Our Book Rating System

The way readers rate books is a personal process that is different for everyone. Here is our personal rating system for the books we read. Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of our individual tastes and makes our ratings seem less arbitrary! You can check out all of our book reviews here on our blog, or on our Instagram. Happy reading!

xo L & S

rating system

Five Stars

These books are completely, totally engrossing. Everything within a five star book rings all our bells: the plot, the writing style, the characters, the themes explored by the author- EVERYTHING. We recommend five star books to others without hesitation. Our five star ratings are few and far between because we tend to reserve them for books that we absolutely loved reading.

Liz: Know My Name; Felix Ever After; Rebecca; The Goldfinch; The Fifth Season

Sami: Everything I Never Told You; Dear Edward; Know My Name; Red, White, & Royal Blue; Ask Again, Yes

Four Stars

This is our most common star rating. These books are usually four stars because they have our personal favorite tropes, genres, or are by our favorite authors. These books have a combination of any of the following: excellent writing, interesting thematic elements, emotional storylines, fast-paced plot-twists, and anything else that makes a book un-put-down-able. We recommend four star books to mostly everybody, keeping trigger and content warnings in mind.

Liz: Uprooted; The Bear and the Nightingale; Who Fears Death; White is for Witching

Sami: The Most Fun We Ever Had; American Royals; Summer of ’69; The Hating Game

Three Stars

These book was fine. Books we give a three star rating are usually entertaining, fun reads that we will probably forget the fine details about in a few months. It wasn’t mind blowing, but it was still pretty good! We recommend three star books to people based on their personal genre preferences and taste in books.

Liz: You Had Me at Hola; An Unkindness of Ghosts; A Gathering of Shadows; The Luminaries

Sami: Well Met; The Queen of Hearts; The Dinner List; The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Two Stars

We finished reading , but it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. We usually find these books to be full of stereotypes that we don’t personally support, tropes we don’t like, content that is personally triggering, or just plain bad writing or character development. We don’t recommend two star books to others unless we know them personally and think they would like the plot, tropes, or themes explored.

Liz: Final Girls; Where the Crawdads Sing

Sami: More Than Words; Love at First Like

One Star

This rating is super rare for both of us. Most books that would be rated one star, we simply do not finish. These books are usually extremely problematic, insensitive, racist AF, or contain some other content that we take issue with. We do not recommend one star books.

Liz: Lolita

Sami: The Lies That Bind

No Rating

There are books out in the world that we know are not written for us, and we have no right to give an arbitrary rating to because of our own personal identities and privileges. A no rating means that we don’t want a star rating to distract from the importance of the text, and we are sharing our thoughts on a book if you are interested in hearing about our opinions. When we read, enjoy, and learn from these books, we usually share them with a review with the intention of spreading the word to other readers.

Liz: Dear Martin

Sami: Beloved