You currently have JavaScript disabled in your web browser, please enable JavaScript to view our website as intended. Here are the instructions of how to enable JavaScript in your browser .

BookTrust logo

How to write a book review

Author Luisa Plaja offers her top tips for how to write a brilliant review of the latest book you read - whether you liked it or not.

how to write a book eview

Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them.

If you're stuck on what to say in a review, it can help to imagine you're talking to someone who's asking you whether they should read the book.

1. Start with a couple of sentences describing what the book is about

But without giving any spoilers or revealing plot twists! As a general rule, try to avoid writing in detail about anything that happens from about the middle of the book onwards. If the book is part of a series, it can be useful to mention this, and whether you think you'd need to have read other books in the series to enjoy this one.

2. Discuss what you particularly liked about the book

Focus on your thoughts and feelings about the story and the way it was told. You could try answering a couple of the following questions:

3. Mention anything you disliked about the book

Talk about why you think it didn't work for you. For example:

4. Round up your review

Summarise some of your thoughts on the book by suggesting the type of reader you'd recommend the book to. For example: younger readers, older readers, fans of relationship drama/mystery stories/comedy. Are there any books or series you would compare it to?

5. You can give the book a rating, for example a mark out of five or ten, if you like!

Luisa Plaja loves words and books, and she used to edit the book review site Chicklish. Her novels for teenagers include Split by a Kiss, Swapped by a Kiss and Kiss Date Love Hate. She lives in Devon, England, and has two young children.

More writing tips

{{ result.displayname }}.

{{ result.summary }}

{{ result.eventDetails.startDate | date:'dd/MM/yyyy' }} to {{ result.eventDetails.endDate | date:'dd/MM/yyyy' }}

{{ result.fileName }} ({{ returnReadableSize(result.fileSize, 0) }})

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay up to date with BookTrust by signing up to one of our newsletters and receiving great articles, competitions and updates straight to your inbox.

You might like

New books we love, our favourite reads of the month.

We review lots of new books every month, and here's where you can find the ones we liked best of all.

Find your next book

Use the Bookfinder to find the perfect book for you, your family and friends.

Get to know our Writer in Residence

Keep up with sf.

Every six months, BookTrust appoints a new Writer or Illustrator in Residence to give us their own unique perspective on the world of children's books. SF Said is our current Writer-Illustrator in Residence.


The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Book Reviews

What this handout is about.

This handout will help you write a book review, a report or essay that offers a critical perspective on a text. It offers a process and suggests some strategies for writing book reviews.

What is a review?

A review is a critical evaluation of a text, event, object, or phenomenon. Reviews can consider books, articles, entire genres or fields of literature, architecture, art, fashion, restaurants, policies, exhibitions, performances, and many other forms. This handout will focus on book reviews. For a similar assignment, see our handout on literature reviews .

Above all, a review makes an argument. The most important element of a review is that it is a commentary, not merely a summary. It allows you to enter into dialogue and discussion with the work’s creator and with other audiences. You can offer agreement or disagreement and identify where you find the work exemplary or deficient in its knowledge, judgments, or organization. You should clearly state your opinion of the work in question, and that statement will probably resemble other types of academic writing, with a thesis statement, supporting body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Typically, reviews are brief. In newspapers and academic journals, they rarely exceed 1000 words, although you may encounter lengthier assignments and extended commentaries. In either case, reviews need to be succinct. While they vary in tone, subject, and style, they share some common features:

Becoming an expert reviewer: three short examples

Reviewing can be a daunting task. Someone has asked for your opinion about something that you may feel unqualified to evaluate. Who are you to criticize Toni Morrison’s new book if you’ve never written a novel yourself, much less won a Nobel Prize? The point is that someone—a professor, a journal editor, peers in a study group—wants to know what you think about a particular work. You may not be (or feel like) an expert, but you need to pretend to be one for your particular audience. Nobody expects you to be the intellectual equal of the work’s creator, but your careful observations can provide you with the raw material to make reasoned judgments. Tactfully voicing agreement and disagreement, praise and criticism, is a valuable, challenging skill, and like many forms of writing, reviews require you to provide concrete evidence for your assertions.

Consider the following brief book review written for a history course on medieval Europe by a student who is fascinated with beer:

Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600, investigates how women used to brew and sell the majority of ale drunk in England. Historically, ale and beer (not milk, wine, or water) were important elements of the English diet. Ale brewing was low-skill and low status labor that was complimentary to women’s domestic responsibilities. In the early fifteenth century, brewers began to make ale with hops, and they called this new drink “beer.” This technique allowed brewers to produce their beverages at a lower cost and to sell it more easily, although women generally stopped brewing once the business became more profitable.

The student describes the subject of the book and provides an accurate summary of its contents. But the reader does not learn some key information expected from a review: the author’s argument, the student’s appraisal of the book and its argument, and whether or not the student would recommend the book. As a critical assessment, a book review should focus on opinions, not facts and details. Summary should be kept to a minimum, and specific details should serve to illustrate arguments.

Now consider a review of the same book written by a slightly more opinionated student:

Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 was a colossal disappointment. I wanted to know about the rituals surrounding drinking in medieval England: the songs, the games, the parties. Bennett provided none of that information. I liked how the book showed ale and beer brewing as an economic activity, but the reader gets lost in the details of prices and wages. I was more interested in the private lives of the women brewsters. The book was divided into eight long chapters, and I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to read it.

There’s no shortage of judgments in this review! But the student does not display a working knowledge of the book’s argument. The reader has a sense of what the student expected of the book, but no sense of what the author herself set out to prove. Although the student gives several reasons for the negative review, those examples do not clearly relate to each other as part of an overall evaluation—in other words, in support of a specific thesis. This review is indeed an assessment, but not a critical one.

