Let’s talk star ratings… everyone does these differently. Do you use a critical, analytical system that is consistent every time? Rating based on the technical execution of the story including both exposition and structure? Or do you rate it based on how the book impacted you personally? Whether you enjoyed reading it or it made you feel all the feels?
For me the star ratings are simply about how I feel about the book when I finish it. It’s totally subjective and decisions based on emotion and not critical analysis and logic. I save the text of the review to talk about the technical execution, unless that’s all there is to save it from getting no stars…
It’s not a perfect system, I’ll admit I often look back at my star ratings after I’ve had serious time to reflect and wonder what was I thinking initially. This has led to me going back later to adjust ratings and also re-buying books I previously gave away. Seriously! 😳
So here’s how I do it:
- 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a book I’ll never forget, one that I can’t stop thinking about or changed my view on the world. I would likely re-read it and one that I’ll always recommend if asked.
- 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A book I loved and will probably get a space on my shelf but isn’t a shoe-in for a re-read or a recommendation.
- 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ These are books I enjoyed but it’s a ‘like’ not ‘love’ situation, I may have found it uneven or well executed but not well written or well written but the plot was slightly lacking. I would potentially recommend it but with caveats. This category is also often used for books in categories that I don’t gravitate towards (romance or self help) where the book is well done but maybe not for me.
- 2 ⭐️⭐️ Books that I did not enjoy or were poorly written but had some redeeming factor.
- 1 ⭐️ This rating is used when a book is either seriously flawed or a DNF and leaves me wondering how it got published. A DNF that is poorly written gets no stars and just a DNF but a DNF that is just not for me but might be enjoyed by someone else gets a single star with that explanation.
I am honest about every book I read and record my reviews on Goodreads regardless of the star rating. But for here on my blog or on Instagram, I will only publish 3 stars or above. I want my spaces to be positive and about books I want to talk about. You’ll rarely see me ranting negatively about a book that I know an author put their heart and soul into and many people likely love. I simply will be clear that the book wasn’t for me but will try to find some redeeming factor to focus on.
How do you do your star ratings?