Book Review Writing: Tips, Tricks, and Helpful Hints | Jemma Jablowski | Skillshare

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Book Review Writing: Tips, Tricks, and Helpful Hints

teacher avatar Jemma Jablowski, Author and Blogger

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Why Write a Book Review?

    • 3. Places to Review

    • 4. Elements of Story

    • 5. Starting Your Review

    • 6. Body of the Review

    • 7. Writing the Conclusion

    • 8. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

This class covers the basics of writing an excellent book review, specifically for works of fiction. Learn how to read your favorite books with a critical eye and then share your thoughts with your audience in a clear and concise way. Help other readers find excellent books (and avoid not-so-great ones) and help support the authors you love at the same time. We will cover some of the best places to share your review online and what to discuss in the body of your review. 
Grab that book you've been meaning to read since forever and lets get started! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Jemma Jablowski

Author and Blogger


J.M. Jablowski is a young emerging writer and blogger from the Midwest. She primarily writes YA Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, but will dabble in the occasional short story when the opportunity presents itself. When she isn’t writing or reading, she enjoys playing video games and watching YouTube with her husband, or rocking out to Pandora with her son.

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Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

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1. Introduction: Hi, everyone. I'm Jim McCloskey, author and blogger, And thanks for tuning into my class book review, writing tips, tricks and helpful hints In this class, we will be covering the Why what, how and where. The book review process. We will be breaking down the elements of story and analyzing those elements individually and as a whole completed work. And we will be discussing where you can publish a review online, how to do that and the different benefits of sharing your review online. This class is mostly focusing on reviewing works of fiction, but can also be applied to other books as well, especially if they have a narrative element, like a biography. So pick up that book that's been sitting on your to be read pile for way too long and let's get started. 2. Why Write a Book Review?: Okay, So one question a lot of them might be having is why should I care? Critical reviews I'm not in grade school anymore. Granted, some of you may in fact be students for more instruction. But for those of us, we're no longer in school. What purpose does this? That's an excellent question. Poker views are way to share your thoughts on the book so that other like minded readers confined good books and avoid others they wouldn't enjoy as much. It's a good would give above your recommendation. Okay, Use also support the author. A lot of people decide to pick up a book or not based on the reviews the book has on Amazon or good reads or even based on just a number of reviews. But the book only has to your use. You'll be wondering why no one has read the book, and chances are you guessing it's not an award winning best. Our do you find even guess that they reviews belong to the author's mom and best friend, and you might even be right. On the other hand, People book has 1000 reviews. Even a 25% of them say they didn't like it, you'll still be more likely to pick it up to see what the big deal was all about. So, regardless of it, give a book a good review or batter do is still helps the office. It also helps readers find better books suited to their own personal face. A battered You doesn't Necessarily the terror all leaders away from a book, just readers who care about similar things. Does he do? For example, if I review a book and say that the romantic arc was too mushy for me, people who like romance will not be deterred by this at all. So those of us who, like Romans are drawn to both because my interview and those of us who just like it, are turned away and there are more happy leaders around. So a book review helps writers and readers. But how does it help you? On a practical level, writing a book review will help you think critically about a book and put your thoughts on the subject into words. You like to be able to better remember what you did or didn't like about the book. On top of that, if you're a writer. The process of critically analyzing someone else's work can help you hone your own craft. Finally, if you become a reliable reviewer, you could even get copies of three books from authors who want your honest. Really, it's a gangland situation, because who doesn't like free books? This is especially true if you have your own social media platform, where you share your reviews, such as a block going to general. So with this in mind, let's talk about the different places you can share your view online. 3. Places to Review: in this lesson, you're going to discuss where to share you with you. With the general public, the primary place to review is not Amazon. So many people buy books on Amazon. I know quite a few authors who self publish their books. Man is on. It's pretty much become a staple of the industry. Therefore, this is one of the most critical places to see reviews. If you are not, if an author gives you their book and asked for a review in return, they'd probably appreciate in Amazon reviews. That being said, Amazon does go through and perjury views from time to time to make sure that the book or item doesn't get fake reviews. They like to have a confirmed sale of the book to the accountant question to verify the review. So in this case, it's prudent to share your view on multiple platforms is copy and paste. The other main place to share our book review is that good weeks. So much of the reading community is on good grease. Those a good place to share your view as well. If you want a lot of eyes on your worst, there are plenty of places online to share your view, but I'm also going condition personal platforms. This will most likely be a blogger or YouTube channel or instagram account basically anywhere on social media when you gather your own following can share your own information for me. At this point, aside from good reads and Amazon, I review books on my own personal WordPress block. Feel free to be creative, picking a social media platform through new books on There are so many different social media sites. Basically, if there is a follow button on the site, you can like to find some way to review a book for your audience. Also, keep in mind the star rating system is a little bit different on Amazon that is on the street, for example, on the good reads site. If you hover your mouse over the different star ratings, you will notice that some text will pop up to describe with different ratings. Me starting with one star ratings followed like this did not like it was okay. I like this. I really liked it. It was a meat, and on Amazon, the five star rating works in this way. I hate it. I don't like it. It's OK. I like it. I love it. So a three star rating on good reads and the three star rating on Amazon are going to mean slightly different states. With this in mind, if you do create your own platform, review books is important. Also, spell out your own rating system. I use a five star rating system on my blood, So I have created a graphic that spelled out what each storm to meet. All right, they have it in the next