Monday, March 4, 2013

My Book Reviews Explained...

I read a lot of books. Actually I read 1-2 books a week, I think that's a lot, but I suppose that really depends on how many you read and whether you consider the books I read as worthy enough to be considered "reading." I have a goal of reading 52 books this year, which I don't foresee as a problem. I have also challenged myself to read a book from A-Z, which was a suggestion/challenge from Good Reads. A-Z is super hard, I have read a good deal of books so far this year, but I cant seem to manage getting some letters yet I've read three books in other letters. I read fiction, primarily because the purpose of reading for me, is to  escape reality. It's like watching a TV show or a movie.

Considering I intend to post some of my reviews on here (okay all of them) I figured I should explain how I rate them. I use the Good Reads method (for anyone with out Good Reads, and a reader or author should immediately join, I am seriously addicted to this site!) Good Reads uses the 1-5 star scale (except no half stars which I think is a bummer!

1 Star means I didn't like it, or I couldn't even finish the book
2 Stars means I finished the book, and it was okay. It was a book that was intriguing enough to finish but not great enough to recommend to other people.
3 Stars means that I liked the book and recommend it to other people but I recognize that it may have some flaws, that either I picked up on and didn't like or that I could see why someone else might not like it.
4 Stars means I Really Really liked the book It kept me hooked and I enjoyed the book a great deal, likely a book I read quickly too.
5 Stars means I loved this book and think anyone who likes those types of books should read it. A book I could re read, wish it would be a movie and I can ignore every flaw in the book.

I, of course, use the half's if I cant decide, for instance maybe Ill give a book a 3.5 because I really liked it over all but it still have some major flaws that threw me off. (Waiting for You)

I have some 200 books on my to be read list on Good Reads! Eek. I have to admit though I have a hard time deciding which reviews to trust. Everyone has such different views and opinions. Sometimes I read the synopsis of a book, and it sounds really good, the reviews are all pretty good and then I get a sample of it on my kindle and I cant make it past the first chapter! I wish there was a better way to weed the reviews out. Typically, I skip any review that gave the book bad marks for grammar (come on its self published and cheap, mistakes happen, if it doesn't affect my ability to read/comprehend I have no qualms), and I try to read the best and the worst reviews to see what people are saying, but still its hard to decide. That's usually when I get the sample on my kindle and decide based on the first few chapters.

But what makes a book good or bad to you? To me a book is good if it keeps me intrigued. (I realize this is quite a broad and nondescript answer) But its hard for me to explain what makes a book really good, because personally I think its a lot of little things not just one thing. For example, I like to be able to relate to the characters, and I need to like the characters overall, (or dislike if that's the intended feeling) and I have to enjoy the journey I'm being taken on. I hate reading a book and thinking to myself, "ok where is this going...lets get to the point" those are the kind of books I finish just to know the endings. But what is it that makes a book really good or really bad?

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