Before I got GoodReads or joined Bookstagram for that matter, I would never rate a book. If someone asked if I’d read anything good, I’d recommend a book I enjoyed with great enthusiasm or have a little rant if a book disappointed me. The star rating of books can sometimes be difficult. Each of us who do reviews have our own set standard of what we think falls as a one, three or even a five. That is the beauty of books though that some people can connect with a book and fall in love while others dislike it and vice versa. I haven’t ever talked about how I rate books before, and I thought it might be useful to share. This won’t be the same for everyone but, this is just to give my audience a little overview of how each book meets the star criteria.
One star – Highly Disliked/Possibly DNF
One star ratings are harsh. Sometimes, even when I’ve despised a book, given up on it or infuriated that I persevered to the end with no reward, I will still feel a slight tinge of guilt for rating a book so low. I know the amount of work and time that goes into writing a book. I am in the process of writing, and even though it is not even a book I’m planning to try to get published or that far advanced, it feels like my baby. So I can’t imagine how some authors must feel when they see their book receive a low rating. That being said, I do believe negative reviews are important. Although they can be uncomfortable to give, I would always want my audience to know my real thoughts and feelings.
Two Stars – Didn’t Enjoy/Difficulty With Book
Typically, if there is a book I’ve had issues with, such as the writing, the story or the ending, then I will rank it two stars. Or, sometimes If I had had straight up just not enjoyed the book but don’t feel it fits the category for one star, I would give it two. Some examples of reasons why I have given books two stars have been the writing style. If something just isn’t flowing, it is difficult to read or too fragmented, then that is a no-no for me. Also, if I feel I haven’t gelled with the book, such as not connecting to the story or massively disliking the characters then more than likely, a two-star rating is the best fit. I have to admit, most of my low rankings are a two star, based off the reasons above of feeling one is harsh. But, sometimes it is needed!
Three Stars – Liked It/Wouldn’t Re-Read
I think out of all the star ratings; three is the magic number for me as it is the rating I leave for most of the books I’ve read. A three star for me means I liked the book. I thought it was good. This doesn’t mean it would be without some flaws if there were some – such as the writing, characters, length etc. Even though I enjoyed the book, the majority in this category wouldn’t be re-reads for me.
Four Stars – Highly Recommend
I’ve been lucky in 2019 so far as I’ve had a good amount of four-star books. For me, this is a book I would highly recommend. If someone came to me looking for a recommendation, I would only recommend fours and fives. If I highly recommend it, it means I enjoyed the plot. There can be a few incredible four stars that I did love but, knocked off stars for things like writing style, if it is a slow burner etc. For me, it is a great but not perfect book.
Five Stars – Won’t Stop Raving About It/Would Re-Read
If I read a five-star book, to use a very Scottish phrase, everyone and their granny will know about it. I’ll rave about it. Recommend it. Talk about it to anyone who will listen and give it a huge amount of love on my social media. I don’t re-read books that much but if I’ve rated a book five stars and it has blown me away, I will. I tend to always keep the books I rate five stars too whereas any lower, I will tend to give to charity.
I hope this gives a good indication of how I read and review my books. I think it is important as a book blogger to be as transparent as possible as books are pricey and you want to be as honest as possible. I have a review policy that may be of interest in my about me page which I think is also handy to have as a blogger. Even if you aren’t, I would love for you to know where I stand when it comes to my ratings.
Are you a book blogger? If so, do your rankings work similarly or different? If you aren’t a book blogger, do you find the above helpful? I’d love to hear your thoughts below, or you can send me a tweet or a comment/message on Instagram. Thanks for reading.