My Book Review Format

I’ve changed the way I write book reviews over the years. I used to write a quick blurb about what I liked and didn’t like about the book and that was it.

Then I discovered Goodreads and realized that there’s a lot more to book reviewing than I thought. I took the biggest components of a book and put them together in a review – plot, characters, and writing style.

Now I do it a little differently and I’ve added more to my reviews.

My Book Review Format | Book Blogger | Book Reviews | RachelPoli.com

My Review

My review consists of six parts – Book Cover, First Thoughts, Plot, Characters, Writing Style, and Overall, a conclusion.

Book Cover

I talk about the book cover and my thoughts on how I like it and how it fits with the story itself. The book cover is the first thing people see. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but… come on, we’ve all done it.

First Thoughts

In this section I mention why I bought the book or why I decided to read it (if I get a free copy). I talk about what intrigued me about the book at first glance.

Plot

This one speaks for itself. I don’t typically summarize what happened in the book, but I discuss what I thought worked well for the plot and how unique the plot made the genre it’s written in. I say my thoughts on how well I think the author executed the plot.

Characters

Characters are what drive the story forward and are, in my opinion, the most important part of a story. In this section I discuss the protagonist, the antagonist, and any supporting characters. I talked about which characters I enjoyed and related to, and I also talk about how well they developed throughout the course of the story.

Writing Style

A book is only read well when it’s written well. The writing style section talks about how well the book flowed, the pacing and tension, as well as the POV and length of book.

Overall

This is the conclusion to the review. It’s a wrap up, just a sentence or two summarizing my overall thoughts before I give it the rating.

Extras

The actual review isn’t the only part of the book review post. Before I write my actual review I mention how I got the book and show the book cover along with its genre and publication date. I add in the summary of the book and then dive into the review.

At the end of the review, I post the rating – I use a 1-5 rating scale. After that I add in my favorite quote from the book which can be a funny line, a line that struck out to me for some reason, a great piece of description, or something inspirational. Anything, really.

Then I end the review with buy links to the book and an author bio, if provided.

It’s a much bigger process than it seems and it can be pretty time consuming. But this is the best way I’ve come up with writing my book reviews and it works for me.

How do you write your book reviews? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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12 thoughts on “My Book Review Format

  1. My book reviews are nowhere near as detailed as yours. What I write, and how long it is, depends on my thoughts when I go to write the review after reading the book. Sometimes I’ll just write a sentence or two saying what I thought of the book, other times I’ll get more detailed and mention things I did or didn’t like about it. Like I said, it depends what my thoughts are when I finish the book and go to write the review. My reviews are never all that long though, regardless of whether I’m reviewing something I just happened to pick up myself, or something I was given in exchange for a review. Speaking of the latter situation: if I was given a copy in exchange for a review, I add a note mentioning that at the end of my review, along with a disclaimer that having been gifted a copy has had no influence on my opinion of the book or the contents of my review.

  2. Good checklist! I have a really hard time reviewing books I didn’t like because I know how difficult and time consuming writing a book is. But, as a reader, I love reviews and would like to help other potential readers of a book in the same way… This is why I usually mention what I liked about the book, and leave out the rest. 🙂

    • Thanks! It is hard to review books I didn’t like because, as a writer, I know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. But not everyone likes every single book and the constructive criticism helps the authors. As long as people are polite about it. 🙂

  3. I like you, have written my likes and dislikes about a book. But love your format for a better review and will share on my blog. From now on I’ll do my best to provide readers with a better review. Thank Rachel

    • I’m glad you like it. Everyone writes reviews differently. I personally like to break it down because it helps organize my thoughts. I tend to ramble, lol.

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