How I Rate and Review Books, by Kester

Hi guys! Some of you are wondering how do I rate and review books. Some of you are probably authors wondering how one book got a 7 while yours got a 9. Some of you are just readers wanting to know how my rating scale works. Well, I’m going to explain how I review books, and I will, at the end, unveil my new rating scale!

Firstly, I rate fiction books differently from nonfiction or poetry books. Here’s how I do that:

For fiction books, I read for enjoyment. Because most readers will read just for enjoyment, not caring about the underlying symbolism or motives or overlooking things like character development or plot structure (things that you might want to pay attention when writing a 10-page thesis on a classic), I read for pleasure. I will treat a book as if I was a normal person watching a movie. For fun! Now, I have developed a critic’s mind when watching movies, TV shows, etc. so I will look out for anything that could have been improved or corrected. If a book is really captivating, like Jennifer Brody’s The Continuum Trilogy, then I would rate it highly. If I can’t stand reading it after a few chapters, then I decide whether it could get better or I should give it up. Enjoyment is the biggest factor for a rating.

The second biggest factor in one of my ratings is clarity. I prefer much dialogue over narrative because I get bogged down by details. I skim over paragraphs since some of them are a little long. If I can get through it and still know what’s going on, it’s good. If I have to go back for clarification, it means I’m confused, and that means it needs some work.

Then I base my rating off of things like author’s writing style, grammatical issues, character connection, etc. that makes a story even better! The more a story has these things that makes me so entranced and entwined in the plot, the higher the rating it will be. Another thing that affects my rating are scenes that I’m too uncomfortable with, are a little too explicit, etc. Sometimes I don’t affect my rating if it only happens a few times, but other times I will remove a point or two when it starts to get too much for me to handle.

For nonfiction, I base ratings on the following:

I think about the purpose of it, which is affect how I read it. If it’s an informational book, I treat it as if I want to learn something. For example, with Alex Abaz’s What’s Next, I treated it as if I was needing some help with coping an unexpected disaster. In other cases, like I read religious, inspirational, or Catholic books, I read to get something out of it. If a book is something like a biography or has factual text, I try to read it like it is. Usually with nonfiction books I’m either a little lenient (if I read it for the sole purpose of a review) or I’m a little harsh (if I find it boring) with the review. Most of the time I am lenient since nonfiction doesn’t grab my attention as much as fiction does. I then base my rating off of similar scoring categories that fiction has, especially enjoyability.

Lastly, with poetry:

I love poetry. I am very lenient on poetry because I think poetry is so subjective you can’t really “rate” it. In a collection of poems, if there are poems I really like, then I give it a high rating. If I don’t find favor with any of them, the rating starts to drop. Usually, I don’t read poems very carefully. Again, I read for enjoyment like something who reads a little quick through them. Sometimes, I do stop and think. Others, I just read and move on.

So that’s how I review books! Here’s my new rating scale (out of 10)!

11 – Only reserved for new favorites!

10- I find no errors, and/or I really enjoyed it.

9- I found a few things I don’t like, and/or I really liked it.

8- There were some things I didn’t like, and/or I liked it, but I found myself a little bored at parts, and/or I could have liked it a bit better but I couldn’t.

7- I find some things unfavorable for me, and/or I didn’t like it as much.

6- I liked some of it, but mostly I didn’t like it. Usually reserved for books I had high hopes and failed me.

5- Neutral, I liked it half and half.

4- Disliked it a bit. Could have been way better!

3- Finished, but really disliked it.

2- Stopped before the end after the first quarter. Thought it would get better, but it didn’t.

1- Stopped in the first quarter. Couldn’t stand it. Just don’t try to read it.

 

So authors, if you have a book to read and review, please send me your inquiries! Currently, I’m on a book break, so no fiction (but some Catholic books) for me, but I will resume when I go on my trip for All Northwest Senior Honor Choir this Thursday! I will be reading… Melanie Ifield’s Age of Corruption (sorry I couldn’t get to it earlier!) Please also share this post so other authors can see how I review books! Thanks once again for reading!

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