The Elusive 5 Star Rating and Backing Myself into a Corner

We all know that rating a book is completely subjective and we are probably pretty hard pressed to find two reviewers who do it exactly the same. I’ve never actually shared what my star ratings are supposed to mean because honestly I’ve never been completely sure. I haven’t really set up defined parameters, but have tried to just go with a gut feeling. That said, I will try to define what my star ratings mean a little later.

Mona lisa- Parks and Rec

When I first started this blog, I had it in the back of my mind that maybe, possibly, eventually I could become good enough that I could find some site that would like to hire me to write reviews.  So I wanted to be able to really critically review books, based on many aspects of writing and not just on how much I enjoyed a book. And giving, say, Anna and the French Kiss, 5 stars is not something that would convince anyone of my critical analysis skills.

8 Reasons Why I Love "Parks and Rec"

So in that spirit, I started out this blog by being pretty harsh with my ratings. Once I realized that this would never be anything more than a hobby, I started to become a little more generous, but I still haven’t ever given a book 5 stars. And now, after 3 years of blogging, I feel like I can’t change my mind about how I rate. If I suddenly lower my standards when it comes to 5 star ratings it feels unfair to the books I’ve read previously. I’m also afraid that by those new standards, I could end up with 5 star rated books that are not as good as some of my 4 star rated books. And yes I realize this doesn’t really effect anyone except myself, but it really give me anxiety sometimes.

I got Craig Middlebrooks! You are super intense and care very deeply about a lot of things. You have difficulty modulating your voice, but it’s just because you CARE TOO MUCH!

This also makes me really suspicious of other people’s 5 star ratings. There are some reviewers out there that seem to pass them out like candy to every book they read. When every book is 5 stars, how can I trust their opinion? Of course, when most of my books are around 3 stars, it appears that I don’t really have much of an opinion. But, still, there are so many hyped books out there that I find just ok and everyone else is giving it 5 star ratings and I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Dear Makers of Telephone Books: NO. - Blogtown - Portland Mercury

Ok, so what’s my rating criteria??

1 star – Completely awful with basically no redeeming characteristics.

2 stars – Has a couple of redeeming qualities, but mostly complaints. May include: terrible writing, unlikable or underdeveloped characters, outlandish or boring plot.

3 stars – Is enjoyable and pretty well-written, but nothing that really stands out from the genre. It could be something I really enjoyed, but I still have issues with writing/plot/characters, etc. or something that had great writing or a couple of great characters, but lacked in every other aspect.

4 Stars – Both enjoyable and well written. Stands out amongst similar books. Have only a couple, minor complaints.

5 Stars – Perfection. Completely enjoyable and really well written. Not a single complaint.

small gold and silver glittery stars | Tiny Gold Metallic Stars Glitter by Theglittersource on Etsy:

Some books I’ve reviewed that have come close to 5 Stars

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

What are you review rating criteria? Do you think you’re too generous or too harsh? Do you think I should lower my standards for 5 star reviews or hold out for that perfect book?

Pokémon Go Book Tag


I was tagged by Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse (check her out, she’s awesome!). I’ve never played Pokémon or Pokémon Go (I don’t really get it, to be honest), but I love book tags!



I’m going to go with The Baby-Sitters Club books by Ann M. Martin.



Persuasion by Jane Austen. Every time I re-read this I love it just as much. The Letter!.



Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. While I did see this everywhere, it’s not why I lost interest. I just didn’t find it to be an interesting book. Even though I was so excited to get an eArc of it, I DNF-ed it.



Wife for the Weekend by Ophelia London. I absolutely love fake relationship stories and this is my favorite one I’ve read this year.



The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. I was just talking to someone at work about them and how she’s re-reading them and loves them, but the size of it just intimidates me so much!



Golden Son by Pierce Brown. What is a book tag without a Red Rising mention? I could not stop thinking about this book when I was reading it (or after I finished).



I’m going to go with Kami and Jared from The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan. I love them soooo much!



I read Paper Princess by Erin Watt in a day…and thought it was a little too “fire-hot” for YA…



We are getting a Red Rising spin-off series AND a pre-quell comic book!!!



The Curse Workers series by Holly Black. Even though the first book in the series didn’t quite live up to the hype, I fell in love with the series in the second book.



The Dreamland series by E.J. Mellow. I’ve seen soooo many glowing reviews on it. I want to go to there.


I would love to have a first edition of a Jane Austen book!



The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee is getting a lot of hype lately.


Pierce Brown. I will read anything he ever writes. This Adventure Ends also convinced me to make Emma Mills an auto-buy.



Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo!!! This month!!!

August 2016 Recap

Free Printable - August 2016 Monthly Calendar - Binder Format - Floral Design:

I spent a lot of time this month in a book slump. I just wasn’t in the mood to read much. I did manage to read a few good ones, but not as many books as I usually do. I also spent a week with very little reading when my sister, brother-in-law, and niece from Canada were here! My niece was 12 weeks early so she’s been very small and I’ve always been a little afraid that I will break her. But she’s now over a year old and she’s big enough that I’m not scared of her anymore haha. She’s crawling and walking and just so much fun! I even babysat her by myself a couple of times. The first time I was supposed to put her to bed and she was not the least bit interested in that and I found her crying traumatizing so I got her back up and she fell asleep on my lap instead. My sister thought it made a cute picture, but her and my brother-in-law were not very impressed with my babysitting skills…They left on Monday of this week and I miss them so much already.

Books Read: 9

Adult: 7
YA: 2

Books Read in 2016 Overall: 91


Books Reviewed: 4

The Regulars by Georgia Clark – 2.5/5 Stars

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West – 4/5 Stars

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 4/5 Stars

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – 3.5/5 Stars

Funny Fridays:


August 5th


August 12th

guilty as charged :) | 19 Hilarious Jokes All Book Nerds Will Appreciate:

August 19th

Doesn't everyone have this issue? I am usually read 3+ at one time!:

August 26th

Other Posts:

July 2016 Recap

Olympic Book Tag

The Olympic Book Tag: Take 2

Reviewing the Unreviewed: August 2016

girl and book

Looking Forward to September:


Crooked Kingdom comes out this month! This is probably one of my most anticipated books of 2016 and I’m so excited to read it. Leigh Bardugo is going to be in the Cleveland area this month and I am seriously considering going to see her. It is a couple hours away in the middle of the week and big cities make me nervous, so I’ll probably chicken out. But maybe…