Bookish Musings: Do 5 Star Books Really Need to Be Perfect?

 
 

Do you like my graphic? There was no literal way to represent the topic, so I went with a visual metaphor, which is pretty fitting considering my blog name ;-) but I digress.

I admit that I am notoriously stingy when it comes to giving out 5 star ratings for books.

Well, notorious may have been a bit of an exaggeration as I’m not exactly famous and most of you probably didn’t even know that about me, but that’s not the point.

I’m surprised people even send me their books when they see how few books have gotten 5 stars from me. I mean, I expect 5 star books to be damn near perfect. Getting 5 stars is an honor.

But I’m starting to wonder if I’m being too harsh. So, as per usual when I’m unsure about something, I turn to you all to get your thoughts and opinions on the matter. Now let us discuss!

 

 

As I mentioned, I set very high standards for 5 stars. I expect the book to do everything right with only very minor flaws, and I expect it to live up to all my personal preferences. And I feel that’s fair, to only give 5 stars to books that meet my personal preferences. Ratings are subjective, and I think my ratings should in fact show what I personally like because that ultimately helps other people figure out whether the book is right for them. So that’s not my concern here.

What I’m wondering is, what about those books that aren’t perfect in execution, but I just freaking love them anyway?

It’s not like I have a strict rating system, I literally rate books based on how they feel. That one feels like 3 stars. This one feels like 4.5 stars. And my feeling is always a combination of both how well I think the book was written by somewhat objective standards and how much I enjoyed it. I don’t average out scores for plot and characters or anything like that. So if I wanna start giving books 5 stars based purely on how much I enjoyed them, I easily could.

But I still feel conflicted.

One of the problems for me is that I’m a strong believer that series are more than the sum of their parts. That’s why I love them so much. Each book builds on the previous one to make something greater. But each book in a series gets rated individually. And so I rate each one based on how solid the plot for that particular book was, how deep the characters were, how much sense everything made, etc., regardless of how much I loved the previous books. I’m not one of those people who automatically gives high ratings to later books in a series. And if there are cliffhangers that come before everything gets wrapped up, questions are left unanswered for that particular book, etc., I feel like I can’t in good conscience give that 5 stars. But what should I do when individually each book is 3.5 or 4 or 4.5 stars, but altogether it’s one of my absolute favorite series and I reread it over and over and I can never stop thinking about it because that’s how strongly it has impacted me and collectively it’s like 10 stars in my mind?!

On the one hand, it seems like the books that we love the most and can’t get enough of deserve 5 stars, that any flaws they have are overshadowed by how enjoyable or memorable or impactful they are overall. But on the other hand, it seems like giving those books 5 stars would diminish the effect for the books that really did do everything perfect.

Maybe those types of books deserve 4.5 stars instead? That way they would get credit for being amazing, since 4.5 is a great rating, but the absolute perfect score still gets reserved for the absolute perfect books? (And for me, they’d still get a 5 star rating on Amazon and Goodreads since I round up.)

*sigh* This post is probably a little all over the place, but I really don’t know how I feel about this!

 
 
 

Talk to me!

How stingy are you with 5 star ratings?
Do you rate based on execution, or on enjoyment of the book?
Do you think it's fair to give books in a series you absolutely love 5 stars even if each individual book wasn't perfect?
What's your solution to the dilemma of books that you love but that aren't perfectly written?

 

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  1. Kaja

    I’m pretty stingy with my 5-star reads, but I also round the 4.5 up to 5 on Goodreads, so it might not look like it. I don’t know, I mean, I have rated some books with 5 stars because they hit me very hard, even though I later thought of some problematic things that might have lowered my rating if I wasn’t so affected.

    But I respect an author for making me FEEL, so I tend to give 5-stars to books that are both good (in the sense that they have good characters, a great plot and so on) and also make me stay up late so I can finish them as soon as possible. I’m a mood reader, too, so a book might get a higher rating if I’m in the mood for it and a lower one if I’m not, which is pretty unfair, but I can’t help it.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I round mine up too because I know I’m stingy, and it seems more fair that way lol. If I give a 4.5, that means I thought the book was amazing, so really it deserves the rounded up rating, I think.

      I’m finding more and more lately that it’s rare to find a book that truly gets to me and make me FEEL, which is maybe why I’m now having this dilemma and considering giving them better ratings. I mean, like you said, as long as they do have good basics as well, I suppose they don’t have to be completely flawless.

      I do my best to find books I’m in the mood for because I do feel bad knowing I might’ve given a book a higher rating had I read it at a different time. But that’s the thing about ratings, they’re all so subjective!

