As I plan to share more book reviews here on my blog, I wanted to give you a little inside scoop on my process and what you’ll be able to find in my reviews going forward.
What I look for in a good book:
For me, to make a book good (and great!) it needs to have a few things. These are what I look for when going into a book, and things I’ll often talk about in my reviews.
I’ll mention this in a second, but the books I read need to have a good story, cause who has time for boring books? I love it when books draw me in. Whether it’s because of the plot or the characters, I need a good story.
Characters are big for me, even over plot. I need good, real-life characters that have great growth. I want the things they experience to be believable (for the most part, I am okay with a stretch) and I love when characters aren’t just one dimensional.
The prose and how the book is written can also be a deal-breaker for me. I need to want to come back to the book, and writing plays a big part in that. If the writing is weird or clunky, I’ll definitely let you know. And likewise, if the writing draws me in and captures my attention, I’ll share that too.
Diversifying myself and reading more #OwnVoices has become increasingly important to me. While I may not always “relate” to the main character, I’ll share my views about the book but I will no longer share a star rating for these books. But rather, I’ll point out that they are #OwnVoices and continue to share books that include everyone.
Can I (or will I) re-read this?
I love reading books again and again. I can almost always tell in the first 100 pages of a book if it’s going to be one I’ll read again. In my reviews, I’m planning to start sharing if I plan to re-read books in the future or not.
Trigger Warnings and Content Warnings
As someone with anxiety and PTSD TW and CW are very helpful. For me, I know I can read books that include sexual assault and emotional abuse, but I need to be in the right frame of mind. I don’t like to read something that someone raved about, only to be sent into a PTSD episode. I’ll include content warnings and trigger warnings (as much as possible) in my reviews. Trigger warnings are not spoilers.
What I’ll share in my reviews
Along with the things I’ve listed above, in my book reviews, I try to share things that I liked and that worked well, as well as things that maybe didn’t go over as well.
I believe in sharing honest reviews, so I’ll never ‘bump’ up a rating or rave about a book that I didn’t enjoy, even if I received a copy from the author or publisher.
I also generally share star ratings, and this is my rating scale:
5 Stars – Absolutely loved, will read again, have to have my own copy
4 Stars – Truly enjoyed, would recommend, might read again
3 Stars – This is a solid novel, would most likely recommend
2 Stars – Didn’t do it for me, had some issues (pacing, plot, problematic)
1 Star – Did not like, would not recommend, generally has blaring issues, problematic, bad writing.
I also want to point out that even though I may rate a book low, you may love it. Reading is all subjective, and if a book sounds like something you’d enjoy, I’ll always recommend you pick it up! The beauty of reading is that we can all find different books that we love. I share reviews on my blog because I know that as a reader, I love reading reviews before I pick up a book, and because reviews are helpful in knowing more about the content of a book. And I have a few friends who, when they share books, I pick them up right away because we have similar taste.
Truly, I want to help you find great books to read, which is why I’ll be reviewing more books in the coming year!