5 stars—I loved it!
4 stars—I really liked it.
3 stars—I liked it.
2 stars—It was OK, but it had content issues.
1 star—I didn’t like it at all.
Personally, I also added 5+ stars which means I really, really loved it. I also added .5 stars to add extra distinctions. So, for example: 4.5 stars means I really liked it but there was either some content that lowered my rating or it fell just little flat. 3.5 means I enjoyed it, but didn’t “really, really like it.” 1.5 stars would be I disliked it overall but there were a few parts I enjoyed. And so forth.
This year I’ve also started doing hearts. (You will notice that my older reviews don’t have hearts; that’s why). I borrowed this idea from my friend Abi. She started rating books on a scale of 1 to 10 mushrooms (or ’shrooms) because it gave her more freedom. I decided to adapt that to my reviewing style so people could tell how much I loved a book. There’s 5+-star books, and 5+-stars books. So I took 10 hearts and gave each one a meaning.
I always include the rating at the start of the review, so that it’s right there in it. I will list the stuff that I loved, and then the things that personally didn’t appeal to me–a poor writing style, or a political perspective, or a character that drive me crazy, etc. This is simply personal preference. (I do not comment upon typos unless there were really far too many). Then comes the content. Content is the sexual, religious, and moralistic stuff such as drinking, kissing, language, and things that I think do not line up with the Bible. If there’s a lot of content, then I state here that there is content and add, “Look below for a list of the content” and I put a list between the end of the review and the quotes I add.
Personal Preference: I am a copyeditor. I notice things such as poor writing and typos. I unfortunately can’t turn that off. I value good writing. I reserve the right to express my opinions and stance.
Sexual Content: My romance standards are simple. Absolutely no touching before marriage. Any sort of contact between a male and a female will affect my review. The more physical it gets, the lower the rating. I also will not stand for any sexual sins such as fornication, homosexuality, adultery, etc. I am aware that life is not pretty, and if there is redemption, I am willing to try a book with such content. But be advised that there is a chance that this content will affect my review.
Religious Content: I am a follower of Christ and the Bible is my guidebook. If the theology of the book goes against what the Bible teaches, the review will progressively get more negative.
Moralistic Content: Again, I do my best to live my life as the Bible lays it out. Drinking, smoking, and swearing (that includes mild euphemisms such as “j**pers” or “d*ng”) instantly lower my review of a book. Anything else that is contrary to the Bible will also affect this. These things are non-negotiable.
I write one honest review and I do not change it except for such things as typos, bad writing (a.k.a. lack of parallelism, etc.), and if I find that I made a mistake (e.g., said there were 6 siblings when there were 5). I strive to state the truth in a kind, gracious way.
I also reserve the right to DNF a book, or to refuse to read it.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:” (Zechariah 8:16).