WARNING: There are no significant spoilers in the reviews, however, the summary at the beginning of each review (in italics) may contain information that you would rather avoid before reading the book yourself. This is especially true in the summaries after the first book in a series. They may mention previous events that you have yet to read through, name a character you were supposed to think was dead, etc. I make an honest effort to rewrite them to take out spoilers, but I cannot make a 100% guarantee.
There are three levels of consideration, or criteria, that go into my final score for rating books. By no means is there a formal, literal score-sheet. Nothing like that. This is simply a general visualization of the thought process:
1: OBJECTIVE VIEW
Objectively, how good was the book, in terms of quality? How was the writing style/execution/plot/dialogue/premise…etc?
2: RELATIVE VIEW
How good was the book compared to others in the same/similar genre? More importantly, how did the book compare to others in the series (if applicable)?
3: SUBJECTIVE VIEW
How much did I personally enjoy it? Where does it rank among all the other books I’ve read? How did it make me feel throughout? Did I like it? Love it? These questions are really the most important for my ratings.
Since I use Goodreads fairly often, I like the simple 5-star scoring system:
1 star: did not like it – I read through the book and just plain disliked it. Basically, in my opinion, it sucked. I choose what books I want to read based on reviews/ratings, book lists, and recommendations, and then if I find the premise interesting, I’ll add it to my “to read” shelf. Having decided to read it in advance, I almost always finish it, and because I never just pick up a random book in the store, 1 star ratings are extremely rare.
2 stars: it was ok – Definitely not a 1 star, but still pretty bad. Only a couple of things were done well. These books tend to be a bad part of a good series, such as an add-on or spin-off. Usually, they are the ones where I expect little to begin with, the fan in me just has to read it. Not many end up with 2 stars.
3 stars: liked it – The book was good, definitely not bad, but nothing too great here. Either something was not done well enough, it was weaker than others in the series, or it was just missing something to take it to the next level. Some say that 3 stars is a good rating, but I disagree, as I’d rather read books that are more than just good.
4 stars: really liked it – My most frequent rating, and should continue to be the average score given that I have yet to read a number of known-to-be-good books. Overall, these are excellent and I would recommend them to friends. Many of these get 5 stars from others who enjoyed them, it may just be a matter of personal preference for why I chose not to give it 5 stars.
5 stars: loved it – An amazing book that was truly satisfying from start to finish. You really must read this at some point. Like the rating name suggests, the key difference between this and 4 stars is the question: did I love it?
5+ stars: loved it (all-time favourite) – A phenomenal book that makes my personal all-time favourites shelf.
In the review for the last book in a series, I add a final rankings list.
Feel free to ask what I think of a certain book or series if you don’t see a review for it. I may have read it prior to creating the site.