Book reviews are a great way to help the writer overcome the shortcomings of his writing style. Writing reviews is not easy. An honestly written review does not just consist of reading the book and then ranting about it. It takes a lot of time, energy and precise use of words to write a review. Not all book readers can be great reviewers. However, you can become one if you follow certain rules and try to practice as much as you can. This article deals with tips and tricks for helping you write an impressive book review good enough to be published.

How can you become a good book reviewer?

  1. Read, read and read – try to expand your book collection to include books by different writers in the same genre. For example, if you like reading mystery series, try to read classic mystery writers such as Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan as well as modern writers such Mary Higgins Clark, Jack Reacher and so on. This way you will be able to understand how the writers differ in their writing style and you will be able to have a good literary vocabulary.
  2. Draw Comparisons – draw comparisons between different writers, what do you like about one writer that you don’t like about the other writer. For example, one writer always writes an interesting beginning, another one always has a great way to end a story. Draw comparisons between books of the same writer as well.
  3. Take Notes – do not just read the book. Take notes! Pause and think what did you like so far in the story. Which character is your favorite and why? What do you not like about the character? Pick out some quotable quotes in the book or your favorite scenes or sentences. Make notes so that you can refer to them when you sit down to write the book review.
  4. Think about the good, the bad and the ugly – think what makes the book look good? What makes it look bad? What would you have done differently if you had been the writer? Try to put yourself in the writer’s shoes.

Once you are done with reading the book and taking notes, the next step is to start writing. Keep the following elements in mind when you begin writing the review:

  1. Introduction: Use a catchy word or phrase to summarize the book in one word such as Thrilling, mind boggling, unbelievable drama, unputdownable etc. You can also introduce the book using one of it’s catchy phrases or scenes.
  2. Story-line: Share a bit of the story-line and share what you liked or did not like about the story. You can give a bad review but think about it this way: it cannot be entirely bad. There are going to be some parts which stand out from the rest.
  3. Conclusion: Draw a conclusion about the overall book; whether it was good or bad or better than previous ones by the same author. Share what the writer could have done differently.

A writer is vulnerable to the readers and critics.  Reviews are powerful enough to make or break a writer. They can be a source of encouragement for the writer especially if it is the writer’s first book. Therefore, an honest book review can go a long way in improving the writing skills.