How often has a friend convinced you to read a book they loved, and you hated it? A simple star rating, or a “you must read this” recommendation just isn’t enough to know if you’ll love a book. Everyone has things they look for in books. Our taste review breaks down all the important details of a book, to let you know if it has what you love, and warn you about things you might hate.
We’ve set up our Review page so that you can choose what type of book you want for your next read. There are even custom graphics so you can eyeball what a book includes without even clicking on the link to its details. Here’s an example:
In the top row of icons we show basic information about the book, and what it contains. The bottom row warns you about things that may make you hate this book. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin is a perfect example, since it contains all the warnings we created.
Let’s go over what these handy icons mean. First we give you the all-important information of whether a book is a stand-alone, part of a completed book series, or part of an incomplete series that is still being written. Then we describe whether the point of view is in the first person or the third person. Third person includes omniscient, limited omniscient, and objective point of views to simplify things. We also include the sex of the main POV character, using the male and female symbols. If there are multiple POV characters, such as in A Game of Thrones, then you’ll see both the male and female symbol. Next, is the tone of the book serious or light-hearted ? We define the tone by what the voice of the book is like in stressful moments in the book. When the characters are in danger is the tone worried or joking? We found for the most part, books are serious. However, if you prefer books where the author is being ridiculous during climactic scenes, search on light-hearted books. Terry Pratchett has personally written over forty light-hearted books.
Since most books do take serious moments seriously, it is good to know if the book has funny moments. We indicate how much humor there is with HAs. A Game of Thrones is only occasionally funny so it has one HA. Books that have comedy throughout get three HAs.
Finally, we get to the love, sex and violence. The icons will be missing if there isn’t any, but we like those things, so don’t worry. Love and sex are represented by an obvious heart and sex text. If we indicate there is sex, that means there are sex scenes, not just between chapter sex. The violence we break up into types of combat.
All the above icons are things you can search on to narrow down the type of book you’d like to read. However, we also created warnings for the things that we’ve found annoying at times. Obviously, if the star rating is high, we’ve loved the book despite these things. Still, in recommending the book, we feel it is only fair to warn you if any of the following happen.
COMPLEX PLOT! This is a book you may have to take notes on while reading, then re-read it, then still not agree with 90% of other readers as to what actually happened. Although this is a warning, some readers may look for this kind of book. Who wants a predictable or easily understood plot anyway?
ICK FACTOR! Something grossed us out and is disgusting. On the Taste Review post we’ll have a hidden spoiler field, where you can check what the gross thing is. This is a good place for us to warn you of violent baby death, rape, or animals genetically engineered to have the faces of dead friends.
SLOW PACE! This warning applies to books that have less plot progress for their size than normally happens. Some of us have no patience for plots that after five books seem to have made little progress. However, slow paced books can get very detailed, and describe every conversation, have deeper character development, and spend more time on world building. For some, a slow paced book may be exactly what you are looking for. You can decide for yourself if this or any other warning is positive or a negative.