How I rate books

Rating books is something almost all booklovers do. You’ve read a book and you want to express how much you loved it and why everyone should read it. Or you want to tell people why you thought a book wasn’t living up to the hype. A rating is a big part of the review for me. It is a very simple way to show what you thought of a book. When looking up a book on Goodreads, the first thing I do is look at the ratings. The ratings can definitely determine if a book goes up, down, or completely off my wishlist.

But everyone has a different rating system. Some use stars, others use numbers and others might not even give a rating, just their opinion. I am personally a fan of the first and the latter method. For me, numbers feel way too random (I once saw someone rate a book with a 7.3 and I was like ‘Lol. Where did that .3 come from?’). The star method is the one I will be using on this blog, just so it’s easier to navigate through the different categories on my blog. And also because the stars are used on Goodreads. Obviously I will also write down my opinion in my review to explain my rating.

It’s really hard to translate your feelings and emotions into stars. Was it a three star read or should I bump it up to four? Questions, questions… My rating also gets influenced by my mood and previous reads. That’s why I feel like you should always read what the reviewer has to tell you, not just look at the stars. Sometimes, after some time has passed, I might even change my mind and edit my review. But I’m human, so I guess this isn’t that weird, right. BUT I will never give a book a great rating solely because it was a review copy I received from a publisher.

And I also want to say: my one star read could be your all time favourite.

Some might think a three star-book is bad, others think it’s okay. So here is what they mean to me.

 One star

When I give a book one star, it means I did not enjoy it at all. There even is a chance I did not finish the book (It rarely happens I do not finish reading a book. I might put a book aside and try again later, yes. But if I decide to DNF a book, I really really really didn’t like it.). This can have multiple reasons, for example I dislike the main character, the plot isn’t interesting to me at all or I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it up often. Would not recommend it to others. It won’t happen often that you see me giving a book one star, because most of the time I can already tell from the blurb that a book isn’t for me, so I won’t pick it up.

Two stars

I think this one is best explained as ‘meh’.
“How was the plot?”
“And the characters?”
“The romance in the book?”
“So… you wouldn’t recommend the book?”
“Nah. But it has a nice cover, though.”

These books are not so bad they deserve only one star, but when I give a book two stars, it’s almost worse than one star. I will remember a one star-book. When someone asks about that book, I can probably rant about it for a few minutes. Two star-books are… forgettable. Like I said, they are just ‘meh’.

Three stars

This is where I start to like the books. These could be ‘okay’-books or ‘could’ve been better’-books or ‘guilty pleasure’-books or ‘not really my thing but still good’-books. When I give a book three stars, it means I enjoyed reading it, but it wasn’t that memorable. Would still recommend it to some people.

Four stars

These books are great, I loved them, and I would totally recommend them. But there are probably some things I didn’t like. Sometimes it’s a problematic scene that stops me from giving five stars, or a boring part in an otherwise amazing story, or a slow start.  Sometimes there is a thin line between four and five stars and it all comes down to feelings.

Five stars

When I give a book five stars, there’s no doubt I will recommend this book to everyone. It stole my heart and it’s perfect in every aspect (Even if it isn’t. Kind of like looking through pink glasses.). Will most likely write in all caps when talking about this book and there will be lots of screaming. Nowadays it’s hard to find a book that can keep me hooked for a few hours in a row, while that happened at least once every two weeks when I was younger. If a book manages to do that now, it’s almost instantly a five star read. The feeling of ‘I’m not going to sleep before I finish this book’ reminds me of when I fell in love with reading.


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