Book Rating Guide

Most people rate by stars… but I feel like this needs a more in depth explanation other than DNF – 5 ⭐️.

Depending on what the book is – I have various scales in which I rate. Differences like is this self published or is it from a traditional publishing house with editors? Who is the intended audience? Is it for children or is for adults? Do I enjoy this genre in general or is it a personal favorite? Thinking about the aspects of the books before I rate is the reason why I rate critically instead of personally. I do put my personal feelings into it, but it doesn’t necessarily change the way I would rate it.

There have been books that are not in my genre wheel house that I did not enjoy AT ALL, but it still received X amount of stars due to character development, world building, plot line, etc! I don’t find it fair to rate a book with low stars when I knew going into it that it wasn’t something I would like personally.

Examples I like to use: I went to rate VE Schwab’s City of Ghosts and I saw a middle aged adult person rate it 2⭐️ because it read like a children’s book. 👀 Exsqueeze me? You’re an adult, you are not the intended audience. Rate it as if you were a child! Or, when I saw someone rate a book 1⭐️ because they thought going into it it was YA and not adult and they don’t like adult books.

Below you’ll find my rating scale and examples of books I think critically fit the star categories! You can get a good idea about the types of books I enjoyed or maybe are not into! This list doesn’t necessarily reflect my personal feelings about these titles. I keep my personal ratings/enjoyment in a written journal.


5⭐️ – Books That Are Balanced and Recommended to Everyone

4 ⭐️ – Books I’d Recommend Based on Reading Preferences

3 ⭐️ – Books That Were a Good Read and Most Would Enjoy

2 ⭐️ – Books That I Finished but Didn’t Enjoy Much Due to Structural Issues

1⭐️ – Books That I Finished but Had Major Issues

DNF – Books I Wouldn’t Recommend or Are Problematic

Honestly, I am unsure if I’ve ever DNF’d a book because it was so problematic I couldn’t take it. A Twisted Belief is super close but I suffered through it mostly because the author was harassing me – which… is an automatic no-no for reviewers. Don’t be that person.