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I rate books based on several different criteria, the most important one of which is “How did it make me feel?” The criteria I use are plot, setting, pacing, character development, dialogue, cover and title, and How did it make me feel?” I’m all about the emotions, so even if the author breaks the “rules” of writing, they will still get a high rating from me if they impact me emotionally.
5 STARS: It was compelling, well-researched, impressively written, and/or entertaining. I felt transported to the setting/historical period and I became a part of this world. I was impacted emotionally and will highly recommend this book to others. This author will go on my favorites list. For mysteries: It was complex and the outcome was not easily figured out.
4 STARS: I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to others. I felt transported to the setting/historical period. I would definitely want to read more books by this author.
3 STARS: It was a good book. Although I wasn’t blown away by it, I would recommend it to others. It may use plot devices or situations that I don’t particularly enjoy, but is well written. It did not completely transport me to the setting/historical period.
2 STARS: I liked some things about the book, but it did not live up to my expectations.
1 STAR: I did not enjoy the book, and would not recommend it to others. My reasons will be well documented in the review.
HOW DID IT MAKE ME FEEL: This is the most important part of the book for me, and I will rate it up to 6 stars instead of 5, and that will be integrated into the overall rating. It doesn’t have to necessarily make me feel good, but the impact on my emotions must be there. With this category added in, a book can possibly be rated over 5 stars as the average of all the criteria could come out to over five.
COVER AND TITLE:
My review of the cover and title will be integrated into the overall reveiw.
5 STARS: The cover and title completely drew me in and were the reason I started the book.
4 STARS: The cover and title are interesting, and combined with the description, led to my choosing this book.
3 STARS: The cover is just okay. I did not feel drawn towards the book by the cover and title, but the book description was interesting.
2 STARS: The cover is definitely lacking and could use a professional touch. The book description was good.
1 STAR: The cover is probably homemade and it shows. There are some great covers out there that authors create themselves, but if you don’t have a talent for that, hire a professional.
If I feel a book is between ratings, I will note that in decimals in the review. A 3.8 would be rounded to 4. A 3.2 would be rounded to 3.
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