Saturday, January 26, 2008

Notice the Ratings...

1 Star -- I finished it. That's about the only good thing I can say about it. It's over.

2 Stars -- Enjoyable in a few places. But had some flaws or quirks that annoyed me. Not hideous. But more frustrating than satisfying.

2.5 Stars -- Enjoyable in more than a few places. Yet something was missing that kept me from really enjoying this one. Almost but not quite.

3 Stars -- A good, solid, nice, enjoyable read. A respectable rating. The norm. Nothing to be ashamed about. A book I'd be happy to recommend to others.

3.5 Stars -- Overall a nice read, but there were a few special places that made it "pop." A character here or there. Or a unique plot twist. A clever phrase. A book that whenever it comes up you think, "Oh, I liked that one. It was fun."

3.75 Stars -- A good book. An enjoyable book. One that I enjoyed reading, and often didn't want to put it down. A book that at the time you're reading it seems really good. But that usually simmers down to just plain "good" in a few weeks or a few months.

4 Stars -- Now we're talking really really good. Beginning to merge into outstandingly good. The book is definitely one I'm wanting to recommend. Pure pleasure to read. Satisfying. Left you happy and wanting more.

4.5 Stars -- A book that was not only good--but was great. A book that leaves you with a lot of adjectives. It might be "Powerful" or "Memorable" or "Authentic" or "Incredible." But it is a book that makes an impact on you. You want to talk about it. You want to write about it. You want to share the joy and spread the love.

4.75 Stars -- A book that is beyond incredible, beyond good. A great book. A wow book.

5 Stars -- The wowiest of the WOW. A book that you can't just believe is that good, that perfect. We're talking books that are practically perfect in every way. Books that you want to reread again and again. OR else books that while you might not reread, the experience was so intense that you're never going to forget it. The characters. The story. It's a part of you. These are books that you keep talking about, keep thinking about long after you've read them.

Special note. 5 Stars that make it the ultimate, ultimate, favorite, favorite, best best best book ever list get this image.


Erin 12:15 PM  

Very cool.

Laura 1:03 PM  

This was a great post, which really helped crystallize my thoughts on my own rating system. So much so that it was part of my post in today's Sunday Salon!


Debi 8:26 AM  

Oooh, I like your new ratings system, Becky! And I'm glad you posted it on the sidebar, as it may take me a while to remember the nuances.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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