also remind winners to leave reviews. They offer several packages at different price points, depending on how many promotional options you want.
BookBub features discounted books in their daily newsletters, which have more than 10 million subscribers. You can pay to have your book featured, or you can buy ad space in the newsletters. The pricing depends on how deep the book’s discount is.
Read This Next
What to Do (and Not Do) in a Book Launch Social Media Campaign
How to Measure Book Launch Success
How to Create a Winning Media Pitch (Step-by-Step Guide)
Book Review Writing
Book Review Examples
Book Review Examples To Help You Get Started
Published on: May 25, 2019
Last updated on: Jan 23, 2023
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Writing a book review is easy if you plan ahead and follow a clear guide. With complete instructions, you will be able to write a perfect book review on any genre, even if you are writing for the first time.As you know, examples are one of the best ways to learn how to do something. Luckily, the internet is full of interesting book review examples for you to review and get help from.In this blog, we also have compiled academic book review examples for you to figure out how to write a perfect book review.
Good Book Review Examples for Students
You might be a professional writer, or you may not have any experience in writing book reviews. We'll show you how to do it with these examples.
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job
Book Review Examples for Middle School Students
Traditionally, book reviews are the evaluation of books. Usually, between the 500-700 words limit, book reviews offer a brief description of the overall text.
Published book reviews can appear in academic journals, newspapers, and magazines. They provide an overview of the book and indicate whether the reviewer recommends the book to the reader or not.
Reading reviews written by others can help you get a feel and flavor of good book reviews. Learning how to write a perfect book review can help students to;
- Critically analyze a text
- Give a personal opinion on the text
- Improve analyzing and critical thinking skills
If you are a middle school student and wondering how to write a book review - examples are a good source to start with.
Here are some interesting children’s book review examples pdf for your help.
Book Reviews Examples for Middle School Students
Book Review Example for Kids
Book Review Examples For High School Students
While writing a book review seems like an easy task, not everyone is familiar with what it takes to write a good book review.
A well-written book review is one that must highlight what you praised about the book and how readers will benefit from reading that book.
Teachers assign book review writing assignments to students to learn how to evaluate a book critically.
Below you can also find some good book review examples for kids. These real-life examples can help you get a clear understanding of the standard book review format you can follow.
Book Reviews Examples for High School Students
Book Review Examples for College Students
Book reviews are frequently written by editors, publishers, and journal reviewers as a part of the publicity process after publishing a book.
Book reviews are also written by experts, journalists, academics, and students to develop an understanding of a book within a broader context of its subject and genre.
A great book review writing requires both subject area and genre knowledge. As a college student, you are required to demonstrate that you have examined the book from different angles.
The points you raise in your book review need to be supported with clear evidence for other forms of academic writing.
The following are some interesting critical book review examples for college students to learn how to write a perfect review.
Book Reviews Examples for College Students
Conclusion of Book Review Example
Book Review Example for Class 10
Book Review Example for Class 12
Short Book Review Examples for Fiction Books
If you are assigned to write a review on a fiction book, then you should know how to approach it.
Fiction book reviews follow the same basic formula as writing book reviews of any other genre.
For your help, we have also compiled interesting examples of fiction book reviews that you can go through.
The following book review examples will help you understand how expert book reviewers demonstrate the plot summary and their opinion on the book to produce a clear and concise review.
Easy Book Review Examples for Non-Fiction Books
At some point in your academic years, you may be asked to write a review on a non-fiction book. Non-fiction books tell you facts and information about the real world around you.
Non-fiction book review writing is demanding because you are required to demonstrate and evaluate the author’s contribution to a subject that you may know very little or nothing about.
For writing a review on a non-fiction book, you are required to describe the book, summarize major points of interest, and evaluate it.
Below find some helpful book review writing examples and learn how to come up with a critical perspective on a text.
Hopefully, with the help of the above examples, you get a better idea of how to write a perfect book review.
Writing a great book review is tricky and demanding no matter if you are a high school, college, or university student. Book review writing might seem a simple task but it requires good analyzing and critical thinking skills.
A book review requires students to analyze a book and provide a personal opinion on it. A book review is a more detailed and complicated assignment as compared to a book report. A book review provides a detailed analysis of the text, plot, characters, and critical evaluation and importance of the literature.
Of course, not all students are able to crack this task easily. And they might sometimes need additional help from expert book review writers. That’s why our paper writing service offers professional book review writing help whenever you need it.
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Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)
Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.
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Writing a Book Review - A Step By Step Guide
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Bollywood, Box Office and Beyond: The Evolving Business of Indian Cinema
Lata jha’s data-and-analysis rich book is a good primer on the risky business of film production.
By Naveen Chandra
The only thing we know about the film business is that we know nothing. This quote summarises our knowledge of the movie business very well. Given the havoc created by the pandemic with the shutting of theatres and rapid shift of audiences to streaming platforms, this book tries to understand what’s going on. It couldn’t have been timed better.
