I read a lot of books. Mostly in the sci-fi/fantasy as well as the Regency romance genres. Of course, because I plow through books at a rather fast clip, I am always looking for more books. For that, I depend on reviews and ratings via Goodreads or some blogs that I read.

However, when I do read reviews, particularly from this site, I find myself only scanning for the basic plot and using it to keep up to date on the latest releases. Why? Because according to some of their main reviewers, every book merits an A+ rating.

Really?? How is that even remotely possible? I’ve read a lot of books, (according to my Goodreads stats, I’ve read at least 904), and I’ve gotta say, that is not true! There are a lot of good books, but I wouldn’t say they are all fantastic.

The problem isn’t really that this reviewer is enthusiastic over the books she reads. The problem is that if all the ratings are awesome, the reviews themselves are useless. There is no way to truly gauge which books are better or worse than the others. They’re all just fabulous. That is NOT HELPFUL.

Not that this reviewer should be like me. I usually assume all books are about a 3 star (out of 5) rating. If they are reasonably good and entertaining, I give them 3 stars. If they are better than expected, maybe 4 stars. If they are ZOMGAMAZING, then, I will consider 5 stars. The opposite is true for the mediocre and complete waste of time books. Thus, my ratings actually have meaning. (At least, I think so.) Otherwise, things are completely indiscriminate.

The WORST, however, are when authors give books that are completely undeserving 5 stars just because they want a good review in return. Truly stupid. I would hope that as a writer, they would have better taste. *eyerolls* I’ve been burned many a time by overly enthusiastic reviews and I always think to myself, “Geez, if this author actually thinks this book is 5 star worthy, then I really have to re-think whether or not this author is actually a good writer. Perhaps they are just lucky. Because to even think that this book is on par with their own writing is just an insult to themselves.”

Ah well, like I’ve learned with movie reviews, it’s a beautiful thing when you can find a critic that you mostly agree with. That way, you won’t be steered too wrong from your own aesthetics. Everyone else, you just ignore.