I am a bit of a hard grader when it comes to rating books. There are particular plots and themes and types of characters that I’m drawn into more than others, so there may be some bias. I will point that out in the beginning if there is a book that falls into this Holy-Grail category as a heads up. I’m impartial to plots that circulate around relationships and centers on that relationship. I ABHOR unnecessary love-triangles in ANY book. I hate male-characters who are there simply to serve as angst and a love-interest for a female protagonist. Plutonic friendships between guys and girls, and then highlighted friendships between guy/guy and girl/girl, are things I need more of. Stories with those will get better ratings. There’s a whole bunch more things that go into why I rate books the way they are. The rating is subjective to the book, so I will elaborate more when it comes to actual reviews.
★☆☆☆☆ &★★☆☆☆:I don’t generally give 1-2 stars to anything. If it’s a 1-2 star book, it’s definitely something I put down after the first 50-100 pages. It won’t even be listed here, or I will list it but won’t bother explaining why. Most likely it was due to either the writing style, the content, the characters, or the story in general. I’m a firm believer in putting books down if they’re bad. My time should be devoted to books worth spending my time over.
★★★☆☆ – The book receives an average 3-star rating have the basics of thing: it has an ok plot and the characters are tolerable. I give ★★★ to books that I finish but have put down for a long time because it got boring. I give them to books that have good plots but the characters are not working up to my expectation. I give them for great characters stuck in books with bleh-plots or very predictable plots (and make note, I am good at predicting things in books and movies). If the rating receives a half star (denoted as 1/2), that is mostly given towards great characters in a bleh-plot. I rarely give books a 1/2 for great plot and crappy characters.
★★★★☆ – The book was enjoyable and I actively read it when I had the time. I can put it down for spans of time when necessary, but I do go back to it. I’ll read it in chunks rather than small snippets through the day. The plot isn’t too predictable, it’s continuously moving and adding to the greater structure of the story. The characters are people I would like to meet in real life, they’re believable in terms of their construction and how they react and interact with the world around them. The world building (if it’s fantasy or dystopian) is something I could follow and was an intrigued by (but has me questioning some aspects of it). If it has a half star (denoted as 1/2), that is because there was something lacking that could have added that last half-star. Generally books are demoted to ★★★★1/2 because of their endings. I’m a big person on believable endings. If there are no important deaths by the end of a fantasy or adventure or dystopian novel that has a war going on, it’s demoted. Not everyone important survives.
★★★★★ – NON-STOP reading. I pick it up instead of doing homework. It’s a weekend binge. It’s something I finish in a few days. I may have it as a physical book, an audiobook, and e-book so it’s with me everywhere. The plot was fast-paced and ever evolving, the characters are people I fall in love with and go through believable development (and actually develop). The plot is expansive, elaborate, and intricate with plenty of hidden easter eggs and call-back moments. It’s interactive, meaning it’s not vague but mysterious, and forces the reader to do some thinking as they read. This books makes me want the next book (or more of the current book) once I put it down. It will likely be a book I will re-read before a movie adaptation is made or re-read in the next few years.