Friday, February 24, 2012

Book Review Rubric

"How I review books."

Often, people ask me why I give a book a certain rating. I always try to answer as honestly as possible, so I tell them my rubric which can get a little wordy. As I was sitting in English class recently, my teacher handed out an essay rubric and I just thought, "Hey! I could do that instead!" So without further ado, here it is.....{You are more than welcome to apply this to your own reviews}

Star Rating: 

0               Put simply, this book has no redeeming qualities. It stinks all the way around. The only possible good quality about these books are the ends and the covers. [While GoodReads does not allow 0 stars, it will be stated at the beginning of my review and will be categorized as a 1 star....unfortunately].  Characters aren't developed and don't make any sense. Plot is confusing and is never really tied up. These books feel as if they were just pasted together with no consideration as to the order in which they should go. Sloppy, gross and completely unacceptable. {A book you have to force yourself to finish because it is just THAT bad}

1               Book has no flow. Book has undeveloped characters. Book's plot wasn't developed or     explained properly.     Book was labeled improperly. Book did not meet standard.

2               Book has some flow. Book has some well developed characters but leaves others undeveloped. Book's plot started out right but fell short of the mark. Book almost met standard.

3                Book has flow. Main/Most characters are developed, and they are average characters. Book's plot was developed and touched the mark. Book meets standard.

4                Book has good flow. Main/Most characters are well developed and have something relatable about them. Book's plot was developed and hit the mark. Book passes standard.

5        -rare occasion-  Book has GREAT flow. ALL characters are WONDERFULLY developed. The characters are relatable and they are easy to love or hate [realistic].  Book's plot is AMAZINGLY developed, makes sense, but STILL has unexpected twists & turns. Book slaps the mark. Book surpasses standard by a mile. [Also has an element of "Je ne sais quoi" that is felt while reading, not an explainable quality as that it is different for everyone]

      So there you have it. That is my basic rubric for reviewing books. Its actually not as strict as it may sound, because I don't follow it in a drill sergeant manner. Its a nice, loose reference. If I ever read any of your books, and you have questions about why I gave it a certain rating.......just come here and check it out. Hopefully it helps to clear up any confusion and aids any straggling reviewers get their feet in the door.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Judging

"Don't judge a book by its cover."

My question: Why Not??  

I'm sure we've all done it. I do it all the time! I don't think judging a book based on its cover is necessarily a bad thing. I love to read.
Being my first blog post, EVER, I figured, "why not give a little insight into how I do things by talking about something a lot of readers do?" So in order to help you indecisive readers a bit, let's begin.

      It may sound bad, even harsh, but in reality, I don't thing thats the case. Whenever I pick up a book, I have a routine that helps me see if a book is worthwhile or not. & to see how much my interest gets piqued.  This could be potentially helpful to those of you who don't know whether or not you actually feel like "wasting your time" on a book. Although I can honestly say, I don't think thats possible either.

  1.    *Title: Read it. Is it interesting? Does it spark any interest? What does it make you think of?
  2.    *Size: Do you have time for it? Do you think you could make it all the way through?
  3.    *Summary: Read the back or inside cover. Does the plot seem interesting? Are you at all curious? 
  4.    *Cover: Covers say a lot! Does it fit any of your preferences? Do you feel drawn to the book? 
  5.     *Sample: Read the first sentence or first paragraph. Are you caught? Do you want to continue?  

Once you've completed these steps, you should have a pretty good idea of the book and by now you should know whether or not you want to check it out. I used to have a hard time picking out books that were actually interesting and disregarding the ones that bored me after a while. So, the steps above were my solution. I hope this helps any of you picky readers and I really hope this tip helps you find your next favorite book, as well as weed out the ones that will leave you hungry.

*      Any of these steps can be moved around or disregarded based on your preferences.
*      Step 4 is completely preference based. Some factors you may want to consider: color, picture appeal, text style, etc. Details help draw us in. Just find your preference and have fun. If you are an elemental reader, you may like books with water, fire, air or earth related thing. For all you romantics, you may be a sucker for hearts, hand holding, couples & kisses. No matter what you prefer, stick to your instincts. Follow your gizzard, but remember that it is always okay to take chances. =)