A good book review of fiction includes these
- A lively opening: one paragraph that mentions the name of the
author and the title (and often some brief information about the author, as well as any past works, prizes, etc.)
- A summary of the plot.
- Your opinion of the book's strengths and weaknesses.
- A wrap-up sentence or paragraph that gives the reader a final impression of the book.
1st Paragraph: The
Composing a good lead paragraph is the most challenging part of review writing. The purpose is to catch your readers' attention, making them eager to read what you have to say.
To get started, take
notes. Ask yourself some questions (you're likely to find your lead in your answers):
- What's the main theme that runs through the book?
- What's special about the book, compared to others like it?
- What impact did the book have on you?
The name of the author
and the book title (underlined or italicized) should be included in the first paragraph.
2nd Paragraph: The Summary:
People read reviews primarily to find out whether they want to read a book, so you need to give them a taste of what's
between the covers. When reviewing fiction, tell your readers something about
the main characters, but summarize only some of the plot.
Summarize the first third to half of the plot of a novel, omitting the subplots, and stop where a conflict is about
to be resolved, a character is about to make a decision, or a major action scene is about to begin.
Choosing good quotations from the book can make it come alive for your readers.
Look for especially witty, moving, or powerful quotes, and describe the context in which they were made.
3rd Paragraph: The Opinion:
When forming your opinion of a book, you might start by asking yourself these questions:
did this author set out to do?
well did he or she succeed?
the book move me in some way?
did I like about the book?
o What did I dislike?
o Were the characters interesting and convincing?
o Did the plot hold my attention to the end?
4th Paragraph: The Wrap-Up:
Make your ending short, finding some strong words that sum up your opinion of the book.
If possible, echo a statement you made in your opening paragraph. Remember, your goal is to give your review a memorable