Let’s Talk Ratings | Mini-Discussion

writing as a readerIt’s been a long time since my last Mini-Discussion and I’ve been really craving to post one lately! Today, we’re going to discuss ratings an in particular, 5 star ratings. It might have been noticed or not, but I’m a pretty liberal rater, if I enjoyed a book even a little, it will most likely get a two star or higher rating. According to Goodreads, out of the 126 ratings I have, my average rate is a 4.22. Why is that?

In general, I tend to only pick up books that I know I’ll enjoy or that I think I enjoy. It might seem like an odd idea and yes, I might be missing out on some great reads, but I have no intention of reading something that I know I’ll dislike. Of course, I still get books that I’m disappointed by such as Blood of Olympus and Shatter Me, but it works for the most part.

My review policy myself is 3 stars or higher I enjoyed it, and if it’s lower than that I didn’t really enjoy it. (Here is my actual rating system). I also judge each book differently and by what that book needs to be judged on. Perhaps the story is plot driven, and the plot is fantastically developed and executed but the story has lackluster characters. I’m going to give my rating based more on the plot, although the weak characters would drive the rating down for me.

Let’s get to the juicy part now, 5 star ratings. For some reviewers, giving a 5 star rating is saying that this book was phenomenal and it should be read by every single living, breathing human. For others, much like myself, giving a 5 star rating is simply saying I really loved this book. There is such a difference between those two, yet both are perfectly acceptable. I love giving higher ratings to books (only if it deserves it) because it’s a quick way (if people don’t want to read the review) of saying “yes, I enjoyed this book and I think you should read it.” Higher ratings books are also easier for me to write reviews for, it’s rare when I’ll write a review for something I truly hated because I probably didn’t finish it. (I do have a DNF review for Beautiful Creatures though)

Yet, just because something has a 5 star rating doesn’t mean it’s one of my favorites or a book can be one of my favorites and not have a 5 star rating. For example, An Ember in the Ashes got 4 stars and is one of my favorites, yet Binge got 5 stars and isn’t on my favorites shelf. Giving 5 stars can mean many different things and I invite you to discuss in the comments. What do your ratings mean? How do you feel about giving higher/lower ratings? What type of books do you review? Ones that you love or ones you hate? Let me know!

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9 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Ratings | Mini-Discussion

  1. Yeah, I generally try to read books that I know I’ll love, and I’ve only given one book below 3 stars so far, I generally give books 4 stars if I liked it but it didn’t wow me…I tend to be pretty chilled out with my ratings, being more generous than most people. Great discussion btw! ;P

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  2. Most books start at a default of 3 stars for me. If I enjoyed it most of the time it gets bumped up to a 4. If I was annoyed from start to end (and not in a good way), it’ll get a 2. 5 stars are a bit of an enigma for me. If I’m really impressed, if something has me exclaiming out loud or if something makes me delay everything else in my life, it’ll get a 5. But like you, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a favourite of mine or that I will reread it.

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  3. Interesting post and great point for discussion!!
    I think I’ve once explained my rating this way: Every book starts out as a 3 star book in my mind – the average medium. Then while reading it depends on whether it exceeds my expectations or not. If it’s better it gets 4 stars and if it’s worse it gets 2, but I don’t think I’ve ever given something a 1-star-review. If I really, really liked it, I will give the book 5 stars. But you are right, I have favourites that don’t have 5 stars … sometimes I am confused about my own ratings hahaha

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  4. I love your view on this. I’m not a book blog, but I do love reading. Generally for me 5 stars would be if I finish a book and am absolutely taken away by how brilliant it was, like ‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey or ‘More Than This’ by Patrick Ness which are some of the best books I’ve ever read. They’re books where after reading, I have to sit down for twenty minutes and just think, books where they stay in my mind for a few days after reading and books where I can’t pick up another book until I’m finished thinking about that one. Aha, sorry for the long comment, I got carried away!

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