Random Thoughts of a Romance Blogger


The In Review Edition

I love being a book blogger; I pretty much eat, sleep and breath books, they’re as essential to me as oxygen. What would I do without having a book on the go? I would have so much spare time! I could dig up my TV, dust it off and watch all those TV programmes I have been meaning to see, or, even more extreme; get a social lif-  wooo there Nelly, calm down, lets not get too carried away here. So, jumping back onto my train of thought, I love being a book blogger, it’s perfect for me; I get to read the books I am interested in and then tell everyone exactly what I thought about them, good or bad. And, even more wonderfully people listen and read what you have to say – I think, I hope! – as they should, because of course my opinion is always the right one! Ah the power, the glory!

I believe I am a good blogger as well, honestly giving my reviews on the books I have read, from the good, bad to the downright ugly I like to think that we girls on Under the Covers will give you the truth straight up; we don’t like a book, or even didn’t manage to finish it? We will review it and tell you why. So long as we don’t get personal and start calling authors names and insulting their taste in curtains it’s all good.  But, brace yourself, I am about to release something completely scandalous to you… we are naughty naughty bloggers. None of us follow the same rules with our ratings!

I was shocked to find that when I gave something a 2.5 star review Annie thought that meant I hated it…so that got me thinking, just how differently do the four of us rate our reviews? So, below is a little guidance on how each of us rate our reviews…confusing I know, I guess the only way to get the full picture is to read the review!


DNF – Did Not Finish

Suzanne – Just. Awful. Burn it, don’t read it, it either, angered me, bored me to death or I needed to murder all characters it contained!
Francesca – I admit I have book OCD.  I struggle with DNF because I NEED to finish what I start and this is why I don’t have very many.  Mainly, I’ll DNF not so much because it’s bad, but because it’s bad AND I could care less what happens to the characters or in the story.
Annie– There are some books that I just cannot bear to finish but they usually don’t get reviewed on the blog. I do, however, mark DNF as 1 star on Goodreads since they don’t have a DNF option there.
Angela – 1, 2 and DNF– Typically, if it gets to a point where I’m leading to a 1-2 rating, I don’t even bother to finish the book.  So many books and all that jazz. Of course, on rare occasions, like Fran, my OCD will get the better of me and finish the book anyway in hopes of a better outcome.

1 Star

Suzanne – I managed to finish it…just about. Sometimes things are just so awful you can’t help but read in horror filled fascination – a 1 star book normally falls is this category
Francesca – I finished.  I wanted to DNF but I just had to see how the story would end because… Gahhh it couldn’t get worst, could it?  Morbid fascination.  But let’s face it, it made me stabby.  And I generally don’t review DNF books, so I may have pushed myself to finish just so I could justify telling you all why it made me want to go on a killing spree.
Annie – As I mentioned above, this is pretty much a DNF for me.


2 Stars

Suzanne – It wasn’t great, in fact, it was poor, but there were elements that didn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out.
Francesca – It still sucked, but I may have found one or two redeeming qualities to the story.  Maybe I liked the hero, maybe I really was interested in the side characters.  Maybe I laughed a bit.  Something!
Annie – I generally only give 2 stars for books I didn’t enjoy. Maybe it was something about the heroine that made her TSTL or the humor is just way off the mark. Or maybe it’s when the hero turns into a douche.


2.5 Stars

Suzanne – Average. Average have-i-read-this-before-and-it-was-better kind of material, I probably liked it, but am unlikely to remember it, or recommend it to anyone else.
Francesca – This half star here is a grey area.  I’m not sure how books land here instead of 2 stars.  I guess a gut feeling at the moment?
Annie – This is only one up from the last one and as you can probably guess, it’s still bad but maybe I liked the hero in the book but hated everything else. There has to be one redeeming quality that I liked that prevented this book from being a complete disaster.


3 Stars

Suzanne –A little bit better than average, there may have even been parts of this book I actually liked and looked forward to reading. Not outstanding, but passable. This and 2.5 stars are the ratings I probably use the most.
Francesca – This is an average book.  It was ok to pass the time, maybe a bit like something else I’ve read.  Just left me feeling like it was missing something.  But I still enjoyed it and I’m not putting the author on the “I will never pick up another book” pile.
Annie – I liked it! I liked it a lot. Now a lot of authors HATE getting 3 stars and some readers think that 3 stars is terrible. For me it isn’t. It means that I enjoyed a book but it may not be something that I would rush out to recommend to readers just yet. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the read though!

