Book Reviews and Ranking Scale

Updated: Jul 16

I accept LIMITED book reviews. Unless you're a well known author, or are going to pay me to review your book, I do NOT accept eARC reviews because my eARC reivew list is indefinite. I'm a NetGalley reviewer and get 2-3 eARCs each month already. However, if you are an aspiring author of fantasy or YA and you would like to send me a PHYSICAL ARC copy, I am more likely to consider reviewing your book. Please contact me FIRST so that I can read the premise of your story, and even the first few pages, before you send me a physical copy. If I like the sound of your book, I will offer an honest review in exchange for a physical copy. My review system is below:

I use a five point rating scale to evaluate my reads. I separate this scale into two categories: books I finish and books I don’t. The books I don’t finish (DNF) go into the discard pile. Everything that I finish gets between two and five stars. I give every book a fair start. I require myself to read five chapters (assuming they are reasonable length) before I make a decision to continue. Everything three stars and above is something I enjoyed reading enough to finish. When I’m torn between one rating or another, I resort to half star increments. In these cases, I round down since most places only have whole star options, but I always indicate the exact rating in the review.

1⭐️ DNF Did not enjoy enough to continue. There were too many problems with this book’s fundamental building blocks: writing style, tone, plot, characters, and theme. I couldn’t find anything of merit to comment on. There was nothing that kept me reading.I will not recommend this book.

2⭐️ This book was a chore to get through. I struggled, but it had enough to keep going. I forced myself only because there was some aspect that kept me pushing on. Perhaps there were a few characters that held my attention but didn’t hook me enough. Maybe there were a few cool ideas. I wanted to see how something might pan out in hopes of redemption. A two star is usually a book I'm hoping will redeem itself at the half or 2/3 point. Most times they don't. These books have problems with many fundamental building blocks. However, they have things that were done adequately. But even those things were not enough to keep my interest. I did not enjoy this book and won't recommend it to others.

3⭐️ This is a book that gave me a reason to continue reading. I did not have to force myself. There may have been some problematic aspects. Usually characters that lack well-defined internal conflict, or there’s no hero’s journey, or the story is lacking character arcs, or plots that never resolve, or plots that don’t follow a conventional problem/solution outcome. Maybe the pace is too slow or too meandering. Maybe there are plot holes or poorly researched topics discussed in the book. There might not be believable story components. Often times there are slight inaccuracies in the information presented, events portrayed, etc. Despite some of these flaws, I still wanted to know more.

4⭐️ This is a book that was both enjoyable and satisfying. It still contains minor imperfections. The fundamental building blocks are nearly perfect. Some of the reasons this book didn’t get five stars are as follows: The voice might be awkward or there are problems with its ideas. Maybe there are a few characters I didn’t care for, but I liked the hero. Perhaps it wasn’t written as strongly as it could have been. Perhaps the book’s hero was incredible, entertaining, and addictive, but the backstory, story line, or some other aspect was a hard to believe. Maybe there wasn't enough internal conflict. My point is, this book had some things against it, but it still had a hell of a lot going for it. It’s still a great book, it just isn’t one of “the greats.”

5⭐️ This is a book I thoroughly enjoyed, was potentially life changing, and keeps me thinking about the story long after putting it down. This is a book that has nothing working against it. There is a definite character arc, theme, and story core, all of which are well defined. The characters are entirely fleshed out, the world building is believable and well-developed, and plot is structured with the correct pace. This is one of “the greats” as far as books are concerned.

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©2020 by Author Melissa Mitchell