My ratings can be roughly described as the ratio of what I enjoyed about a book to what I did not enjoy. I can’t pretend to be an objective reviewer, but I will always try to give an honest account of my reactions to each book and the reasons for those reactions. In general, the reviews probably give a better sense of my opinion than the ratings-- one book may get a 3 for a very different reason that another book gets a 3, for instance, and the two books are not necessarily comparable.
5 – A book that is very close to my idea of a perfect reading experience. I don’t necessarily believe that it is a perfect book, as I don’t believe that perfection is an obtainable goal. I usually believe the book contains a richly imagined world, interesting characters, a compelling, believable plot, and some quality that will linger in my mind for years to come. I don’t typically re-read books, but this would be on my ‘Would Read if Struck with Amnesia’ list.
4.5 – This book is very similar to a 5. There is something that kept me from giving it a top score. I still think this book is at the top of the pile, when it comes to quality.
4 – An excellent book. I really enjoyed and appreciated this book. I would definitely recommend it to others with similar tastes.
3.5 – A good book. I enjoyed and/or appreciated this book. I may have found it entertaining, even if there were some weaknesses. I may have found it interesting and well-written, but it didn't really captivate me. On the other hand, it might just be a pretty good book, and one that I would probably recommend to others with similar tastes.
3 – I’m ambivalent about this book. I had a hard time deciding whether I liked the book overall or not. There may be some aspects of the novel that I greatly enjoyed, but some aspects that annoyed me to pieces. Alternatively, it could mean that I didn't really have strong feelings about it either way.
2.5 – I didn’t really like this book. I didn’t hate it, but it left me feeling disappointed. It was not without its redeemable factors, but they were not strong enough to leave me feeling positive about the reading experience. Getting through the novel probably felt more like a chore than a pleasure. It’s possible that there is just a huge mismatch between the novel’s target audience and me.
2 – I strongly disliked this book. Something about the book rubbed me the wrong way. I can often see how it could be an enjoyable book for someone approaching it from a different perspective than I am.
1.5 – Mostly drivel. There might be a kernel of something interesting in there, but its bogged down by clichés, ridiculous plotting, simply bad writing, and/or other insurmountable problems.
1 – I can’t believe this was published.