class. We'll go over the elements of the story and what to pay attention to all your reading, your book. 4. Elements of Story: the first thing we need to do when writing a book review is read the book in question. It's very important that we are honest when writing a review to read the book attentively and beware of the main elements you want to convey accurately. Later. When reading the book, it is helpful to keep in mind that elements of story the different parts of the narrative that make up the whole of the story, these elements are the fine setting. This is the world, the circumstances, the time frame in which the story takes place. When examining the setting. In your review, you might ask how well the setting was conveyed or how did the city interest you? Did it make sense to the whole of the plot? These air questions to consider World Building World building is especially important if there is a fantastical element in this story, such as the use of magic or if the story is set in a completely different world than our own, it is important to make know how the world works in functions. Did it make sense to you? Was it confusing at all? Did you find it interesting? These are all things to notice during your read through writing style writing style can often make or break a story. How did the authors voice come through to you? Were they easy to understand or hard to understand? How did they set the scene where they overly descriptive or under early descriptive? Did they have clumsy or contradiction? Was there pros so beautiful? You want to buy the audiobook and just listen to it over and over. Characters, arcs and developments. Most characters should grow and develop over the course of this story. In some way. They are who are the stories about, especially the main character. So the questions to keep in mind over the course of your read through might be. Did the characters develop grow? Did you find the main characters relatable or likable? How about the supporting characters or the antagonised? Keep in mind that some characters like a villain or rival you could be meant to dislike. Express your honest feelings about characters. Finally, take note of any other plot points that stand out to you as well as anything else you liked or disliked. You can take notes in a journal, as you are reading or if you are using an electronic copy, it's very easy to make notes as you read. Some people might even take notes in the margins of physical copy. Obviously only do this if you own the book. At the very least, try to keep all these thoughts in your mind as you read your book. In the next lesson, we will start bringing all these elements together into a review. 5. Starting Your Review: This lesson focuses on the intro of the book review. It's an important element because it's the first thing your audience will encounter. Intro has to summarize a lot of what you want to convey in a short amount of time. Tell your audience quickly what they're going to be examining in the bulk of your review. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you're sharing a review on a personal platform, it's a good idea to share the book blurb the content that you'd normally find on the back of the book. That way, everyone reading the review has a basic idea of what the story is about. As an example, I have done a review of Spice Bringer by H. Alberg. In the first paragraph, I introduced the author, then briefly given overview of what I examine in the depth of my review. In other words, my thesis statement. Good things to mention in the first paragraph of your review are the overall themes or messages of the narrative what you took away from it, and it's good to state plainly whether you recommend the book or not. In the next lesson, you will discuss the rest of the body of your review 6. Body of the Review: this blessing will focus on the body of the review. When writing out the body of my review, I will often break down the elements of story into paragraphs. Sometimes a story element will get a whole paragraph or more than one. Sometimes I'll cover several elements in just one paragraph. The whole of the body should flow together as one cohesive piece. Your audience should receive all that information without it being completely spelled out for them like a list. One thing to be aware of as you are writing is the dreaded spoiler. A spoiler is an important plot element that someone may not want to know going into a story . The dramatic plot twist how the love triangle ends, which characters died. Some people like spoilers, though, and sometimes people will even read reviews after reading the work itself to see what others thought of the book. So you don't need to always avoid spoilers altogether. That being said, it's good to give you readers a heads up before sharing important plot elements or twists. To make this a simplest possible, I would gather all your spoiler material into one part of your review and have your readers skipped that part if they wish to avoid it. The last thing to do in the body of your review is mentioned any other random saying about the book that strikes you? In my review of Spice Bringer, I also mentioned how beautiful I thought the cover waas in the next lesson that we will wrap up a review and talk about our class project. 7. Writing the Conclusion: in the conclusion and final paragraphs of your review. Recent. Memorize your main points, similar to how you did for introduction. This is ready State. Clearly, if you would recommend this book or not, this is a good time to give you rating, usually using the five star rating scale. If you are posting your review on a personal platform, you need to have a link to buy the book in question, such as the Amazon link. Not only does it help your writings find the book, but it gives proper credit to the book's author in The conclusion is also a place to mention any potential trigger points. Another main reason people check reviews is to double check on any triggering content within the book. If someone wants to avoid a certain level of violence or sexual content, they will often check reviews first to see if they need to avoid the book. The conclusion is often where I would mention these elements and what age I think a child or young person should be before reading it. It's at this point you review was ready to be shared on the World Wide Web, but before you share it be sure to check your grammar and spelling. This is something I still struggle with personally. But the cleaner, your spelling and grammar, the more credible your review sounds. Now our class project is to apply everything we learned and write our own book review. Share your views on the class project section and even sure the book cover as a project image. You can find my review for Spice Bringer by H. L. Burke in the project section as a reference, I can't wait to see what you all are reading. 8. Final Thoughts: Well, that's it. Thank you all so much for taking my class. If you liked it, be sure to leave a review so other people confined this class and hit the follow button. I hope to be adding to my classes more in the near future. And be sure to check out my other writing class, writing realistic characters using the Myers Briggs personality types. It's a lot of fun, and I hope to see there. If you have any questions, please post them in the discussion section below. I would be happy to answer them personally. And finally, you sure to share your book reviews and comment on any other class projects so we can all become more informed readers. I'm looking forward to learning all about the books you have three.