★: did not finish the book due to its lame-ness. It got printed, but that's all I can say for it. Usually there's some fundamental perspective barrier between the author and myself that prevents me from connecting to what's going on in the story. (examples: When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa; Eat, Pray, Love--the movie is better)
★★: didn't like it, but finished it, and would not recommend. May try the book again in a different setting to see if it was me or the book. (examples: Phantom of the Opera, Matched, and The Time Keeper)
★★★: liked it, not earth shattering, but enjoyed the read. Would recommend depending on my mood. (examples: Sing Me to Sleep, 33 Men, Gourmet Rhapsody, and 1984)
★★★★: really liked it, and would recommend in a heartbeat! May purchase if the price on Amazon is right. (examples: Ella Minnow Pea, Outliers, Same Kind of Different As Me)
★★★★★: absolutely loved it! Will probably buy it and keep it on my shelf so I can read it anytime I want. The book caused me to change my perspective or behavior in life and is on the top of my recommend list. (examples: March, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, Heaven is Here, The Glass Castle, Room, and The Hiding Place)
I hope that helps as I plan on doing a lot of book reviews in the future on the blog. And if you have any recommendations for me, or Nick, or Alexa who both also like to read, please share!