Do you review different genres of books with different criteria?

I started thinking about this when I was writing some reviews of chick lit books.  I love chick lit.  If your book cover is pink, I promise I will at least pick it up and read the back.


A photo posted by @dvmheather on

But when it comes to reviewing light and fluffy books I get stuck. Here’s how star ratings work in my brain for other genres.

  • 1 star – I finished it because the hate and rage was pushing me through
  • 2 stars – I have some issues with this book
  • 3 stars – I liked it.  I finished it.  Moving on now.
  • 4 stars – Better than average.  Probably gave me something to think about
  • 5 stars – Life changing.  Seriously, something about this changed the way I think or see the world.

So light books don’t tend to fit into those categories.  I decided I need a new scale for them.  Partially inspired by Jamie’s timeline rating graphics, I made myself a new grading scale.  I think of these books as fluffy so OBVIOUSLY I needed a FLUFFY BUNNY SCALE!



I made some new graphics for my regular book reviews too.



I also have an add on for those books that you are going to get so sick of hearing me talk about.



Is it just me or do you find yourself promoting books that you didn’t actually rate very high?  For example, Ascension is a book I find myself promoting all the time but it was a 3 star read for me.  It is sci-fi written by a POC author with a black lesbian protagonist and features polyamorous relationships.  So when there are Twitter discussions and someone asks if anyone knows a book about any of those things, I mention it.

9 Replies to “Do You Review Genres Differently?”

  1. I have this issue with fluffy romances too – I rate on a five star scale, so it’s really hard to compare these types of books to the more “possibly life-changing” type books. Often, I’ll say that, for what it is, it’s perfect! (Which is kind of a caveat, but it works!)

  2. First of all, I love your graphics!

    I really struggled with defining my ratings, and I ended up basing them on how likely I was to want to relisten to a book (I’m a big rereader). This isn’t always fair though, since some books are really good but just aren’t something I would want to read again. In that case I usually cheat.

    Make New Friends, but Keep the Old: Rereading

  3. I ummm… I don’t know?! I struggle so much with trying to somehow standardize or be consistent in my ratings, but I just can’t do it. So I also get the problem of dark/heavy books vs. light/fluffy ones. Except for me, well, maybe this is similar to what you were saying, it’s that light books don’t affect me in the same way, and I just don’t like them as much. Like, when I read a light, fluffy book, it pretty much just has no chance of getting 5 stars, the poor thing. But sometimes I read them because sometimes I just need that light fluffiness. But then I wonder, should I rate lower to reflect my taste? Should I rate it higher to reflect that it was good for what it was? But then that doesn’t seem fair to the amazing darker books out there that I do love… I think I’m rambling, but it’s just such a conundrum!

    1. That’s the problem. If a fluffy book is better than average for the genre, I want to reward that but it isn’t the same as a more serious book.

  4. Oooh I like this idea! I have a similar problem with romance novels (although as I’ve gone through binges with them it’s become significantly easier). I mean comparing a Julia Quinn novel to a Haruki Murakami novel is like…the two are so entirely different from each other that I can’t possibly compare them! (And besides that I tend to enjoy romance novels more). I don’t have a rating scale I use strictly but I’m definitely going to keep the fluffy bunny one in mind for my next romance novel rating! 🙂

    1. I’m so stingy with high ratings for books that it isn’t fair to give fluffy books high ratings that the others had to work so hard for.

  5. This is a smart idea. I’m kind of the same way with fantasy books, especially anything to do with dragons or similar. It’s like, in my brain they start with a 4 star rating instead of the default 3, + I tend to be more forgiving of faults that would knock a star off in general fiction. The little bunny graphic scale you have here is super cute.

What Do You Think?