  2. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    The never ending issue of the rating. Personally, I don’t do half stars – it reminds me too much of school, I always believed you can round down or up, why keep the half, you know? Same goes for books. I’m one of the few that rates with 3 stars books that I liked, to me 3 is a good book, 2 is ok, 4 is lacking something (maybe it was too short) and 5 is amazing. I do rate with 6 stars, but just a handful of books in all my reading and reviewing years.

    I don’t easily rate with 5 stars books that I absolutely loved but lacked the number of pages. A story can be well written and all but if the book is a big novella instead of a normal page count book I feel bad for all the books that are amazing and have a good page number – maybe that’s wrong, but I just do.

    On the other hand I’ve seen blogs that don’t even post reviews for books that they rate with less than 4 stars and frankly that pisses me off, as a blogger I consider it my duty to review a book no matter the rating.

    Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews recently posted: Tell Me Where It Hurts by J.R. Rogue

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously, it really is a neverending issue, isn’t it?! I like the half stars. To me there is a different between a 3.5 and a 4 and a 4.5 and so on.

      I don’t have an issue strictly with page number, but there’s a strong correlation for me between page number and how much I can really enjoy and get into a book. As in, novella-length just isn’t enough time for all the character development and feels that I want.

      It doesn’t bother me if reviewers don’t post reviews for the books they dislike though. As long as the reviews they do post are still honest :-)

  3. Peritract

    I think it’s a problem with five-star rating systems – they’re clear and simple, but you do have to sacrifice a lot of granularity when using them. There’s no room for a distinction between “really fun but trashy” and “transcendental work of literature”.

    I always end up not giving out five star ratings, because I’ve read better things, but at some point that just means that you are really using a four star rating system

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yes, exactly! Your second sentence summarized my biggest problem with ratings perfectly. I almost feel guilty giving light, fun, trashy books 4 stars when I’ve also given a really amazing, deep, emotional book 4 stars… but each was good and enjoyable for what it was, you know?

      But yeah, if you NEVER give 5 stars, I can see how that’d be problem. I give them sometimes, I just wonder if maybe I should give more.

  4. Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    What a unique and interesting post, Kristen! I know that for me, a five star book doesn’t necessarily have to be flawless. I have a rating system, where I base most of my ratings on execution, but part of those ratings are based on enjoyment. I think that so long as you recognise that there are issues with the book, and tack that along with your rating in a review, then it should be perfectly fine ^_^

    Geraldine @ Corralling Books recently posted: Blog Milestone: ONE HUNDRED BLOGLOVIN' FOLLOWERS, BABY!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! That’s such a good point. I always say that, to me, it’s the reviews, not the ratings, that are important. I know that I look at the actual reviews when deciding to read a book or not. But I feel like a lot of other people do look at ratings, and it could affect the overall rating of the book on Amazon/GR. But I might actually start doing what you said for those books that I just love and adore. I can explain that my rating is based on my enjoyment, but there were still a few imperfections :-)

  5. Kate @ Mom's Radius

    I don’t think a book has to be perfect to get 5 stars. I am pretty conservative with my ratings as well, but for me 5 stars means I think everyone should read the book. I loved it so much or the message was so good, that it should be read by the masses. I rate more on enjoyment than execution, but poor execution can distract me from enjoying a book. So maybe it’s both? I often rate books in my favorite series 5 stars even if they’re not perfect because they are better than earlier books or just make me so happy to read because I love the characters and the author has done a good job of advancing the plot.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hmmm, that’s a way of looking at it that I’d never thought about. I mean, most of the books I love most aren’t the kind that the masses are going to read lol, but maybe I could rate more based on how much I recommend the book and think other people should read it.

      What you said about how books in your favorite series just make you happy, that’s pretty much what I’m thinking. If I enjoy the books in a series that much, maybe they do deserve 5 stars.

  6. Lola

    5 stars are a difficult topic for me too. And as you know I very rarely give them out as well. I usually say 5 stars have to have few flaws, but they don’t have to be perfect just very close to it. And how I feel is the most important part, but if there is a big thing I don’t enjoy I still can’t give it a 5 star. And there are a lot of books that are really good, but still don’t get a 5 star. Because they don’t feel like a 5 star. A 5 stars book needs to be a book that I really love.

    The topic of series is a very difficult one. I actually would love to rate series separately from the individual books. Years ago I read the Debt Collector series by Susan kaye Quinn. It’s an episodic series with novella’s. She released one novella each week and I read one of them each week. At the end she released a box set with all the episodes and I reviewed that separately. All the episodes got a 4 star from me, but the box set a 5 star. As each episode wasn’t good enough on it’s own to get a 5 star, but when I added everything up and realized how much I loved the series I still gave it a 5 star as a whole. Some of my favorite series never got a 5 star, but as a series I still might rate them that way.

