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So I’ve always wanted to do discussion posts and I’m giving it a try. I’m definitely a dabbler since I’ll be lucky to manage one a month (or year) with all the books I want to read and review.
I think a lot about how to do helpful reviews and how to rate the books I review. I’m going to try to explain how I rate for my review. I’m curious to know how you assign your ratings.
I start with an initial reaction, which is subjective. For me, the first scale is the meanings behind the Goodreads star ratings. I use hearts instead of stars on my blog though.
⭐ Did not like it
⭐⭐ It was ok
⭐⭐⭐ Liked it
⭐⭐⭐⭐ Really Liked it
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ It was amazing
But there are quantifications in Ultimate Book Blogger, which can be customized, that can also be used. They consider the factors which are more objective. These factors are the ones that are based on my mind.
- Plot – This feels straightforward and more objective. Is it believable? But also is it very simple or are there complex layers that twist or turn or weave into a complete picture in the end?
- Writing – There are multiple aspects of writing including word choices, spelling, grammar and more. Is this where I include world-building? I also think about flow and ease of reading and grasping ideas. How is the style? Is it formal? How dark or light is the expression; does it have a sense of humor?
- Characters – This is where I include character development and growth. So it’s not just do I love the characters but do they show any growth. Sometimes great characters are very unlikable. Are they believable?
- Dialogue – Is the speech helpful to the plot or character development? Is it fun, clever with humor?
- Narration (if it is an audiobook)
They can each be given their own ratings which are then averaged to get an overall rating.
All of these factors are important but I don’t know if they are weighted equally. Plots or characters which are unbelievable can cause me to have a negative reaction to a book. But if I love the characters or it’s funny, I may suspend disbelief. I do definitely notice things like spelling and grammar, but most books I read have had some editing or copy editing, although I do read some indie, or self-published which aren’t as well edited.
My evaluation of the objective aspects of the book can increase or decrease the initial score by half or a full heart.
Here I look at how I feel about a book and how it makes me feel. These factors are the ones which involve my heart.
If I love the characters, or the action of the plot or the layers of the plot, that’s exciting.
Am I left confused or with lots of questions, or is the ending satisfying?
Am I inspired, or do I learn things about the world or about myself?
How invested am I? The more invested I am, the more I cared, the more I loved the book.
The depth of my feelings and the diversity of feelings increases my connection with a book.
My feelings about the book can increase or decrease the initial score by half or a full heart.
How do you decide on your rating for a book?
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