Rating Scale Explained

I’m a strict book reader and for some reason I try simplifying my crazy analyses to a 1-5 star rating scale.  You may notice 1-5 is more like 1-50 as I add decimals to appease my indecisiveness. I may be picky, but I also try to be considerate of others’ opinions.  It’s very rare for me to hand out 5s.
Here’s the gist:

*****5 stars*****: I love it!  I think Everyone should read it sometime in his/her life, and personally, I will happily read it over and over.  It’s strong in all 3 story elements (character, plot, setting) and surprises me.  I PROMOTE it.

****4 stars****: I like it!  It catches my attention though doesn’t necessarily hold it. It might be strong in 2 of the 3 story elements, but might lack in the 3rd element.  I DO recommend it.

***3 stars***: It’s alright.  It has its ups and downs, pros and cons–maybe it’s fantastic in one aspect, but utterly disappointing in another.  It’s balanced.  I likely won’t read it again.  I CAN recommend it if someone is interested in its specific genre or style.

As an author myself, I know bad ratings can hurt and are often misunderstood.  So, if I don’t recommend it as 3 stars or higher, I don’t rate it.