A book review (or book report) is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. It is often carried out in periodicals, as school work, or online. Its length may vary from a single paragraph to a substantial essay. Such a review often contains evaluations of the book on the basis of personal taste. Reviewers, in literary periodicals, often use the occasion of a book review for a display of learning or to promulgate their own ideas on the topic of a fiction or non-fiction work. At the other end of the spectrum, some book reviews resemble simple plot summaries.

The book review is assigned to develop analytical skills. First, the reviewer has to depict the content, regardless of the type of novel, an historical or critical book. In the subsequent narration the goal of the book reviewer is to discuss the content of the book and provide analysis of what he/she had read, and deduce if the author managed to reveal the core, whether he/she kept to the thesis or properly achieved the purpose of the book. The last thing the reviewer has to do is to speculate on the topic him/herself. The book reviewer should also undertake through their own research to discuss the theme, assess the authors ability to express and explore this theme, and provide an opinion of the novel.

The determination of the book review is to communicate to the readers mind the ideas and sensations book reviewer experienced while researching the content, in this way explaining the reader what exact meaning the author presumed to transmit, or what did the reviewer experienced while during the reading. The book reviewer, then, stands as reporter, who informs the third party of the events, as an analyst, who makes judgments basing them on own experience, and as the observer from the side, who pretends to act as the reader him/herself should do by expressing own opinion, desires and expectations.

Making book review implies some special skills, as well as obliges with some precise responsibilities. Professional reviewer has not just to read and scrutinize the text, but to realize concealed, implied meaning the author obviously had dropped hints about. Skilled book reviewers' explanations make the reader feel this “that is just what I thought” sensation. The reviewer must also state the main points of the reviewed book. While some aspects are less meaningful, others are have to be marked out as prerogative issues. The task is even more complicated as the writer could unintentionally imply the idea the reviewer of the book can notice.

Then, the book reviewer has to decide upon authors points validity. Reviewer has to be the judge and say “did the writer persuade the audience, or were his/her evidences not sufficient and weak.” The reviewer here makes judgment on the adequacy of the book topic to the content.

The book review is also the expertise of the contents authenticity. By comparing the reviewed book to other materials in the given category the reviewer work implies potential danger for those writers, who admit plagiarism. If the reviewer finds the book authentic and, perhaps, unique, the points and attitudes of the reviewer are discussed.

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This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Book Reviews. The Official Guide to Book Reviews is Reader Views.

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