What makes a good book review?
A strong book review critically evaluates the makings of the novel. As the writer, it is not your job to summarize the book. That is what can be found on the back cover if any of your readers decides to check the book out. Instead you will discuss your opinion of the book, in writing, using information from the book as support.
So what does this look like?
- Your book review must state the name of the book and the author’s name.
- Compare the book to other relevant novels. Although your readers may not have read the book you are evaluating, they may have read this other book and will better understand your opinion.
- Evaluate the characterization in the novel. Consider the literary make-up of both the main character and the character they have a conflict with.
- Evaluate the conflict. Consider the plot and the actions that lead to the conflict.
- Consider the big picture throughout your review. Explain how the author uses literary elements (specifically characterization, plot, conflict) to help the reader understand the big picture.
- To conclude your review, explain why you awarded the book the number of stars that you did.
What absolutely must be in my book review?
- OPINION! Book review not book report.
- EXPLANATION! We all have opinions and they are awesome, but without explanation, they are meaningless. Always include the why.
- EVIDENCE! Use direct and indirect evidence to support your opinion. Without said evidence, your opinion is meaningless.
- LITERARY ANALYSIS! You connect your explanation and evidence. This explains the how.