How I Rate And Review Books

Hey guys, I just wanted to clarify how I do my reviews and what my ratings are based on.

I’m also introducing some pretty star pictures that I will be using in my reviews. These are just to jazz things up a little, so keep your eyes peeled for my next review.

I have just discovered the joy of Canva, hence the sudden increase of infographics and pretty things, which I hope you are all enjoying at least as much as I am.

Anyway… when I review books, there are six main areas that I think are important to look at: writing style, storyline/plot, characterisation, theme, world-building, and the X factor. When I’m reading, I look for these six elements and think about them in terms of the following:

#1 – Writing Style

Does the writing have a nice flow to it? Is it easy to read, eloquent, interesting, and descriptive (but not overstated)?

#2 – Storyline/Plot

There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a book and feeling like nothing of any significance actually happened. Plot is important, I want to be taken on a journey with the characters – there needs to be some kind of tension, some kind of problem that the characters need to solve.

#3 – Characterisation

Nobody likes a book filled with stereotypes and two-dimensional characters. Characters should feel like they are living and breathing people. They need to develop and change throughout the story. They need flaws and nuances and things that make them unique.

#4 – Theme

Theme is the heart of the story, the overall idea and message. Without a strong theme, the book won’t get anyone’s blood pumping (see what I did there guys?).

#5 – World-Building

I want to believe in the world that I’m in, whether it’s a city I know of, a fantasy world I’ll never visit, or somewhere in outer space. The author needs to take the time to bring their world to life.

#6 – The X-Factor

This is the thing that makes a book go from a 4-star rating to 5-stars. This is the special something in a book that blows your mind or breaks your heart or makes you laugh until you can’t breathe.

With those six elements in mind, I then decide on a star-rating based on how well the book performed . I don’t give out 5-star ratings very often because I think a book needs to be an absolute game-changer / completely mind-blowing to earn 5 stars.

I also don’t give out many ratings below a 2 unless my heartrate literally flatlined while I was reading the darn thing. Basically anything upwards of 3-stars is a great book that I’d recommend to others.

It is also my policy to finish reading every book that I set out to review – I will never write a review on a book that I have not finished (simply because I have read many books that had endings that changed everything – I think it’s important to give a book a fair chance).


Well there you have it: that’s my system, and I am super excited to introduce my pretty little stars in my next review. I hope you enjoy it!

What makes a book special to you? What do you think is the most important factor? I’d love to hear from you all in the comments section below 💖 

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