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The process of reviewing a book is a subjective one. With that being said, we tag our reviews with stars: This allows the reader to get a feeling of how strong we perceive the quality of a certain reviewed book. the thought process behind my star ratings goes something like this:
★ We don’t consider the book a high quality piece of fiction; the readers have to force themselves to make it through to finish it. We try to avoid posting reviews with such level of quality.
★★ A book that is fundamentally okay. This usually means we found something appealing about the story but it didn’t resonate with us. Occasionally it might be that one element was strong but another was particularly weak, sometimes I might consider it a pleasant read but ultimately un-affecting. This isn’t a “bad” rating, but not a good one either. This also means there are many better books to read (which usually fall into the next category).
★★★ A book with three stars needs to be strong in at least two of the following three elements – a plot, character or writing style. We would consider it a good read– entertaining, or interesting as the case may be. Most of the books we review fall into this category.
★★★★ Four stars is reserved for those books with all of the essential elements and it left its mark in some way. These are the books you talk about with friends, see many reviews for them on the web and they usually become best sellers. They are all enjoyable or fascinating in terms of story line.
★★★★★To get five stars a book has to have a combination of plot, characters and style that speaks to the reader– a masterpiece that keeps us up til 3am, that leads us to hunt down everything else the author has written. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an example of such books. We rarely award 5 star to a book as this is reserved for best of the bests.