Here is one final review of the same book:

One of feminism’s paradoxes—one that challenges many of its optimistic histories—is how patriarchy remains persistent over time. While Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 recognizes medieval women as historical actors through their ale brewing, it also shows that female agency had its limits with the advent of beer. I had assumed that those limits were religious and political, but Bennett shows how a “patriarchal equilibrium” shut women out of economic life as well. Her analysis of women’s wages in ale and beer production proves that a change in women’s work does not equate to a change in working women’s status. Contemporary feminists and historians alike should read Bennett’s book and think twice when they crack open their next brewsky.

This student’s review avoids the problems of the previous two examples. It combines balanced opinion and concrete example, a critical assessment based on an explicitly stated rationale, and a recommendation to a potential audience. The reader gets a sense of what the book’s author intended to demonstrate. Moreover, the student refers to an argument about feminist history in general that places the book in a specific genre and that reaches out to a general audience. The example of analyzing wages illustrates an argument, the analysis engages significant intellectual debates, and the reasons for the overall positive review are plainly visible. The review offers criteria, opinions, and support with which the reader can agree or disagree.

Developing an assessment: before you write

There is no definitive method to writing a review, although some critical thinking about the work at hand is necessary before you actually begin writing. Thus, writing a review is a two-step process: developing an argument about the work under consideration, and making that argument as you write an organized and well-supported draft. See our handout on argument .

What follows is a series of questions to focus your thinking as you dig into the work at hand. While the questions specifically consider book reviews, you can easily transpose them to an analysis of performances, exhibitions, and other review subjects. Don’t feel obligated to address each of the questions; some will be more relevant than others to the book in question.

Beyond the internal workings of the book, you may also consider some information about the author and the circumstances of the text’s production:

Writing the review

Once you have made your observations and assessments of the work under review, carefully survey your notes and attempt to unify your impressions into a statement that will describe the purpose or thesis of your review. Check out our handout on thesis statements . Then, outline the arguments that support your thesis.

Your arguments should develop the thesis in a logical manner. That logic, unlike more standard academic writing, may initially emphasize the author’s argument while you develop your own in the course of the review. The relative emphasis depends on the nature of the review: if readers may be more interested in the work itself, you may want to make the work and the author more prominent; if you want the review to be about your perspective and opinions, then you may structure the review to privilege your observations over (but never separate from) those of the work under review. What follows is just one of many ways to organize a review.


Since most reviews are brief, many writers begin with a catchy quip or anecdote that succinctly delivers their argument. But you can introduce your review differently depending on the argument and audience. The Writing Center’s handout on introductions can help you find an approach that works. In general, you should include:

Summary of content

This should be brief, as analysis takes priority. In the course of making your assessment, you’ll hopefully be backing up your assertions with concrete evidence from the book, so some summary will be dispersed throughout other parts of the review.

The necessary amount of summary also depends on your audience. Graduate students, beware! If you are writing book reviews for colleagues—to prepare for comprehensive exams, for example—you may want to devote more attention to summarizing the book’s contents. If, on the other hand, your audience has already read the book—such as a class assignment on the same work—you may have more liberty to explore more subtle points and to emphasize your own argument. See our handout on summary for more tips.

Analysis and evaluation of the book

Your analysis and evaluation should be organized into paragraphs that deal with single aspects of your argument. This arrangement can be challenging when your purpose is to consider the book as a whole, but it can help you differentiate elements of your criticism and pair assertions with evidence more clearly. You do not necessarily need to work chronologically through the book as you discuss it. Given the argument you want to make, you can organize your paragraphs more usefully by themes, methods, or other elements of the book. If you find it useful to include comparisons to other books, keep them brief so that the book under review remains in the spotlight. Avoid excessive quotation and give a specific page reference in parentheses when you do quote. Remember that you can state many of the author’s points in your own words.

Sum up or restate your thesis or make the final judgment regarding the book. You should not introduce new evidence for your argument in the conclusion. You can, however, introduce new ideas that go beyond the book if they extend the logic of your own thesis. This paragraph needs to balance the book’s strengths and weaknesses in order to unify your evaluation. Did the body of your review have three negative paragraphs and one favorable one? What do they all add up to? The Writing Center’s handout on conclusions can help you make a final assessment.

Finally, a few general considerations:

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Drewry, John. 1974. Writing Book Reviews. Boston: Greenwood Press.

Hoge, James. 1987. Literary Reviewing. Charlottesville: University Virginia of Press.

Sova, Dawn, and Harry Teitelbaum. 2002. How to Write Book Reports , 4th ed. Lawrenceville, NY: Thomson/Arco.

Walford, A.J. 1986. Reviews and Reviewing: A Guide. Phoenix: Oryx Press.

Creative Commons License

Make a Gift

Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts

how to write a book eview

Writing a Book Review

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

This resource discusses book reviews and how to write them.

Book reviews typically evaluate recently-written works. They offer a brief description of the text’s key points and often provide a short appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the work.

Readers sometimes confuse book reviews with book reports, but the two are not identical. Book reports commonly describe what happens in a work; their focus is primarily on giving an account of the major plot, characters, and/or main idea of the work. Most often, book reports are a K-12 assignment and range from 250 to 500 words. If you are looking to write a book report, please see the OWL resource, Writing a Book Report.

By contrast, book reviews are most often a college assignment, but they also appear in many professional works: magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. They typically range from 500-750 words, but may be longer or shorter. A book review gives readers a sneak peek at what a book is like, whether or not the reviewer enjoyed it, and details on purchasing the book.

Before You Read

Before you begin to read, consider the elements you will need to included in your review. The following items may help:

As You Read

As you read, determine how you will structure the summary portion or background structure of your review. Be ready to take notes on the book’s key points, characters, and/or themes.

When You Are Ready to Write

Begin with a short summary or background of the work, but do not give too much away. Many reviews limit themselves only to the first couple of chapters or lead the reader up to the rising action of the work. Reviewers of nonfiction texts will provide the basic idea of the book’s argument without too much detailed.

