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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Quick Question

So for the past couple of weeks I have been getting comments that I am a hard reviewer. Too put it bluntly, anal. Of course I took it into consideration. However, just recently I've discovered that I have only given 8! books a 4 or higher grade. So right now I'm reevaluating my grading system. But first I want to ask you guys, my readers, a question before I do that.

1) Am I an extremely harsh, to the point where I am being mean, grader?
2) Should I continue to give my full response flaws and all about a book?
3) Or should I ease it up a little and grade books more gently?
4) Do you guys even like my reviews?
5) In what areas can I approve on?


  1. I haven't seen comments like this. :o

    1) I wouldn't say mean. I would say that you are...I dunno. As long as you're using constructive criticism I don't see a problem.

    2) YES.

    3) Constructive criticism. :D

    4) I love your reviews. They're Spectacular.

    5) I dunno. -shrug-

  2. lol Khy. I say keep doing what your doing. We love you for being anal. :)

    But a grading system is a good idea! Yay for you!

  3. I like your reviews because you give your honest opinion and don't lie about the book.

    -Senfaye :)

  4. I think that you should continue to give your full opinion on a novel. Don't give a book that you don't like a good review. People who read your blog know that if you REALLY like a book than it must be good and people who have similiar tastes to you might be let down if you're not giving your REAL opinion.

    I've read a few of your reviews and I think that they're fine. They're fair. Remember that this blog is your opinion on books and it shouldn't change because people say it should.

    :D :D

  5. I do think you are a little hard to please with your grading system, but there's nothing wrong with that.

    You should just continue to be honest and write what you think without having to worry about sugarcoating it, it's YOUR opinion of the books, you're not forcing people to agree with you or think the same thing as you do, some people are hard to please, some aren't. *shrugs*

    Plus, I kind of like the fact you don't go easy on books when reviewing, at least then I know that if you give it a good rating then you really mean it.

    But if you do decide to change your grading system then you could try something like I dunno, 5 stars = loved it, would reread it. 4 stars = loved it but not one that you'd reread, 3 stars = liked it, 2 stars = didn't hate it, but didn't quite like it either, 1 star = epic fail/can't stand it etc... or something like that.

    There's less catagories that way so chances are more books will get a higher rating. :o/

  6. I love your reviews! I wouldnt change them. I think they're right on. I mean sure there are a few really amazing books out there and I don't hink it'd do the amazing books justice to put some others that were better than okay but not really amazing in the same catagory just so you dont feel bad or harsh.

    I think that criticism is okay I mean you should find the good and the bad in the book, which I think you do. I mean isn't it the point of reviewing to put your thoughts? You shouldn't lie about what you think of the book.

    Sorry that was a bit ranty.

  7. I think you write good reviews. I, too, have noticed that you don't give books high ratings easily--which is why I always take notice when you rate something above a 4! That being said, I think it wouldn't hurt to reconsider your ratings scale. It's kind of like how they need to rescale the SATs every year, in order to fit the pool of takers. What's the best one year may not be the best in another. What are some of your 5-star picks? Are there other books you have read that are just as good, if maybe in a different way?

  8. I think you are detailed and I like that!

    I'm wondering where your In My Mailbox post is, post it girl!

  9. I love your reviews because they are HONEST, and that's what counts. Hmm....I know lots of picky people, and sometimes that's a good thing. You know what you like. That's OK. For constructive criticism, I would say get a wider rating system because sometimes it's confusing when you read a review for a book that's rated 2.4 or 5.3! Otherwise, keep it up! (:

  10. Your reviews are fresh and honest and spot on! Don't stop because someone says you're harsh. You critique very well!

  11. 1) No, I don't think so. As long as it's still concrit, I don't see it as a problem.
    2) Yep, honesty is a go.
    3) No, as long as it's still constructive, just keep going as is.
    4) Yep, they're awesome :)

    I definitely see your dilmena though, because with like IB and just learning more stuff and getting more experience, I feel that I've become a harsher critic as well. If I were to go back and re-review past books, I think it might be a little more critical as well. Idk, I guess i just try to focus more on the positive and not linger too long after touching upon the lacking. But I mean, it's all part of the process of maturity and evolution, right? And in order to improve, as long as it's constructive, crit is what's needed, to force us to "reach our arms out further, run faster," etc. so to speak, as Fitzgerald (Great Gatsby) would've said.

