I do not ordinarily write book reviews, but I occasionally run across a book to share. Are there any specific elements that need inclusion? Are there any rules?
Sure, email the author and ask him to write his own review, then post it with an Amazon capsule
Check out this site, it gives you a great overview of what to include.
I am sure the links provided here will help. You also have to consider for whom you are writing the review.
Some people on HubPages only use the book as a springboard for a general discussion. They don't write in-depth about the book's merits. Which one are you? There's certainly more than one approach.
If you feel the book isn't great, it's always nice to compare it to others on the same topic, and tell why the others are better books. If you're using Amazon capsules, you could certainly hand-pick the ones you like from the genre.
I'd definitely say, in writing a book review, consider what kind of readers would like the aspects of the book you didn't like. Reference some the things you thought were negative about the book in a neutral light, and you might introduce some readers to a book they wouldn't have previously considered. People like different things. I don't much like Twilight, but fans of Octavia Butler might. See what I mean?
I have written book reviews for print publications. I have taught Journalism.
I would say that you start with the basics as if you were writing a news story. Then simply add your own opinions backed with examples and reasons. End with a summary including whether or not it is worth reading.
The facts, summary of content,evaluation . . . that's basically it in a nutshell.
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