Book Review Basics
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Book Review Basics: 7 powerful steps for the beginners

Book Review Basics: A Guide to Book Reviewers

A book review is the best tool to network with authors and other reviewers. If you love reading it can be a great career option, where you will not just earn you can pursue your passion. The book review is a great tool to promote a book, so you are not living with your passion you are helping others too. Most of the self published authors rely on book reviews to promote their books.

Book review not only helps you to earn but also help you to develop a digital presence globally. There are many successful book reviewer who is enjoying great digital fame because of their fair reviews. So if you are one of them this article is going to help you.

A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. A book review can be a primary source opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review. Most of the reviewers adopt a CAT approach of review. Where CAT refers to Context, Characters, Author, and Themes.

Read on this article to understand book review basics.


The context of a book refers to the setting, background, framework, or environment of events or occurrences. Some question you should have in your mind while reviewing the context of a book: Is there any historical background associated with the topic? Whether the historical background is important for the intended audience or not?

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While writing about the context, if you can mention similar books it reflects the credibility of the reviewer. e.g. you can mention “If you have read “so and so books” you must love this book too.


Characters in a book refer to Names and roles involved in the story. Usually, there are 7 types of characters based on roles viz: Protagonist, Antagonist, Deuteragonist, Tertiary, Confidante, Love interest, and Foil. And there are five types of roles based on quality viz. Dynamic, Static, Stock, Symbolic, and Round.


Book review basics

An author is the creator of any written work e.g. a book also referred to as a writer. It is important to understand the author’s profile and the book genre. The credibility of a book is established if there is a link between the author’s profile and book genre.


The theme is the central idea on which the work is based on, the big idea or underlying message in the novel. A theme is a topic that the author has developed. In most of the literature usually, there are ten themes viz. Love, Good vs. Evil, Death, Power, and corruption, Coming of age, Survival, Courage, Individual vs. Society, Prejudice, and War.

To identify the theme in a book you have to understand the way the story uses characterization and the primary conflict in the story. While reviewing a book be precise, you don’t need to repeat every detail of the plot. Sometimes a detailed review looks boring to some readers, so you have to justify why such details are needed in the review.

Most of the reviewers these days give a star rating to books against various aspects of a book e.g. grammar & spelling, writing style, relevance, subject, etc. Star rating not only helpful for authors but also create interests in readers about the book.

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If you are a beginner and wish to make a career in book review follow these book review basics step by step to write an appealing book review:

Book review steps

  1. Start with a brief summary of the book
  2. Write down the scope of the book
  3. How the book is relevant in today’s world?
  4. How good is the writing style?
  5. What you have liked and what not?
  6. Why one should read and why not?
  7. Your final verdict

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