What’s the Best AP English Literature Review Book?
Read Our Complete Review

William Cohen
Published by William Cohen
Last Updated On: May 5, 2021

In our experience, students who take AP classes tend to do better in college. Since excellent writing and reading skills will surely take you places, you may consider enrolling in an AP English Literature class.

Like most AP courses, it won't be easy analyzing the fictional works of various authors, but by learning the concepts, you can make it through the school year and get good scores during the exam, too.

Start by arming yourself with the best AP English Literature review books. After hours of research, here's what we've come up with.

5 Best AP English Literature and Composition Books in 2021

1 - AP English Literature & Composition Crash Course Book + Online (Editor's Choice)

AP English Literature & Composition Crash Course Book + Online

REA’s AP English Literature and Composition Crash Course book is the best study material for time crunched students to prepare for the AP English Literature exam.

This advanced placement AP English Literature & composition crash course gets you a 5 in your final AP exam.

Memorizing everything in short time and easily is ideal for you. If you want to boost your English literature exam score then this crash course is the one you need.

With the help of targeted and focused review study only important things. It covers information tested on the AP exam.

Check out the features of the best AP English Literature Book:

  • Timed testing and detailed explanation of the answers.
  • Automatic scoring analysis.
  • Targeted and focused review.
  • Expert’s tips and test taking strategies.

If you are looking for the last minute test preparation, then check out AP English Language and Culture book is just only for you.

  • Great study book for students.
  • Easy to use and understand.
  • Excellent crash course for AP English Literature exam.
  • Student friendly textbook.
  • No reading practice tests.

2 - Barron's AP English Literature and Composition, 7th Edition: with Bonus Online Tests

Barrons English Literature Composition

Barron’s book is the best AP preparation book for you as it has great content review with additional CD – ROM that provides full length practice test with full answer explanation and automatic scoring.

You can get free access to one additional online test with question and answer explained.

Check now best AP English literature and culture book reviews:

  • 5 full length practice test with all questions answered and explained.
  • Additional sample questions covering poetry and prose fiction.
  • Review of all the test topics like poetry, fiction and drama.
  • Sample student essay with strength and weakness.
  • The detailed glossary that defines 175 terms.
  • Updated guidelines for AP exam score.
  • Great layout of the book.
  • Comprehensive book with helpful tips and practice test.
  • Value for money.
  • Good quality material for AP English Book.
  • Very in depth book.
  • Easy to follow AP book.
  • You may find many errors in the book.

3 - CliffsNotes AP English Language and Composition, 5th Edition

CliffsNotes AP English Literature

This one is the new edition of the best AP English Literature and Composition book!

The Cliffs Notes is the complete guide to score higher on your AP English literature and composition exam.

The book contains the multiple choice questions, essay and tips to ace the AP English literature & culture exam easily.

The best AP English literature book features the following notes:

  • Best review of the AP exam format and scoring.
  • True and proven strategies for answering multiple choice questions.
  • Hint for solving the essay questions.
  • Analysis of exam areas, like multiple choice and free response.
  • Wonderful book saves money and time.
  • Step by step through book.
  • Excellent Glossary.
  • Affordable AP book.
  • Old fashioned essay writing.

4 - Princeton Review AP English Literature and Composition Prep 2021

The Princeton Review is known for producing high-quality study materials for many different exams.

Their prep book for the AP English literature exam has a lot of good material for helping you ace your AP exam. It comes with 3 full-length AP practice tests, which is one of the best ways to study.

It also comes with a comprehensive content review. It will summarize all of the major topic areas and skills you should know for the exam.

It comes with countless strategy and test prep techniques to help you master the content and the format of the AP English Literature exam. The study techniques and content review are updated for the 2021 AP exam.

You will have access to additional online tools such as study plans, pre-college information, and sample essays.

  • 3 full-length practice exams
  • Access to online study plans
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Extra online tools
  • Questions are difficult compared to the actual exam

5 - Master the AP English Literature and Composition by Peterson’s

This AP English Literature exam prep book gives students 3 full-length practice tests, which they can use to time themselves and practice real exam questions.

It comes with a thorough content review covering every skill and topic on the AP English Literature exam. It comes with over 245 practice questions with thorough explanations and an answer key.

The layout was designed so that it is easily understood by high school students. The explanations are in-depth but simple and interesting.

It offers test-taking strategies for students to master the analysis of critical literature pieces.

