How To Structure A Book Review

book review structure

Writing book reviews can be very daunting. Coming from someone who is fairly new to writing book reviews especially. I personally find it much easier to have a solid structure from which to form my reviews. This means I stay focused on the important elements of the book and furthermore remain fair to the author and their work. So here is my guide to structuring a book review!

Start By Outlining The Book

I always begin my book reviews by outlining what the book is about. This straight away gets to the point of the review. Moreover, it enables the reader to know what the book is about without having to sift through any fluff to get to the point. Do avoid including any major spoilers though!

Distinguish the different elements of the book

I like to do a paragraph on the characters and world building and then a separate section on the plot and story elements. I chose to focus on these because I feel like they are the most important part of a book for me. I need to feel connected to the story, characters and world to enjoy a book. What are the most important elements of a book for you? Is it the writing style? The artwork? The cover? There are so many different parts that make a book whole. Focus on the most important ones to you and write about your experience with them.

Be Fair To the Author

Even if I absolutely despised a book I will always try to remain professional and fair to the author of the work. At the end of the day whether I liked it or not that person poured blood, sweat and tears into that book. I personally feel like I should respect that and I encourage others to do the same. Even if you disliked 90% of the book, try to think of at least one thing you did like and mention it. Try to avoid being insulting or offensive.

End with a short summary and rating

Conclude by summarising all your points and giving an overall rating. This is a nice way to bring everything together at the end and tie up any loose ends. Giving a rating gives your readers a general idea of how much you liked the book.

How do you structure a book review? What elements of a book are the most important to you? Comment down below!

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  1. 16th July 2019 / 4:41 PM

    We almost have the same way of doing it. Though, sometimes, I do it with a one-sentence description before summarizing the story and talking about the other elements in the story which I want to talk about. Great post!

    • Dominique
      16th July 2019 / 6:16 PM

      Its a great way to structure things! Thanks so much I’m glad you liked it!

  2. 16th July 2019 / 4:58 PM

    Very helpful and well done post! ❤

    • Dominique
      16th July 2019 / 6:17 PM

      Thank you! Im glad you found it helpful!

  3. 16th July 2019 / 7:16 PM

    I’ve literally been looking for something like this! I’m in the process of writing my first book review and didn’t really know what key points to hit so this was really informative!

    • Dominique
      16th July 2019 / 7:20 PM

      Im so glad you found it helpful!! Good luck with your first review!

  4. 17th July 2019 / 4:43 PM

    Great overview! I’m finding myself doing less and less of summarizing the story (or just being very basic). I sometimes wish I could jump right to the meat of the review with quotes and character assessment, etc. Also, I worry about giving anything away, accidentally. This is especially a struggle when I’m reviewing book #2 or book #3 of a series (once I had to review book #8) as there are so many little spoilers from previous books that I cannot reveal. And YES on being fair to the author!! I am well aware of how many hours and beta readers and editors and research assistants it took to produce the final book, so I try to focus on some of the positive aspects instead of only voicing displeasure for a book I didn’t enjoy. Thanks so much for sharing!

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