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 |

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.


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 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.


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.


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.

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging |

How To Write A Book Review That Matters

Book reviews are fodder for authors. It’s important for their books. And, as a reader, we can thank the author by leaving a review for their book on your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, or anywhere the book can be bought.

How To Write a Book Review that Matters

Everyone has their own writing style and there are many ways to write a book review. For me, I write about the three parts of a book that is the most important to me. I also add an intro and conclusion, if you will.

First Thoughts

To begin the review I talk about my initial thoughts on the book. Why I decided to read it, where I got it, and what I think about the overall summary and maybe the cover as well.


I typically summarize the overall plot of the novel and then talk about what I felt worked with it and what I felt didn’t work with it.


I talk about the main and secondary characters and explain my thoughts on the character development of them all. I also mention which was my favorite and which ones I related to the most and also ones that I didn’t like.

Writing Style

Every author writes differently. Some use more dialogue than description, some write poetically. Some have short chapters, some write in parts. I comment on the author’s style and whether I think it worked or not for the story. This also includes POV.


To end the review I more or less summarize everything I wrote in the previous parts and mention whether I would recommend the book or not.

In addition to all that, I add a picture of the book’s cover, the title, the author, when and where it was published, the genre, and how I got the book. At the end, I give it a star rating between one and five. I also add links to where you can buy the book.

To add a little personal touch, I also include my favorite quote from the book. The quote is generally a line that stuck out at me for whatever reason, whether it was a nice piece of description, something funny, something heartfelt, something true to life, etc.

I’ve seen other book reviews by people and some of them go much more in depth than mine. Others are short and sweet simply stating why they liked the book or why they didn’t like it. And others still ramble on about general overall thoughts on the book.

Writing a book review isn’t hard and depending on your style, it definitely takes a few minutes out of your day. Still, it’s a great way to thank an author for all their hard work and effort, whether you enjoyed the book or not.

Do you typically write book reviews? What’s your style like? Let me know in the comments below!

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Bookstagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double Jump