Now that the film Pathaan has grossed over Rs 1,000 crore at the box office, the world seems to be divided into those who have seen it and those who haven’t. If you ask people why the film is such a success, you’ll get answers ranging from fans are thirsting for an SRK comeback film for over four years, his sheer enigma, admiration for his character and resolve as he handled the much-publicised personal incidents in his life, the absolute lack of promotion of the film creating an expectation, the Salman Khan cameo, the stunning VFX action sequences, the star-studded cast, a victory of the seculars, etc.. If the film had not worked, people would simply have put it down to the audience - Yeh public hai, yeh sab jaanti hai!
The fact is that in hindsight, one can attempt to put together a bunch of reasons why a film worked with the audiences, but the truth is no one really knows why. In general, audiences have never known the real numbers a film makes at the box office and their decision to see a film may have been due to various factors including marketing, or their own need to see a film on a certain day or driven by recommendations from friends or social media.
While a lot of money keeps getting poured into film making, both by producers and by the seemingly cash rich content distribution platforms, there is no particular method of understanding the machinations of the film business or how the money will be recovered.
In such a context, Lata Jha’s book Bollywood, Box Office and Beyond is an interesting journey through the behind-the-scenes workings of this industry. Lata manages to declutter some of the myths in the impossible maze of the world of film production and finance.
The film industry is often touted as a business of passion and while corporates and big Hollywood Studios keep attempting to organise it by bringing method and accountability, it remains an industry largely dependent on gut and instinct to create magic and deliver a return on investment. Lata peppers the book with data and anecdotes of how various films have fared at the box office including how producers look for an assurance of revenues from multiple streams.
Lata has scoured through years of her film journalistic learnings and put together a summary of all that one wants to know about how the movies are made and how they make money. For an insider, reading it is like a revision of all one knows, but to an outsider, it’s a wonderful insight into the business of films. Writing about themes that are working, Lata cites an interesting example - she says that between 2014 and 2019, from ‘After Modi to Onset of Pandemic era’, Bollywood has produced 37 nationalist and patriotic themed movies of which 24 have made a return on investment for their producers. There are 14 more movies in the works to be released in the run up to the 2024 general elections.
The book is divided into four clear sections on how films are financed and made, how they are exhibited and how they make money. As a post pandemic book, it also outlines in a full chapter how streaming has become a serious play after the virus disrupted our lives. That makes for a very relevant, contemporary reading.
Lata puts out all the assumptions and facts without taking sides in the current debate on why Bollywood is struggling, including the experience of watching a Tamil film in a packed cinema hall in Gurugram. She has also sourced a lot of data from reports and validated them with many interviews with people in the business to draw inferences on what’s wrong with Hindi films. She cites the examples of massively successful recent regional movies like Pushpa, Kantara, RRR and KGF all of which stick to the ‘Hero’ template and features a downtrodden person who has been dealt with injustice and fights back to seek revenge. Bollywood, Lata says, has forgotten this formula and now makes urban films for a niche, smaller audience. Of course, this was all true till Pathaan steamrolled into the box office and blew away all theatrical collection records and changed the narrative again. But then does one swallow make a summer?
Read the book for its richness of data and its sincere and honest attempt to simplify an industry that has defied comprehension.
One of the first books I had read about the film business was Mark Litwak’s ‘Risky Business’ which was about how to navigate your way as an independent film producer. Lata’s book adds a very good Indian perspective to the workings of the world’s most prolific film industry. After over 100 years of making films in India, we finally have a book on the business side of it!
(The reviewer is Founder & CEO, 91 Film Studios)
About the Book
Bollywood, Box Office and Beyond : The Evolving Business of Indian Cinema
248 pages; ₹267
Click on the link to buy in Amazon
- book review
- cinema industry
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- How To Write A Book Review
How to Write a Book Review: Tips for Writing a Book Review
A book review is an individual’s critique about what the book is about and what another reader can expect from it. In short, it is an individual’s thoughts on the book. It is written after you have read a book. It is a great way of letting fellow readers know about the book — let your readers know if the book is exciting or boring. Whether writing on social media or on your personal blog, try to make it informative and helpful to the readers.
To help you write a good book review, we have provided a few tips. Read the article and try writing a book review on your own.
Table of Contents
Topic or hook, essential information about the book, basic summary, praise and critiques, recommendations, tips for writing a book review, frequently asked questions on how to write a book review, what to include in a book review.
To write a review of a book and grab the audience’s attention, you will have to add the important points listed below.
- Topic or hook
- Essential book information
- Basic summary
- Praise and critique
While writing a book review, keep in mind that the added information must be your own. It must be your personal opinion and review of the book.
A topic or a hook can be added in the very first sentence of the book review. It is like an introduction, which must be attention-grabbing and must sound interesting. The first sentence or the hook makes the readers want to read the review instead of scrolling past it. The hook can be a statement or a question that creates curiosity in the reader’s mind.
