Academic assessment of book’s arguments, themes, plot, characters, and recommendations.

How to Write a Book Review

A book review is an academic assessment of a text. It demonstrates the student’s ability to read critically and evaluate an author’s arguments and themes. It also demonstrates the student’s capacity to write an essay with a clear and logical structure.

Begin with bibliographic information: title, author, place and date of publication, edition, number of pages. Describe the main argument and themes of the book.


Book reviews often share information about a particular novel’s plot. However, the review should be more than just a summary of events. The review should include a critical analysis of the plot, including whether or not it is engaging and original. The review should also include the author’s opinion of the plot and characters.

The first paragraph of the book review should introduce the main points of the story. It should also include the reviewer’s thesis statement. Afterwards, the body paragraphs should address specific aspects of the plot. For example, one paragraph could discuss the character development, another could analyze the author’s use of symbolism, and another might evaluate the author’s pacing or reliance on literary devices.

The review should also avoid comparing the book to other works, as this can be confusing for readers. Instead, the review should focus on analyzing the unique characteristics of the work in question. Moreover, the review should be as objective as possible.


Characters drive a story and help readers understand its themes. You can use a book report to talk about how well you liked or disliked the characters, how real they seemed and how their actions affected the plot. You can also write about how the book made you feel, such as if it was scary or made you laugh.

If the book deals with sensitive subjects, it’s a good idea to include some sort of content warning. This lets your audience know what to expect and allows them to make an informed choice about whether or not the book is appropriate for them.

You should also explain what the book is about at its heart, according to Purdue University’s writing website. For example, does it tell a tale of change or heroism? Perhaps it’s a story about the need to escape from one’s surroundings. Or maybe it’s a story about the power of friendship or hope.


Theme is the big idea, or the universal statement about life and society that the author tries to make through the narrative. Themes may be very general — for example, the theme of love or family in a romance novel — or they can be quite specific, such as the ways in which a young woman enters the workforce or a family copes with immigration.

In a book review, it is important to emphasize the themes that are most relevant to your audience. If you are reviewing the book for a graduate course, for instance, you will want to include more summary than if you are writing the review for an audience of your peers.

With our collection of book reviews WordPress themes, you can create a fresh online magazine, simple blogs or vivid online stores that cater to your niche audience. These themes feature practical rating functionality to enable you to showcase the books that you have reviewed in a clear and engaging way.


Book reviews often end with a statement of the reviewer’s recommendation for whether or not the reader should read the book. It is important that the reviewer’s evaluation be based on objective criteria, such as how well the book addresses its subject matter, how thorough and logical the analysis is, and what new insights are provided in the study.

For nonfiction books, this section may address how the book is a useful addition to existing research in the field and how it might influence future research. It might also provide a list of the author’s sources and an assessment of their validity.

For fiction, this section might recommend the book to a specific audience based on age or reading level, and may include some plot summary. It might also contain content warnings for sensitive readers. This part of the review is usually short, as it does not require the same amount of detail as other parts of the review.

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