  • Over 245 practice questions
  • Analysis of critical works of literature
  • Easy to understand the layout
  • In-depth answer explanations
  • Not as comprehensive as other prep books

Exam Information

AP English Literature exam consists of 2 sections: Multiple choice and free response section.

  • Section 1: Total 55 multiple choice questions and the section lasts for the 60 minutes. You can expect 45% of your exam score in this section.
  • Section 2: Total 3 prompts and you have 120 minutes to complete this free response section. You have to write analysis of the poems, passage, and problems selected by you.

Buyer’s Guide For AP English Literature Review Books: Need To Know

Practice Tests

One of the best ways to study for the AP English Literature exam is to work on practice tests. We recommend buying a prep book that includes at least 2 practice tests. The reason they work so well for increasing your score is that they allow you to time yourself and get an accurate picture of exam pacing. Practice tests also help you to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie, so you can focus your studying efforts.

Practice tests give you a clear picture of the full exam. We recommend taking one before you begin studying to get a baseline of what you need to work on. You should take one at the halfway point and end of your studying to see the progress you made.

Answer Explanations

How can you learn from your mistakes if you don’t know why you made them? It is critical to invest in an AP English Literature prep book that has in-depth answer explanations. It will help you understand why you missed certain questions. You will also have a better picture of the reason you get certain questions right.

Content Review

Since the AP exams cover a lot of detailed content, whichever exam prep book you choose must offer a comprehensive review of the relevant topics. It should go over each critical piece of literature and offer explanations and analysis of each work. The exam will cover 3 sections each of short fiction, poetry, and longer fiction or drama.

Related Articles:

AP English Literature and Composition Core Concepts and Skills


For this skill, the AP exam will test your ability to understand and explain the function of characters within literary works. You should be able to explain how characters function to help readers understand values, beliefs, assumptions, cultural norms, and biases. You should understand how a character changes throughout a story or remains unchanged for a specific reason.


The AP exam will test your knowledge of story setting and how it functions to depict a certain time or place. You will also need to know how the setting conveys values, moods, and tones associated with the story. You should be able to explain the relationship between the setting and a specific character of the story. You will have to identify certain contextual details that help describe or reveal the setting.


This is a critical part of the AP exam where you will need to understand the structural patterns found within the literature. You should understand sections of a text and how they relate to each other. You need to understand the relationship between the parts of a text and how they convey meaning to a reader. You should be able to easily pick out the plot details and structure from a text.


You should understand how a narrator’s depiction of the events in a story affects how a reader interprets the text. You should be able to identify and explain the point of view of a story or poem. You should understand key terms such as syntax, diction, and details. It is important to identify and determine the narrator’s reliability.

Figurative Language

This section will invite readers to think more abstractly about literary symbols, representations, and associations. You should understand how the author’s word choice, imagery, and symbolism affect the reader’s experience. You should be able to understand the difference between figurative and literal language. You should understand key phrases such as simile, metaphor, personification, and allusion. Students need to identify those key terms and their use within a story.

Literary Argumentation

This skill on the exam will be tested on the writing portion where students will be expected to convey their interpretations of literature using textual evidence. You should be able to make a claim and pick out specific details of a story to support your claim. You will not be expected to interpret texts in the same way that everyone else does, but you should be able to back up your claim with evidence. You can open a line of reasoning to interpret stories in unique ways using critical analysis and evidence from the text. You should be able to use all of the previous topics such as character, setting, structure, narration, and figurative language to explain your theory and interpretation.

Final Words : AP English Literature Book

So hopefully, you like the review of the best AP English Literature Book.

If you are still confused which book is the best AP book for you then check our expert’s recommendation for finding the best AP Book for you.

AP English Literature & Composition Crash Course Book is the best AP book for you if you want to score 5 in your final AP exam plus it is easy to read and effective 5 step study guide offers you best reading experience.

Are you looking for the comprehensive book review? If yes then Check out the CliffsNotes AP English Literature and Composition book is the best AP preparation book for you.

So, get your book immediately and start preparing for your AP exam. All the best for your AP exam!

AP English Literature & Composition Crash Course Book + Online

Our #1 Recommendation

AP English Literature & Composition Crash Course Book + Online

  • Great study book for students.
  • Easy to use and understand.
  • Excellent crash course for AP English Literature exam.
  • Student friendly textbook.
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About the author

William Cohen

William Cohen

William is an electrical engineer whose great passion is helping promising students achieve their goals and dreams. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring learners from all over the world.

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