I’ve been reviewing since December 2010 and I’ve used all sorts of different rating systems during that time. Sometimes I find them constricting, and sometimes I find them useful. I certainly use them myself when reading other people’s reviews.
Ultimately, however, the real information is in the review itself, and I enjoy reviewers who either don’t use a rating on their review, or don’t use a traditional scale. Also, I can’t count the times that I wished there were actually six stars instead of five. There seems to be two different types of 3-star ratings for me. So I’ve made my own system here that works for me.
The highest rating — these books are my favorite. I’ll want to read them over and over again and tell my friends all about them.
Really Like It
A great book. It engages me and is well written. I’ll always remember it fondly.
An easy, pleasing read. I like it, but don’t love it. It falls in the middle, but something about it is more satisfying in the end.
I could take it or leave it. While not great, it isn’t bad, but it won’t leave a lasting impression.
Not Feelin’ It
I either can’t get into it or something about it doesn’t connect with me. Maybe it is just a Meh story, but my mind might be wandering to what I’m going to read next instead of being engaged in the story.
Didn’t Like It
Well, it is sad to say, but there are some books that really aren’t good. Some are badly edited and some are poorly written, but all of these I have to make myself finish.
I sometimes find DNF reviews to be the most informative and/or the least informative reviews out there. In my experience as a reader, I always want to know why someone didn’t finish a book. So, for review copies either from the publisher or author, I will definitely finish a book in order to review it. But like any reader, sometimes I just can’t finish one. So, when it’s on my own dime and I can’t finish a book, I’ll offer a DNF review without a rating.