  12. 1) Definitely not, I have never see your reviews as mean!

    2) Yes, I personally like to know what is wrong with a book before I get it.

    3) No, unless you truly feel your reviews are too harsh then you shouldn't change them for other people.

    4) I LOVE your reviews, they are definitely unique!

    5) Maybe add a few more positives? Don't cut anything negative, just balance it a little, you know?

  13. Hmmm, I think you have high expectations, but I don't see anything wrong with your rating. A "3" is good according to your system which is not a bad thing. I don't expect you to fall in love with all books.

    I guess the only thing that I am curious about is how you calculate "3.85" etc... I only give whole and 1/2 number ratings.

    I find your reviews informative and honest, flaws and all. :)

  14. I don't see anything wrong with your reviews, they're honest and enjoyable...and they make me take extra notice when you give a book high rating too.

  15. Please don't stop giving your honest opinions about the books you've read. I really don't think you've been harsh at all, just because you don't love *everything* you read or think all the books you've read are perfect doesn't mean you're being harsh.

    Plus, I think reviews that point out the flaws you find in books helps readers choose which books they want to read more than reviews that are just completely positive. When you point out what you didn't like in a book like say a character action, a writing style, lack of development in one part, etc. a reader can look at that & decide for themself whether or not that's something that would bug them or whether it has the opposite effect & makes them want to read the book. If a reviewer only mentions the things they love about a book I have a hard time trusting their recommendation because once you've started reading a lot of books it's impossible to love *everything* you read unless you're not being truthful to yourself.

  16. I like your reviews, I think they're fair and honest. DON'T change them because of anything anyone sayss.

  17. I think what you say is far more important than the grade anyway. Something that bothered you and made you dock some points, may be the very thing that will make someone else love it!

  18. I'm new to your site, but I like your reviews. It's just too expensive these days to buy every book I want, so I'm always looking for reviews that are honest and specific about a book's flaws to help me decide what's worth buying now, and what I can wait for. I hope you'll continue to give your honest opinion.

  19. I save my five star ratings for amazing books, so four is pretty special too. I'd say 2 was an average, 3 was an I-really-enjoyed-it-but-there-were-problems. So for me personally your rating system makes perfect sense. As long as you grade all your books to the same standard, it's ok.
    And I enjoy your reviews. They give me a good understanding of how high my expectations should be for each book.

  20. A critic who explains why she likes or does not like an element of the work, provides context, and substantiates her argument for what works or does not work in a novel, and provides a brief summary instead of retelling the entire book, is a reviewer worth reading.

    There has to be balance. Personal opinion isn't enough. As a reader, I want to read a reviewer gives me enough information to form my own opinion.

    I think you do that. Lastly, I really don't care what rating a critic assigns. It is how thorough your review is that I'm critical of.

  21. I do love your reviews. It's good to be critic at things like that cause this is your blog and you give your honest opinion.
    So continue like you feel it!

  22. 1. No you are not a mean grader. You are honest. I think your expectations are just a little higher than most readers, but that is not a bad quality to have.

    2. Please continue rating the books as you have. Books are not perfect.

    3. No, continue being honest. I think if you ease up, it won't seem like your true opinion, which is one of the things I love about your blog.

    4. Love your reviews! They really are among the best!

    5. I don't think there is anything to improve with your reviews. You said you are starting to write your own summaries, so you have great, well rounded reviews.

  23. I don't think you're harsh at all. You always justify the reasons you feel the way that you do and I like your reviews even more because of that.

    I wish I could write a review and express my feelings as well as you can. Seriously.

    Keep doing what you are doing. I've noticed myself becoming more hard to impress and I think once you read so many books, it gets to be that way. Once you've read a great novel, you know what a "great" novel is... you know what I'm trying to say here...?

    Like I said.. keep doing what you're doing.