How I Rate and Review Books

I love reading and I love talking about books I’ve read. I also try to at least give public ratings, if not reviews, for everything I read. The only exceptions are the books I really don’t like. And there’s an exception to that exception, if a certain book is poor quality and also happens to be or promote something that I feel I must take a stand against.

We all have our particular tastes and standards. I for one try to give pretty much everything a chance (or a few of those) and find something interesting about it. Confession time: I read and enjoyed the entire Twilight series just because it happened to come into my life at the right time. It ranks pretty low on my top of all-time vampire favorites, but it’s still been a pleasant experience.

My ratings are very emotional. If a book touches me, then I’ll say I liked it. If it moves me and makes me think about it, I’ll say so. I don’t think only the literary masterpieces deserve 5 star reviews. On the contrary, any book that you relate to, enjoy, and relax with deserves my full support. Otherwise, after the great classics of all literature, no one deserves more than 3 stars. Which reminds me I should really read The Magus again! There was something in there about everything having already been written.

However, if something does not sit well with me, I’ll point it out. As long as it is a valid point and an honest opinion, I’ll share it. I rarely make fun of books I didn’t like, but that does not mean I don’t enjoy reading other people’s negative reviews, if they are funny and based on valid arguments. I just can’t write them, unless I am really, really rubbed the wrong way.

I have discovered I am somewhat lenient when it comes to grammar. More so with indie authors and those who are not native speakers. When it’s a native speaker and it’s a basic mistake, it diminishes the reading experience more than I’d like to admit. But if the story and characters are compelling, I’ll get over it. I also tend to be harsher when we’re talking mainstream publishers.

All in all, I always find the one good thing about what I read and try my best not to be mean. Hurting people won’t make me feel better, even if I feel I’ve wasted my time. I am a writer in the end, lessons of how not to do it are as important as those on how to do it!

How do you review books? What’s important to you and what do you tend to overlook?

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A pleasure to meet you! I’m Alina Popescu, an author, traveler, and hopeless coffee addict. I write urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and sometimes even contemporary stories. A significant number of my books are LGBTQ fiction and romance.

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