How I Rate Books | Book Talk

A while ago, I decided that I needed a method for rating books. Before I came up with my rating system I would just assign whatever rating felt right after I finished a book. I would rush to my phone and rate it on Goodreads along with a small summary of how much I liked the book or didn’t like the book. I would always look back at that rating and think, but did I really think about it or did I go on impulse?

That was when I came up with my system for rating books. I sat down and broke down the most important factors (to me) for rating a book fairly and objectively. Ever since I started book blogging I decided it’s not enough to just slam a book or praise it. That if people were reading my reviews they deserved a dimensional breakdown so that I could help someone else decide if they wanted to commit their time to something.

I’m a Virgo. I have to chart/list/laminate everything.

The System:

Total Stars Possible: 5

Factors Impacting Ratings: 10

The Breakdown:

Each star represents a different element of a novel. I have two factors in each category, each worth half of a star. I look at the chart every time I finish a book and attach a rating to it. I ask myself questions to decide if the book deserves the half star or not.

Star 1: Plot and Story 

  • Development:
     Did the plot develop throughout the story? Did it change?
     Was the pacing of the novel appropriate for the development of the plot?
     Was interest in the plot maintained through out the novel? 
  • Originality:
    – Was the plot unique/original/memorable?
    – Did the plot follow a “scripted” sequence of events or did it follow it’s own path?
    – How many tropes were used? How often were they used?
    – Were you able to predict the ending?

Star 2: The Characters

  • Dimensionality:
    – Were the character’s three dimensional?
    – Could you distinguish one character from another easily? Did they all have individual personalities? Did they blend together?
  • “It” Factor
    – Did you care about the characters through out the story? Did you care what happened to them?
    – Did you have a strong emotional connection (love or hate, good or bad) to at least one of the characters?

Star 3: The Writing 

  • Readability:
    – Did the book read well?
    – Was there consistency to their writing?
    – Was there a clear mastery of grammar?
  • The Author’s Voice:
    – Would you read another book by this author?
    – Was the writing poetic? Beautiful?
    – Did you like the writing style? Did you connect to it?

Star 4: Enjoyment 

  • The Reading Experience
    – How long did it take you to finish the book? (Note: I prefer to read a book within the span of about 3-4 days. If it’s longer or shorter than that, there’s usually a reason)
    – Did you want to finish the book or did you feel obligated to?
    – Did you find yourself wishing it was longer? Shorter?
  • Feelings After Finishing
    – Did you feel satisfied with the ending? (Excluding books in a series)
    – Did you want to talk about it right away?
    – Would you recommend it to others? A close friend?
    – Did you feel strongly about the ending?

Star 5: Extra Factors

  • Escapism
    Did you feel fully distracted from reality while reading it?
    – Were you fully engulfed in the world? (Fantasy only)
    – Could you visualize everything that was happening in the story?
  • Fangirling Level
    – Was there Fangirling?
    – Did you instantly search for the book on Tumblr and reblog everything you found?
    – Did you aggressively avoid spoilers while reading the book?
    – Have you shipped any characters and/or shipped them with yourself? (You know you do it, don’t judge me)

There you have it. That’s how I rate books! Let me know below what your process is like and what you think of mine. Thanks for reading!

~The Grisha Lieutenant

Note: Sometimes my Goodreads rating differs from my blog rating. I usually do the whole process before a Wrap Up (which is coming tomorrow!).


One response to “How I Rate Books | Book Talk

  1. Pingback: January Wrap-Up | February TBR 2016 | The Grisha Lieutenant

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