When you work for a company known for the best essay writing services reviews, you start looking at everything like a reviewer. You can summarize Marvel Universe in ten sentences. You pick your favorite songs apart. You rate how your hair looks today. And you can tell a bad review from a good one.
One thing that I noticed while lurking online is the lack of well-structured and comprehensive reviews for Christian books. Don’t get me wrong – quite a few blogs and web pages are dedicated to this topic. Still, the reviews themselves are more book reports and opinion pieces than reviews. They often read like recommendations you would share with your friends and family but often lack objectivity and vital information essential to make a review helpful for a wider audience.
To fix this, I came up with this short and handy guide. It discusses some points that one needs to cover in a review of a Christian book according to the genre:
- Reviews for Christian books in non-fiction.
- Christian review of books for children.
- Christian parent book reviews.
- Christian reviews of romance books.
- Christian reviews of non-Christian authors.
Yet before you start, take some time to prepare your questions. Consider any expectations you have for the book and any questions that may arise from reading it.
You want to ask yourself things like: What does this book tell me about God? What is its central message? How does this extend my knowledge of Christianity? It also helps to create your own criteria for evaluating the book; what elements make up a good Christian read? These questions will help guide your reading process and give you something tangible to refer back to when evaluating the material.
As you read, jot down any notes or thoughts that come up along the way. This can include questions, observations, or just words and passages that stood out or resonated with you. Keeping track of quotes is a good habit, plus the notes will jog your memory while you will write.
As you review, it is important to keep an open mind and be aware of biases. Ask yourself questions like “What did I learn?” and “How does this book fit into my overall understanding of Christianity?” or “Why did this book make me uneasy?”
Now let’s dive into particulars of various genres.
Reviews for Christian Books in Non-Fiction
Let’s start with probably the most numerous book category in Christian literature: non-fiction. It comprises many genres, from biographies to pastoral advice to self-help. The common goal of these books is to help you live a life of faith and be a better Christian in the modern world.
Reviewing these books is very rewarding since it allows you to engage with your faith and explore different topics. It also helps other people find the book they need to turn their life around and find the answers they seek, especially in difficult situations. To make your essay valuable for readers, avoid writing a book report as you did back in school, that is, concentrating on your personal impressions. Instead, ask yourself, how will your Christian book review service other readers?
Even if the author doesn’t state it explicitly, he or she speaks to a particular audience: those who want to reconcile the conflict between personal feelings and Christian values, those who wish to evangelize, or even those who question their faith. Define the primary intended audience and readers who might find it the most helpful in your review.
Then you can give a short summary of the ideas and concepts explored in the book. A good overview of a non-fiction book often can serve as a substitute for reading for people who lead busy lives and cannot allot as much time to reading as they’d want to. It can also pique the interest of potential readers and persuade them to read the book in full.
Finally, critique the book. What does it lack? Could some issues be expanded upon further? What are its limitations? Critiquing doesn’t mean bad-mouthing. Some novice reviewers find it very difficult to say anything less-than-positive about the book they analyze, especially if they genuinely liked it. However, objectivity is crucial for a helpful, informative review that benefits readers.
Kid’s Christian Book Reviews for Parents
When reviewing books for kids, your intended audience isn’t the little ones but their parents, teachers, and guardians. They are the ones who look for a reading to offer their children or students. Of course, everyone wants only the best for their children. Still, the definition of “best” varies from family to family, to say nothing about culture to culture. Your task as a reviewer is to help the readers to understand whether this book offers what they seek in reading for their child. That is why it is so important to create concise and meaningful children book reviews: Christian or otherwise.
One of the most important things to establish is an appropriate age. It is best to give your estimation of the most appropriate readership in concrete numbers (for example, “Best fit for kids 3 to 7 years old”) or at least tie it to an educational system (for example, “Best for middle-grade children.”) Avoid confusing definitions like “young kids” or “older kids.” Some might think that “older kids” means 10-12 y.o. (followed by adolescence), some might think that 14 to 17 count as “older kids.” Another thing to highlight is the reason you gave this age rating. For example, “The plot is too simple to entertain kids older than 10” or “Some scenes might be scary for children under 8.” Of course, the book might be versatile and appeal to many age groups – tagging it as “ageless” is absolutely fine, too, as long as you explain that.