    I rate books on execution and enjoyment. But even if I have a lot of small issues, if I really enjoyed a book it can still get a good rating. I can’t remember any recent 5 stars where this happened, but I know this happened more often in the past. I remember a book I read years ago that wasn’t awesome, but the author wrote it so well and I really enjoyed it and gave it a 5 star. I feel like I’ve gotten more picky with my 5 stars and maybe even am afraid to give them out now. But that also could be because I’ve gone so long without a 5 star read, while in the past I always had one 5 star every month. I do think that a book usually needs to be good in execution and enjoyment. It just has to work for me. But I can have small issues with it.

    I think my mood also influences a lot and sometimes that can make the difference between a 4 and 5 star. If I love the book even if not well written, it probably has a much chance of falling on either side of the line, either a 4 or a 5 star depending what i feel. Sometimes it’s really hard to decide what rating to give a book. I had two books this year were I doubted whether to give them a 4 or 5 star and still not fully sure if I made the right choice (they both got a 4 in the end). I don’t think there is an easy solution or way to decide on the rating when you feel conflicted.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I remember you had a similar post about ratings, and I know you’re stingy with 5 stars too.

      The problem with rating a series like that though is that people looking at the individual reviews won’t see that. So if someone is reading reviews for the first book to decide whether to start the series, they won’t see that series review. Or if someone comes across a review for the 4th book in a series, they’ll just see that you gave that book 3.5 stars and won’t know that you gave the full series 5 stars, you know? I have a “series rating” on my review posts for completed series, but maybe I could just include that in my GR and Amazon reviews too. But then that still doesn’t help the overall book rating, and I don’t know. I think too much lol.

      I think it’s not so much that a book can’t have a few minor flaws, my issue is more about the series thing. And I guess I don’t really know how to find the balance between enjoyment and execution.

      But yeah, I too sometimes choose a rating and then spend the next six months wondering whether I gave it the right rating or not lol because I still can’t quite decide.

      1. Lola

        Yeah I agree, there is really no easy way to rate the series. Or you could mention it in your review for each book, but it’s still not the same. And that example with the box set only worked in that way and then nobody probably ever reads my box set review, just the individual ones.

        I didn’t realize you rated completed series. I do like that idea, but it’s still hard o show that to everyone who reads your reviews. Or maybe you could do a favorite series type of post to show your love for those series.

        And rating a book is difficult, some books I am really sure of my rating and for others I keep doubting even after the decision is made.

        1. Kristen Burns

          You probably didn’t realize I rate completed series since I have so few completed series on here, haha. Most of them are still going on.

          The thing about a favorite series post or something is that it still doesn’t help for anyone who just stumbles upon one of the books on Amazon or Goodreads, or who finds one of my reviews via Google, or who looks through the “Reviews” page, etc. So I feel like it’s not doing the books justice since hardly anyone would really see that one post.

          I agree, sometimes I’m completely confident with my rating, other times I still wonder if I rated it right 6 months later lol. But then, I’m just a really indecisive person in general.

  7. Keionda @Keionda Hearts Books

    I wouldn’t say i w as stingy with giving ratings for books, but i hardly ever give five stars? Hmmm, I so like you, in that I are a book based on how it FEELs to me. :) If it feels like it deserves this many ratings, then that’s how many it’s going to get. :) I never thin too hard about a rating because either you like it or you don’t, you know?

    Keionda @Keionda Hearts Books recently posted: What’s YOUR Fav Social Media Site?

  8. Aralyn

    I can also be quite stingy with 5 stars… Like, sometimes it’s inconsistent, too, depending on my mood maybe? So sometimes I get more nit-picky for books I loved and other times, I don’t care about the minor flaws… I need to work on it. I’m trying to relax about it a little more for future books. Like I have a review coming up soon of a book I rated 5/5 even with some flaws because it was so gosh darn cute and I loved it. I still want to look at execution, though, because I think it’s important. So even if I give 5/5 I WILL discuss any execution problems I had.

    And I totally understand about the series vs. individual thing… That’s actually why I tend to ignore the cliffhangers when it comes to docking stars. I try to only stick with what’s presented and that can be daunting due to some things not being explained until later books, so you don’t know if you should dock stars based on confusion just yet… Ugh. I’m also working on that. Maybe whenever I read the final book in a series I’ll address those issues more. OR just make a separate post later with some more details of the series overall with an overall rating, too.

