I was so interested in getting the site up and running I realized I never actually identified what my star ratings meant here so with that I wanted to release this post.
* * * * * Five Stars – An excellent, compelling, must read, that I could not put down and could see reading again someday.
* * * * Four Stars – A very solid read, one I would recommend to other readers.
* * * Three Stars – A good read; may have minor issues in continuity or pacing. Something that might detract from a solid story.
* * Two Stars – An “okay” read. Something I would not generally recommend to others. The writing likely has a few minor issues in continuity or pacing or perhaps something major and glaring. Something that definitely detracted from making it at least a good story.
* One Star – Something I just couldn’t finish. A story that had too many issues or problems to overlook.
Generally speaking, I won’t post anything publicly below a three star review. Some three star reviews go public and others don’t. I will follow up privately with the author (if they are willing to engage) and discuss why I feel it warrants a one or two star review in the hopes they might take the time to review the issues with the story, or if nothing else, take it as a learning experience and improve from there.
I wanted to preface that as I get the occasional message of “I never see you give out anything other than four and five star reviews.”
The truth of the matter is I haven’t POSTED them but I have given them.
Some of the counter argument I get of that “policy” is “well then how is a reader supposed to know about a bad read?”
I am not in the market to steer people away from a book with a PUBLIC bashing of it (even if it is justified). If someone asks me specifically about a title that I PRIVATELY “three stared” (or less) I will tell them why I didn’t like it.
If someone says to me “hey, what’s a good [GENRE] that you liked, THEN I point them to something I enjoyed rather than say “stay away from this”. Now if they ask me about [TWO STAR TITLE] I am likely to say “well, I really didn’t care for it and I would recommend [TITLE] instead”.
Just because I found something “two star” why should I publicly dissuade someone else from it? They might find it OK, or even like it.
So that’s just my rhyme and reason of how and why I do what it is I do.