As a writer I often have aspiring authors ask me to critique their manuscripts. They shouldn't. I'm far too harsh. Hardly anyone asks me to critique their work twice.
The truth of the matter is that I don't even like a lot of the published stories I read. I guess it's the author in me--I'm constantly analyzing the books I read and putting them under the microscope for flaws. My teenage daughter once said, "Can't you just read for fun?"
But on the other hand when I come across a book I like, I really appreciate it. I'll get a dreamy look in my eye, sigh, and murmur, "The author converged all the story climaxes so beautifully . . ."
Yeah, no one likes to go to the movies with me either.
Anyway, I thought I'd put in my own star rating of how I judge books:
Janette's book rating system:
Half a star means: Please tell me my editor was in no way involved with this project.
One star means: A tree died for this?
Two stars means: Gee, the publisher must have been running a special on adjectives and exclamation points.
Two and a half stars means: This book is in no imminent danger of being plagiarized by the Opal Menthe chick.
Three stars means: It was a bit slow but this is easily solved by just reading every other line.
Three and a half stars means: This was okay reading if you are trapped on a plane with only the sky mall magazine to look at.
Four stars means: The book had a few problems but kids probably won't notice them.
Four and a half stars means: This book has Newbery in its future.
Five stars means: Janette actually liked it!