Why I Don’t Use Star Ratings

I post my reviews on several websites in addition to my blog.  I also review for a couple of publications that use star-ratings. One uses the standard 5-star system  (but allows half stars as well) and the other uses a 4-star system.  I don’t like the 4-star system, it completely takes away the ambiguity of a 3-star rating.

While I will obviously give a star rating for reviews on websites, I won’t be using them on my blog.

For one, I don’t want anyone to see a star rating and make assumptions on the book based on how many stars I gave it. Ratings and reviews are extremely subjective. What I like someone else may hate.  What I hate, someone else might rave about. My 3 may be someone else’s 5. I want people to read the review, what I liked or didn’t like, and then decide if they want to give the book a try.

For another, I try not to judge a book by its star ratings.  I’ve picked books because they had four or five stars and ended up thinking, “Did I just read the same book?”

Here is what my star ratings would mean, if I did give them:

5★ I’m going to start this book over from the very beginning as soon as I finish the last page and I’m going to tell everyone I know about this book.

4★ This is a good book. I’ll probably read it again at some point down the road. I’ll tell people I know who I think will like this book.

3★ It was okay. Entertaining. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t know if I’ll ever read it again.

2★ Um, no. Either because of the story or because it’s a published book full of errors.

1★ This book just sucked.  I probably did not finish (DNF). It’s a rare situation where I put a book down. I will always try to push through a book. If I DNF a book, it is really, really bad.

I’m very judicious with my star ratings.   If I give a book  5-stars, it means I’m going to read it again – not next year, not next month, not even next week…I’m going to reread passages as soon as I read the last word. I’m going to obsess over it.  I want to meet the characters in real life. I want them to be my friends. I want to get drunk & party with them.  It means I laughed out loud (and if it was in public, I probably snorted trying not to be the crazy person laughing out loud in public); it means I cried (or put the book down if I was in public so I wasn’t the crazy person crying in public); it means I started from the beginning as soon as I read the last word of the last page.

So if you see a post that starts off with a 5-star rating, get that book as soon as you can!

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