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Reviewing a novel or a short story

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Reviewing a novel or a short story

Praying for Sheetrock

By Melissa Fay Green
Melissa Green is a journalist and historian and this is a true story but she has written it like a novel. The book tells of how one uneducated, unemployed black man overthrew a corrupt white sheriff, in McIntosh County, Georgia, in the 1970s.
Melissa Green´s writing is gorgeous. I always think the book I`m currently reading is the best I´ve ever read, and that´s definitely the case with Praying for Sheetrock. It is about the courage of this one person and what he can achieve . It is about someone who is determined and unselfish and honest.He is disadvantaged because he is black, has no money and no education. But he has integrity and morality unlike the sheriff. Eventually, the good guy wins!
Reading for me is a solo thing. I read in my quiet, private times – when I get in bed at night or over breakfast

I find I am often given a book at the precise moment when I need it most. This book was certainly one of those books – this book made me think, ” Yes, people can make a difference.”


Provide the readers with the setting: tell the reader where the events take place and how the characters live. Tell the reader something about the author,too. You can also try to think why the author has chosen that particular setting and how he has created the atmosphere in different places.


Tell your readers when the events take place and how long a time span they cover.


Give a brief account of the plot, just enough information for the reader to understand what happens and why.

Pay special attention to the highlights of the story.

Describe the characters, try to analyse the characters´ personality and behaviour by paying attention to what they do and say in the story.


You should look for themes like loneliness, happiness, courage, love between different personages, peace.
The writer´s style makes a book or a story easy or complicated to read. The language the characters use reflects their personality: some may use very short sentences, some use a more complicated sentence structure. Does the writer use a lot of dialogue or does he mostly use narrative? Are there any biblical references?


This is the most important part of the review. You tell the reader about how you felt about the book, your own reading experience? Did you like the characters or Does the writer make the characters convincing? Would you recommend the book for anyone to read? Why/Why not? You can sometimes say that there are pivotal reads that have shaped your life so far, books that have been helpful, books that have been about learning. Different people have different likes and dislikes.

Reviewing a film

1989 a movie called ”Dead Poets´ Society” was released. It was directed by Peter Weir and the music was by Maurice Jarre. In brief the Dead Poets Society tells a story about a couple of boys in the schoolworld of the 50´ s and a teacher, who teaches them to think for themselves, which ofcourse was forbidden.
The movie isn´t that rich in events, but it is a dramatic and emotional piece of work, that arouses thoughts and feelings. It seems to be that the boys´ lives are all about what their parents want and what their principal expects of them. Or atleast until the new teacher appears. Robin Williams plays this unforgettable role of mr. Keating or if you dare ”my captain, oh captain”. Inspired by mr. Keatings teaching, the boys start to show interest in poetry and even acting. Every now then they gather in a secret meeting place to read and make poetry. It gives the boys the courage to fulfil their dreams, even if they were different from their parents´.
All the characters are thoughtfully planned and unique with their interesting personalities. There were no stunts or flashbacks used, the movie simply followed the plot. The music in the movie went well together with the scenes and it left a nice overall picture of the film.
”Dead Poets´ Society” is more for a mature taste in films. It has quite a suprising ending, which leaves a bittersweet atmosphere lingering in the mind. All in all it´s a ”must see” for those who like drama.

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