Rating System

How it works:

Rating system symbol

Banshee Review Icon from Michelle 1-5

I look at the 5 important elements of a great book; plot, characters, writing style/voice, editing, and story building. Each element is broken down into four factors, each factor is worth ¼ of a Scream, making each element as a whole worth 1 Scream.

I rate using a 1 – 5 scale, sometimes you may see a 6 which is pretty amazing, and rare.

Maybe one day you will see a 10, that is as unlikely as finding the the door to The Realm of Athenaeum.


  • Plot
      • Was the Narrative Hook engaging?
      • Did the Plot/Story have steady pace?
      • Were the Plot Points solid?
      • Was there Rising and Falling Action?
  • Characters
      • Did the Characters have believable features and traits?
      • Did the Author convey how the character was feeling without telling the reader outright?
      • Were the Characters consistent; both in dialogue and mannerisms?
      • Were the Characters dimensional?
      • Were the Characters memorable?
  • Writing Style/Voice
      • Was the Writing Style consistent?
      • Was the Diction and Connotation suitable to the book’s subject matter?
      • Was the Author’s Voice well-honed/developed?
      • Were the Sentences and Phrases rhythmic and fluid?
  • Editing

NOTE: I expect books to have errors and I do not expect perfection. In this part of the rating system I automatically assume that I will find errors. Below you will find a list of things that distract me from the story.

      • Were there any glaring issues with content? Did identifying character markers change without an explanation? This is a huge pet peeve of mine.
      • Were the errors numerous?
      • Were punctuation and grammar used correctly? Spelling errors or misuse of words? I am not the grammar police, and I don’t always know where to place a comma or when to use a semicolon…but if I get hung up on a sentence or paragraph trying to make it read right, it isn’t something I can overlook.
      • Non-Fiction: Were facts accurate? Fiction: Was the supplied information consistent, and logical to the story?
  • Reading Experience
    • Did the book have a good hook? Did it draw me in and make me fall in love with or root for the character?
    • Was the conflict riveting? Did the character change as he/she worked to resolve the conflict? Does the reader have opportunity to experience change and personal growth from reading about the character’s struggles?
    • Was there resolution to the conflict(s)? If the book was ended with a cliff-hanger, was enough of the story resolved to satisfy the reading experience?
    • At the end of the book, when every last word has been devoured, what is the overall emotional reaction, and first thoughts about the entire reading experience?

A special thank you to Author Allyn Lesley for being my sounding board while I was formulating the rating system. Thank you SO MUCH!!