The final portion of your review will detail your opinion of the work. When you are ready to begin your review, consider the following:

When making the final touches to your review, carefully verify the following:

Tips for Writing a Good Book Review


As many avid readers know, book reviews can be magical. Not only are they book recommendations, they’re also bridges to our fellow bookworms all around the world. Reviews offer a chance to share your thoughts with other readers and to keep track of your own musings on the books on your shelf, but many find that writing a review isn’t as easy as it seems. To help our NetGalley members craft the best reviews possible, we’ve put together a list of 12 tips for how to write a book review. Whether you’re reviewing books on NetGalley or your personal blog and social media accounts , this guide is sure to help take your reviews to the next level.

Describe the plot First things first: Your readers will want to know what the book is about. But describing the plot needs to be a fine balance in a book review. You want to share just enough to hook the reader without giving too much away and without veering into book report territory. Give a bit more background on the plot outlined on the book’s jacket, and focus on any elements that you feel particularly strongly about or you think that your readers will want to be aware of. If you’re reviewing an audiobook, you’ll need to also talk about the narrator, pacing, and more. You’ll find our tips for writing audiobook reviews here .

Avoid spoilers Spoilers—enemy number one of readers everywhere. Most readers take spoilers very seriously, but they continue to pop up in book reviews. Often, spoilers can be tempting to share because they are frequently the elements that gave the reviewer an intense reaction (a sudden twist, a shocking death, a surprise unveiling). But make sure you don’t rob any of your readers of that genuine emotional reaction or discovery. Unless your reviewing platform offers a way to hide spoilers, avoid them completely or at least add a “spoiler alert” warning to your review.

Consider content warnings Content warnings can help readers be aware of elements of a book that might trigger traumatic memories, cause anxiety, or are generally upsetting. Providing them in a review is a helpful way of giving readers a heads up about what they’re in for so they can make a healthy and informed choice about whether or not they want to engage with that book.

Find the hook There are two hooks to think about when writing a book review. First, how to make a reader stop scrolling and read your entire review. Second, in cases of positive reviews, how to convince them to pick up the book. Don’t wait until the middle of your review to try to catch the reader’s attention. Try to hook them from the very first sentence. Think about what made you pick the book up, and use that to inspire your own way of writing about it.

Make your opinion clear This tip might seem obvious, but sometimes a reviewer may get caught up in describing the plot and forget to offer their own insight. We recommend making your thoughts clear as early as possible and throughout the review. As you describe the plot, share your opinion on the things that worked or didn’t when it comes to the writing, characters, and events of the book. Tell readers why they should (or shouldn’t) pick this book up.

Find your voice Readers choose to follow certain reviewers because of similar reading taste, but also because they enjoy their review style. Celebrate your uniqueness in your book reviews. Provide the insight only you can offer. This is an opportunity to share your passion with other readers, so make it personal. Don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t happen immediately. Rewrite, hone your voice, and keep reviewing. Your signature style will develop as you go.

Rating system Ratings help to give readers an immediate sense of how you felt about a book. If you review on a personal blog, decide on the rating system that works for you and make sure you clearly explain how it works to your readers. Professional reviewing platforms like NetGalley provide readers with a pre-set rating system . NetGalley’s system pairs stars with a likelihood of recommending the book to fellow readers. Think about how the way you personally rate books fits into their system. For example, if you give half stars on your blog (or in your mind!) but the platform doesn’t have half-stars as an option, decide if those should be rounded up or down.

Consider the reviews you’ve read Browse through NetGalley to read reviews and find examples that you think are effective. Ask yourself what it is that you like about the review, and find ways to showcase those same elements in an original way in your own. Maybe you’re swayed by great pull quotes, thorough plot summaries, or a review with a strong voice. Do you love reviews that are conversational, like you’re talking with a friend? Do you want a bit of humor in your book recs? Or do you prefer a serious tone, to convey how much thought you’ve put into your feelings about the book? These are all techniques you can use to make your own reviews even more successful.

Explain both praise and critiques When it comes to book reviews, it’s important to explain both your praise and critiques of a book so that other readers get the whole picture. For example, don’t just say that the book has great characters—explain what makes them great. Don’t tell readers that the book was boring—explain which elements failed to capture your attention. This will help readers to understand your point of view and decide for themselves whether or not this is a book that they might enjoy. Thoughtful praise and critique often can also be a great starting point for a continued conversation about a book. Click here to read our tips for writing a critical book review !

Think about the audience Let readers know if this is a book you’d recommend, and to whom. Not every book is suited to every reader, so you’ll want to be specific about who is likely to enjoy it. For example, you’d recommend  A Game of Thrones  to fans of historical fantasy, not urban fantasy. But it may also be a great recommendation for those who love a good political thriller. Keep in mind that even if a book didn’t fit your personal reading tastes, there’s a chance it may appeal to other readers and your review could help them discover it.

Proofread before posting The fastest way to lose credibility with your audience is to have a typo-laden review. Give your entire review a final read before posting to catch any spelling or grammar errors, including checking facts you share, the spelling of author and characters names, pronouns used, and any quotes you use. The last thing you want is for a reader to stop following your reviews because you accidentally kept calling the main character Jay Catsby.

This is also a great time to add a disclosure statement! The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires readers to disclose if they received a review copy of a book. In reviews, members should include a simple line like, “Thank you NetGalley and (publisher) for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.”

Have fun! Reviewing can be a labor of love, but it’s a job that should always bring you joy. If you ever find yourself feeling burned out, take a break and remind yourself of why you started reviewing in the first place: to share your love of books with readers all over the world.

Looking for fresh and creative review formats? We’ve got you covered!

' src=

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

Great summary. I write quite a few book reviews and this has helped me think more about what I should emphasize and how to phrase my comments. I like the reminder to have fun, too! Thanks!

I have seen it written in many places that book reviews should be impersonal. Keep the focus on the book, not on the reviewer. Probably good advice if one is looking to make a living at it. But I often find that a personal touch adds a lot. Not all books will touch those individual nerves, or connect to one’s life experiences, but I have found that when books do, incorporating those elements gives my reviews considerable extra punch. Also, I have found them among the most fun to write.

Excellent points! Thanks!

This looks great!

