Here at the Disappear Here Book Blog, we use the structure below when reviewing and rating books.
As I continue to build out the Disappear Here Book Blog, I’m always looking for things to improve, and developing a set rubric for reviewing novels is one of those things. I’ve decided to break out reviews by category and average each element into the overall rating. This will help you see what pulled me into a book and how I felt about each piece.
When I read I pay a lot of attention to the way the words flow together and how sentence structure, word choice, and other written elements add to the story being told. I like books that sing to me and are a mix of prose and poetry. The best example I have of this is Betty by Tiffany McDaniel. The words on the page were like music and flowed perfectly together. I often felt like I was moving seamlessly between a novel and poetry.
Honestly, I’m just here to make imaginary friends and fall in love with characters I wish existed in real life. Strong character development can make a book. I want the characters to make me feel something, whether love or hate, and really come to life for me. When I’m reading a novel, I want to make friends (or enemies) along the way.
I often want the books I read to paint a picture for me without spending 20 pages describing the color of a wall (exaggeration, I know). I want to see the world I’ve been pulled into and visualize the characters interacting with the setting and each other. Overall, I just want to see the movie play out in my head well enough to be able to be upset when the film adaptation comes out and it isn’t in line with what I specifically pictured. 😉
Here we will be focused on the “pull-in” factor. Does a book suck me in and not release me until I finally turn the last page? How quickly does it pull me through the story? When I’m reading, am I distanced from the world around me because the story is so compelling. All “literary snob” elements aside, not all beautifully written books have this element and not all books that have this element are beautifully written.
Of course storyline, how the plot unfolds and unravels before the reader, is a key element to how I rate a novel. How are we learning new information, am I surprised at key turning points, and is the pacing realistic and in line with the flow of the story? These are all elements I’m looking at when thinking about storyline.
This element and/or book changed my perspective or way of thinking or just blew me away in such an intense way, I don’t think I’ll be the same after reading this novel. Everyone I come in contact with for the next year will have to listen to me talk about this book.
This element and/or book is one of the best I’ve read, and I loved every minute of it. While it didn’t “change my life” it was a phenomenal book and experience. I will be talking about it for years to come and recommending it to everyone.
This element and/or book was good and I really liked reading it. I’ll continue reading books by this author and will recommend them in the future.
This element and/or book didn’t quite meet the mark for me, but it was okay. Likely won’t recommend this novel to anyone.
I could not finish reading this book for one reason or another.
Let’s make something together.