Geeky Discussions: How Do You Rate Books? | Blushing Geek

Geeky Discussions: How Do You Rate Books?

I’ve been reading books all my life but as years go by, I noticed how my reading horizons got wider considering how sure I am that I will live and die just reading suspense/mystery books (excluding tagalog romance novels, hehe). Well, that’s not what I’m going to talk about today (*wink) but I’m curious how others determine their book ratings. How do you decide to give a book one, two, etc. stars? Do you have a criteria or do you just go with your gut reaction?

I always believe that I’m so easy to please and I’m not usually picky either (unless my mood starts to intervene), but it strikes me as unusual why it always takes me a lot of convincing to give a book five stars rating while others can easily do it. I guess I’m really stingy when it comes to books haha.

Five stars – I noticed that I give this rating to books which meets the following criteria:

  • Plot movement – with the amount of books being published everyday, I don’t really mind if the plot is not original. I want a story that will take me inside the book and loving how it moves. I’m usually a dialogue reader so I hate it when a story has to trudge through a bunch of blah, blah, blah and then nothing. I want a story that is very easy to read and will keep me engaged.
  • Entertainment – whatever genre that would be, a good entertainment (whether short or long it is) is a must have for me. I don’t read for my health (will, unless it’s a health magazine?, haha) but I read because I enjoy getting lost in between pages. I want a story to drag me out of my real life and take me away, whether in a place like wonderland or in the underworld.
  • Characters – even if the plot is great, if the characters are meh, then say goodbye for the five stars rating. I always think that the plot and the characters come hand in hand and if they don’t coordinate well, your reading will never be worthwhile.
  • Writing style – I always consider the first chapter as one of the most important parts of the book. If I’m not into the style of writing, then without second thoughts, I’ll definitely put it down and that’s really bad. You see, I easily get moody when that happens and my only cure is a romance story. So if you notice that I’ve been reading quite a number of romance books lately, then you’ll already get an idea why *wink.
  • Thought provoking – if I am still thinking about this book one week later and I find it hard to read another book, then I’m obviously suffering from a severe book hangover. That’s really bad for a blog posting schedule but I really love it when a book does that to me.
  • Worldly relevance – books just like movies are ofcourse works of fiction (excluding biographies or based on true events), but I always consider a book as a great one if it has an impact on people. I do love HEA but if it’s unrealistic, then forget about it because I will never buy that. I could give an exception for fantasy stories once in a while though.
  • The ending – unless it’s in series, I always want the ending really an ending. It doesn’t need to be an HEA (but I still wish it is, hehe), what I mean is that all loose ends should have been close already and no questions left unanswered.

Four stars – this rating is for books that are enjoyable but I find some few things that need to improve or if there’s something lacking.

Three stars – this is for books that gave me a neutral reaction – wasn’t that impressive but still able to catch my attention and enjoyed half of it. I still consider three stars a good rating.

Two stars – this rating is often for books that are lacking in many areas – writing, characterization, and/or problematic plot lines. I don’t consider these books as outright hate, but I wouldn’t say I like them either.

One star – I think all of us have the same definition of books with this kind of rating eh? I may have published book reviews here in the blog that I have given two stars rating as there’s some moments that I like in them but I’ll definitely never post those that I have given a one star rating (gladly I only have a few of them).

There are a lot of times when I rated a book with a half star, it could be because of the following:

  • if it’s from my favorite author
  • if there’s a character in the story that I really like (or worse, I’m obsessed with haha)
  • if the ending was so good
  • if the cover looks so good!
So how about you? How do you rate books? Click To Tweet
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19 Comments

  • Karen October 13, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    I’m the same for your 1&2 star ratings. 3 star is if I mostly enjoyed a book but it had one or two flaws that kept me from loving it. 4 is for a book I loved yet had something negative that stood out to me – like a slower section, an ending that wrapped up too quickly for example.
    5 stars are super rare for me but it’s more of a gut thing. It can be flawed but a 5 star read leaves me happy and like I’m walking on air for several days I’m so happy – all the feels!

    I hate reviewing 5 star reads because objectively I know the book has flaws but I enjoyed it and don’t want to start picking it apart and ruin my experience.

    For What It’s Worth

    Reply
    • Vanessa October 14, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      I feel the same way about 5 star reads too Karen. Thanks for sharing how you rate books 🙂

      Reply
  • LilyElement October 14, 2017 at 3:26 am

    I agree with you, I’m surprised people think 3 stars is bad though, it just means it’s good but not horrible lolol

    Reply
    • Vanessa October 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Yes, that’s exactly true!

