How to Write a Book Review

It’s 2023! Which means it’s the perfect time to start fresh with a new Bookstagram, Booktok, or book review blog. But if you’ve never reviewed anything before, you may not know how to write a book review. And that’s okay! Everyone has to start somewhere. Although there are no real rules to reviewing books, having some guidelines to follow may be helpful when you’re starting out.

This guide may also be helpful if you are an author who is looking for people to review your book.

Types of Book Reviews

There are four major types of book reviews. Some are used by authors and publishers, some are used by booksellers, and some are used by book readers. The four major types of book reviews are:

Endorsements reviews

Endorsements are a type of book review used by authors before their book is published. Usually the author will send a copy of the manuscript to a selected group of readers who will then read the manuscript, and send a review back to the author. The author doesn’t always know who these readers are, and these types of review give the book authority before it’s released to the public.

Trade Reviews

Trade reviews are professional reviews, usually from large publishing companies. These are the Kirkus reviews, Publishing Weekly reviews, etc. These reviews are most consumed by booksellers, librarians, and academics, or anyone else who is in the industry. However, there are a few downsides to these types of reviews. They aren’t always guaranteed to be positive, and there is usually a fee charged to have your book reviewed.

Editorial Reviews

This is another type of professional review. However, editorial reviews are often ones that are published in magazines or online blog articles. The difference between editorial reviews and trade reviews is that editorial reviews aren’t often done by people who are in the publishing business. The reviews that Between Worlds posts would technically fall into this category since our business isn’t publishing, but we are still focused on book reviews and book-related content. This may be the type of review that you want to consider if you’re also posting from a professional blog or website.

Reader Reviews

Reader reviews come from just that… the readers! These are the types of non-professional reviews you see on websites like Goodreads or Amazon. They are reviews that are coming from every day people who want to give their opinion on a book they read.

If you’re an author, you’ll want to be careful when trying to get reviews on Amazon. Amazon knows who your social media friends are, and reviews that are done by them may not be approved.

How to Write a Book Review

This video by Reedsy was extremely helpful when I was just starting out. Although I have a degree in English, and I have written tons of book analyses, switching to a less academic tone was a bit of a struggle at first. The information in this video really put what I needed to do into perspective for me. She also has a bunch of great videos on writing in general!


The very first thing you need to do is introduce the book you’re reviewing. Give a short overview of the book, and give the readers all the details they need to know to find the book themselves including:

Book title
Photo of the Cover
Purchase Link
Age Range
Possible Triggers (if any)
Your Rating Out of Five Stars

All of these things will help your audience find the book so they can read it for themselves if they’re interested! When I write reviews, I usually link to Amazon, since it’s the easiest and most accessible place to find books. Not every area has bookshops available, even though I would always encourage people to support their local bookshops first!

I use the template below when I post my reviews. If you have a free Canva account, you can use this template too! I use it with a transparent background, and change the stars to outlines if I rate them less than 5 stars.

The Summary

Always include a short summary of the book that’s free of major plot points or spoilers. I tend to copy the Amazon overview, but you can also write the summary in your own words. Try to avoid including your opinions here. This section should only include facts about the book itself. You’ll have plenty of space to write your opinions on the book in other sections.

How to Write a Book Review Itself

This is the section where you can really get into the “meat” of the review. This is the space to include all of your opinions on the book. You can pretty much write whatever you want in this space. But, there are some important things that you might want to mention to make your review more substantial for people deciding if they’re interested in reading the book.


Were they well developed? Interesting? Were there details that didn’t make sense?


Was it well paced? Was it interesting? Were there parts that needed to be better developed? Was it predictable? How well was the world building done? Subplots? Heavy on action? Was the end satisfying? Were there any plot holes?


What was the writing style like? Was it enjoyable to read? Was the book well edited? Were there frequent errors?

Overall Thoughts

What were your overall opinions on the book? Why did you like or dislike it? Would you recommend this book to a friend? What emotions did the book leave you with?

How to Write a Book Review

Other Information to Include in Your Book Review

Although these aren’t necessary to include, these are some things that readers might want to know when deciding if this is a book for them.


List any tropes (common book themes) that are included in the book (even if you don’t like that trope). Some examples might be: enemies to lovers, second chance, friends to lovers, bad guy isn’t so bad, etc.

Similar Books

List any similar books that the reader might enjoy.

Another Book Review

People may want to look at several opinions of the book before deciding whether or not to read it. If have another favorite reviewer that can be a second authority on the book, link to their review! It’s also good to link to other reviews that might have vastly different opinions than yours as it can provide the reader with other perspectives.

Did you find this guide on how to write a book review helpful? Let us know if you loved this guide, or what we should add to improve it!

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