Why Do I Review Books?

I come from a gaming background. When you are buying multiple titles per month for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS and PC it adds up fast. A $30 to $70 mistake is never fun. If you're going to game seriously and aren't filthy stinking rich, learning to evaluate what is releasing becomes vital.

You learn to understand games, game makers and reviews. Fast. If you don't learn what you like quick, you're bound to waste a lot of money.

With books, the issue isn't about cost. It's about time. I don't know about you, but for me time can't be replaced. I'm a pretty fast reader. I can read a 500 page book in one sitting if I'm interested. But a 200 page book can take me a week if I don't care about it. Those are hours that I will never get back.

My goal is to help readers make informed choices about books.

My Review Philosophy:

I don't believe there are "good" books and "bad" books on a universal scale. There are some books I love that someone else might look at and go "Really, Kat?" ... And there are some books I've reviewed that I know others love them, but I either end up scoring them low or flat out don't complete (and therefore don't review) them.

Which brings me to an important point: The reviews on my blog are soley my opinion on the books that I have read. In no way do I feel that my opinion should be yours, nor do I or will I think less of you if we disagree. Everybody deserves to have an opinion and to have that opinion be valued, if not agreed with.

My Rating System:

I rate books on a scale of one to five hearts, one being the lowest and five being the highest. Below I will attempt to explain how a book earns the rating that it gets from me.

The Kat's Meow Award for Amazing Storytelling: 

If you see this at the bottom of a review, it generally means that the book receiving it did some things that I felt were very special. The Kat's Meow is my personal recommendation that a book is full of awesome, my site's equivalent to an Editors' Choice award on a gaming website. It's the highest honour that I can award anything that I read and it's not something I set out hoping to give a book. Rather, it's something I give only if I feel a book has done something extremely special to warrant it.

Reasons a book might be considered for The Kat's Meow:

  • I loved the cast and they were memorable to me in any number of ways
  • I felt that the book was entertaining, had a powerful message and managed to keep both of these things in balance.
  • A book made me laugh, cry, consider something important, or all of these things at once.
  • A book made me look at something in my own life, present or past, and really consider or evaluate it.
  • I felt that I knew the characters, setting, etc. in a book as carefully as I would if I were writing it myself. 
  • A book left a lasting impression on me or made me want to share it with family and friends. 
The above is by no means a complete list and as books give me other reasons I will do my best to update this. 

Current Recipients of The Kat's Meow:
  1. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (23/8/2011)
  2. Shut Out by Kody Keplinger (9/9/2011)

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