Bookfession: Relative Reviewing

When I looked at the diversity of what I was reading last month, I realized how varied it all was. When you rate works that are so completely unrelated, it’s hard to explain why and how something silly got 5 stars while something that required much more thought and planning got only 3.

When I rate a book, I rate it for exactly as it is before me and what it should be doing. I take each work as an individual. Atrocity Archives got a 3 because it was entertaining but wasn’t as clear as it could be. Bolk did a tremendous job executing his silly, funny, adventure story about a universe full of Mary Sues (literally). That’s why he got a 5.

Just because a book about zombies, women, and bikes got 5 stars doesn’t mean I thought badly of Plath because she got 4.5. It means that I wasn’t sure The Bell Jar was as perfect as I thought it could be.

I don’t rate any work on its merit in relation to whole of world literature. I take it as it stands before me and whether or not the story flows, the characters develop and act in a way that makes sense, if the ending was plausible or tolerable, and if the deus ex machina was at least feasible for this world (see: Deadpool Paws and Thursday Next). I hope this choice makes sense for my character ; )

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