Thanks for the great tips on writing book reviews. I often wonder what would make my review stand out or really express my feelings about a book. I totally agree about careful proofreading before being posted. I am also turned off if a reviewer has grammatical errors, misspellings, and exhibits poor writing habits. I also agree that a good review should give the reader a little glimpse into the personality of the reviewer! ❤️📚

Great tips and very helpful suggestions!

Loved this article 😊

Very useful article. Thank you!

Thank you so very much for the tips! Been doing reviews for over a year now and I’m getting better at it! One thing do hate is your not dc king a book report! I try and getting better,I don’t want to know a bunch when reading a reviewing but ,just enough I say to wet my whistle! I never thought about using the humor think I will try that when it’s warranted! Thanks again,will let you know if I think I am improving ,lol,can’t get any worse than I am now!!Maybe when I write one I will have you look at it for me. I will send you a copy!!

The tips are good and helpful. As I read other reviews I do get insights into way to present my views. But I refrain from being too much of a critic in respect to the author’s effort in writing so many pages. Thanks for the tips.

I’m trying to write my 1st ever review and to be honest I’m nervous. I really like the author and the book was amazing, so I’m worried about letting the author down. These tips are going to be invaluable, so thank you.

Thank you very much, this was very helpful in helping me get started! I’m so excited!

Thank you for these great and helpful hints for writing a book review. I am new to book reviewing online but have been giving book reviews in the 5 libraries I have worked in, over the past 20 years, as an Assistant Librarian. I have loved reading since 1st grade and have tried to pass that passion on to family, friends, and strangers! I write brief reviews on BookBub and GoodRead, while keeping a list of all the books I have read. Sincerely, Ramona

This was very helpful! Thanks

Write a book that is not only going to fill your pocket but is also going to satisfy your mind and heart. In essence, to write an amazing book, you must be an amazing, passionate author.

Lots of good tips on writing a review. I don’t agree on including a summary of the story in my reviews. A summary can be found on the jacket front fly or on various websites. I believe a review should include the rest of the items you mentioned and should be my personal viewpoint of the book. Then the reader can make their own decision on whether or not to read the book.

I agree with you, Kathy C., about foregoing the summary of the story in the book review. Not only is this information available on the book jacket or online description, but reading review after review that begins with a summary becomes tedious. I’m really more interested in what people think about the book rather than their summary of the plot. I definitely agree with all the other tips offered. Thanks for your helpful thoughts!

I understand that you want to your reviewers to put some thought into their reviews. I read a lot of books (200 plus a year, not including the ones I don’t finish). I review most of them and I get a lot of positive comments on my reviews. The reason why is I am honest, and I explain to the readers how this books relates to events in my life. The response is that readers respect my reviews because I have a worldly view and have experienced events that most people have not. For example, I wrote a review about Mohammed Ali biography and the author include a lot of current events that were going on during that time. This was when I was a teenager, and I remember those events and Ali’s life relevant to me because he was reacting to what was going on at that time. So yes you can write a long review, and describe the plot, but if you can’t explain how the book makes you feel then you have lost your audience.

I’m finding out what is proving difficult in writing reviews is that some books have almost the same theme/plot. For me, it’s like watching an exciting weekly TV series that engages me and I want to continue until the season ending. I really can’t complain about the authors because I tend to pick my favorites. Any ideas on how to write a good review?

Yolie McLaughlin

Thank you for this article! I have a brand new book blog and reading thru these tips gave me a few ideas to keep me on track while writing a review. I do like that the information is conveniently separated so I can just glance at the topics when I need to. I’ll be saving this for ease of reference. Thanks again!

Just wondering about book covers we love, do we mention that in the review? Some book covers are just beautiful, and some are fairly ordinary. If a cover really makes an impact should we also give credit in our review of the book?

Thanks for your insightful tips, Cheers Jools

Great question! While it isn’t necessary to talk about a book’s cover in your review, if it had a particularly positive impact on you it’s definitely worth mentioning. You can also use the Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down option on all book pages to show your love for favorite covers, or by selecting that it’s what drew you to the book when making a request!

Thank you for these tips. I will try to leave reviews in accordance with these suggestions that will be a credit to the company and to the authors that have shown confidence in my commitment to be a reliable and honest reviewer.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for book recs, interviews, and favorites from our editor.

how to write a book eview

The Writing Cooperative

Jean Maxwell

Jul 17, 2022


How to Write a Book Review That Doesn’t Suck and Can Actually Help the Author

A simple 4-part formula to help you write more than ‘great book. 5 stars. loved it.’.

Have you just read a great book, and want to leave a great review but don’t know how to write one, or what to write? Or maybe a not-so-great book, but one that’s been written by a friend or relative and you’ve promised to leave a review?

Perhaps the ebook you’re into prompts you to leave a review, and you’re paralyzed by the thought of writing one on the spot. Your mind goes blank, and you end up posting, “Great book. 5 Stars. Loved it.”

Sorry, but that review sucks.

5 stars are great, but if you’d written that book, wouldn’t you want and deserve a little more than that? You’d want to know what parts of the story they liked, what they thought of your characters, or how the story made them feel, right?

The life or death of a book

Reviews can be the life or death of a book, and authors are counting on their readers to help spread the word, and ultimately, help them become better writers so they can produce more great books for you and other readers to enjoy.

Doesn’t that give you a sense of power? It should! When there’s so much riding on reviews, you should always try to write the best, most helpful review you can. Even if you didn’t like the book, you can still help the author by giving an honest, constructive review that doesn’t have to hurt their feelings.

Nevertheless, if writing a book review gives you the jitters because you don’t know what to write, there’s a simple formula you can follow to create a review of substance, that's of benefit to both writer and reader, and satisfying to read in its own right.

Just remember the one unbreakable rule of reviews: Never, ever, give away the entire plot or the ending! That said, the first thing to consider before you write your review is where it will be seen.

Where will you be posting your review?

Many third-party review sites are actively seeking reviewers and will likely have their own format to follow. If you’d like to become a regular reviewer, just Google up book review sites and see if there’s a place to apply as a reviewer. Aside from those, the best places to leave reviews that help authors are Amazon and Goodreads.