Mentioning the details of the book, like the name of the author, the title, the year of publication, etc. is essential. Keep in mind to add only the important details of the book rather than adding all the information. Do not forget to mention if the book is a part of any series, and whether they should read the other series before reading this book.
Share a storyline synopsis with your audience so they can get a sense of what the story is about. To prevent spoiling the suspense of the story for your audience, it’s best to leave out the book’s climax or finale, and avoid giving out spoilers. Remember that it is not a complete summary, so make sure you just give a short outline to the story and not the entire story.
For example, it is always better to just state that the plot has an unexpected twist instead of revealing the name of the villain or any such spoilers.
Summarising a book or a topic is easy but criticising the book is the most crucial part. You can say if the book was a good read or a bad read but that alone is not very helpful. You will have to mention the valid reasons why you would or would not recommend the book. Sharing your own thoughts and opinions will help your audience decide if they wish to read the book or not.
After you have shared your critiques, you can give your recommendation to people if they should read the book or not. Remember that your recommendations must have some valid reasons to prove that your recommendations are valid.
Your ratings shall matter to a lot of people. Nowadays, we all check the ratings of a particular product before buying it. Similarly, a lot of people check the ratings of a book before buying it. So before rating it, make sure to provide the rationale for the same.
- Keeping the Review Short and Crisp: A review is written to make the book understandable to the readers. Therefore, the length of the review is a matter of concern. Writing lengthy reviews can make it sound confusing to the audience.
- Proofreading and Editing: Make certain that your spelling and punctuation are correct. A review with numerous typos might be difficult to read and may not be regarded seriously.
- Do Not Use Harsh Language: You can give your honest reviews but also keep in mind that the writer has put in a lot of effort to write the book and to publish it. Be honest with your reviews but try to use mild language. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the author, and write accordingly, consider their feelings too. However, you should never let that affect your final judgement of the book.
What is a book review?
A book review is an individual’s critique about what the book is about and what another reader can expect from it. In short, it is an individual’s thoughts on the book.
Why is a book review important?
A book review is essential for the audience to know the ratings of a book. It lets the audience know if the book can be recommended to someone or not. The reader can get a brief idea of what the book is about.
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avg rating 4.31 — 3,186,778 ratings — published 2009. Want to Read. Rate this book. 1 of 5 stars 2 of 5 stars 3 of 5 stars 4 of 5 stars 5 of 5 stars. The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, #1) by. James Dashner (Goodreads Author) (shelved 11 times as book-reviews) avg rating 4.04 — 1,385,138 ratings — published 2009.
A book review will offer a recommendation for the audience. If these are the basic ingredients that make up a book review, it's the tone and style with which the book reviewer writes that brings the extra panache. This will differ from platform to platform, of course.
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A review of a book is literary criticism, and it mainly consists of three things; a summary, analysis, and evaluation of the book. These are the keys to constructing a perfect book evaluation and review. A book review can vary from person to person, as everyone has a different take on what they read.
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Miller is a classics scholar and brings that knowledge to imagine the life of Circe, who was a sorceress. In Homer's "Odyssey," Circe seduces Odysseus. He is so infatuated with her that he ...
A book review is a description and a critical evaluation of a book. It aims at informing the reader about the content or message of a book. The review also provides an assessment and the reviewer's opinion about the book's strengths and weaknesses. A good book review is written after having read and understood the book.
Karen Sands-O'Connor, a professor of children's literature at Newcastle University, told Time that Dahl himself edited out potentially offensive material in his books during his lifetime ...
Book Reviews & Recommendations | Kirkus Reviews Discover Books A room without books is like a body without a soul. - Marcus Tullius Cicero Select Filter results by Subgenre Rating FILTERED RESULTS Sort by FICTION IF IT BLEEDS by Stephen King FICTION TO PARADISE by Hanya Yanagihara FICTION CITY ON FIRE by Don Winslow FICTION
Standard reviews run 250-300 words. It should summarize the book as well as reveal insights drawn from the reading. It may include short quotes from the book, compare the text to similar books, speak about the author, interject informed opinion, but it should avoid clichés and the type of casual tone that includes the reviewer in the discussion.
People want to read books other people have read. If a book has a solid number of reviews, a strong blurb, and plenty of customer feedback, it's going to do better. Reviews are social proof. Proof that you have something to say, that you have the chops to say it, and that you can be engaging while you say it. A book without reviews isn't ...
Book Review Examples for Middle School Students. Traditionally, book reviews are the evaluation of books. Usually, between the 500-700 words limit, book reviews offer a brief description of the overall text. Published book reviews can appear in academic journals, newspapers, and magazines. They provide an overview of the book and indicate ...
In such a context, Lata Jha's book Bollywood, Box Office and Beyond is an interesting journey through the behind-the-scenes workings of this industry.Lata manages to declutter some of the myths ...
A book review is an individual's critique about what the book is about and what another reader can expect from it. In short, it is an individual's thoughts on the book. It is written after you have read a book. It is a great way of letting fellow readers know about the book — let your readers know if the book is exciting or boring.