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Book Review: Write from Your Heart



"How do you write a book review? Write from the heart and you'll create something to be proud of."



Book Review: Write from Your Heart
by Emily Burson

:Not every book will impact every person- that's a given. What touches the heart of one person may not touch the other person as well. If that is the case, and you are asked to write a review for something that did not move you, how do you create a book review? Write from the heart and you will create something of which you are proud.

If you simply don't get anything out of the book, write the facts. You can create a perfectly acceptable book review based only on the facts as they are presented in the book. While something like "This is a children's book set in 18th century England" may not be the most captivating writing of your life, it is functional, and that is what really matters. Most written book reviews are used as tools, either by teachers, or by other readers. They want to know what the book is about, the target audience, and, in some cases, the thoughts and opinions of the reviewer.

Many book reviews get caught up in the fluff and jargon of the writer; unable to create something that is either long enough or dynamic enough, you start inserting random phrases and colloquialisms; that is not necessary. Perhaps the greatest book review writer in you is simple and easy. Use your strengths. Many books follow a similar plot sequence and have certain characteristics. Familiarize yourself with the types of books you will be reviewing, and learn the language that is unique to that genre. If you are reviewing a new mystery novel, compare it to the style of Agatha Christie. Do not fall into the cliché of the book you are reviewing being 'the next' Agatha Christie mystery, but it is okay to call to mind those that have come before.

Again, great book reviews write the truth. If the book you are reviewing moves you to tears, do not be afraid to write that. If it moves you to make a change in your life or to do something new in your life, tell your reader. People are inspired by others. People are moved to action often by the action of people just like them.

So, what if you flat out hate what you read? If you are being paid to write the review, choose your words carefully, keeping in mind that not everyone is going to feel the same way about the book that you do. I can't emphasize the basic principle of this article, "great book review: write the truth." Be honest about what you did not like about the work, but explain why. If it is not a genre you enjoy, chances are you will not like the book. Try to find something that was insightful or interesting to you about the work. Was it grammatically correct and well written? Chances are there is something positive you can say about the story.

Make your case and end your review. Keep it simple and to the point. Do your job and do it to the best of your ability.


Emily Burson is a 2001 graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She worked for a year as a full time copywriter before getting a job at her church, Sherwood Oaks Christian Church. She works at the church full time and loves it. She loves to read and write, and believes that children's books and young adult literature contain some of the most powerful lessons and messages that the written word has to offer. She is an avid scrapbooker and loves to travel, having been to Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Honduras, as well as many states.

If you would like to contact her about her writing, craft ideas, or book reviews, email her at erburson@

Also, read her personal thoughts on God, faith, life, culture, and more.


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