Book ratings and reviews

For the purposes of this blog I have decided that I would develop my own rating system. I went back and forth regarding the Goodreads system, but ultimately 5-stars just doesn’t allow for the nuance that I would prefer. Instead, I decided that I will use a 10-star system for a book overall, with three other, separate scales for what I consider to be the main and overarching aspects I look for in a book – plot, character development, and language.* Of course each of these have multiple considerations within them, but this is a start. Hopefully this will help you to decide whether you would enjoy a book or not, if you are more concerned with one of those aspects in comparison to the others.

Please note that I consider each book on its own merits. This means that two books with a 5/10 can have that rating for very different reasons (hence the three smaller scales), and to me getting a 10/10 in the literary fiction category is not at all comparable to getting a 10/10 in the YA category. Also, getting a 10/10 is going to be really difficult, and when I give something a 7/10 or lower, that does not mean it was a bad book.

So basically:
Overall rating 1-10
Character development 1-5
Plot 1-5
Language/style/structure 1-5

For the 1-10 scale, here is a general idea of what I will be thinking:
1 = This was crap. Utter crap. I must have been forced to read this for a class, because really, wtf.

3 = I made it through this book but not without wondering quite often how it was published with the number of plot inconsistencies, poor characterizations, and shitty sentences it contains.

5 = I can see some merits in this book, and perhaps other people would enjoy it more, but I probably will not read this book again. In other words, it was ok.

8 = This is a book that I really enjoyed, but there was maybe one or two things that stood out to me as needing slight improvement, explanation, etc. Even though I really liked this book, I probably wouldn’t take it with me were I stranded on a deserted island.

10 = This is a book that I loved on every level, and giving it a 10 means that I am likely to reread it for pleasure, multiple times. I won’t give these lightly. But I would take this book with me to my deserted island.

The smaller scales will basically have the same idea behind them, but of course only up to 5. I may develop more category-specific guidelines in the future, but we’ll have to see about that.

As far as which books I review, I probably won’t have time to write a review for all of the books that I read, but if I do write a review you can trust that I have had some sort of reaction, negative or positive, which in itself is a good sign. However, that reaction could be anger, so you never know.

I do review ARCs (advanced reader’s copies) from time to time. If I am reviewing an ARC that will be made clear, and its ARC status will have no effect on the rating that I give it.

*This system only applies to reviews written after 7/13/15.


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