It has been about a month now since I’ve started this blogging/reviewing/randomness gig and I wanted to reflect for a moment. I’m sure some read my reviews and ponder, she gives everything a 4 or a 5 and seems to like it all. Well so far I have been lucky that I’ve stumbled upon new authors and books, as well as bought new releases from some fave authors of mine and not had a book below a 4 star review.
When I review a book I look at a few things before deciding my rating. Here is my thoughts (right or wrong) on how I rate a book.
Let’s talk about editing first. I understand that it takes a lot to edit, proof, and review books for misused words, typos, grammar etc. Now I’m not an english major (science was my love, science is cool) but if I can pick out more than 5 issues in a story, then I’m sorry but I drop a star. For me it can distract greatly from reading a book. If I have to reread a section or am constantly seeing typographical issues it’s frustrating like you wouldn’t believe. I have a series I LOVE but had to give it a 3 because of the errors. They were major and it really detracted from the series for me.
*Note* this does not include any ARC read I have. That I take the typos aside and read to review based on content. If there are a lot of typos in an ARC, I will email the author. Whether or not they correct it beyond that, is their deal not mine.
Alternating POV in a story. Most stories I read are dual POV. I have a couple that are single POV and some that I love that are true 3rd person. As long as the story flows, I don’t mind reading the different POV’s out there. When I drop half a star to a full star on POV stories it is when things get confusing. By that I mean if the heroine is talking and then all of a sudden the next paragraph it’s in the hero’s POV, I get lost. I don’t normally have this issue and can only recall one story I’ve read where the POV was off. It was confusing and switching POV mid paragraph. 99% of the time, there has always been a clear break between the dual POV and no confusion for me as a reader.
Plots and subplots are the next thing I look at when reading. While I don’t have to always know where the plot is heading in a story, I do like for it to conclude in a point that is conducive to it. I will generally knock off a star or two when the plot is left with a lot of holes and it doesn’t appear to be a cliffhanger or series story. Subplots I like to come to a point where if there isn’t a series or book 2, they are closed up. Sometimes they carry over to the next book and when done well, move me forward to check out the next book. Plots I enjoy are when the main issue that confronted the H/h resolves in a HFN or HEA way. Depending on the genre, I get that it might be more a HFN or happy moment in time as opposed to the HEA. This doesn’t mean I expect every book to end in marriage, kids, engagements, etc. Some of my most favorite stories end in a way that you enjoyed the journey and are left open if the writer decides to come back and tell their tale some more.
Cliffhangers…dun, dun, dun. I’m not opposed to cliffhanger books. I find that depending on the genre and storyline that they can make for a good read. I don’t rate up or down a star on a cliffy unless I wasn’t told in the blurb that it was a cliffy. I as a reader really like to know what I’m getting in to. To me there can be soft cliffy’s and scare the crap out of you OMG where the H*** is the next book cliffy’s. Both have their place and when done right by the author can make for an epically fantastic read.
The rest that might matter. So the rest that come in to play for a review for me are genre, H/h, secondary characters, and writing style. I’ll try to cover them all. I like a lot of different genres in the romance world. I read MC’s, sports, romcom, paranormal, and HEA reads. I rate each of these based on my other reads from that genre. So I might give a fluff HEA read a 5 star, but that’s because based on others in that genre it was worth it for me. It checked off the points above and was a tale that sucked me in to finish the book. I won’t look at a HEA read and compare it to paranormal reads for example. The H/h need to be written to flow with the genre and style of the story. I am not sure a virgin story would fair well with a heroine type from a MC read (feel free to prove me wrong authors 😆😉). Both leads need to fit with the plot, background and genre of the story. Secondary characters can make a story for me. Sometimes I find they add comedic relief in a stressful situation and many times they become the leads in the next book by the author. While I don’t want them to overshadow the H/h, it’s nice when they can have a background and development/growth over the story. An irk of mine is when we meet a secondary character, they disappear, and then come back around in the final chapters/epilogue. What happened to them in between? I don’t need a lot, but just don’t want to be left hanging. Writing style is unique and hard to rate on. I know that I won’t like every author out there. I read a book once and rated it 4 stars because honestly they checked off my criteria but the author just didn’t tug me to move forward and purchase more from them. Nothing wrong with it and others have loved these author’s but they just aren’t for me. That said, I’m not going to give an author a 2 just because their writing style was not my fave. They work hard to write a book and objectively if they covered the plots and told a complete tale, then I can’t ding them just because I disliked the style IMO. I just put a 4 and say in my review that it wasn’t my cup of tea so to speak.
Generally 5 star reviews for me are books that I could:
– Read again
– Made me forget about the real world
– Immediately made me buy the next in line or whole series
– Has me stalking the author (respectably of course 😉) on Amazon, twitter, IG, and newsletters.
– Has me telling people about it
– Covered all the key points above in an excellent rating
So there you have it, for better or worse, my review style. Hope this helps to understand where I come from when I read a book.
peace out girl scouts