Angela –  Also enjoyed it but in this case, I might be selective in recommending it to friends because I know not everyone will like it.  One of those, “if you like this genre or if you can overlook this small thing…” type of recommendation.


4 Stars  

Suzanne – Really enjoyed this book, it didn’t quite have that extra something that inspires a 5 star, but I would read this again, carry on reading the series and probably bully other people into reading it as well.
Francesca – I liked this one!  I think this rating might be the one I use the most on average and I like to think it’s because I generally have a decent idea what books I would enjoy before I pick them up (ha!  not always the case)
Annie – This is a recommended read. Any time I give 4 stars, you know it’s one that I can stand behind.

Angela – Loved it. Not crazy about it but loved it enough to recommend to the world. For the most part, I will nudge a little for friends to read this book.


4.5 Stars

Suzanne – I don’t use this rating too much, but it means that I loved it, and was just a hair off of getting that perfect rating!
Francesca – This is almost perfection, I really really really liked it!  Just something short of wanting to live in it.
Annie –  This book is near perfection!!!! But if only it didn’t have this one very small thing….

Angela Close but no cigar! 4.5 pretty much means I love and care for this book but didn’t have the big “wow factor”. Or often times there were scenes that was not quite satisfactory.


5 Stars

Suzanne – LOVED. IT. I want to marry and have babies with this book. In fact, you should all go out and read it right now! I try not to award 5 star reviews very often, so that when I do, you know I mean it.
Francesca  – Rocked my world.  Somehow, someway.  There are many different ways to get a 5 star out of me.  If the book moves me, deep.  The story is so amazing I couldn’t stop reading.  I might’ve self-combusted while reading it.  I want to live in the story or the world.  The characters are so real I think I’ll be going out to lunch with them.  This book succeeded in making me feel something, and I may still be thinking about it.
Annie  – I wouldn’t change a thing about this book. Not the characters, not the writing, not the pacing. It’s just absolute perfection.

Angela – Wow Factor.  Usually, these books pulled out all kinds of emotions out of me, leaving me in a state of awe.  5 Star also means the book had made big impression in my heart, leaving me sighing with content and wanting to discussed with another book nerd and push everyone and their moms to buy it.


How do you rate your books? Are any of us close to what you do?

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How I rate books

DNF -Francesca’s answer
1 Star- Suzanne and Francesca’s answers
2 Stars- all answers
2.5 Stars- Suzanne and Annie’s answers
3 Stars- Francesca, Annie and Angela’s answers
4 Stars- Suzanne, Annie and Angela’s answers
4.5 Stars- Suzanne, Francesca and Annie’s answers
5 Stars- All answers

I really enjoyed this post!

Amy R

Thanks for the post, this is very helpful to me as a follower of your blog.

Connie Fischer

I really enjoyed this! As another reviewer, I totally agree about loving books so much I don’t want to do anything but read. Oh yes, it really sucks when I feel I have to finish a book that just drags. Those DNFs are pathetic and I can’t help but wonder how they even got past any kind of editor. But the really good ones make up for the bad ones. That’s when I bring out the old, moth-eaten cheerleader costume, pretend I can fit into it, and cheer and cheer!


I’m with francesca with the DNFs….thanks for this guide to your reviews…

Sophia Rose

Haha! I know its not supposed to be a funny post, but the issue of rating is amusing to me especially seeing how each of you thinks on a rating. I saw myself a bit in each of you so I’m not sure who I would square up closest with. I’ve been reading your reviews for a few years so I had a pretty good idea where you all fall on things. I tend to be on the generous end with my ratings, but I am a mood reader and I have touch points. I will DNF a book if… Read more »

Jennifer Schaber

I’m so glad you put this out here for us. I’m smiling and just knew that my thinking was in line with Francesca’s all along. I just didn’t realize how in line I was with many of the others here. My 5 stars are few and far between because lets face it – once you read one that’s really worthy in your opinion, how can the next dozen also be that good. They just aren’t. That’s one of the reasons I always check your blog – you don’t blow the 5 star smoke up our a$$es.

Jeanna Tillery

Hi Ladies:

I’d love to land on your 5 star list, and it was fascinating to read how you rate books. There was honesty and the tactile rendering of preferences in each assessment that I easily connected with, and I found myself considering my books against your standards. I really enjoyed reading how you rate books.