Book Reviews & Rating System

Book Reviews

I will read anything.

I really mean that; horror, fantasy, speculative fiction, non-fiction, fairy tale re-telling’s, literary classics, YA, magical realism, thrillers and many more have found their way onto my bookshelves (ok… or onto my Kindle if I’m on holiday).

I will ‘give anything a go’ but have realised two things about myself along my bookish journey:-

  1. I appear to have a trend of not enjoying the literary, highly-lauded books that frequent critically acclaimed lists and which tend to win awards.
  2. My heart will forever adore fantasy, fairy tales, speculative fiction and YA.

BUT… I will always listen to suggestions and take recommendations and go into any book with an open mind. Ultimately it’s the story that counts.

Do I always love what I read even if it’s something I think I would love? No.

Not every review on here will be three stars (or hearts) and above but I will try and explain my reasons why something didn’t appeal in the most ranty way possible in the best way I can.

My opinions are my own and are completely subjective. Take my reviews with a liberal pinch of salt and then wash that liberal pinch down with a nice glug of tequila.

I hope that you find some books among the archives that you can bite into. Or ones that take a bite out of you.

Books are like that.


Ratings System

I refer to ‘stars’ but I’m sure you can see that I’ve gone with some hearts instead.

It means the same thing.


5 Star

(A five star review will probably be hard to come by from me as I am notoriously picky).

This book would have had amazing writing, characters, world-building and clever plotting or intricately explored themes.

But as I base a lot of my reviews on my emotional responses (and I am a tad on the emotional side) I would have had a lot of ‘feels’ happening while reading and will probably end up engaging in discussion about this in the pub for a while to come.


4 Star

This book was one that I enjoyed greatly and had all the components of what makes a book very good for me.

An emotional response was probably had but maybe not to the extent of what I felt for those five star book.

A four star book is a book that I would recommend to the wider audience of book readers.


3 Star

Disclaimer: Three stars is NOT a bad rating in my eyes.

This means that I enjoyed this book very much (probably in despite of some flaws)!

A three star book in my eyes means that it has a lot to offer in a lot of ways even if it may fall short in others.

For example, I may not have liked the plot or characters but thought that the writing was amazing or…. I might not have liked the writing but enjoyed the story and characters.

I would probably only recommend a three star book to the readers I know would be interested in the genre or style.


2 Star

This is where we enter ‘not so bothered’ territory.

Two stars can mean that I enjoyed the book despite a significant lack of writing skill, plot or characterisation (or even that I really didn’t like a character) but that I would be embarrassed to admit to friends that I enjoyed it because objectively, it just isn’t that good. 

It could also be that this book just wasn’t my cup of tea but I can recognise that there were some elements I enjoyed enough to keep me going and to give it a star above one.

This is probably not a book that I would recommend unless I knew you personally and knew it would be your taste.


1 Star

We’ve moved from ‘not so bothered’ and crossed the border into ‘oh dear.’ And that’s me being polite and British.

I would have finished the book through sheer force of will but I didn’t enjoy it at all or felt that the book was just not holding up in terms of writing and characters etc.

I will try and find reasons as to why a one star review is given but sometimes it simply boils down to that old fashioned, ‘I just didn’t like it.’ It would be one I wouldn’t recommend and if I’m honest – may even tell people to avoid.



Funnily enough this stands for ‘Did Not Finish.’

Maybe it’s because I didn’t even like the book enough to finish it, maybe it just wasn’t the book for me at that particular time in my life, maybe it’s a book that you need to be in a certain mood to read, maybe I’ll come back and try again someday. Who knows.

Life is too short to read bad books books that you don’t enjoy.