Even though I give every book a score from A+ to D – I don’t actually rate on a simple scale. I do not pretend to have an absolute measure of literary worth in my head!
I try to rate based on the overall value of the work taking into account the quality of language, the emotional resonance it generates, the execution of ideas and how well the actual story was told.
However sometimes when I’m evaluating a book it’s also being measured on it’s worth within the context of the work’s genre, the specific author’s bibliography or taking into account my emotional/historical attachment to the book.
This does mean that a Terry Pratchett book given a B+ doesn’t necessarily have exactly the same literary merit or level of recommendation as a book by Christopher Brookmyre or Jill Shalvis given the same score. It does mean that I definitely enjoyed each of those books!
I have been running this blog for a long time so the scoring system has become as idiosyncratic and individual as the reviewer but I believe that if I give a book a high rating then I think others will enjoy it too. At the other end of the scale that means if I give a book a score as low as a D then it’s an incoherent mess that I barely finished and no one else should waste their time reading it.
If you have any notion to discuss this further (Not that I’m overthinking enough already) contact me @treefell on twitter.