If you’re reviewing on Amazon you’ll be asked to leave a star rating. That should set the tone for the rest of your review, but avoid giving 1 and 2-star ratings , as they help no one and will make it difficult for you to say anything positive about the book.

If possible, leave your review on . These are the reviews that really count and help boost the book’s reach. Reviews posted on Amazon’s other global sites generally will not appear on the .com site and likely won’t make as much of an impact for either the author or readers.

The next option is to leave your review on You do not need to have an account to leave a review here, but it’s free to sign up for one. Goodreads boasts 90 million users , and reviews here tend to be more trusted than those on Amazon. Goodreads ratings can appear on Amazon as well, and if so, your review will be doubly helpful. Goodreads also asks for a star rating, but again, try not to assign 1 or 2 stars.

How to start your review

Start your review with the title, author, and genre of the book. These may not be required, depending on where you submit your review, but writing them down will at least bust you out of blank-page syndrome and get you rolling.

Add the main genres and any subgenres that fit with the book. For example, Romance or Mystery can be further detailed with subgenres such as Paranormal Romance, Mystery Thriller.

Star rating

Most reviews include a star rating of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. As mentioned, don’t use 1 or 2, start with 3. Three stars will indicate the book needs work but isn’t totally without merit. It’s up to you as the reviewer to point out the merits as well as what could be improved. Generally, you can interpret stars as follows:

Follow this 4 part formula

An example review — good

While the above 4 steps are all well and good to describe, you can’t beat an example to help you put the steps into action. Here’s an example review I wrote for a third-party book review site that illustrates them. It also happened to be a darn good book!

Title: Desperate

Author: Jon Ripslinger

Genres: YA Romance, Contemporary, Suspense

Rating: 5 stars — A Must Read

The one-liner: Desperate times, Desperate crimes. A desperate cry for attention.

The Plot: You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your parents. Young football star Buddy McNeal would like to change that, but when a chance meeting on a creek bank sets a future trainwreck in motion, he wished he’d picked his friends a little more carefully.

Feeling betrayed and neglected after his parents split, Buddy doesn’t care much about anything, not even his promising football career. Crystal Crowe is a new girl at school, and describing her as coming from the wrong side of the tracks is an understatement. Helping a friend in need becomes an obsession for Buddy until the only kind of help Crystal wants may just get him killed.

What I thought/felt: This is a marvelous and well-written coming-of-age tale wrapped in edge-of-your-seat suspense. Told in a series of flashbacks as the main character is interrogated by police, it evokes all the great moments of a classic Perry Mason mystery, revealing one shocking detail after another and keeping the reader hooked until the very end.

The dialogue is wry and witty and the concerns, obstacles, and temptations that contemporary young adults can and often do face are vividly and entertainingly portrayed. We feel for Buddy even as he’s making bad choices but in the end, he shows great strength of character. We meet him as a disgruntled, naive teen but definitely leave him as a grown man.

The Conclusion: A desperately great read!

An example review — not so good

Here is another example review I wrote, of a book that was generally good but had some serious issues. Note how these are stated but not aimed at insulting the author and the review ends with a redeeming, upbeat conclusion.

Title: Mistletoe and Wine

Author: A.J. Llewellyn

Genres: Contemporary, Erotic Romance

Rating: 3 Stars — A Good Read

One-liner: Get Your Greek On

Plot: Pro musician turned small-town recluse Sean Kallis can’t hide on the farm any longer. After the loss of his mother, his loneliness has nowhere to dwell but on the memory of the man who broke his heart, world-renowned bouzouki artist Loukas Stathis. It’s been a year since Sean left Greece and Loukas far behind, but the offer of a holiday gig back in Loukas’s hometown in Corfu is too good to resist. Surely he won’t bump into his former lover on an island that size….or will he?

What I thought/felt: Sean and Loukas are good together. The emotions they feel for one another are strong yet heartbreaking. The premise of the book is as quirky as the Greek Christmas band Sean is asked to join. How many stories feature a clarinet player and a bouzouki player all in one? Sean’s fond memories of and new experiences in Greece are vividly depicted. You can practically smell the lemon and oregano as you read through the pages — a sensual delight. You may break a plate or two while being edified in Greek Christmas traditions!

While the romance is heartwarming, keep your wits about you; you may trip over some odd word choices, typos, and timelines like exposed tree roots. One character’s name is spelled three different ways! And as a clarinet player, I just have to say for the record: Soprano clarinet (very common) is pictured on the cover. Alto clarinet (very uncommon) is specified inside the book. The two are completely different and believe me, with the sound they make, alto clarinetists don’t get many calls for gigs!

Conclusion: But hey, music, food, Christmas, and love. I say “OPA!!”

I hope this article helps banish mind-blanking and gives you confidence when it comes to writing your next book review using this structure. Crafting great book reviews might just help you become a better writer too, and to write your own book that will inspire many insightful reviews.

Written to you with love, Jean

Thanks for reading! You can also read more about my fiction novels and my bumpy journey to authordom by subscribing to The Jean Maxwell community , where a free ebook awaits you!

More from The Writing Cooperative

Medium’s largest collection of advice, support, and encouragement for writers. We help you become the best writer possible.

About Help Terms Privacy

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store

Jean Maxwell

Writer, Artist, and Musician, writing about creativity and the arts. Author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Read more at

Text to speech

How To Write a Book Review

Joanna Cutrara

Are you an avid bookworm who loves to share what you thought of your latest read? Writing a book review is a great way to let fellow readers know about an exciting new page-turner—or give a heads up that a book might not meet expectations.

Whether you’re reviewing a book on a site like Goodreads or on your personal blog, you’ll want your review to be informative and helpful for your audience. Read on for our essential tips on how to write an engaging book review.

Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing always looks great? Grammarly can save you from misspellings, grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and other writing issues on all your favorite websites.

Write with confidence. Get writing suggestions on all your favorite sites. Get Grammarly

What to Include in Your Book Review

Love templates? Here’s what to include in your book review:

Essential Book Information

Basic plot summary, your praise and critique, your recommendation, your rating.