    Reviewing and rating are tough shenanigans.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ugh, all my rating is inconsistent lol. But yeah, that’s what someone else suggested too, giving it the 5/5 rating if you enjoy but addressing the execution flaws in the actual review.

      I don’t know, it’s just, if a book ends before or in the middle of the climax or doesn’t have an ending, I feel like that’s not a full book and it doesn’t deserve 5 stars. I mean, a story is supposed to have a beginning middle, and end, and even individual books in a series should have that, even if there’s also an overarching plot. But then, it also depends. For example, Withered + Sere cut off kind of early, but I still felt like there was enough of a story to be satisfying for one book. I get what you’re saying about not knowing whether to hold off on docking for confusion though, that’s definitely a problem when you’re reviewing a series as it’s still coming out.

      Seriously, you’d think the rating would be the easy part lol.

  9. S. J. Pajonas

    I’m not a reviewer anymore, but when I was, if the book moved me and made me think, and then I was upset when it was over, it was 5-stars and I still feel this way about a lot of books I currently read. As an author, I’m fine with anything, though 3-stars and up is enough to make me happy. :) I don’t read my reviews anymore except for the first sentence, so I’m not sure what people love or hate about my books.

    And I feel the same way about series. :)

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: My Top 10 Japanese Snacks

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s what I’m starting to think, that maybe the books in the series that really move me and affect me deserve those 5 stars even if each one isn’t perfect. But that’s good to know that as an author you’re happy with 3 and 4 star reviews too :-) I also think 3 and 4 stars are good. I mean, often when I give 3 stars, it’s because it wasn’t necessarily to my tastes, but I recognize that it has good aspects and that other people might really like it.

  10. Greg

    I don’t usually give 5 stars unless I love a book. To me it’s a book that just blew me away or really touched me in some way, or was just plain exciting. It’s not even necessarily about the quality of writing, although of course that’s important. But if it’s a big time book to me, I’ll give it 5. Having said that, I don’t even do ratings on my blog, just on Goodreads, but I do sorta think in my head is this a 5 star, or 4 or whatever? So yeah… and I’ve thought about doing ratings, I go back and forth.

    Looking at Goodreads I’ve only got a few 5 stars, and they’re all books I just thought were awesome, The 4 and 3 stars (in some cases) were all books I liked a lot- they just didn’t have that extra something. I mean some of those 4 stars are pretty good and could have been 5, dependig on my mood. So it’s pretty subjective… I kind of agree that if I love a book enough to give it 5, that means the good so outweighs any flaws that it’s a favorite not necessarily the best written book ever.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I mean, generally I just *know* when a book is 5 stars because it’s so amazing that I freak out about how amazing it is lol. And I guess the execution is just kind of correlated since I’ve yet to come across a book that was amazing but had terrible execution, you know? But it’s those series books that really confuse me and I’m wondering if I should let the enjoyment outweigh the flaws with my ratings.

  11. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    I love me some 5 stars. Seriously, I give ’em out like candy. Okay, I am exaggerating, but I am NOT stingy with them, I guess. But I do reserve a special “extra” star rating for books I think deserve them, which I DO use very sparingly. I think that if sites like Amazon and Goodreads HAD half-star options I would use them more in general, because I think that there have totally been times when my 5s should have been 4.5s. But I DO go with my feelings more often than not. I will point out the flaws that others may have with the book, but it doesn’t change MY rating, I guess. Great post!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Anxious Action Readers Unite!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha you just like to spread the love! To solve the half star problem I just put round up when I have to choose the stars and then put my actual rating at the top of my review. But yeah, what you said about giving the rating based on your enjoyment and using the review to point out any flaws is something I might start doing. Thanks!

  12. Kazza

    I’d like a half star rating on Amazon and Goodreads, but I rely on my blog more so I can half star away on there all I want.

    A book doesn’t have to be perfect, in my opinion, to get 5 stars, it just has to make me love it in some way – the characters are a huge pull for me. Timing can help a lot as well – something I discovered a lot this year. My mood aids in what I want to read and how I feel about the book I have on my Kindle at the time; no good reading contemporary when I’m craving fantasy, I’ll get stabby…or less dramatically, probably just put it down and move on :)

    I generally head into books with a clear idea of what it is I’m going into – I’m picky before I even start to read. I don’t have as much time now to review so I have to be careful who and what I’m picking up. That helps a lot, but I get it wrong sometimes and pick up something that gets my knickers in a knot.

    Thank goodness there’s so many different books and genres out there for us mad-keen readers.. Something for everyone.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I also use half stars on my blog, and I just mention my rating in my review for Goodreads and Amazon.

