Reviewing a book

My professor at university told me a simple formula for writing a book review and it works almost every time. I say "almost every time" because I like to vary everything now and then just because it suits.

The formula is this. As you read the book keep the following three questions in your mind.
  1. What genre is it?  if non fiction what specific category/subject.(Non fiction catagories are very specific)  If fiction is it crime, romance, thriller, fantasy etc.
  2. What does it say? Is the story a good one ? Are the characters believable? Are the arguments clear? Is there a progression from the beginning to the end? Is any of this new or has it been published elsewhere and is being recycled?
  3. Is it any good? This is where you move from the objective assessment to the subjective.. and this is the most difficult to do well. Your answer to this question should be based from your answer to question two. Start with the style, spelling and grammar with an expectation that for a published book this should be faultless. Then assess what impression it leaves tyou with.
So that is my technique. I find this structure very helpful.

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