After realizing that I haven’t addressed this, I wrote a short explanation on how I judge books when reviewing.
Primarily, I rate book by the amount of emotion it evokes within me, which usually correlates with how well a book is written, the quality of the character development, and the movement of the plot. For instance, a book that leaves me turning over details and generally being on a book high for days will earn a 5 star rating. One that leaves me feeling that it could have offered more or one that I enjoyed but without real lasting impact will earn a lesser score. As with all ratings, mine is a matter of my own opinion and reflects my feelings about the book, so I may dislike a really popular book or love one that no one else seems to really care for.
You may have noticed that I rarely rate a book below 4 stars- this is because I don’t force myself to continue on with a book that I deem total literary crap. Now this sounds harsh, but let’s be honest, if a manuscript is really just bad it probably won’t get published in the first place. The books I rate as 3 or 3.5 stars are books that are probably okay, but I just wasn’t into them. Don’t write them off! I’m thinking about doing a twice yearly post on books that I didn’t finish since it’s quite rare that this happens and I don’t review them.