Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How I Rate

Hola! I'm sorry for the little unannounced break I took around here, but things have been mildly chaotic. After reading so much for the Bout of Books readathon, I think I fell into a bit of a slump. I started reading The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort, and it is taking me forever to slog through the 500+ page book (hellooo overwriting). Boyfriend and I then traveled up to Michigan for my baby brothers high school graduation on Thursday evening. I was expecting to do a ton of reading on the 5 hour train ride, but napping and instagram seemed more important, and I read nothing save for a few pages when I had zero cell phone service. Once we arrived to my hometown of Alpena, we jumped full-swing into graduation party preparation. All day Friday was spent chopping, mixing, and cooking. Friday evening was spent decorating the party haul. All day Saturday was finishing up the food, and hosting the party at the haul. Then Sunday was his commencement ceremonies, a pit-stop at Dairy Queen, and some family time. Phew. My mom drove all the way back yesterday afternoon, and now I'm spending some quality time with her before she makes the long drive back, and I return to work.

She's getting ready, so I wanted to write up a quick post of how I rate. I don't think I've ever fully discussed this before, and I know every blogger is different. Plus, I'm planning on reading a butt load this summer, so a lot more reviews will be popping up on here. As you've noticed, I use a pretty little crystal-rating system, instead of stars. Fun Fact: I have a tattoo of this same design on my wrist (the tattoo came first LOL). Here is the basics of how I lay it down for rating:
1 Crystal: This book should've stayed in the rough. If I didn't have a heart, it would've been DNF'd. Very few redeeming qualities that kept me reading to the end. Would only recommend to worst enemies or people who enjoy cringing a whole lot. This also translates to: don't waste your time.
2 Crystals: This is a gem that has been unearthed but is pretty tarnished. Despite the scratches, though, there are some glimmers of potential that kept me reading until the end. I wouldn't fully recommend this to anyone unless the book was in a genre or about a subject that someone really enjoyed, but I don't regret picking it up. This is a book that would be best to get from your library.
3 Crystals: This one is neither here nor there. This one has about equal parts of hiccups in the writing, and really brilliant aspects. I would recommend this one to certain people, but steer other people clear away. A three crystal rating is just one that I didn't love, but didn't hate either. This is a book that you should also get from your library, but if it's in a subject or genre you really enjoy, buy it!
4 Crystals: Ahh, this one sparkles and shines, but it is not a perfect crystal! This is usually for a book that I super enjoyed, but maybe had one or two flaws that kind of threw me within the book. I will recommend a four crystal book to just about anyone. More than likely this book is worth the purchase, and is one that a lot of people will enjoy.
5 Crystals: THE PERFECT CRYSTAL! This one sparkles, shines, and is 99% flaw free (to me at least.) This rating usually goes to books that can make me cry, that leaves me flailing and obsessed, and is one that I recommend to anyone who ever asks for a book recommendation, no matter who they are. This is a book that I would wholeheartedly recommend purchasing and adding to your collection. Basically: if I tumblr/twitter/goodreads search this book to connect with other people who also loved it, it's a 5 crystal FO SHO.

BUT, like every rating system there are some variables! By this I mean that every book and author is written with a different objective. A contemporary author has different goals and guidelines than a dystopian author which has different goals and guidelines than a horror author. Therefore, I rate each book according to the genre/category it is in, and not according to every other book written in history of books I've read before. For instance, I rated A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess 5 stars, and I also rated Jenna Jameson's autobiography, How to Make Love Like A Porn Star the same. Clockwork Orange is a modern classic, that just about everyone has read, and is on a lot of required reading lists for classes. At the very least, most people have heard of it. Jenna Jameson's autobiography is maybe not as well known, and is definitely not on the same literary scale as Clockwork, BUT her autobiography was entertaining and engaging, which is what I think all memoirs/autobiographies should be.

Hopefully that makes sense. Of course, my rating system is not the most precise, but so far it's been working out pretty well ;)

If you review books, how do you rate? Do you prefer to use a star rating system or other?

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