Here’s how my rating system works;
★★★★★ /5 – A five star rating is the equivalent for an all-time favourite read. Books with 5-star ratings can be found almost automatically on my “all-time favourites” goodreads shelf. Before a book becomes part of this rating group I’ll usually overthink this decision a lot (these are the best of the best!). These are also the books I mention when someone asks “What are you favourite books?”. I will only take books with this rating into consideration for a re-read (not really sorry about that). Characteristics for 5-star reads for me are: characters with strong personalities, character development, amazing world-building, some kind of message, unique atmosphere and gripping plot, a special writing style and setting, and a memorable writing style.
★★★★/5 – Four star reads in a nutshell: Fantastic reads which because of minor specific aspects (or because there was something missing!) could not convince me wholly. (These are still solid high quality reads!)
★★★/5 – For me, a book with a three star rating is neither good nor bad. I feel neutral about it and think it was “okay” or “just fine”. There is nothing special about the reading experiene so that I tend to forget about these books’ plots very quick. Typical characteristics are: predictable plot, okayish main characters (can be dull) with almost no character development, good concept but more world-building would be great and tropes that could have been integrated better.
★★/5 – Now, we get into the category of books I genuinly dislike. Dislike being the operative word. There is no hate and no rage. There’s just dislike due to various factors which are explained in my reviews.
★/5 – I rarely give 1 star-rating because I either 1) just don’t pick up books I know I’ll hate or 2) dnf them before I can’t stand them anymore. A book has to be really badly written so that I can give it such a low rating. Books of this category are not only problematic and full of issues and flaws but also feature extremely dislikeable and dull characters and so on and so forth. To be honest, I don’t even remember the last time I gave a book this rating. I guess this is a good sign.