My Personal Rating System

In every review I try to be unbiased. I will note right away if the author is one that I normally love, or feel less enthusiastic about so that any bias that might show in the review is addressed ahead of time. In every review- regardless of rating- I try to share both the good and the bad. I know that my opinion is just that- mine, so I try to consider how certain aspects of a book might appeal or bother other readers, not just me.

A good number of the books I review have come to me via Netgalley, authors, or publicists. I will not via tags how the book got to me. I have never been paid for a review or gotten anything other than the physical book or digital galley to review and always offer my objective opinion on the book.

Here is the rating system I use, and a break down of what it takes to earn each rating.

A five star book is one that I recommend very highly and surpasses all my expectations. It needs to cover fresh ground, and offer something amazing to the reader. It needs to stick with me when I am done reading it and be one with no discernible flaws. I do not often give this rating. Sometimes it is so wonderful that I have trouble putting into words exactly what made it worthy, but that is on me rather than the book.

A four star book is one that I really enjoyed and feel that is a wonderful example of its genre, or offers characters or plot twists that really captured my interest. There might be a flaw or two, but nothing that makes the book less enjoyable. Sometimes something will not work for me, but I can recognize that other readers would consider this book a five star read. It is a book that I would definitely recommend to other readers.
A three star book is one that is good. It will have a lot going for it, but did not wow me. Sometimes this is because of a genre that does not appeal to me, but I can still recognize that the book will appeal to others. Sometimes the plot or the characters are really good, but the other falls flat for me. These are books that fans of the author, genre, or series will greatly enjoy but other readers might be less enthusiastic about. These are not bad books, but average books. They typically just do not grab me and keep me as enthralled as I might have wanted. Most books will fall into this range. Again, not because they are bad, they just were not traffic-stopping or amazing.
A two star book is one that might greatly appeal to someone else, but that I id not enjoy much. Sometimes there will be something really good about one of these books, and I will share that in the review. However, most of the time these are books that were interesting enough for me to finish but left me a little cold or unconnected at the end.
A one star book is rare here. For me to actually finish a book that left me cold enough to leave a one star review is unusual. These are not just books that leave me feeling uncaring about the book, but actively unhappy that I finished the read. If a book is rated as one star it is only because I want to actively discourage others from reading the material- which is not normally my style. I can usually see something good in everything, or think of a certain group of people that would enjoy it. These books are ones that left me with little or nothing nice to say.

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