“The Holland System”
When I read a book, I evaluate it in five major categories I call the “DEETS”. Typically, this results in a 300 to 500 word well-rounded review.
- Dimension– Are setting descriptions adequate? Does the world the author has created feel realistic given the setting? Are characters well-developed, three dimensional, and relatable? Do they behave believably and in context?
- Execution– Predictability vs. Unpredictability. Originality. If written according to a tried and true formula, was the formula well executed? Was the writing style enjoyable? Did dialogue flow well?
- Experiential– Were the themes meaningful? Were there emotionally evocative scenes? Did I enjoy reading it? Did I personally connect with the characters, themes, and overall material?
- Technical– Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.
- Structural– Was the pacing appropriate for the story? Did any sections of the book drag the pace down? Was the plot well-constructed and delivered? Was there an identifiable climactic scene? Did the plot make sense? Was the ending appropriate for the story?
How does that translate into a 5-star system on Amazon and Goodreads?
I give each category a star rating and then rate the book based on the overall average. Here is how I understand the meaning of each star:
1 star= Poor. Needs improvement across the board.
2 stars= Meh. Fair. Needs Improvement in a few areas. This is a good start but needs revisions.
3 stars= Good. This is a solid product. I enjoyed it. I don’t feel money or time have been wasted. It could stand to be improved and polished.
4 stars= Very good. Overall, I enjoyed the book, although there may have been a change or two I would’ve liked to have seen.
5 stars= Excellent. I deeply enjoyed it exactly as it was and wouldn’t change anything about the book.
As Amazon and Goodreads do not presently give the ability to issue half-stars, my star rating will be rounded to the nearest score. This means a 3.5 star book and a 4.4 star book are both given 4 stars.