Thursday Thoughts: Book Rating

P O S I T I V EHello! Happy last day before it’s the best day. I hope you’ve been having an amazing week so far. I’ve started getting really busy due to high school tennis season starting – two hour practice twice a day! I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to and I’m worried I might be entering a slump… but I shall fight it with every ounce of my being.

book rating

Since starting my blog I’ve been writing out a lot more reviews than I usually do. I would typically remember that I had a Goodreads account once a month and maybe review a book if I really enjoyed it. Now, I’ve been reviewing all of the books I’m reading and I’m actually finding it really difficult.
It’s not the writing out the review part that’s hard, it’s the end. At the end of all my reviews, I give it a rating from 0-5. And yes, I know that I could just skip this part and allow you to make your own conclusions based on everything I talked about liking and disliking in the post, but then how many stars would I know to give it on Goodreads? How would you be able to easily compare how I liked one book over another?
The issue with this system is that even if I give two books four stars, I might have liked one book more than the other. I could give one of them a higher rating, but then that book might become a 4.5 star book that I liked less than other 4.5 star books.
Take Harry Potter, for example. This series is my absolute favorite, and all of the books within it are five star books for me. However, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has always been my favorite. Since that book is the best five star book for me, does that mean that every book that didn’t live up to that standard should be rated less than a five star? I could get super specific and give books 4.7859 ratings, but frankly I’m too lazy and the only decimals that I like are .5’s or good ol’ Dewey’s decimals.
Personally, I don’t rate books by comparing them to other books. I’m not going to finish a book and think, “Well, I liked this book slightly less than that 5 star book I read yesterday, and more than that 4 star book I read a month ago, so that’s a 4.5.”
For me, I ask myself at the end of each book three main questions:

Did this book fall short of, meet, or exceed my expectations?
Did this book fulfill its purpose?
Was the overall reading experience enjoyable?

I know that it’s weird to think about a book’s purpose as if the book has a specific goal that it needs to achieve before its pages rot away, tossed aside, and/or chewed up by my surprisingly vicious dog. For me, a book’s purpose is usually either to entertain or inform, and because I don’t usually read non-fiction I’m typically hoping for entertainment. I know in English class we learn about how our writing could persuade, as well, but I don’t usually read books that are trying to persuade me (except Chew on This – if you ever need a book to convince you to stop eating fast food, this is the one).
I guess one example of a book “fulfilling its purpose” would be The Selection Series by Kiera Cass. The Selection is notorious for being a book that you either love or hate. Personally, I love it, but I know a lot (and I mean a lot) of people who don’t like the series because America Singer is incredibly annoying and indecisive. Even as someone who really enjoys the series, I have to completely agree with that. Her decisions throughout the series can be pretty self-centered and frustrating, which makes her hard to like as a protagonist. However, without fail I’ve given all of these books five out of five stars.
For me, I love America because she wouldn’t make me so frustrated if I didn’t really care about her character. It’s like when a book makes you cry – you wouldn’t be crying if the author hadn’t done such a great job of making you care about the characters and plot. The Selection Series is addictive for me: I’ve read it multiple times, usually finishing each book in one sitting. I’m never bored when I’m reading them, and while I can totally understand why some people might not enjoy them that’s just not the way it is for me.
I read The Selection and The Elite in one night, and I was so upset when I found out that I had to wait six months for The One to come out. When it did, I read it all in one day, reading the last chapters sobbing in the back of my mom’s car. I was supposed to be warming up with my soccer team before our game, but I refused to get out until I finished because I was so invested in the story. So even though these cute-sy, dystopian versions of The Bachelor will never have a fighting chance in my mind against The Goblet of Fire, they’ll always be five star books to me.

I’ve read through that post about three times and I’m still trying to decide if it makes any sense at all. I just figured since you guys all seemed to be enjoying reading my reviews you might like to know how I review.
How do you rate books? I’m still constantly struggling with that final #/5 rating. I don’t want to disappoint you if I give a book 5/5 stars and you don’t find it to be the most incredible thing in the world. I also never know if I should adjust my ratings when I read two different books and give them the same rating but feel as if one is much, much better than the other. The struggle is real, but I think it’ll make for a good discussion, so be sure to comment your thoughts if you feel so inclined!
Thanks for reading! 🙂


8 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: Book Rating

  1. I also have trouble with the star rating. My problem lies in the fact that I’m scared to give books a bad rating. Some of my reviews have almost nothing positive to say about the book, yet I end up giving it a 3 star rating. Then other books I really liked, but I also end up rating it 3 out of 5. I’m very inconsistent when it comes to that. But now I known I’m not alone! What an excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I’m also usually pretty reluctant in giving books bad ratings just because I didn’t enjoy them. I know that usually someone out there would really like it, and I don’t want to turn people off to a book that they might end up loving. I try to prevent this by making it clear that for me, a one star book doesn’t translate to “skip it”, it translates to “not for me”. I’m also incredibly inconsistent. I know that some people rate individual parts of a book, like characters and plot and all of that and then average it, but I’m not organized enough for that. It’s usually just a gut feeling based off of those questions. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried to make my own rating system based on grades/letters: A+, A-, B+, B-, C, D, and F. It ranges from “devoured” to “loathed” and everything that I finished falls in these categories. Eveything unfinished falls into a different one (a DNF).
    I’m really more of a subjective (mhmmm) reviewer, I don’t follow a very detailed way on how to review and rate. Some bloggers have these charts and plus/minus points system and that’s not really my thing. I mean, it’s great. It works for them but not for me.
    When I see a review, I’m not the type to read it to learn of the book’s facing, how it was written, the character development and all technical things. Oh yes, it’s somehow a must for a review but also definitely unnecessary. At the end of reading a review, the only question I have in my mind is if the reviewer enjoyed the book or not.
    And lastly, I believe most ratings are pretty inconsistent. It’s okay. Haha. We all had our Twilight moment (maybe not everyone but most people did). 😀 At least, we’re trying to be honest in our review.

    P.S. sorry had to send it again. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really like your reviewing system! That’s a super fun way of labeling your enjoyment. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to make a detailed way to rate, just because I’d probably be constantly adjusting it to fit new bookish situations and that would get exhausting.
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment! 🙂


  3. Unless I’m reviewing a galley or ARC I normally don’t review books I rate below three stars. Mostly ‘cuz I don’t like ranting about a book that I have nothing good to say about >>. That said, I haven’t rated many one-star books lately, and very few two-stars. If it gets that bad, I just DNF it and move on. Also, Goodreads needs to add 0.5 increments to their rating system, since I use them quite a bit for blog ratings, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Goodreads definitely needs to add that! It would make my life so much easier. I haven’t come across a book that would be under three stars for me yet while having my blog, but I probably wouldn’t review it either unless I was given it to review or it was a really popular book and I wanted to share my differing opinion. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I know I probably shouldn’t do it as often but I rate based on my gut feeling. Like I write out the review with a general idea of where a book falls on the 1-5 Star scale I have and then I just kind of give it the review that I feel that it deserves. And if I try to give it something that might match my review better, it just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know if that makes sense but I feel extremely uncomfortable if I don’t listen to my gut feeling XD

    Liked by 1 person

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