- Title & Genre
- Standalone or Series name
- Blurb (Sometimes Paraphrased)
- PRE-RAMBLE (What’s got me ranting or raving. Or ranting AND raving)
- What I LOVED
- What I (also) Liked
- What I DID NOT like
- STAR RATING (on a scale of 3 to 5 Ramble-Worthy Stars)
*** I write reviews sporadically & ONLY for books I’ve personally picked out ***
CURIOUS ABOUT MY RATING SYSTEM?
I very rarely post reviews for 3 star reads. 3 stars means I really did enjoy the book overall but there was something problematic about the plot/characters that I couldn’t overlook. The story might have checked off every pet peeve I have about a particular genre. Or it could just be a book that, while enjoyable, isn’t one I would pick up again or mention to someone if they asked me to recommend a good ___ (insert genre) book.
3.5 stars are more likely to get a review.
Very Entertaining Read, don’t get me wrong. But because I’m very selective in dishing out 5-stars, I have to be equally fair when it comes to giving every book I read 4 stars. A 3½ star book was likely thisclose to being a 4 star for me. It was likely something specific (that I’ll point out in my review) that kept it from getting that last ½ star.
A 4-star book for me can be explained simply: this book wasn’t perfect (and I’ll be sure to briefly pinpoint why) but it was PRETTYDAMNCLOSE
Okay, here’s where it gets murky. The thing is…any time I give a book 4 ½ stars instead of a solid 5-star rating it’s because even though I F*CKING LOVED IT I’m on the fence about whether it can hold a candle to my other no-questions-asked 5-star reads. I’m conflicted about whether I should put it on the same row of my shelves where I stack the books I’ve read over and over again. Speaking of which…if I rate a book 4 ½ it is very likely to be changed to 5-stars down the line if I find myself unable to help picking it back up or I catch myself recommending it to yet another person.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m going to let you know upfront: Do NOT ask me about any of my 5-star reads unless you want me to bully you into reading it. Even if you’ve already had the pleasure of reading it get ready for a full length rambling, fangirlin’, gushing, in depth discussion about it. I’ve likely read this book more than once or I am definitely going to read it again in the near future, the way a TV fanatic can watch his/her favorite episodes and never tire of them.
I’m also more likely to give a book 5 stars if it makes me cry because….
I’m not talking about those Nicholas sparks/John Green variety books either. In FACT… if I think the books main objective is to
manipulate trigger my tear ducts? Issa No for me, Dawg. I avoid those types of books. But if the characters make me feel…make me care about them? I see worn pages in that books future.
I try my best to keep things simple for my reviews because I prefer to quickly move on to my next potentially great read AND focus on writing my own original stuff instead of fretting over how to organize a coherent review.
Plus, I’m realizing more and more that people can’t even take the politics out of the book world, so I’ve had to adapt to the age old “if you have nothing nice to say” philosophy. Even when I rate a book 3-stars I do have some nice things to say but will it really matter? Or will an author and/or his/her fans only see the criticism in my review?
That said…this is MY space, which means I stand by any constructive criticism that I do decide to dish out because I wouldn’t expect anything less from my own writing. If you don’t agree with my thoughts, you can say so without being rude. Or say nothing at all. Either way….