This article is my framework for reviewing books where I lay out specific examples of books for each rating I’ve set up.

This exercise helped me to discover why I keep coming back to certain books time and time again – and why others don’t seem to stick in my mind as memorable or worthy of a recommendation.

Hopefully, this list of books and my ratings for them will give you a good idea of my reading tastes so you can decide if my opinion is worth your while! Other people might rate my 5-star books as a 1-star book on their shelves – how you feel after reading a book is a matter of opinion.

Although, I hope we can all be respectful of the time, effort, and dedication it takes a writer to complete and publish any book at all! So let’s all play nice.

For insight into what kinds of books I enjoy reading, and thus will be reviewing in the future, here is a list of my most and least favorite genres.

My favorite genres:

  • Memoirs
  • Self-help, Health & Wellbeing
  • Humor & Comedy
  • Magical Realism
  • Post-apocalyptic & Dystopian
  • Nonfiction (about nature, sustainability, psychology, animal welfare, community building)

My least favorite genres:

  • Romance
  • Thriller & Suspense
  • Mystery & Crime
  • Fantasy (excessive world-building isn’t for me)

5 Stars | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I could not put this book down, or I keep coming back to it year after year. Timeless, unique, haunting – or it changed my perspective on life.

A 5 Star book is one that I would bring into my tiny home with me. If you know anything about tiny homes, you know there isn’t a lot of storage space to work with, so this is a glowing endorsement!

Generally, I am not a re-reader of books. Whenever I read any book, I always have a pencil at the ready to highlight specific passages (I know, blasphemy), and if I do end up coming back to a book, I will flip through to see what I’ve underlined in the past and see if it still resonates with me.

That being said, I re-read The Yellow Wallpaper at least once a year.

Breaking it down: This book was unique, memorable, and re-reading worthy. I LOVED it. The characters were memorable, the plot held my attention and was unique, and the themes/lessons of the book have stuck with me. The author’s writing style is another reason for the high rating. I love reading books with a consistent, lyrical writing style that flows well. These books often stay with me for a long time. After finishing, I can’t stop thinking about it. Highly Recommended!

4 Stars | ⭐⭐⭐ 

It was a great book, and I would highly recommend it!

Breaking it down: This book was a very enjoyable read. I really liked it as a whole, and loved specific aspects of it. There may have been a few things that I felt could be improved upon, or there may be nothing wrong with the book, it just didn’t blow me away.  I would recommend this book to most people and think most people would really enjoy this book. Go read this book!

3 Stars | ⭐⭐⭐

It was a good book, and I would recommend it.

Breaking it down: This book was good. I didn’t love it and I didn’t dislike it. There maybe have been a few things that bothered me while reading this book and it may have been slow in parts. I would still recommend this book; it just wasn’t a favorite of mine. Read it if you have spare time.

2 Stars | ⭐⭐

I liked a few things, but overall would not recommend. 

Breaking it down: There may have been a few moments in the book that I liked, but overall it was uninspiring for me. This rating is often reserved for books that are lacking in specific areas like having underdeveloped characters, a slow or poorly paced plot, or themes that I didn’t connect with. I would not recommend this book.

1 Star | ⭐

Not my cup of tea. 

I disliked this book and had several issues with it, or there wasn’t anything about the book that I enjoyed. This book made me come to the realization that I might not like the genre in question either. I might recommend it to someone that I know enjoys a specific genre, but I would not recommend it to the general public. Would not recommend it.

If you’re a book reviewer, how does this framework differ from your own? I’m curious about how others handle giving ‘star’ recommendations.

For you, avid readers, do you disagree with any of my ratings so far? Which ones and why? Comment and let me know!