Blog – Posted on Thursday, Nov 11
The Only Book Review Templates You'll Ever Need
Whether you’re trying to become a book reviewer, writing a book report for school, or analyzing a book, it’s nice to follow a book review template to make sure that your thoughts are clearly presented.
A quality template provides guidance to keep your mind sharp and your thoughts organized so that you can write the best book review possible. On Reedsy Discovery, we read and share a lot of book reviews, which helps us develop quite a clear idea what makes up a good one. With that in mind, we’ve put together some trustworthy book review templates that you can download, along with a quick run-through of all the parts that make up an outstanding review — all in this post!
Pro-tip: But wait! How are you sure if you should become a book reviewer in the first place? If you're on the fence, or curious about your match with a book reviewing career, take our quick quiz:
Should you become a book reviewer?
Book review templates for every type of review
With the rapid growth of the book community on Instagram, Youtube, and even TikTok, the world of book commentary has evolved far beyond your classic review. There are now many ways you can structure a book review. Some popular formats include:
- Book reports — often done for school assignments;
- Commentary articles — think in-depth reviews in magazines and newspapers;
- Book blog reviews — short personal essays about the book; and
- Instagram reviews — one or two-paragraph reviews captioned under a nice photo.
But while the text in all these review styles can be organized in different ways, there are certain boxes that all good book reviews tick. So, instead of giving you various templates to use for different occasions, we’ve condensed it down to just two book review templates (one for fiction and one for nonfiction) that can guide your thoughts and help you nail just about any review.
All you need to do is answer the questions in the template regarding the book you’re reading and you’ve got the content of your review covered. Once that’s done, you can easily put this content into its appropriate format.
Now, if you’re curious about what constitutes a good book review template, we’ll explain it in the following section!
Elements of a book review template
Say you want to build your own book review template, or you want to customize our templates — here are the elements you’ll want to consider.
We’ve divided our breakdown of the elements into two categories: the essentials and the fun additions that’ll add some color to your book reviews.
What are the three main parts of a book review?
We covered this in detail (with the help of some stellar examples) in our post on how to write a book review, but basically, these are the three crucial elements you should know:
The summary covers the premise of the book and its main theme, so readers are able to understand what you’re referring to in the rest of your review. This means that, if a person hasn’t read the book, they can go through the summary to get a quick idea of what it’s about. (As such, there should be no spoilers!)
The analysis is where, if it’s a fiction book, you talk more about the book, its plot, theme, and characters. If it’s nonfiction, you have to consider whether the book effectively achieves what it set out to do.
The recommendation is where your personal opinion comes in the strongest, and you give a verdict as to who you think might enjoy this book.
You can choose to be brief or detailed, depending on the kind of review you’re writing, but you should always aim to cover these three points. If you’re needing some inspiration, check out these 17 book review examples as seen in magazines, blogs, and review communities like Reedsy Discovery for a little variation.
Which review community should you join?
Which additional details can you include?
Once you’ve nailed down the basics, you can jazz things up a little and add some personal flavor to your book review by considering some of these elements:
- A star-rating (the default is five stars but you can create your own scales);
- A bullet-point pros and cons list;
- Your favorite quotation from the book;
- Commentary on the format you read (i.e., ebook, print, or audiobook);
- Fun facts about the book or author;
- Other titles you think are similar.
This is where you can really be creative and tailor your review to suit your purpose and audience. A formal review written for a magazine, for instance, will likely benefit from contextual information about the author and the book, along with some comment on how that might have affected the reading (or even writing) process.
Meanwhile, if you’re reviewing a book on social media, you might find bullet points more effective at capturing the fleeting attention of Internet users. You can also make videos, take creative pictures, or even add your own illustrations for more personal touches. The floor is yours at this point, so go ahead and take the spotlight!
That said, we hope that our templates can provide you with a strong foundation for even your most adventurous reviews. And if you’re interested in writing editorial reviews for up-and-coming indie titles, register as a reviewer on Reedsy Discovery!