I thought I would take a quick minute to explain my process when I review a book. Since the author put a lot of effort into their book, I like to keep that in mind before I slap it with some stars and call it a day. Please understand these are MY OPINIONS and I understand others may not share them. I imagine my scale is similar to how a lot of people review books, but here is a more detailed explanation of my rankings and how a book gets into that category:
5 Stars * * * * *Basically, this is the best book I've ever read. It's right up there with The Hunger Games, Stardust or The Sword of Truth novels. Not only is it intelligent and thought provoking, but an addicting read. There are little to no plot holes, intriguing characters, and is action packed. This book will have a space on my shelf and will definitely be read again.
4 Stars * * * *Most likely this book was very enjoyable, well written, hard to put down, but had something that was lacking enough for me to take away a star. Maybe the plot dragged in places or some aspect of the story just didn't seem believable; be it a character or a problem that was solved too easily. Some books I call my favorite that I would give only 4 stars are the Bloody Jack Series by L.A. Meyer, Hawksong, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Cornerstone, by Kelly Walker, or the Wheel of Time Series. These books also have a space on my shelf and will probably be read again. Eventually.
3 Stars * * *This book was probably a quick read that I enjoyed, but it didn't leave much with me, so I most likely will forget about it. Maybe it was well written, but it was a bit hokey or maybe there just wasn't enough to sink my teeth into. It's hard to even come up with an example for this rank because it just kind of falls in the middle. Not my favorite, but I didn't hate it either.
2 Stars * *
Even though I didn't like this book, there was at least something that got me to the end. Perhaps a love story I was rooting for. Maybe a hook like, "How is our hero going to get out of this one?" Most likely, I really wanted to see where the author was going with this. There has to be a point to all this sometime and it must be a big one since there is so much build up. I find myself watching a lot of movies like this too. I am often left disappointed. Some books that fall into this category are Twilight (don't hate me) and The River Between by Jacquelyn Cook. It's safe to say there was not a lot going on in life when these books were read.
1 Star *Poor little star. All alone. I never give lower than one star, because I feel every book published deserves at least one. Knowing the time, effort, and strength it takes to present your work, I feel I am obligated to say, "Congratulations! You wrote a whole book! Here is a shiny star just for you!" even if the story had nothing for me. Unfortunately, it just wasn't worth my time to finish.There are probably lots of people out there who enjoyed it. I'm just not one of them. Here's to you, (raises glass) Wanderlove by Belle Malory and Dune by Frank Herbert.
"And a half" Stars
There will be times when a book will fall somewhere in between and warrant an extra half of a star. If that is the case, I will post the half star on my blog but round up on sites like Amazon and Goodreads, since half stars are not an option.
I hope this helps you understand how I come up with my judgements for reviews. I love reading. I don't do it nearly as much as I want to and not half as much as I should. But when I do read a book, I love to tell people about it, whether I liked it or not!