I've been doing book reviews over on the A. B. England author site and Goodreads for about a year now. I don't write reviews for the books in the Contented Comfort store because, well, they're all written by me, or potentially by members of my family if and when the time comes. Still, I would like to have more to do with books here on the website because they are an integral part of the idea behind this company's founding because there's just something comforting about curling up with a good book.
Therefore, I'm planning to start publishing book reviews here as well, starting with the four I've done so far over the next few months and adding in news ones as they come. To that end, today I want to tell you about the rubric I use to grade books and how to translate the number of stars given in the reviews.
When writing a book review, I look at seven key factors: premise, world building, deus ex machina, writing, characters, pacing, and how it ends. The final, overall grading, is an average of the stars given to each of these points.
The star scale is subjective. Each person has a different translation for what rating they give something. Some are harsh. Some are lenient, and still others fall somewhere in between. Therefore, it's always a good idea to take star only reviews with a healthy heap of salt since there's no way of knowing what the reviewer was thinking when they clicked on the stars.
Here's what I mean when giving a book, or factor, a certain amount of stars.
This is terrific! I couldn't put it down. It occupied my thoughts for days afterward or changed the way I look at something.
I'm actively out looking by more work by this person, and I will definitely buy what I find, even if I have to save up for a while to do so.
It's good. I enjoyed reading the book, and if I come across something else by the same author, chances are good I will buy it if I have the money.
The writing is competent. Could be a bit dull or boring or too slapstick or campy for my taste. I didn't hate it, but I can't say whether or not I'd consider buying anything else from them.
It's not good. There may be potential there, but the author needed to do a lot more research or editing or needed another few years of practice before trying to publish. Chances of a second purchase are slim to none.
It is utter garbage. If asked if I'd purchase anything else from this author, I'd be biting my tongue to avoid rudely laughing or giving a sarcastic reply.
It is so bad, I couldn't finish it. It could be written so poorly it's in "engrish" or "text speak." It could be "squicky" in the extreme, just be a bunch of talking heads or wooden stereotypes, or laude actions that are ethically repugnant as good. Basically, think of the kind of horrid fan fictions that end up on GAFF or the now defunct The FanFiction Critic YouTube channel.
Some places won't allow a starless rating, but I can here and on my YouTube channel. I doubt I'll pick up a book to review that's this bad. I do tend to be selective of which books I buy. But if I do, chances are the review will only be published here and YouTube.
That's it. The first review is coming in a few weeks, so keep an eye out for that.
What do you think about this idea? Are you excited to see book reviews, or do you plan on skipping those weeks? Let me know in the comment section.
Amanda is the artisan behind all the products made and sold by Contented Comfort.