As you can see, I have my own reviewing and rating system.
I work with permanent parts which I think help me, and my reader as well, keep track of what I want to say. It also somehow makes it easier to compare and contrast books. So, let’s see my bullet points:
Discovery: In this paragraph I speak about how I got to know about this book, and why I decided to read it. If it’s an ARC, here’s where I state it.
Brainstorm: This part is basically my (more or less random) thoughts about the book. What I liked about it, what not, how it made me feel… What it made me think about. Is it what I expected? That kind of stuff.
Let’s give it a grade!: Obviously, this is the rating part. The final “grade”, the GPA is what it sounds: the average of several 5-scale ratings. This is so that I can make my opinion as objective and relatable as possible. It’s still my subjective opinion, but more informative: my readers can see e.g. that even though a book got a sum rating of 3, the characters in it were really well built-up, and I gave them a 4. So the aspects I rate:
- Story: how interesting and engaging the book was, how much it could surprise me with its twists, etc…
- Characters: I take here in consideration the complexity of the characters, as well as their development and the elaboration of their relationships with each other
- Style: here I only concentrate on the writer’s style, the wording, editing, if the way they ‘talk’ is enjoyable to read
- The Subjective Factor: that’s the all in all feeling the book generated in me, it has nothing to do with anything but my subjective impressions and reactions to it
Non-fiction is a bit different, as we can’t really talk about story or characters in their case. That’s why I decided to use one aspect “Topic unfolding” instead of them. It’s basically the same thing as the “Story” above, only of course I don’t expect any twists and turns. It’s my opinion about how well the author could communicate their message.
About the 5-scale rating:
- 5: means I got super exited about the book, I’m enthusiastic and can’t stop recommending it even to those people who couldn’t less care! I feel like this book is very unique and interesting for some reason, and I also could myself completely bury in it
- 4: it’s above average, interesting, a really great read that I enjoyed very much, it’s just not one that makes me go crazy
- 3: doesn’t mean anything bad, but it wasn’t particularly above average either. It’s a good book, I can recommend it to people I know would like it, but it either doesn’t give anything more than other books, Or I just wasn’t very interested or invested
- 2: this is a book that has certain aspects I could appreciate, but all in all, things that bothered me outweighed the good. I may discover something that makes it appeal to some people, and I recommend it to them, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea for some reason
- 1: I feel like this book only took my time and didn’t give anything back. I feel like it has nothing to offer, and generally I don’t recommend it to anybody. (This happens VERY rarely.)
Uniqueness: I highlight what I think made the book unique, what it is (if there is something) that makes it different from other books.
Recommend to: who/what kind of people I think would like the book
Drink tip: what drink I think ‘matches’ the book – either a drink I associate with it, or one I think would be great to drink while reading it
Music room: Similar to the ‘Drink tip’ part, this is the music I associate the book with/think would set the mood while reading it
Future: what plans I made because of the book’s influence. Would I read another one by the same author, or another one of the genre? Did it make me look up something, or made me be interested in something I wasn’t before?