We book reviewers are unique unto ourselves when it comes to our various rating systems. Some use Goodread’s system to help them, some use the original 5 star system, then there are others like me who use one they made themselves. With mine, if you are new to my humble abode, I describe my ratings as “Book Charms.”
Here are at the Charmed Book Haven, we hold these Charms very close because they are the vital pieces we seek within books in order to make us fall in love with them. Perhaps in one or more reviews, I’ll break down which ones didn’t make the cut in a popular book in the future, just to show you how it works. But that is for another day!
Let’s begin the breakdown!
Book Charm #1
The Charm of Intelligence
This Charm is very dear to my soul. I have read great books and books where I wondered how it got published in the first place. Some books are not for everyone, obviously, but there are some that should never be seen by the human eyes. This is where the Intelligence comes into play. The Charm reminds me to ask the question, “Should this book have been published?”
Book Charm #2
The Charm of Learning
The movie Matilda sums up this Charm quite nicely. In a way, Matilda is this Charm. Stories should teach you something or at least leave you with a new fact you never knew. Without this Charm, my brain feels like it’s grasping at empty air. Your brain craves to learn, to think, to remember. This Charm has me ask, “Did I learn anything new or interesting?”
Book Charm #3
The Charm of Character
Characters are the main elements of the story that can make or break it. They are the author’s children, their ideas who manifest themselves upon the page. But like humans outside the pages, they must have personality and growth. There are books where characters lack substance in their interaction with one another or even in transforming into someone we grow to love (or hate). This Charm has me ask, “Do I connect with these characters? Do they speak to me or leave me wanting to ditch them on the side of a long, begotten road?”
Book Charm #4
The Charm of Agility
Agility. Agility can have two different meanings of movement, whether graceful or fast-paced. There are stories where the story lacks the agility it needs to keep the reader’s attention intact from start to finish. There are times I’d like to call this the “Charles Dickens Syndrome” or CDS for short. Back then, he earned money per word, hence the length. These days, its vastly different. There isn’t a need for an author to suffer from CDS, EVER! Alas, some still suffer from this terrible condition. However, some may snap out of it later in the book…some. This Charm makes me ask, “Will This Book Ever Pick Up the Pace?”
Book Charm #5
The Charm of Romance
This is an element that can or cannot be valuable to a series. There are some series where this isn’t needed but if this element is used, it must be used correctly. Not too gushy or ridiculous. Not obsessive or stalker-esque. Pure, innocent, and understood romance. Question: “Does this element make me long for it in my life, cringe, or ship the couple in question?”
Book Charm #6
The Charm of Worthiness
The short, sweet explanation of this element is if the novel/series in question is worthy to be remembered, discussed, or shared amongst the book community and beyond. This Charm is ALWAYS in play when I review my books.
Book Charm #7
The Charm of Necessity
This Charm goes hand-in-hand with the Agility Charm. There are some books that need more information while others may need to be filtered for draggy, unnecessary content. This leaves some readers, like me, skipping over a good chunk of the novel. “Are these Scenes/Information Necessary to the Plot?”
Book Charm #8
The Charm of Imagery
Without Imagination, the world would be a lonely existence. In essence, nothing in this world would exist. When I read a story, I want to feel like I’m there in the midst of the action. Feel the imaginary sunbeams across my face, hear the clanging of iron-welded swords clash between soldiers at war, and watch the results play right before my eyes. “Do I See These Events Springing To Life Through the Pages?”
Book Charm #9
The Charm of Believability
Let’s face it, there are some stories that are so ridiculous that even if our ideas came to life, these specific ones will never happen. We all can think of at least one novel where this comes into play. If we do not believe in this book/plot then there is nothing keeping it away from the DNR stack. “Is This Believable?”
Book Charm #10
The Charm of Everlasting
Stories are meant to last forever, passed down from generation to generation. It’s all we hope for and long for when we read books. Whenever a store does not meet this expectation, you can’t help but wonder why the writer didn’t put in the extra time to reach that status. Question: “Will this story be remembered for generations to come?”
And there you have it. This is how I break down the books I read and rate them accordingly. It was fun reflecting on all of it and I hope you enjoyed it!
What do you think of my rating system?
Let me know in the comments below!