A “hook” is a line that catches your audience’s attention and piques their interest so they’ll continue reading your review instead of scrolling past it.

Your hook could be a compelling or provocative statement:

Margaret Atwood’s subversive brilliance shines in new and unexpected ways with this masterpiece.

Or even a question:

Ever wondered what the lovechild of Twilight and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy would look like?

Share any general information about the book that is important for readers to know. The title and author are an obvious choice. The year the book was published may be relevant if it came out 10+ years ago. Be sure to mention if the book is part of a series and whether it’s necessary to have read other books in the series before this book.

Share a high-level synopsis of the plot so your audience gets the gist of what the story is about. Best practice is to leave out the climax or ending of the book and avoid giving away spoilers so you don’t ruin the story for your audience.

It’s always better to err on the side of caution and say a plot has an “unexpected twist” rather than revealing “the villain is the protagonist’s father!” If you must include a spoiler, some review sites will let you hide spoiler sentences, so your audience can choose whether they want to read it or not.

Sites like Goodreads also include a short synopsis or teaser on the book’s web page, so providing an outline may sometimes be unnecessary. Use your best judgment on whether sharing a synopsis will benefit your review.

This section is the most important part of your review and should be the longest. Anyone can summarize a plot, but what is your unique take on this book?

Simply saying a book was “good” or “bad”, or that you liked it or didn’t, isn’t helpful. Let your audience know why you think it’s a great read, or why you found it disappointing. Sharing these details will help your audience form their own opinion of whether they would enjoy reading the book. For example:

The vivid language instantly transported me into the world, but there were several huge plot holes that didn’t make sense.

I personally didn’t care for the protagonist; the snarky anti-hero schtick got old after a while.

The writing was rough, with especially awkward dialogue, but I thought the premise of the story was brilliant.

After sharing your praise and critique, let your audience know your conclusions. Who do you think would enjoy this book?

Did you personally dislike it because of the time travel paradoxes, but think that folks who like a good space opera would have fun with it?

Is this the 16th book in a series that was starting to grow stale, and you were pleasantly surprised by some new characters?

Most review sites provide a star rating system. Let your audience know your rationale for choosing a particular rating.

If you’re reviewing a book on your personal blog and using your own rating system, be sure to explain this as well.

General Tips for Writing a Book Review

What are your favorite tips for writing a great book review?

We still want to hear from you! Let us know what you want to know how to write !

More from #HowToWrite:

How To Write a Blog Post

How To Write a Tweet

How To Write a Joke

how to write a book eview

How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps

Join Discovery, the new community for book lovers

Trust book recommendations from real people, not robots 🤓

Blog – Posted on Wednesday, Apr 03

How to write a book review in 3 steps.

How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps

If the idea of reading for free — or even getting paid to read — sounds like a dream come true, remember that it isn’t a pipe dream. There are many places aspiring book reviewers can read books for free, such as Reedsy Discovery — a new platform for reviewing indie books. Of course, if you’re giving serious thought to becoming a book reviewer, your first step should be learning how to write a book review. To that end, this post covers all the basics of literary criticism. Let’s get started!

The three main steps of writing a book review are simple:

You can also download our free book review templates and use it as a guide! Otherwise, let’s take a closer look at each element.

Pro-tip : But wait! How are you sure if you should become a book reviewer in the first place? If you're on the fence, or curious about your match with a book reviewing career, take our quick quiz:

Should you become a book reviewer?

Find out the answer. Takes 30 seconds!

How to write a review of a book

Step 1. provide a summary.

Have you ever watched a movie only to realize that all the good bits were already in the trailer? Well, you don’t want the review to do that. What you do want the summary to do is reveal the genre, theme, main conflict, and main characters in the story — without giving away spoilers or revealing how the story ends.

A good rule of thumb is not to mention anything that happens beyond the midpoint. Set the stage and give readers a sense of the book without explaining how the central issue is resolved.

Emily W. Thompson's review of The Crossing :

In [Michael] Doane’s debut novel, a young man embarks on a journey of self-discovery with surprising results.
An unnamed protagonist (The Narrator) is dealing with heartbreak. His love, determined to see the world, sets out for Portland, Oregon. But he’s a small-town boy who hasn’t traveled much. So, the Narrator mourns her loss and hides from life, throwing himself into rehabbing an old motorcycle. Until one day, he takes a leap; he packs his bike and a few belongings and heads out to find the Girl. Read more...

Here are a few more reviews with well-written summaries for you to check out. The summary tend to be the longest part of the book review, so we won’t turn this post into a novel itself by pasting them all here: Le Cirque Navire reviewed by Anna Brill, The Heart of Stone reviewed by Kevin R. Dickinson, Fitting Out: The Friendship Experiment reviewed by Lianna Albrizio.

Non-fiction summary tip: The primary goal of a non-fiction summary is to provide context: what problems or issues has the book spotted, and how does it go about addressing them? Be sure to mention the authors of the title and what experience or expertise they bring to the title. Check Stefan Kløvning’s review of Creativity Cycling for an example of a summary that establishes the framework of the book within the context of its field.

Step 2. Present your evaluation

While you should absolutely weave your own personal take of a book into the review, your evaluation shouldn’t only be based on your subjective opinion. Along with presenting how you reacted to the story and how it affected you, you should also try to objectively critique the stronger and weaker elements of the story, and provide examples from the text to back up your points.

To help you write your evaluation, you should record your reactions and thoughts as you work your way through a novel you’re planning on reviewing. Here are some aspects of the book to keep in mind as you do.

Your evaluation might focus heartily on the book’s prose:

Donald Barker's review of Mercenary : 

Such are the bones of the story. But, of course, it is the manner in which Mr Gaughran puts the bones back together and fills them with life that makes “Mercenary” such a great read. The author’s style seems plain; it seems straightforward and even simple. But an attempt at imitation or emulation quickly proves that simple it is not. He employs short, punchy sentences that generate excellent dialogue dripping with irony, deadpan humour and wit. This, mixed with good descriptive prose, draws the characters – and what characters they are – along with the tumultuous events in which they participated amidst the stinking, steaming heat of the South American jungle, out from the past to the present; alive, scheming, drinking, womanising and fighting, onto the written page.

