Every book I read starts with 5 stars. I take one star away for various things, including too-familiar story-lines or characters and excessive, blatant grammatical errors. I’ve trained myself to look for poor use of to-be verbs, filter phrases, and modal-auxiliary verbs in my own writing, and spot them very quickly in the writing of others. I’m not a hard-ass, really, but if I find myself pulled out of the story too often for the same reason (repeated weak sentences), I’ll reduce my rating by one star. Each book has different weaknesses, unless you have a kick-ass editor. So the best way to get a 4 or 5 star review is to make sure all of your book’s weaknesses have been exposed and dealt with before it’s published.
Usually within the first five chapters or so, I’ll have a book narrowed down to the star rating it will receive over-all. If I’m already at 3 stars after a few chapters, the outlook is grim because the end could still disappoint. I typically don’t continue reading a book that reaches 3 stars that fast. If I get half-way, there’s a good chance I’ll finish the book with a 3-star unless, as I said, the end is botched. I don’t usually post anything less than a 3 star-review, and it’s rare that I write a 3-star review in the first place. Most of my reviews are 4 and 5 stars. For those books that would receive a 1 or 2 star rating, I just put them aside and move on. For 3-star reviews, if the review was requested, I’ll contact the author and ask if they’d like to have it published, especially if that book has few or no other reviews.
The few (if any) mistakes in this book didn’t take away from the pleasure I gained from reading it.
I found at least one mistake (or just something I didn’t like) that occasionally pulled me out of the book, or a multitude of mistakes here and there that weren’t repeatedly made. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I could have had these issues been addressed.
Writing (style, quality, consistency)
Characters (goals, motivation, relationships, development)
Plot (story development, conflict, resolution, world)
If two of these are weak in a book, I’ll give it 3 stars. I want to like it because there is at least one good thing I can say about it, but I’m pulled out of the story often enough to keep me from really enjoying it.
If a book displays blatant disregard for industry standards across the board, but has one or two redeeming factors, I’ll still give it 2 stars, though my review will likely never see the light of day.
This is as good as a 0-star rating. I didn’t enjoy it at all, and couldn’t find anything good to say about it. Again, I prefer not to publish or even write this type of review.
The reason I don’t post negative reviews is because the process of reading and reviewing books is incredibly personal and subjective. One man’s treasure and all that. I read and review a lot of books by unknown authors with few or no reviews. I don’t want to give them a bad name just because I didn’t like their book. Someone else may disagree with my assessment, but never get the chance to do so if they see my 1 or 2 star review and take the book’s value based on that. As a writer, I believe each of us has an audience. I do what I can to help each author find their audience, even if it takes keeping my mouth shut if I don’t have anything good to say. If you do see a 1 or 2 star review from me, there’s a good reason behind it.
If you’d like to request a review, please send a message via the form below. I prefer Horror, Fantasy, Romance, and Erotica, but am open to other genres. I actively seek out books to read and leave reviews for those I enjoy. I do keep a pretty thick collection of books I’ve yet to read on my Kindle. If you need a review within a specific time frame, please let me know in advance and I’ll try to accommodate you.