Hey! If you’re going to read a blog with book reviews, here is a quick guide to how I’m going to do them.
Book Title: [first comes all the basic stuff…title, author, publisher, pages, etc.]
Date Read: [just to show how long I wait to read certain novels 🙂 ]
Format: [I own an eReader – a Barnes & Noble nook – but I also read physical books, new and used, all the time. I work at a bookstore that allows me to borrow any hardcover book for two weeks, so when under “Format,” I write “Hardcover borrowed from work,” that does not mean I stole it from a place that sells books…]
Cover Love: [this is where I judge a book by its cover. If you don’t hear about a book from a friend or another entertainment source, sometimes you have to pick up a book because of its cool cover, or even an inventive spine. And sometimes an awesome book has a crappy cover. Here’s where I distinguish between the two]
Given Synopsis: [What the back of the book or inner flap of a hardcover says about the plot of the novel. I don’t often see the point in book reviews re-stating the synopsis within the review when all that information is provided. But…]
What I’d Add: […sometimes the description does leave out something crucial. So I add it here.]
It’s Sorta Like: [If the plot/characters/genre reminds me of another book or movie or cultural point I’ve experienced, I’ll put it here. Maybe you’ll get into another series or read a new movie because of it]
My Grade: [How I rate things! I’m going simple, old school here: A grading scale like in school: A being the highest and F being the lowest. My rating system might change as this site gains traction, but this system is familiar to most people. Here are my guidelines for grades:
A This book is great – amazing, even! – It’s solid on all fronts, takes some risk(s), has enjoyable, complex characters, and I blabbed about it for days after I finished it. I’ve thought about it way after the last page was turned and something about it changed my perspective on how I see things.
B A good, solid book. It lacks the special sparkle of a favorite book (an “A+”), but it’s still impressive, well-written, and one I would recommend to friends and/or fans of the genre.
C C’s are considered the catch-all “average” grade. “Average” grade books have great parts. They have bad parts. It’s a rare book that is across-the-board awesome, so an uneven plot or writing style is forgivable when a premise is awesome or the action scenes are virtually flawless or I fall in love with one of the characters (occupational hazard).
D For the most part the writing is clunky or poor, the plot or characters unrealistic. Often the premise is promising – the description on the book flap drew me in – and the execution is flawed. Big opportunities are missed. It’s disappointing. Sometimes it gets difficult to continue reading. I keep going, hoping it gets better, and it just does not live up to any of my expectations.
F (Side bar: isn’t it weird that F’s don’t get pluses or minuses?) I very much doubt that I will grade any book on this blog an F, because I’ll only be reviewing books I’ve read in their entirety. If a book is truly bad, I usually don’t finish it.
And I’ll most likely be using pluses and minuses, for the same reason that other bloggers/reviewers give things half stars, half bookmarks, half…teacups. And because I’m wishy-washy like that.]
Review: [Where my review goes! There’s no real template. I might start with my favorite bits, then point out a few points that might bother other people, or I might make a bulleted list. Every review will be different in this way (and, you know, different in that they’re all about different books…) I will always preface a spoiler-y review with a disclaimer. You read ahead on those at your own risk.]