You can give readers a sense of the book by drawing comparisons to other well-known titles or authors:

Laura Hartman's review of The Mystery of Ruby's Mistletoe :

Reading Ms. Donovan’s book is reminiscent to one of my favorite authors, Dame Agatha Christie. Setting up the suspects in a snowbound house, asking them to meet in the drawing room and the cleverly satisfying conclusion was extremely gratifying. I can picture Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot nodding at Ms. Donovan saying “Well done!”

Not everyone’s tastes are the same, and you can always acknowledge this by calling out specific story elements in your evaluation: 

Kevin R. Dickinson's review of The Heart of Stone :

Whether you enjoy Galley’s worldbuilding will depend heavily on preference. Galley delivers information piecemeal, letting the characters, not the author, navigate the reader through Hartlund. A notable example is the magic system, an enigmatic force that lacks the ridge structures of, say, a Brandon Sanderson novel. While the world’s magical workings are explained, you only learn what the characters know and many mysteries remain by the end. Similar choices throughout make the world feel expansive and authentic.

Non-fiction evaluation tip: A book’s topic is only as compelling as its supporting arguments. Your evaluation of a nonfiction book should address that: how clearly and effectively are the points communicated? Turn back to Stefan’s critique for an example of a non-fiction critique that covers key takeaways and readability, without giving away any “big reveals.”

Step 3. Give your recommendation 

At the end of the day, your critique needs to answer this question: is this a book you would (or wouldn’t) recommend to other readers? You might wrap up by comparing it to other books in the same genre, or authors with similar styles, such as: “Fans of so-and-so will enjoy this book.” 

Let’s take a look at a few more tips:

You don’t need to write, “I recommend this book” — you can make it clear by highlighting your favorable opinion:

Following in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and William Least Heat-Moon, Doane offers a coming of age story about a man finding himself on the backroads of America. Doane’s a gifted writer with fluid prose and insightful observations, using The Narrator’s personal interactions to illuminate the diversity of the United States.
Despite his flaws, it’s a pleasure to accompany The Narrator on his physical and emotional journey. The unexpected ending is a fitting denouement to an epic and memorable road trip.

Add more punch to your rating by mentioning what kind of audience will or won’t enjoy the book:

Charleigh Aleyna Reid's review of The King of FU :

I would recommend this book to anyone who grew up in the 90’s and would like to reminisce about the time, someone who is interested to see what it was like to be a 90’s kid, or perhaps anyone who is looking for a unique, funny story about someone’s life.

Unless you found the title absolutely abhorrent, a good way to balance out a less favorable book review it to share what you did like about the book — before ultimately stating why you wouldn’t recommend the novel:

Nicola O's review of Secrets of the Sea Lord :

Overall, there are plenty of enjoyable elements in this story and fans of Atlantis and mer mythology should give it a try. Despite this, it does not rise above a three-star rating, and while I had some difficulty pinning down why this is, I concluded that it comes from a surprisingly unsophisticated vocabulary. There are a couple of graphic sex scenes, which is absolutely fine in a paranormal romance, but if they were removed, I could easily imagine this as an appealing story for middle-schoolers.

Non-fiction recommendation tip: As with fiction book reviews, share why you did or didn’t enjoy the title. However, in one of the starkest divergences from fiction book reviews it’s more important than ever that you mention your expectations coming into the non-fiction book. For instance, if you’re a cow farmer who’s reading a book on the benefits of becoming a vegetarian, you’re coming in with a large and inherent bias that the book will struggle to alter. So your recommendation should cover your thoughts about the book, while clearly taking account your perspective before you started reading. Let’s look once more at Stefan’s review for an example of a rating that includes an explanation of the reviewer’s own bias.

Bonus tips for writing a book review

Let’s wrap up with a few final tips for writing a compelling review.

Writing book reviews can be a rewarding experience! As a book-lover yourself, it’s a great opportunity to help guide readers to their next favorite title. If you’re just getting started as a reviewer and could use a couple more tips and nudges in the right direction, check out our comprehensive blog post on how to become a book reviewer . And if you want to find out which review community is the right fit for you, we recommend taking this quick quiz:

Which review community should you join?

Find out which review community is best for your style. Takes 30 seconds!

Finally, if you feel you've nailed the basics of how to write a book review, we recommend you check out Reedsy Discovery , where you can review books for free and are guaranteed people will read them. To register as a book reviewer, simply go here !

Continue reading

More posts from across the blog.

100 Best (and Scariest) Horror Books of All Time

The definition of scary changes from person to person. For some, it might be ghosts and haunted houses. For others, serial killers. For still others, the most frightening things are the ones that go bump in the night, unseen. Despite the w...

The 12 Best Epic Fantasy Books like Game of Thrones

We get it: it’s been a long time since the last installment of A Song of Ice and Fire was released, and there is a voi...

50 Christmas Stories for the Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — to bury yourself in a good book, that is. With the winter winds howling and the fire crackling, there’s no better season to just curl up and read the day away. And what’s nice...

Heard about Reedsy Discovery?

Trust real people, not robots, to give you book recommendations.

Or sign up with an

Or sign up with your social account

how to write a book eview

How To Write A Book Review: 6 Steps To Take

Whether you’re a student, a novice blogger, or just someone looking to become a more active user of Goodreads, writing a book review is an important skill to have! Here are six steps for how to write a book review for school and beyond. 

How To Write A Book Review in 6 Steps

1. Begin with a brief summary of the book

This is probably the best way to introduce any review because it gives context. But make sure to not go into too much detail. Keep it short and sweet since an official summary can be found through a quick google search!

2. Pick out the most important aspects of the book

I usually break this down with character, world-building, themes, and plot. But this might vary between books, genres, and your tastes!

