There are 4 basic categories I break a book down into when rating it; characters, storyline, writing style and amount of my interest.
First of all, I analyze the characters in the story. Do I like them? Are they well-developed? Do I want to slap them? What are their defining characteristics? Are they interesting? Does the author make me care about them? Are they quirky? Are they about as exciting as a grilled cheese sandwich?
Secondly, I look at the story itself. Is it creative? Do I feel as though I have read before? Is the conflict in the story interesting? Does the author present the conflict in a way in which interests me? What’s the world in the novel like?
Thirdly, I dissect the writing style. Do I like the style in which it’s written? Is the writing easy to follow or confusing? Is the story moving at the pace of a dead snail? Or is the story racing by so quickly I don’t know what is happening? Did the book have a clear conflict and resolution? Does the novel feel complete or does it feel unfinished? Is the world building decent? Do I like the voice in which the story is told? Is the point of view the same throughout the story?
Finally, the depth of my immersion in the story. This isn’t very technical I know, however, if the 3 aforementioned items hold water then this one will also. I find that a truly good book will pull you under and hold you there, even when you have to put it down.
Rating system: All of the ratings are on a five-star rating system.
✰-One star: I had to choke this book down.The characters are underdeveloped or insufferable. The story line is uninteresting, and the book doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. The novel has poor pacing. It is a miracle if I finished it. I wouldn’t suggest reading this book to anyone, nor will I be reading the sequel.
✰✰ – Two stars: This book is still pretty hard to swallow. The characters were either underdeveloped or insufferable. The story line is dull, uninteresting, or poorly executed. The novel’s pacing is poor. I wouldn’t suggest this book to any of my friends or readers. It has to have some saving grace to save it from a one star review. Regardless, I still won’t be reading the sequel.
✰✰✰-Three stars: I found this book likeable, however, it may have some issues such as; character development, story line, or pacing issues. However, I would usually still recommend it and may even read the sequel.
✰✰✰✰-Four stars: I really like the book. I enjoy the characters and find them well developed. I like the story line due to it’s ability to take me away. The story line was interesting and unique. I was able to read it without any problems. However, some detail keeps it from being a “5 star” book, which will be explained in the review.
✰✰✰✰✰-Five stars: I love the book. It is one of my new favorites. I would read this book again, and suggest it to all my friends and blog readers. The characters are well developed, as well as having admirable qualities. The story line is interesting, unique and completely enthralling. The story itself was well paced throughout the entire novel. I was unable to put it down and thought about it when I wasn’t reading it.