You also need to put forward the themes explored in the book, and the values taught. This is crucial because that’s what parents look for in a review. Is it about friendship? Forgiveness? Conquering one’s fears? You might want to give a very brief plot summary to give parents a better understanding of the book.
Finally, warn about anything that parents might find objectionable. For example, some people find fantastic elements like magic and spells inappropriate, while others won’t tolerate even the mildest swearing. Everyone has unique family rules and principles, so it’s best to cover potential conflicts in your review to give parents a heads-up.
Book Reviews for Christian Parents and Guardians
Books for parents and guardians also benefit from age recommendations. Some books focus on the early development of infants and toddlers, others concentrate on the struggles of adolescence, still others give advice on the relationship between parents and their grown-up children. Since this is not always obvious from the title, make sure to define the age of focus in your review.
Another vital function that a review of Christian books for parents has is pointing out some specific problems that the book addresses. For example, suppose the book has a chapter about experiences of single parenting, adoptive parenting, or step-parenting. It is helpful to bring that up in your review to connect more readers with a relevant book.
Also, it’s useful to highlight specific children’s struggles the book seeks to solve. For example, sleep training, devotional habits, social anxiety, peer pressure, etc. If you believe any particular topic is explored in more depth than others, make a note about it.
Last but not least the book’s general approach to parenting. If the author has some prominent declared or undeclared leaning, such as attachment parenting, Montessori system, gentle parenting, BabyWise, etc., you might want to mention it in your review. This will make your text more informative and searchable.
How to Review Christian Books in Romance
It’s about time we free Christian book reviews from prejudice against so-called chick lit and embrace the pivotal role that romance novels and short stories have in our life – both men and women. They cater to our emotions and, when read at an appropriate time, can be a great support to our soul.
For a meaningful review of a romance book, definitely establish the setting. People often have specific inclinations for historical romance, modern-day romance, or cultural preferences (Amish romance is a thing, right?).
Another thing to cover is tropes. Romance novels are often culprits of following tried and true recipes like enemies to lovers, love triangle, love at first sight, the dying hero/heroine, the evil other woman, etc. While some readers actively seek out specific clichés because they find comfort in them, some might avoid them or even find them triggering (for example, arranged marriage narrative), so it’s helpful information in any case.
You also need to cover the “smut factor” in your review. While some readers think that love between man and woman is beautiful in every aspect and don’t mind an occasional explicit scene, others find such descriptions intrusive and want their romance absolutely clean. Stay objective and respectful – your task as a reviewer is to inform your readers, not to bash them for their likes and dislikes.
Christian Reviews of Books by Non-Christian Authors for Christian Book Reviews Sites
Finally, many Christian book review websites have a section devoted to non-Christian literature that might be interesting for Christian readers. These might include secular books where an author has no religious affiliation or books by authors of other faiths. More often than not, this rubric contains a fair share of children’s book reviews Christian parents might consider suitable for their kids. Children are avid readers, and parents want a wider pool of appropriate books that won’t contradict the values of their family and the teachings of their Church.
The best approach to reviewing a book from another culture as a Christian would be to concentrate on shared human values, such as kindness, love, forgiveness, etc. For example, Muslims have a very strong charity culture. Exploring this theme in the book might provide many teachable moments and inspiration for a Christian.
However, other faiths and cultures may also have views that contradict Christian values, so it’s imperative to disclose that in your review, especially if the topic is controversial and potentially triggering, like abortion, premarital sex, divorce, etc.
To top it up, provide your personal opinion about the book you are reviewing. Often an earnest recommendation or a friendly warning makes a world of difference. Don’t be afraid to highlight positive and valuable messages in the book, even if it has problematic topics. It might still be an enriching experience for Christian readers, giving them insight into other cultures and helping them understand different perspectives better.
Reviewing books can be rewarding and entertaining for a Christian. It offers insight into religion and brings up interesting faith-related topics, allowing the reader room for personal interpretation and expression. When done thoughtfully, reviews can spark meaningful conversations and allow readers insight into each other’s perspectives on Christianity and its place among religions and cultures of the world. Just keep an open mind and consider what would speak most powerfully and truthfully towards fellow readers who share similar values as yours!