Outline for a Book Review:
To Read or Not to Read?

You need an outline for a book review, and I'm here to share one with you. First, however, I must ask you a question. Have you ever wanted to write a book review, but didn't know just how to go about writing one? You may know exactly what you think about a book -- what you enjoyed, didn't like, what inspired you, irritated you, excited you to read more. It really is quite easy to write a book review -- especially with this handy dandy outline for a book review that is provided here. You just have to be equipped with the right tools and questions to ask yourself as you ponder your innermost thoughts on the themes, characters, and essential information the book provided. Before you know it, you'll be writing your very own best seller book reviews.

Click for Free Writer's Block Help E-Zine and Free E-Book

Let's start off with some questions that you may want to ask yourself as you delve into this outline for a book review:

Who are the characters? What are their hopes, dreams, aspirations, and inspirations? How do they interact with the other characters, and what makes them so darn lovable or downright intolerable?

What are the main themes that make up the plot? Do the themes resonate throughout the whole story and take on deeper and extra layers of meaning that ingratiate themselves in the reader's mind? Or does the plotline wreak of being overdone? Find the ways the author uses ideas and emotions that are underused in other works of literature, and create a bevy of thoughts on why these ideas and emotions are so important to the development of the overall story.

How does the setting add to the description? Does it make the story insufferable to read, as it takes away from the excitement of action, drama, and comedic relief that the characters and plotline use? Or does it make the story all that much more magical and personal to readers, engaging them in numerous, creative ways?

Begin to answer the questions above as you plot out your outline for a book review. Make sure you are adequately involved in the innermost details of the story you are reviewing, so your readers can understand how much this book matters to you, and how much you enjoy doing this service for them.

What conflict exists within the story? You must be careful here -- you don't want to give away the climax of the story. Readers want to be teased with what the book will be about without you giving away the whole plotline in one clean sweep. Explain how the dilemma begins to take shape and how friendships might be lost, relationships might be tested, divisions might begin to exist between characters, towns, etc., but don't give it all away. You must give your readers something to long for and root for as they make their way toward reading the book you are so eloquently writing about in an effort to make their reading selection a bit easier.

How about asking a question? What better way to get readers pondering all the intricate details that make up the plotline of the book you are reviewing? You know that if you ask a question, you must have an answer, right? It's one thing to tease your readers, but don't leave them hanging with too many threads coming loose. Allow them to be curious, but let them know that the questions you ask are in some way vastly important to the overall characterization, themes, or descriptions in the book.

Give your readers something to look forward to as you close out your review. Of course, if you have written a glowing book review in which you have heaped praise on a well-written story, you want to end on a high note. Say one last time how readers will be able to engage in something the characters are engaging in, or flash back to a time that they may or may not remember from their youth. Leave them thinking that starting to read this book is not just something they have to do; it is the thing they have to do. On the other hand, if you didn't care for the book, make that clear, but don't overwhelm readers with all of the items that made the book so incredibly dull to you. Give a brief overview of what happened, and allow readers to make their own decision of whether or not they would like to read what you have reviewed for them. Your opinion counts, but they should have the last word on whether or not they will choose to read it.

Practice writing critiques of books and reading through critiques that others have written. This will help you to understand any necessary modifications that must be made to ensure your writing gets to be its very best.

For some book review examples, especially book reviews for teens, click here. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin and Incantation by Alice Hoffman are two examples of young adult books that will hopefully catch your interest and allow you to be transported into two very different, yet equally entertaining worlds that will grab your interest and keep you intrigued.

Through your freedom of expression, you will allow readers, young and old alike, to delve into conflict, drama, comedy, and character emotions that they will hopefully connect with, or pass by in order to find a greater connection with another book. Use this outline for a book review to your advantage, and find ways to inspire and envelop your readers in something new and thrilling. You are the one who will help them along this path. You might even find use for this outline for a book review when writing a movie review. Good luck and happy writing!


To return from Outline for a Book Review to the
Writer's Block Help Home Page, click here

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Writer's Block Help Free Ezine & Ebook Sign-Up

Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Writer's Block Help E-Zine.