Last week, I published my first book review. It only occurred to me later in the day that I never went over the "translation" of the star system I use when rating books, movies, or well, anything for that matter. So I decided to post a quick star system translation to make things clearer as I begin reviewing books on a regular basis.
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.
So what am I saying when I give something 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 you can't give a no star 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.
Do you ever write reviews for the books you read, the movies you watch, or the products you buy? I hope you do. There's nothing that helps authors, artists, musicians, and small businesses like customer reviews, ratings, and word-of-mouth advertising. It's one of the reasons I wanted to start this review series.
How do your ratings translate?
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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