Dedicate a paragraph to each of these important aspects, discussing how well the author dealt with it, along with what you enjoyed and what you didn’t enjoy.

3. Include brief quotes as examples

Including quotes is always a great idea, because it gives examples for everything that you’re saying! If your review talks about a character being particularly witty, a witty line from the character lets your readers see exactly what kind of witty character you’re dealing with here.

But be careful: lengthy quotes can take up big chunks of space and overpower your review. Short quotes will usually get your points across while letting your work shine through.

4. Write a conclusion that summarises everything

Like your introduction, keep your conclusion short and sweet! It should bring up the main points of your review, along with your overall opinion of the book.

5. Find similar books

A great way to wrap up a review is to find similar books to the one you’re reviewing. So you can say, “if you were a fan of X book, I think you’ll definitely like this one!”

You can also be more specific, looking at the exact things that might make two books similar. So you can suggest something like…“if you liked that the main character in X book was a kick-ass superhero, then you’ll love the main character of this book!”

6. Give it a star rating

A star rating is obviously encouraged in a lot of review sites, but they’re not necessary! If you do want to give a star rating, you can go the conventional “out of five/ten” route. You could also try something slightly less conventional, and break down your star-rating into different categories for character/plot/world-building, etc.

Now go forth and review! And share any tips you have for how to write a book review in the comments.

You Might Also Like

The Bestselling Fantasy Books of All Time

How to Write a Book Review

Last Updated: January 2, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 66 testimonials and 89% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,165,153 times.

Writing a book review is not just about summarizing; it's also an opportunity for you to present a critical discussion of the book so others get an idea of what to expect. Whether you’re writing a review as an assignment or as a publication opportunity, you should combine an accurate, analytical reading with a strong, personal touch. An effective book review describes what is on the page, analyzes how the book tried to achieve its purpose, and expresses any reactions and arguments from a unique perspective.

Review Template

how to write a book eview

Preparing to Write Your Review

Image titled Review a Book Step 1

Image titled Review a Book Step 2

Image titled Review a Book Step 3

Image titled Review a Book Step 4

Image titled Review a Book Step 5

Image titled Review a Book Step 7

Image titled Review a Book Step 8

Creating a First Draft of the Review

Image titled Review a Book Step 10

Image titled Review a Book Step 12

Image titled Review a Book Step 13

Image titled Review a Book Step 14

Polishing the Review

Image titled Review a Book Step 15

Image titled Review a Book Step 16

Community Q&A

Community Answer

Make sure to read the book thoroughly. If you don't, it will be bad.

how to write a book eview

You Might Also Like

Understand the Book You Are Reading

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a book review, start with a heading that includes the book's title, author, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, and number of pages. Then, open your review with an introduction that includes the author's background as well as the main points you'll be making. Next, split up the body of your review so the first half of the review is a summary of the author's main ideas and the rest is your critique of the book. Finally, close your review with a concluding paragraph that briefly summarizes your analysis. To learn how to read a book critically so it's easier to write a review, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

Reader Success Stories

Tabitha Kitiibwa

Tabitha Kitiibwa

Did this article help you?

how to write a book eview

Oct 4, 2022

Ayman Al Fateh

Ayman Al Fateh

May 31, 2017

Bello Mohammed Magaji

Bello Mohammed Magaji

Sep 7, 2018

Lauren DeYoung

Lauren DeYoung

Jun 20, 2017

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

Play FIFA 23 Career Mode

Trending Articles

Talk to a Girl in a Group

Watch Articles

Make Homemade Soup

wikiHow Tech Help Pro:

Develop the tech skills you need for work and life


  1. how to write a book review (a guide)

    how to write a book eview

  2. Help To Write A Book Uk; How to Write a Book in 15 Amazingly Simple Steps

    how to write a book eview

  3. 'R ;eview/book' 카테고리의 글 목록

    how to write a book eview

  4. Should I write an ebook?

    how to write a book eview

  5. How to write an eBook for free and sell it online

    how to write a book eview

  6. How to Write an Ebook in 5 Easy Steps

    how to write a book eview


  1. Did you recognize the song? Write your options in the comment #alphabetlore #cocomelon #paperhouse

  2. I write book in Minecraft #minecraft #shorts

  3. Meghan Markle to write book after Prince Harry's lucrative publishing deal

  4. Piers Morgan claims Harry was URGED ON by Meghan to write book as he slams pair

  5. write book hacks (World's smallest violin) #shorts #virelshorts #shortvideo

  6. Review exercise 13 unit 13 practical geometry Triangles class 9 new mathematics book Sindh board


  1. How to write a book review

    How to write a book review · 1. Start with a couple of sentences describing what the book is about · 2. Discuss what you particularly liked about the book · 3.

  2. Book Reviews

    As a critical assessment, a book review should focus on opinions, not facts and details. Summary should be kept to a minimum, and specific details should serve

  3. Writing a Book Review

    Begin with a short summary or background of the work, but do not give too much away. Many reviews limit themselves only to the first couple of chapters or lead

  4. Tips for Writing a Good Book Review

    Tips for Writing a Good Book Review · As many avid readers know, book reviews can be magical. Not only are they book recommendations, they're

  5. How to Write a Book Review That Doesn't Suck and Can Actually

    What you thought and felt: Now write what you thought of the book, but keep it concise, around one to three paragraphs. It should contain how

  6. How To Write a Book Review

    General Tips for Writing a Book Review · Keep it Streamlined: Pay attention to length and make every word count. · Remember to Proofread: Make

  7. How to Write a Book Review

    If you're interested in learning how to write a book review, or becoming a reviewer, here are a few more resources you can check you!

  8. How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps

    How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps · Provide a summary: What is story about? Who are the main characters and what is the main conflict?

  9. How To Write A Book Review: 6 Steps To Take

    1. Begin with a brief summary of the book · 2. Pick out the most important aspects of the book · 3. Include brief quotes as examples · 4. Write a

  10. 4 Ways to Write a Book Review

    Address how well the book has achieved its goal, how the book compares to other books on the subject, specific points that were not convincing or lacked