Back to the Bookshelf!

Reviews of books, movies, and more

How I Review

What I review is basically what I read. I read mostly YA with some general fiction and classics thrown in as well. My main genres are historical fiction, fantasy, and some science fiction.

Authors don’t send me books to read – I get 99% of my books from 1) the wonderful local library 2) Amazon/Kindle 3) the wonderful crazy local used bookstore. I read a lot of new releases but I read older books as well. It’s just whatever I pick up that looks good and I want to read 🙂

My rating system is on a standard 5-point scale:

5 – Amazing!

4 – Really good

3 – It’s not bad

2 – Meh

1 – Blegh! ( Because I give a 1 star doesn’t necessary mean it’s a book I absolutely loathed – that type of book I don’t even finish. If I don’t finish a book, I don’t feel qualified in writing a full review about it.)

As you can see, it’s highly scientific 🙂 Occasionally, I do movie reviews. These are on a grading scale from A to F. I rate on a different scale than I do books (stars) because I expect different things from movies than I do books…and my ratings reflect this.

I try to recommend list at least one book with similar themes in each review. If I ranked the book 3 stars or below, I’ll recommend a similar book that I liked better.

About my opinions: As an aspiring author myself, I know that writing is hard. Harder still is finishing what you start. Therefore, I have a high degree of respect for published authors. My reviews are never ever intended to be attacks on the authors. I’ve found that a lot of my enjoyment from reading comes from 1) organizing and processing my thoughts on a book 2) discussing it with others 3) recommending books I like to people (or advising them to steer clear of books I thought were not worth the time and energy to read. It’s up to them what they do after I give my opinions).  Writing reviews is a way for me to make the most out of books I read, even the ones I wasn’t so crazy about. I try to write my reviews thoughtfully as well as frankly. They are intended to inform, and hopefully entertain as well since I myself am the type who likes reading others’ reviews after I’ve already read the book. They are not meant to target the author or those who disagree with the opinions I express.

I welcome comments – I’m always open to hearing other opinions provided they are respectful and don’t include bad language.

Another Kate provides a really nice breakdown of her own rating system, which is very similar to mine.


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