How Do You Rate Books? (Discussion)

Most of the time when I rate books, it’s on Goodreads, so a five-star scale. Recently, I started including half-star ratings as well in the review. What I’m curious about, is how other people decide what star rating they’re going to give a book. Here’s a very basic break down of my feelings about a book next to what I would rate it:

1 star: I didn’t like this book at all.
1.5 stars: I didn’t really like this book, but it did something right.
2 stars: This book was fine, but nothing special.
2.5 stars: This book was mostly okay, but there was something off.
3 stars: This book was average. There wasn’t anything special about this book, but there wasn’t anything bad either.
3.5 stars: This book was better than average. There were elements that stood out.
4 stars: This book was great. It was thoroughly enjoyable and there was an emotional connection, but it lacked in other areas.
4.5 stars: This book was almost amazing, but there was something that I didn’t quite connect with.
5 stars: This book was amazing! I can recognize it’s flaws, but it’ll stay with me.

When I rate books, I try to take into account the quality (writing, plot, characters, ect.), the overall impact it had on me, as well as how much I enjoyed it. This usually works for me, but it gets more difficult when I read something that I don’t personally like or connect with, but I recognize that the writing is good or that the story just isn’t for me. Here’s an example that came to mind:

I read The Diary of a Wimpy Kid because my younger brother loves the whole series and I wanted to be able to talk to him about what he was reading and enjoying. I personally didn’t love the formatting or the story, but my younger brother (who’s in the target audience) loved it.

How would I rate this book? If I use the same guidelines that I usually use, I would rate it somewhere between 2.5 and 3 stars. However, I know that younger readers connect to the story and enjoy the style. Should that affect the way that I rate it? Should I rate it on a completely different scale since I’m not in the targeted audience? Or should every book in a genre that’s outside my comfort zone be rated on a different scale? I try to use my best discretion, but I’m curious, how do you rate books that you don’t personally love/like, but that you didn’t love/like for reasons that are unrelated to the book?

A Very Small Book Haul

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I have a book buying problem and I’ve been pretty open about that, but lately I’ve been a lot better about buying books. I don’t know what happened, but recently I’ve been more drawn to my shelves than the bookstore. That’s not to say that I haven’t bought any books, because I certainly have, but I used to buy 10-15 books a month and so far I’ve only bought four books! I wanted to share those books with you guys today because I’m insanely excited for all four of them.

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1. I honestly don’t know that much about this series, but I’ve heard it’s feminist af so I can’t wait to get to this.

Descender, Vol. 1. I LOVE Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth series and I’ve been wanting to read more of his comics and this one is a sci-fi series that centers around a young robot who’s trying to survive when robots and androids have been outlawed. I’M ALL IN.

American Girls. All I really knew about the book was that the main character, Anna, researches the Manson Girls which sounds so intriguing, but then I heard Monica (from shemightbemonica) talk about how emotional and real this book is and I was sold. I have a love/hate relationship with YA contemporaries and this sounds so different from a lot of books in the genre.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I’ve had my eye on this book since I read Between the World and Me last year, but I finally picked it up because of everything that’s been going on in the US lately. I guess I wouldn’t say that I’m excited to read this, but it feels like something that I need to read.

Have you guys read any of these? If you have, let me know what you thought and if you haven’t, let me know if you’re interested in them!

The Princess Saves Herself In This One (Review)

Goodreads Synopsis:

ah, life-
the thing
that happens
to us
while we’re off
somewhere else
blowing on
dandelions
& wishing
ourselves into
the pages of
our favorite
fairy tales.”

a poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

My thoughts: 

This book was exceptional.

This collection of poems was so personal and heart-wrenching that I had to put it down momentarily and collect myself on multiple occasions. Even though it was so personal, it still managed to be very relatable and engaging. I found myself flying through the poems because I NEEDED to know the princess’s story; I NEEDED to know she was okay or at least that she was going to be.

I’ve already read this collection twice and I foresee myself revisiting it’s pages over and over again. Like all collections, there were standouts, but none of them were anything less than excellent.

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking the Spine and focuses on highlighting upcoming releases that we’re excited about. This week I’m anxiously awaiting The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson! I’ve read Since You’ve Been Gone and Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour 17838528.jpgby Morgan Matson and I LOVE them both, so I can’t wait for this one. Plus, I really dig this cover. I have a reaaaaaally good feeling about this book!

Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Pages: 496
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Preorder on Amazon
Preorder on B&N

 
Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing – if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

It sounds incredible, doesn’t it?! Matson’s book are always a lot of fun and are the perfect summer reads. The countdown has begun! Are any of you guys looking forward to The Unexpected Everything?

Recent Reads

Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of people have started talking more about their recent reads than doing monthly wrap ups and I love the idea so much that I’m going to do it as well! Like a lot of those people have pointed out, it’s hard to remember everything you want to say about a book at the end of the month when you read the book at the beginning of the month!

25330541Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It by Grace Helbig. I was really excited for this book because I love Grace. I really liked how this book felt more personal than her first book did. She talked about her eating disorder and how it affected her relationship with clothing and how that developed into her own personal style. As for the actual style aspect of the book, I thought it was a little inconsistent. There were some parts that I really loved, but others fell flat for me (the sweatpants diaries, the advice column responses).★★½ out of five stars.

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The Call of the Wild by Jack London. I get why it’s a classic, I really do. It’s a story about loyalty, adaptation, and animal instincts, but man, I really didn’t like it. It was probably due to the fact that I really don’t handle violence towards animals very well; regardless of whether or not that violence is caused by humans or other animals. I’m going to keep this on my shelf because I have the beautiful penguin classics edition (as pictured), but I won’t pick it up again.★

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Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho. While this book is marketed as a novel, it really doesn’t read like one; it reads more like a sermon. I’m not a religious person, so there are some things in this book that don’t apply to me, but there is some incredible insight offered in this book. Coelho touches on courage, loyalty, anxiety, solitude, and loss. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I feel like I read it at the right time. ★★★

Blog Tour – Strings by David Estes

“A wonderful retelling of the Pinocchio story…I simply couldn’t put this book down.” –Rysa Walker, bestselling author of TIMEBOUND

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Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sometimes the strings that tie us down are the same strings that set us free. Sixteen ­year ­old Pia has always lived in a mysterious facility where mechanical strings control her existence. She plays apprentice to her father, Gio, in performing nanotech designs for the Company, and she soon suspects there are diabolical human forces behind the manufactured reality of her world. Though her childhood memories and the origins of the strings remain strangely elusive, she begins to find solace with the introduction of two unlikely friends: daring, irrational Sofia, and calm, tender Marco. As the truths of the past and present unravel together, Pia must find a way to free herself from her strings and escape the facility before facing the wrath of the unstable head of security, Mr. Davis. But to gain her freedom, she must navigate the dangers posed by Davis and by her suspicious new friends to find the real identity of the puppeteer. If Pia can succeed in revealing the secrets of the Company, she may very well find the independence she so desperately seeks. But in her controlled world nothing is as it seems, and the closer she gets to the truth, the graver the consequences. Click here to add it on Goodreads!

About the Author
6acf7eb2-1c5b-4e52-9b9e-3a808da56dc0.jpgDavid Estes is the author of more than 20 science fiction and fantasy novels that have received hundreds of thousands of downloads worldwide, including The Moon Dwellers, Fire Country, Slip, Brew, and his new SciFi Pinocchio retelling, Strings. He lives in Hawaii with his inspiring Aussie wife, Adele, rambunctious son, Beau, and naughty cat, Bailey. When he’s not writing, you’ll likely find him at the beach swimming, snorkeling, or reading under an umbrella.

Buy the Book Here:
eBook link: http://www.amazon.com/Strings­David­Estes-ebook/dp/B0182SJ8S6
Paperback link: http://www.amazon.com/Strings­David-Estes/dp/1523246006
Audiobook link: http://www.amazon.com/Strings/dp/B01BG3SL6Y

Enter to Win a Copy of the Book Here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

WOW

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking the Spine and focuses on highlighting upcoming releases that we’re excited about. This week I’m anxiously awaiting The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I probably don’t need to say much about this, but basically, this is one of my favorite series and Maggie is one of my favorite authors. Also, that cover!!

17378527Title: The Raven King
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 400
Release Date: April 26, 2016

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Maggie has been releasing snippets from the book, but I’m not a fan of excerpts from novels, because then I’m even more anxious for the book to come out! I’ve had this book preordered for MONTHS so I’m already dying a little inside while I wait.