How to Write a Review of a Fiction Book

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Every fictional book is made up of several elements: plot, theme, dialogue, point of view, setting and characterization.  Covering each of these topics in a book review is a good way to cover the entire book. 

1)            Write out a synopsis of the plot.  Every plot has a beginning, middle and end.  A book needs to have a disturbance in the first act and a doorway through which the character goes through.  This doorway is a defining event that propels the character into the 2nd act.  The second act should have the second doorway also known as the point of no return.  This doorway leads to the third act which will result in a resolution to the story.

2)            Write out a description of what the defining theme of the book is.  The theme of a book is basically the moral of the story.  What did you learn about the human condition as a result of this book?  Good conquers all?  Coming of age? 

3)            Write out a review of the dialogue.  Did the dialogue flow?  Did it come with too many dialogue tags:  He said, he yelled, he whispered, he hissed? Was the dialogue repetitive or unnatural?

4)            Write out what the point of view was.  Objective point of view is when the narrator tells what happens. The narrator remains an observer never revealing character emotions or motivations.  In 3rd person POV, the narrator does not participate as one of the characters, but explains exactly how the characters feel. In 1st person POV, the narrator participates in the action of the story. Omniscient POV is a narrator who knows everything about all the characters.  Limited omniscient POV is when a narrator’s knowledge is limited to one character.

5)            Write out a description of the setting.  Where was the story set?  Did the setting work for the book?

6)            Write out some descriptions of the character development.  Did the author have a compelling character?  Did the character develop in some manner throughout the story?  Did the character’s actions conflict with his personality? 


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