On Reviews and Ratings

No two people rate and review books in the same way,
so here is a little bit on how I like to do it.

Most importantly, remember that how we all experience books is highly subjective and therefore different for everyone.
I will probably have hated a book you loved and vice versa and that is totally okay.

On reviews

I review every book I read. It might take a while, but eventually all my read books will get at least a short review besides their star rating. Not all of these reviews are favorable, but they are always honest.

There is no set structure to my reviews, and they are generally much focused on thoughts I had during reading. I don’t normally give a whole description of the story – that’s were the blurb is for – but usually put down a couple of lines about the story. Unless the blurb in my opinion spoils some important plot points, in which case I will warn you and provide an alternative blurb. Sometimes there will be more details here if it is something that I want to focus on in my review.

But, like I said mainly the random thoughts that collected during reading. There are some things that I always pay extra attention to, like things that only make sense as ‘convenient plot devices’, the ever annoying love-triangle in all its forms and biomedical bullshit (that comes with the job I guess).

My reviews are written in English except for some Dutch books, which have a Dutch review (and usually a short English one to boost). If however you are missing one, please let me know!

On ratings

My rating scale might be a bit different from others’. For me, when I start reading are all at 3 stars – average. As the book progresses and there are thing that I like or dislike, this rating can be change. However most books fall into the 2 to 4 stars category. This in no way means I didn’t enjoy them. There are books I gave 2 stars but still enjoyed. For me, a 3.5 stars rating means I really enjoyed a book, to get 4 stars or more, there needs to be something that makes it either extra special or memorable.

Unfortunately, GoodReads still doesn’t allow for half star rating, which limits my use of them. When I do use the half stars I just make do with what I’m given on GoodReads, rounding the ratings either up or down depending on a mixture of factors including but not limited to the phaseof the moon, the weather, and whether or not I just had chocolate. Basically I just use gut feeling to decide (but most often I will give the benefit of the doubt and give the higher rating).

For clarification I’ve have divided the ratings into three categories:

Not Recommended:

DNF (Did Not Finish)

Something I kind of never do.

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

Avoid like plague. This is reserved for the worst of the worst books I wouldn’t dare curse anyone with. It’s a shame they got published. Should probably have DNFed.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

The book was bad, I didn’t enjoy it at all.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

The flaws of this book were too severe to enjoy the book.

Recommended (more or less or for certain people):

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Either the story really wasn’t special (in which case it might be a nice “snackbook”), or just not for me (in which case other people might still really like it).

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Enjoyable, but there were some problems, so I don’t think everyone would like it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Enjoyable, with less flaws or a more interesting/original plot/characters. This is where all the books start at so theoretically if nothing particularly good or bad happens then a book will end here. I would call it nice for certain.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A good read. It might not be the most original/memorable book but I really enjoyed myself.

Strongly Recommended:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed it, it had something extra that separates it for me from other books.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

WOW! I want another book like this. Right now!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Reserved for my all time favorites.

This system only refers to books I have read since about 2014. I used to be far more generous with the stars. However, I am not really a re-reader (how could I with so many unread titles), so I currently don’t have the intention to go read them again and change the ratings if necessary.

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