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  • Writer's pictureTina Radcliffe

7 Tips for Writing a Book Review

1. Summarize the book without giving away spoilers. You are writing a book review, not a book report. Generally, you don't share story details past the midpoint of the book. Tell what you liked about the book, and if there was something you disliked strongly, do mention that in a kind manner.

2. Reviews are about the book, not about the reader. Comments such as: "I don't like pregnant heroine books," or "I would never have bought this if I had known that it was not a Christian book," or "This book wouldn't download" are about the reader and not about the book.

3. You can and should give intelligent thoughts about the story. Quotes from the book are a great idea.

4. Be honest. If you'd tell your friends about the book, sure, give it a four or five-star review as appropriate. But don't give a five-star review out of obligation.

5. If you are both a reader and a writer, please review as a reader. Readers don't care about the scene structure or GMC. They care about memorable characters, satisfying emotions, and being unable to put a book down.

6. A well-written book with a solid plot and satisfying ending should not get less than a three-star review.

7. Free book disclaimer. If you received a free book with the understanding that you would provide an honest review, please note the following. 📘✏

It's not just bad practice to receive compensation for book reviews; it's against FCC guidelines. Do reveal that you received the book from the publisher or author for free. However, I do not recommend that you use the words "in exchange for a review." I think that indicates compensation. It's enough to say, "I received this book free from the publisher, and this is my honest review."

Example book reviews (totally made up). Note the three parts: the opening line/s, the review, and then the closing line/s. These are short. Short is absolutely fine. If you are compelled to write a novel, remember that Love Inspired is always looking for writers.


Love You Forever is the fourth book in Mary Smith's Forever series. While it's part of a series, it can be read alone.

I really enjoyed Zane and Emily's story. Set in a small town in Georgia, it had a really fun cast of characters, including twin four-year-olds who stole my heart. Both the hero and heroine are bidding for the same property. Emily is into organic farming, and Zane wants to build a camp for kids. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out if Zane and Emily would be able to resolve their differences and find happiness.

All in all, a delightful read, and I can't wait for the next book. I highly recommend it.


Jane Brown did it again. She made me lose sleep. A Forever Family just might be my favorite Jane Brown book yet.

Dana Rogers is a nurse with a tragic past. She and her young daughter moved to town for a fresh start. Enter cowboy Tanner Smith, a man with a heart of stone. Dana's little girl Chloe finds a way past his defenses. This is such a heartwarming story of forgiveness and healing. It had me crying and laughing.

While this might not appeal to those who have lost a loved one, as it deals with some tough issues, I found it to be exceptionally realistic and sweet with the perfect ending.


A Kiss Before Dying by Debbie Doe is a romantic suspense book that opens with a bang and never lets up.

Dina Carpenter saw something she shouldn't have, and now she's on the run from a killer. Texas Ranger Dex Danger is her only hope of survival. I was totally surprised to find out who the bad guy was, and I enjoyed the twist ending.

The romance was well-written, and I rooted for them to realize that they belong together. My only negative was that I thought there was an excess of expletives that did not add anything to the story.

I look forward to Debbie Doe's next release.

I received an advance reader copy from Netgalley/Harlequin, and this is my honest review.


That's it! These are my tips and reflect my opinions. You are not required to agree.

This post is not endorsed by Love Inspired Books or Harlequin.


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