Writing a book review!

Hi all. How’s your week going? Mine’s good and I have a few book reviews lined up in my draft to be posted. As you all know, I love writing reviews. But, there’s something that I dread while writing these reviews.

Just when I finish a book, the first thought is well.. time to write the review. The start is uncomfortable for me because even though you write your honest thoughts, it’s still someone’s hard work that you are judging. And when you rate it, it adds pressure because how can you assess someone’s blood, sweat and tears?

It might just be a post for me but for someone, it’s their life’s work. Questions like ‘would I be able to write exactly what I think about it? Would I be able to include every aspect of the book and do justice to the book?” arise and I end up procrastinating in writing a review.

Photo by cottonbro

I know such thoughts are not good because through these reviews I am sharing my views and opinions on the book. These feelings are going to vary from person to person, and everybody is going to perceive the book differently.

Also, the idea of recommending books is wonderful because even if I didn’t like them, someone else might and that’s a beautiful exchange of emotions. That’s why I write! Write my thoughts on the books I read. Because you never know who’s reading and is getting influenced to read the book.

Now, let me share with you some things that helped me overcome the dread at the start of a book review.

1. Start with the synopsis or the blurb.

Writing the plot in your words is a good start to writing a review. When you write the blurb in your words, all you need to think about is the overall plot of the book. You don’t have to worry about anything else. Just writing what the book is about.

2. Separate different aspects of the book.

After writing the synopsis, you need to make a list of different elements that made up the book. For eg. the writing style, the plot, the character development, mystery and suspense. If you can, separate these elements and write in small sections instead of writing about the book as a whole.

3. Read other reviews and get inspired.

There are many sites available online where people post their reviews. To get a general idea of the book, you can read other people’s reviews and outline how you can write yours. This can help you connect their words with your thoughts and how you feel about the book.

4. Just write whatever comes to mind.

One of the ways, I try to write a review is to just write whatever comes to my mind and not stop until I have written everything I could about the book. This way, I let my mind run free as I write without any filter on my thoughts. After the first free-flowing draft, I edit it according to my requirements.

Photo by Donatello Trisolino

The above tips come from my personal experience and help me to write a book review. But you must know the basic structure of a book review and what are the things that must be added to make your review better. So, some of the things you must add in a book review are:

1. Plot Summary.

First and foremost, a plot summary is necessary to let the readers know what the book is about. The gist of the story lets the user decide whether they are interested in the book or not.

2. Essential Information.

Try to add as much information related to the book in your review. You can add the genre of the book, some trigger warnings beforehand to warn the users. Having this information helps the reader to decide if the book is for them or not.

3. Praise and Critique.

This is very important and is what a book review is all about. Writing your thoughts on why the book is good and what things were disappointing for you again helps the reader to choose the book. Always write these thoughts as genuinely as you can, because these influence others.

4. Your Rating.

This is not necessary to be included in a book review, but if you want you can rate the books. Take any metric you want but specify what the numbers or stars mean to make it easy for the readers.

5. Favourite Quotes/Lines.

If possible, add some of the lines or quotes you like in the book and want to share with the readers. It can be anything to your liking, something that you feel connects the readers with the plot or its characters.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich

Now that we know what things to add to a book review, here are some general tips I want to share with you.

1. Please don’t be mean.

Writing a review doesn’t give you the right to be mean to the author. If you didn’t like the book, share that opinion in a kind and friendly manner. Because no matter how much you dislike the book, being harsh would not give you anything.

2. Proofread again and again.

Once you have written your final draft, you must re-read it at least 2 to 3 times to be sure that there is no grammatical mistake. Try to check thoroughly so that your review feels authentic and genuine to the readers.

3. Avoid unnecessary information.

Try not to write too much. When we start writing, sometimes we get lost in the flow of writing and end up adding unnecessary information that makes the reviews too long to read. Keep your reviews short, crisp and to the point.

4. Avoid spoilers. If adding, specify.

Never give spoilers to the book without warning the reader. It is terrible when somebody does that. Because doing so, you are stripping away others’ chance of experiencing the thrill themselves. Always specify the section in which you are adding the spoilers.

Photo by Ann H

Even though I love writing reviews, some things make me want to not write one. But, I usually work around these problems. Writing reviews is something I enjoy and because of them I continuously read books (otherwise movies and tv shows steal my attention).

To continue this habit of reading, I keep writing reviews and I enjoy these challenges as they make me grow whenever I have to write my thoughts regarding the book in a review. It’s like re-reading the book but in your words and I love this feeling of accomplishment.

If you are someone who wants to write book reviews but are not sure how to start, I hope this article helped you in some way. Whenever you feel like quitting, remember someone out there will read a book just because you wrote your thoughts for them.

Do you read reviews before deciding on the book? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, Ruminative Fam!

© Ruminative Philomath (2022) by Deeksha Bhardwaj. All rights reserved.


  1. Excellent post with wonderful advice and tips, Deeksha. 🌼✨🤍 I always enjoy reading your reviews. In fact, I bought a book once from one of your reviews. I’ve not read it yet, however, I will, so I guess I do look at reviews of books before purchasing. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

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