I get asked a lot how I decide to rate a book that I’ve read and usually explaining my review and rating process gets a lot of eyebrow raises.
When I review I tend to point out what I liked about a book and typically it’s a lot and appears that I’m praising the book so people expect a five star rating and are shocked to see a lower one.
I don’t review/rate books based on the storyline or what occurs. I don’t judge the way an author executes the plot of a book because that’s the author’s story to tell. For example: If ‘Kimberly’ ended up with Mike and I really wanted her to end up with Sean, I’m not going to give the book a lower rating or let it affect my review just because I didn’t like the outcome. If so and so dies and I really dislike the author for doing so I’m still not going to let it affect my rating. I mean the emotional turmoil will affect it a bit but usually in a positive light.
Let me explain.
So what exactly am I basing my reviews on?
Well for one, the writing. If there’s a specific writing style that I can’t get into it and in turn takes me a while to get into the book I feel an emotional detachment and usually that affects my rating by a .5 star.
If the writing is great and easy but appears bland it also makes me feel an emotional detachment.
If I don’t feel a connection with the characters, that also affects my rating in a negative way. If I’m not feeling any sort of emotional attachment to the characters and can’t relate to them, it’s again, emotional detachment.
If the events that occur don’t have me ‘in my feels’ or feel any sort of emotion towards them then I also feel an emotional detachment and that lowers my rating.
So you spot a theme here?
Basically being an emotional reader means I decide if a book is great or not by seeing how it makes me feel.
If an author can bring out strong emotions from me (whether positive or negative) with their words and their story then that author more than deserves a five star rating.
There’s a certain feeling I’ll get while reading a book (can occur any time throughout the book) and I’ll know automatically that that book is five stars regardless of outcome, regardless of how long, how short, the genre, the author, the series. If I get that feeling or a strong influx of overwhelming emotions that have my heart beating rapidly, my eyes watering, and my nerves on edge then that’s going to be a five star.
I know this process is hard to understand for many but to explain itin the best way possible: Ultimately, I read as an escape from reality. I read to feel. To be overwhelmed with a book that will live in my heart forever. Years down the line when I think of any book, I’m not going to remember the events that played out or possibly even the characters. What I am going to remember is exactly how it made me feel. If I felt an emotional detachment at the time, chances are I’m not going to remember it at all, hence this process.
Hope this makes some sense and sheds light on what I mean when I say I’m an emotional reader. I decide my five star ratings on a certain feeling I get and I know many find this…. stupid but everyone does things differently and this is the way I do it.