I always find it very interesting to read reviews of books, especially what each reviewer believes are the best qualities of a book, and, in other cases, what they felt did not work in the story. I know, from my own experience, that these reviews assist me to decide whether to take a chance upon choosing a book to read, apart from the obvious things such as the cover and book theme/story. I find it fascinating looking at the various reviews a book may receive, and, how some books divide reviewers dramatically. If a book has received ratings ranging from * up to *****, with a tendency for reviewers to rate it either very high on the scale, or rate it very low, this definitely piques my interest. In many instances, I am intrigued to see why reviewers have rated the book in this way, and, wish to review it myself, in order to provide my own critique.
From my own experiences of reading and reviewing, for me to rate a book as a ****star or *****star book, to be honest, I can ‘feel’ that it falls into either one of these categories. It is a gut feeling about a work that you can sense, especially when I judge whether or not I can give the book five stars. For me a four star book is one which is very well written, has swept me away, is literate, etcetera, but, which I feel I cannot award five stars for a certain reason. Maybe the four star book had elements which were not developed enough, or which I felt could have been explored more, but were not. The five-star book, on the other hand, is something that is generally flawless, in my humble opinion, and a work that I could not find any fault with. While there may be some very minor quibbles sometimes, the story may be so entrancing, compelling, powerful etcetera, that I am drawn to award the work five stars.
This is just my viewpoint on a topic which we could all talk about for hours on end, as each reader has such a different take on an individual book, and how they feel about it. Now, let us return to the original topic of this post – how do you review books?