      Reply
  • Lily B October 14, 2017 at 4:58 am

    I’ll read a book that been rated a 3 1/2 star on Goodreads because I still consider 3-3.5 a good rating and worthy of my attention. I don’t feel like it is a bad rating either. I reserve 5 star ratings for books that blow my mind or expectations out of the water but I think it’s still based on how I feel about the book and what the general public feels I should feel. Most of my books these days are centered between 3-4 stars and I find that just fine 🙂 especially for someone who reads quiet a bit year

    Reply
    • Vanessa October 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Same here. I guess for this year I only have given 2 or 3 books a five stars rating. Thanks for sharing how you rate a book Lily 🙂

      Reply
  • kimbacaffeinate October 15, 2017 at 12:20 am

    I follow Goodreads star guidelines, although I do use 1/2 stars because sometimes a book isn’t quite a 4 star, but better than average. It grinds my gears that people think a 3 is bad. A three simply means I was entertained and enjoyed the read but I won’t remember details a year from now. Ugh.

    Reply
    • Vanessa October 16, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      I am with you with the 3 stars rating. Thanks for sharing Kim 🙂

      Reply
  • Thannya @My Lovely Secret October 15, 2017 at 12:35 am

    This is a really interesting discussion. Just the other day I wrote about how fair ARC reviews are. Anyway, I confess it doesn’t take me much to give a book three stars since I always try to focus on the positive (it may be the writing, the characters or the worldbuiling). If I can’t put a book down, I will probably give if five stars. It doesn’t mean the book does not have flaws, but if means it captivated me and I wouldn’t feel right giving it less than five stars. Now, if I find myself rolling my eyes every five seconds while reading a book, I will probably give it less than three stars. So, my rating really depends on how a book makes me feel.

    Happy readings! 😉
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

    Reply
    • Vanessa October 16, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      I believe that’s one great way to determine on what rating to give Tania. Sometimes, there are books that have amazing writing style, amazing characters, amazing plot but it failed to connect with the readers. Thanks for sharing Tania 🙂

      Reply
  • Alyssa Susanna October 15, 2017 at 5:40 am

    I have my own rankings and criteria when it comes to rating a book, and that generally works for me. But sometimes I find a book that definitely deserves this or that rating, but it’s hard to justify why. I try to be as mathematical as possible when it comes to my ratings but sometimes it can’t happen. 😀 What blows my mind is how reviewers review without ratings! But to each their own.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Vanessa. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    Reply
    • Vanessa October 16, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Yes, I do experience that occasionally too. Thanks for sharing Alyssa 🙂

      Reply
  • Sophia Rose October 15, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I am a reader of extremes, I think, when it comes to rating. I probably give more five stars than most people, but I also tend to DNF books probably more often, too. A five-star is not necessarily a technically perfect book to me- its just a book that I can close the last page and think or say ‘that was amazing to me’. I don’t give one stars, so far, and I think its because once I realize its not even a ‘meh- okay’ 2 star then I don’t want to finish it. Most of my ratings are actually four stars- easy to please. 😉

    I also love the option of 1/2 stars because then I can get more specific with the rating than just averaging it.

    Great discussion, Vanessa!

    Reply
    • Vanessa October 16, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      Wow. That’s amazing Sophia. Thanks for joining in with the discussion 🙂

      Reply
  • Vanessa October 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    That’s awesome Geybie. Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

    Reply
  • [email protected] cats&burning soup October 17, 2017 at 12:15 am

    I just go with my gut. lol 4 is what most get. Books I really enjoyed and will recommend. 3s are ones that were okay. Middle of the road. Some will like it but I won’t push those books hard for most to read. 5s… I almost never give. Those have to knock me stupid. lol I have 1-3 a year usually.

    Reply
    • Vanessa October 17, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      Hehe, I highly understand with the 5 stars. I seldom give them nowadays too, but 4 stars are 😉

      Reply
  • Diva Booknerd October 17, 2017 at 3:02 am

    For me, anything above three stars is a positive review but the book was boring or had quite a few issues. I’m really not that technical though. I rate purely on entertainment value and only bother to review books that I’ve enjoyed, that’s why you’ll only see mostly positive ratings on my blog. Life is too short to bother with crap books isn’t it. I really like the concept of half stars too, it’s shame Goodreads have said they have no plans to impose them. Great discussion Vanessa, really enjoying reading others replies as well <3

    Reply
    • Vanessa October 17, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      True about that. Besides, there’s a lot of books published everyday to settle for the crappy ones 😉
      And yep, shame on Goodreads. But atleast with our blog we can put any ratings we like 🙂

      Reply

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