This may seem obvious, but first you have to read the book! I know lots of people skip this step, but it can never make the review as good as it can be. Also, if you start out reading knowing you’ll have to write a review at the end, a handy thing to have is some sticky notes so you can mark quotes or interesting phrases. All through the review, write to an audience who has never read the book before. Explain even the simplest of things.
Writing the review:
1. Introduction: Start out with listing the title and author. Give a brief synopsis of the book. If your book isn’t the first in the series, this synopsis needs to fill in all that is necessary to understand this book as well.
2. Who are the main characters? Anything unique about these characters that are different from the usual human? Maybe there are more than one, and it would be ideal to show the relation between the two. You could focus on their personality, role in the book or outward appearance. This depends on you and your taste.
3. Time to tackle setting. This could be simple because it is based in modern times. If this is the case, why do you think its set in this time period and not some other? If it’s a fantasy book, does the setting reflect this in any way? You would need to explain the setting as well if it is set in the future and the past.
4. You’ve given a brief synopsis of the whole novel or series, but now it’s time to dig in and give as many details as you can. Pull as many quotes out of the hood as you please. They’re perfect for now. What happens in the story? How does the genre fit in there? How do the characters react to the climax of the plot? Break the story down into beginning, middle and end. Is there a theme to the novel? A message that is trying to be brought across? Mention what it is, and how the author sends this message in his writing. (Quote!)
5. Now it’s time to either compliment or insult the writer. Not from you to the author, but you to the style of writing. Which person is it, which tense? Does this work or not work, and for what reason? Are all the sentences long or short, is the language too complicated? It’s time to bug the technical side of the work…
6. Last but not least, we finally get to hear the words ‘In my opinion.’ What did you think of the book? What rating would you give it, and who would you recommend it to? Did you love it or hate it, and why? This is basically the conclusion.
I hope this helps with writing any reviews that you need to! Do you think I left any important steps out, or would you do it differently? Have some reviews you would like us to read through for you?