“What makes or breaks a book? How do we rate the books, or determine if it is good literature or a good story?”
I’d like to think that I’m not a picky reader.
There are just things I feel strongly about.
There are too many series that don’t need to be series.
I like series. I do. But, not every story needs to be a trilogy. If you do write a series there should be a complete story in each book. Don’t write just one very, very long story then chop it randomly into three pieces and call it a trilogy.
If you are going to be writing a series you should also get the sequels out in a timely manner. You really, really need to do this if you have a cliffhanger ending. There is one sequel I’ve been waiting years and years for and I don’t see it coming anytime soon.
There doesn’t need to be a romance in every book. Well done romance is fine but don’t have a great story and then think, “You know what this needs? Sexual tension!” and then shoehorn a needless romance in there. You can go save a dragon by your own self or with friends without dragging along an annoying potential love interest that will just need to be rescued.
I took any star rating scales off the blog because it was too subjective. People didn’t always know what I meant. For Goodreads, here is my mental scale.
- 1 star – had to be so horribly racist or something that I just finished it as a hate read – Jules Verne’s stupid balloon book
- 2 star – a good story that was told very poorly – One Hundred Names
- 3 star – most books. I read it and enjoyed it as I was doing so. It was entertaining. I’m moving on now and won’t remember much about this in a few months.
- 4 star – will stick in my mind for a while.
- 5 star – loved it. Will rave about this and recommend it to everyone I know. Very rare and elusive
For Amazon, I only rate books I really loved (because I have to do it by hand instead of Ultimate Book Blogger automatically doing it for me. Lazy!). I tend to give only 4 or 5 stars. Amazon’s ratings feel more inflated than Goodreads so I tend to rate high.
I think I’m a picky reviewer. I don’t give many 5 stars at all. I know some people give lots. I give less than 10 a year. Maybe I embody the spirit of these guys.
Do you think you are a tough reviewer?