For ease of transferring between Goodreads and here, I use the five-star system. It is pretty self-explanatory and my standards aren’t exactly difficult to measure up to, but here they are in black and white!
5 stars: Blew my mind all over my face. I laughed, I cried, it moved me. Cookbooks earn five stars because they are easy to follow, adapt easily to my kitchen, are full of deliciousness and pretty pictures, etc.
4 stars: Usually this book was well-written and very gripping/enjoyable, but it didn’t reduce me to a babbling mess. Definitely something I’ll read again.
3 stars: I liked it well enough. Nothing particularly outstanding about the book, but it wasn’t bad. Often my idea of brain candy.
2 stars: Didn’t knock my socks off. Typically if a novel is part of a series and I give it two stars, I will still continue to read the subsequent books.
1 star: Didn’t like it, plain and simple.
The only times I employ a no-star policy are if I a) did not finish a book, or b) am reviewing something so far outside my usual genres that I don’t feel qualified to really rate it. For example, I recently read and reviewed two Delilah Fawkes novels on Goodreads. Not being a connoisseur of erotica, I don’t feel I can rate them on their erotic merit. So far I have yet to blog one of my no-star reviews; they will most likely remain on my GR account.