Review Writing Tips

 Reviews are a great way to find new books you might never hear of or otherwise encounter. Writing reviews lets you share your reading experiences with others and can facilitate impassioned discussions about books you love, or books you dislike. Writing a review for a book is a wonderful way to engage with other readers and reflect upon your own reading experience. Review writing is also a great way to keep track of what you have read. 

 But how do you write a good review? These tips might help. 

Essential information: 

Make sure you include all the relevant information other readers will need to find the book for themselves. 

  • Title 
  • Author 
  • ISBN – this is the 13 digit number found under or above the barcode on each book. 
  • Publication date 


Introduce the book. Where is it set? Who are the characters? Share a little of the basic conflict, or the plot of the story. This will hopefully gain the interest of a review reader and help them decide if this is a book they might like to read. 


Be very careful to exclude spoilers from your review. If one of the characters dies halfway thought the book (for example), it is not fair to your readers for them to find out from you – they should find out from the story itself. Be sure to keep any major plot twists out of your reviews, this way everyone gets to enjoy the full reading experience you yourself had. 


Once you have introduced the book, you need to give your opinion of the book. 

  • Did you like it? 
  • What did you most enjoy? 
  • What did you least enjoy? 
  • Would you recommend this book to other people? 
  • Who do you think might like this book? 
  • What do you think inspired the author to write this book? 
  • Are there any other books you would compare it to? 
  • Is it written for a particular age range? 
  • What is the genre of the book? 


When writing a review, be sure to think about who you are writing the review for. Your reviews should inspire your peers to want to read the book you have reviewed, so it might be helpful to write your review in the style you most enjoy reading. It is good practice to check over your spelling, punctuation and grammar before you submit your review. We ask that reviews submitted to Shelftalkers for publication not exceed 100 words. Please give the book an overall rating out of 5 stars.