It’s always hard when it comes to writing reviews for books. I don’t shy away from giving negative reviews (I mean, see the one from Friday that I wrote on the audiobook), but at the same time, sometimes that honestly comes back to bite me in the ass. I’ve never really mentioned it on my blog, but several years ago, one of the DNF reviews that I posted here was used as an example in an Indie Writer Blog on how to make sure you avoid picking bad reviewers for your books. The author’s premise – that since I read predominantly romance novels (per my Goodreads profile), that I was basically too dumb to understand his masterpiece. That is ignoring that fact that I have multiple degrees in a variety of different fields (although my primary focus is in Psychology); that I was in the military for multiple years…no, his whole hypothesis was based on my enjoyment of romance novels.
I’ve been reading for many years – I mean, my mom will tell you that when I started elementary school, I knew how to read basic words already (in fact, the one and only time – at least that I remember – that she had to have a teacher-parent conference was because I was bored in class). I’ve gone through many phases of reading, from mysteries, to suspense, to romance; through my non-fiction phase, and back to romance. I keep coming back to romance because it is my happy spot, but that doesn’t preclude me from reading other genres.
Since i’ve never really posted a “how I rate books” post, I thought I’d post something today – this is rough break-down of my approach to rating books. You will notice that I do write DNF and 1 star reviews for my blog, because I do believe in being honest and rating a book appropriately. I’ve been burnt many times by books that only have rave reviews and then wondering what the heck am I missing…and so, here it is:
5 stars – mind-blowing, I typically want to pick up the book and re-read it as soon as I finish it – this is a rarely used rating (in 2014, I only had 3 5-stars).
4 stars – well written, engaging, made me want to read more books by the author in the near future (i.e. as soon as I get a chance)
3 stars – decent writing, plot may be partially engaging, but may meander a bit; will likely read more by the author in the future, but not immediately
2 stars – writing needs work, possible serious issues with plot holes/writing style; highly unlikely to read more by the author in the future (unless they are a prior fav)
1 stars – normally the difference between a 1 star review and a DNF is that I managed to finish it
DNF – not worth my time to even finish