Writing A Balanced Book Review

If you are a book reader, chances are, you have suggestions for others too — what to read and why. Or, what forced you to either sprint through a book or get tired 30% of the way through.

Now consider that you read a new book and want to tell the whole wide world how awesome it is. You happen to have a blog too.

Enter book review post!

A book review is the ultimate record of your feelings on a book. The key is to make sure you provide a personal touch to the post.

The differences between an average review post and one that stands out are many. Let me state a few of them:

1. You write what the book is about and what the hero does and what the plot is and how many stars the book you give it. That’s run-of-the-mill. Tell the reader what gripped you in the book, why the detective hero, despite starting out as a middle-aged hero, loner, smoker, divorced, is different. Or how the text, despite featuring femme fatales and serial killer, still manages to retain a twist so original it blew your mind.

2. You focus on where you got the book from and what the author’s background is, or how many awards s/he has won. Not needed.

You want the readers to care? Tell them why they would want to buy/rent that book and why it is worth their time? A person would never get back the time s/he spends reading a book. So enlighten the reader, one way or the other. Believe me, that builds your credibility among readers.

3. You wax lyrical about the book in the review despite being so bored of it that you skimmed the last 40%. Not right. Just doesn’t help. Think of what worked and what didn’t, plot-wise and/or character-wise, and convey that. This helps the author too, in addition to helping the reader.

It is entirely possible that the author, with all his/her mind and heart in the book, still failed to build the plot properly. As a reviewer, it is your moral duty to point that out. A fawning review that fails to critique or analyse a book properly does no good to anyone, except in the very short-term.

4. You glide through the review, the review as superficial as your actual reading of the book. A discerning reader will always detect that shallowness in the review. What will that do? It’ll drive him/her away from your blog, at least from your reviews.

Imagine yourself in a reader’s shoes while revising the post before publishing. Think of what to add and what to cull.

These then, are some of the basic pointers on how to approach writing a book review. Please tell me in the comments section whether you find them helpful or not. Your feedback is extremely valuable.

P. S. – I am participating in the Blogchatter Book Review Program. Click this link to know all about it.

Thanks for reading. 🙂


  1. If anyone wishes to write a book review, this is the post they must read before they start. Love the ease with with you have talked us to the basic and important points to write a good book review, Ajit.

    Liked by 1 person

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