When reviewing books I use a 5-star or 5-scale system. In short, these ratings mean the following:
5 / 5 – “Really Liked It”
4 / 5 – “Liked It”
3 / 5 – “It Was Okay”
2 / 5 – “Disliked It”
1 / 5 – “Really Disliked It”
For a more in-depth look at my rating scale, here is a detailed description of what each rating means:
Rating: 5 / 5 – “Really Liked It”
These are books that blow me away. These are the stories are so wonderfully fantastic that I don’t even realize I’ve gotten to the end of the book until there’s suddenly no more pages left to read. These are the books that leave me emotionally distraught. The books I need to pick up and re-read immediately, because I need to experience it again. The books that when there’s a sequel I need to get my hands on it right now because I need to know what happens.
Most importantly, these are books that even if there’s a certain part I didn’t like, it doesn’t matter because the rest of the book more than makes up for it.
Rating: 4 / 5 – “Liked It”
So this is one step down from the 5/5. What stops a book from reaching that next level is one part that I don’t like. This could be the love story, the pacing, the way the author deals with certain subject matter, or even if I strongly dislike a particular character. This is where that one issue really sticks out, but the rest of the book does not make up for that issue. These are books that are so good, and yet there is something major that I trip over when I’m reading it.
A 4/5 can also cover books that don’t necessarily have a specific issue, and yet they somehow lack something. It’s probably an issue that I can’t identify, but it’s when I read a book and I’m just not 100% satisfied at the end of it. I’ve really enjoyed it and liked it, but it needed an extra edge to really get me into that 5/5 range.
Rating: 3 / 5 – “It Was Okay”
This rating is for works in which I like more than one aspect of the book (making it higher than 2/5) but I also have problems with multiple aspects (and lower than a 4/5). There are good things and bad things and some iffy things that I’m just not sure about. I’m confused and muddled because while some things are so good I really enjoyed them, other things were terrible and just corrupt the book as a whole.
I recognize that a 3/5 rating is somewhat indecisive, and so in these reviews I will try to highlight one or two aspects that were really good and one or two that were really bad to explain why I felt the book was a middle ground read, and why I couldn’t commit to one side of the scale over the other.
Rating: 2 / 5 – “Disliked It”
For these books, a 2/5 rating generally means that I didn’t enjoy the book. This could be for a variety of reasons, including the writing, not liking the characters, the narrative being really slow, boring, or jumpy. However, this book is better than a 1/5 because there’s something about it that I genuinely liked. It could be that I really liked the overall concept, even if I didn’t like how that concept was used. Or I could really like the main character, but I don’t like the story that surrounds him/her. Often it’s the use of mythology, historical or fictional references that I really appreciate in the book, even if I don’t like the actual story or characters. These are books where I like one aspect, but dislike everything else.
Rating: 1 / 5 – “Really Disliked It”
The 1/5 is kind of a scary number. I don’t use 0/5, so a 1/5 is literally the bottom line for me. I’ve used this rating very rarely, and that’s because I save this number for a book that I absolutely did not like. These books have absolutely no redeeming qualities, and are a hot mess from beginning to end. I think it’s actually pretty hard to have a book where I dislike absolutely every aspect about it, so I reserve this number for really disastrous reads.