“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?