Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When I give a five-star rating.

Since I've been doing book reviews on here, and will continue to do so occasionally, I thought I'd shed some light on my process. Although it might seem I give extremely high ratings, I don't. However, I only post book reviews for books I love and would recommend. My other, not-so-good book reviews, stay on Goodreads. If you really want to read them, you can. But I'd rather only share and encourage the reading of great books, not talk about the ones I hated.

I hardly ever give 5-star ratings. Maybe my top 10 books of all time, and that's about it. To me, five stars means the book is perfect and I can't think of one thing wrong with it. And that's a hard thing to find!

My criteria (I think): 1. It definitely has to stay with me for a long time, not just what happened but the feeling I got when I read it has to come back, even years later.

2. Also, it has to be well-written. I admit, I'm a book snob. I can hardly read books that aren't well written, even if everyone loves them. Bad writing is a deal breaker, no matter if the writer is #1 Best Seller for ten years in a row. I majored in English and read tons of books on writing, so I can smell bad writing from a mile away. Also, beautiful writing that takes my breath away, gives me goosebumps, makes me shiver, whatever, has to be done in a subtle way, not in-your-face gross-out or steamy love scenes (those are for fun, not 5-stars.)

3. The last thing is, everything has to be vivid. I dont have to love the characters, but I have to believe them and feel I know them. I have to see the setting, the world, the people without being bogged down by flowery paragraph-long description. I have to feel the emotion, smell the smells, hear what they hear, ache when they ache.

It's a tough bill, but I'm a tough reader.

No comments:

Post a Comment