Ratings System

Please keep in mind these examples and ratings are completely subjective and are meant as general guidelines concerning how our reviews will be based.

10 One of the best books I have ever read
This is a complex, well rounded work that is re-readable, and is thoroughly engrossing. It is an important work–a classic in its own right or a classic in it’s genre–without any perceptible flaws.

Thea’s: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, The Lord of the Rings, Gone With the Wind
Ana’s: The Sandman series, Gone with the Wind, The Lord of the Rings, Siddhartha, The Wuthering Heights , Lord of Scoundrels

9 Damn near perfection
A very well-rounded work, with exceptional characters/plot/style. Not quite a perfect 10, but damn close.

Thea’s: The Gunslinger, Kushiel’s Avatar, Outlander
Ana’s : The Shadow of the Wind, The Spymaster’s Lady, The Woman in White

8 Excellent
An excellent literary work with solid execution of themes/plot, and is highly entertaining. Memorable, above-par book.

Thea’s: Hyperion, Across the Nightingale Floor, House of Leaves
Ana’s: A Kingdom of Dreams, Stardust, The Physician

7 Very good
Highly recommended book that is entertaining, well paced, and enjoyable. While it has some flaws that cannot be overlooked, the story still works.

Thea’s: Ill Wind, Song of Kali, Twilight
Ana’s : The Alchemist, The Duke and I, Perfume

6 Good, recommend with reservations
Above average, but nothing to write home about. This book is enjoyable and works as a whole, but is lacking that special oomph. Recommended, but only if there isn’t anything else available. Typical mindless entertainment.

Thea’s : Guilty Pleasures, The Decoy Princess, Poison Study
Ana’s : The Da Vinci Code, The Eight, The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

5 Meh, take it or leave it
This book is average at best, suffering from banal writing and or plotting. Not bad, but not memorable. As the ranking says, take it or leave it.

Thea’s: Cast In Shadow, When Demons Walk, The Ruins
Ana’s: Labyrinth, The Firm, the Raven Prince

4 Bad, but not without some merit
A work that is by all standards sub-par and lacking in all departments, yet still has some redeeming qualities that save it from being a complete disaster.

Thea’s: Simply Love, Black Jewels Trilogy, Rhapsody
Ana’s: The Historian, The Five People you meet in heaven

3 Horrible, barely readable
A book that could be muscled through for the sake of saying you finished it, but has few redeeming qualities. This book suffers huge problems, and is almost embarrassing to read.

Thea’s: A Hunger Like No Other, The Da Vinci Code, Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind
Ana’s : The Catcher in the Rye and One Hundred Years of Solitude, two of the most overratted books of all time, IMO

2 Complete waste of time
A work that is utterly useless in every possible way. Major plot holes, bad writing, and cardboard characterizations are key traits. A book that has no payoff, and is just a step above complete crap.

Thea’s: The Rising, Men are from Mars Women are from Venus, Mission Earth
Ana’s: Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind

1 One of the worst books I have ever read; I want my money (and a few hours of my life) back
What else can you say? A book that is complete and utter crap with absolutely no redeeming qualities.

Thea’s: Noughts and Crosses, Mein Kampf
Ana’s: Noughts and Crosses, The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure


  • Anonymous
    January 7, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    So the Da Vinci Code rated a 3, eh? Was that a compromise between you 2 smugglers? And I’m cracking up at Mein Kampf being an example of a 1.


  • Thea
    January 9, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Word up on The Catcher in the Rye…maybe because it is quintessentially such a male, angst-ridden book I just can’t find any way to relate to it.

    And Mein Kampf is the ultimate 1. *chortles*

  • Danielle
    January 7, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Catcher in the Rye: So overrated I want to to take a sharpie and draw a big X on every cover I see.

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  • Sade Jasal
    August 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    You know what I think also rates as a 1? Uninvited by Amanda Marrone. Great blog!

  • New Links: The Book Smugglers and The Art of Timony Siobhan « Shadows in Mind
    August 31, 2009 at 10:21 am

    […] Their ratings system allows for a comparison of preferences. Even if you disagree with some of their ratings, each thoughtful review provides a glimpse into the attributes of books you might not have considered without their help. […]

  • JustSayKnow
    October 9, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I really like this website and I love the way you write your reviews. I would really appreciate it if you took a look at my website.

    the URL is http://justsayknow.net thank you and please e mail me to let me know what you think!

  • Pol96
    October 23, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Or can you train volunteers? ,

  • Sparkles
    November 29, 2009 at 6:07 am

    I was wondering if you ever did a review on Noughts and Crosses? Is it that bad? I like this website; I like how you write your reviews. :mrgreen:

  • Ana
    November 29, 2009 at 6:15 am


    Thank you!

    No, we have not reviewed Noughts and Crosses because we both read it before we started the site. But basically we both thought that the author was trying too hard to add distressing elements to the story, like the reality in the book wasn’t enough.

    The last part of the book felt like the hit by the “OMG I must finish this book or else I am going to miss the deadline” and starts throwing ridiculous stuff at the reader.

  • Huh
    November 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    What is a URI?
    Also, as to your rating of Noughts and Crosses, which I have read, I have to say i disagree very strongly. It starts out slow, and certainly has its faults but you ought to raise your rating of it. In my opinion while it (I suddenly feel as if I’ve become very…. repetitive) did have faults it was well written, or at least had a nice ending. It may have been (in many cases unrealistic, and it did actually present racism other than that exhibited for the plot) unrealistic, I still found it good. Mostly I liked the ending I think… because I honestly can’t remember anything else from it to well. Ah well, I probably just undermined my entire argument. 😛

  • Sorilla
    March 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I really-really-really love your ten point rating system!!! What a range 😀

  • ruki
    April 2, 2011 at 8:59 am

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

  • Anonymous
    October 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

    In which order should I read the sandman series?
    It’s all so confusing….

  • kristen
    October 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    great book 8)

  • Deanna
    July 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Hi, I think you guys should read The Selection by Kiera Cass. I thought it was an amazing book, I loved it and now I am waiting for the second book, it comes out next year(Grrrr 😡 ) but anyways, good book, read it! 😀

  • njpoetess
    July 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    LOL – What a great rating system. I was googling a review for a book and landed here. I am so glad that I did!

  • Henna
    December 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I like this blog a lot. So well done on keeping the blog going with really good reviews and posts on top of everything else life can throw at you, and then working tirelessly on the December special month of posts – must have took some organising.
    Also well done with the blog/site design, my phone that isn’t a smart phone can load up the blog quite well without falling into design or coding glitches like on blogger.

    I’m surprised about Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses book (or series?) being put into the 0 mark territory. I think it is an interesting read, there are things that irritate me but they fail to compare to what the book tries to show the reader. Blackman is known for introducing interesting concepts in her stories for children and young adults, and this one I felt was one of her best works. She subverted the culture of the present and past to create something that represents one of the most horrible things about humanity – fear and hatred of things, concepts and ideas and people that look different and then she dropped a bit of hope into the scenario.
    But it is your opinion.
    Could you confirm I’m on about the right book here and if you mean the first book or the entire series please?

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