Our Review Scale – Does the book have the CHOPS?

We try to be impartial with all reviews. Keep that in mind – we do. But you want honest reviews of books and we want to be fair, so we employ our own scale called CHOPS, as in does the book have the chops to keep your interest and is it worth your time and dime.


  1. C – Characters. Do the characters ring true? Are they cardboard cutouts or can they stand alone with their own idiosyncrasies and their own baggage and issues? And beyond that (let’s be honest), are they cool, or boring?
  2. H – Honesty and Heart. Did the author write honestly, or take the easy way out? Did they write with their heart and soul or just phone it in?
  3. O – Originality. Is this an original or one we’ve read before? If it’s an adaption, that’s fine. If it’s a retread, well the points will fall.
  4. P – Plot and Pacing. This is a combo meal deal, because we want a great plot and pacing that sets the tone, at all times.
  5. S – Storytelling. Sometimes seven a mediocre story is great if the author has the knack for storytelling. It’s probably more important than you think.

Is this scale fair? We think so – and that’s how we rate each book, with a 20-point maximum for each category and 100-points total. We call ’em as we see ’em.

Some books don’t receive a full review because we weren’t able to finish the book due to time constraints. These have a blurb only. That’s the scoop.