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‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.’ – Groucho Marx

How to: write a book review

Writing about something you love (or hate) can come easily. Then of course there are all the times it doesn’t. A book review is typically understood to contain common elements which are outlined in this great instructional post from Amarlie, on how to write a classic book review with advice including:

The best book reviews are the ones where we not only get a sense of the book, but where we also get an understanding of you, the person who has read the book. A book review can be seen as an opportunity to let your personality shine as well as the book you are writing about.

A book response on the other hand, can be anything that reflects how you experienced a book; from a critical essay with thousands of words to a mood board reflecting how it made you feel. Dog’s Advisory Board members Teagan, Abbie and Aahana wrote another post with three different approaches to reviewing or responding to the books you read. There is plenty to take from it, including:

Refining can be as much or as little as you would like because in this type of review, rough is okay. In fact, rough is perfect. Refined and polished is perfect. This step is where you can put in the full stops, commas, capital letters, take out random lines, put in random breaks, make paragraphs, even make things rhyme if you want to. It’s completely up to you and how you want your review to sound.

On Inside a Dog we welcome all kinds of book reviews and responses. Jump in, have a go and pop a link to your reviews in the comments below.

6 comments

siena

Thank you, definitely needed!!

30th Apr, 18
sylvs

As a fellow book reviewer myself I find this post very useful for improving my reviews and sharing my ideas in a way that can reach more people :)

30th Apr, 18
lefa Centre for Youth Literature

It's always great to aim for improvement as a writer! I'm glad the post has helped. Given your book throne is a massive collection of reviews already I can't wait to see more from you soon.

1st May, 18
bookwithbane

In reply to lefa

1st May, 18
sylvs

In reply to lefa

Thank you so much! I'm posting a review soon. I just finished my book Everless (it was amazing!) and am planning on reading some book recommendations from readers on the site.

1st May, 18
bookwithbane

1st May, 18