      I do sometimes wonder how differently I might have rated books had I read them at a different time since not only am I a mood reader, but we all change over time and thus our experiences and reading tastes change. But I definitely try to read with my mood, though that’s hard when I can’t figure out what I’m in the mood for -_-

      I also like to have a fairly clear idea of what I’m going into which is why I usually read lots of reviews unless the blurb really completely grabs me.

      But yes! It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Especially since my reading taste can be so specific sometimes lol.

  13. Alice @ Arctic Books

    This is such an interesting discussion! For me, a 5 star book is based purely on how much I enjoyed it and flew through the pages. I agree, I usually don’t collectively rate books upon how well the plot advances or how much the character related to me, but rather, I rate a book subjectively, through how much I enjoyed it, and if I would recommend it to anyone else. That’s what makes me give a book 5 stars—if it’s memorable, if it made me feel things, and/or if I would recommend it to anyone else. So I guess I don’t have a very objective way to rate books, not like those who break down their ratings between characters and plot and setting; although I do talk about them in my reviews, I suppose it’s more of how much I truly enjoyed it. Great discussion!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I think that’s a good way of doing things, ratings books based on enjoyment and whether you’d recommend them. I feel like those books that are memorable and have really made me feel probably do deserve five stars, or at least something close! Not that I have an objective system with a break down either, but maybe I could be a little more lenient towards the books that truly affect me :-)

  14. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I am a pretty generous rater. I have a lot of 4, 4.5 and 5 star books when I think about it but it’s because I rate for how happy the book makes me not necessarily the content of a book. I can give a book I really enjoyed a very high rating and still think there were a lot of flaws within it. I think if I allowed myself to rate a book purely for the content and didn’t let my emotions get involved but then I don’t know. I feel like that would suck though. My books get rated for how much I want to tell everyone about it. The more I want to rave about the higher it gets rated. I can’t claim any of my higher rated books are perfect, but they felt pretty damn perfect to me when I was reading them.

    Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity recently posted: Nina Is Not Ok // A Book Which Will Make You Think

    1. Kristen Burns

      If it makes you happy rating books based purely on your enjoyment, that’s totally what you should keep doing! I don’t rate books based solely on their execution since books are subjective as it is and that would be nearly impossible, but I kind of factor both enjoyment and execution together. Although I’m wondering if maybe it’s just that the execution flaws negatively affect my enjoyment? Rating is so confusing lol. But yeah, I think I might change a couple ratings for the books that I love and do constantly want to tell everyone about. That’s a good point, the book doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to feel perfect to you :-)

      1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

        I do wish there were clear rules on rating sometimes because it is so confusing. I rate things differently on different days as well which is so strange. I do know how the flaws in books can affect your opinion and it can end up overshadowing the fact you enjoyed a lot of other things about it and that can be annoying.

        Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity recently posted: Looking Forward // August

        1. Kristen Burns

          I mean, GR does have a rating scale, but then Amazon has a different scale, and neither one quite works for me since “I liked it” is so vague. Like, none of them is labeled as “I liked it but it had a lot of flaws I couldn’t overlook” or “it was super well written but not quite to my taste” or “it wasn’t super emotional or developed, but it was so much fun!” Lol.

  15. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I’m pretty stingy with the stars. I’ve read 60-something books so far this year, and I think I’ve given 5 stars to 6 books. Since ratings are hugely subjective, my 5-star books are perfect to me. I may be able to see flaws in the book that other people wouldn’t like, but if the flaws didn’t bother me, the book gets 5 stars.

    Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted: FF Friday: In Which I Discuss All Things DNF

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve read over a hundred books this year and given 5 stars to two of them, so at least you’re not as stingy as me lol. But that’s a good point, if the flaws don’t bother you personally, then it’s definitely fair to not mark the book down for them!

  16. Michelle @ FaerieFits

    I go back and forth. I seriously have the most inconsistent rating “criteria,” like, ever, and it’s especially obvious if you were to look at my 2.5, 3 and 3.5 star readings on my old blog (which is no longer available and therefor not an easy task) and read the nature of my reviews. Sometimes I’ll withhold 5 stars for utter perfection. Other times, I’ll give it the *feels* rating and just go with it.

    I’ve started to keep myself “in check” and bit more by rating first based on my gut, then writing my review. About 80% of the time, I’ll end up knocking my rating down a half star or more once I start writing, because the very ACT of writing brings out the critical side of me. But if all I can think about while I was writing my review was “OMG THIS BOOK IS SO FREAKING AWESOME?” Then yeah, it’s getting 5 stars even if it’s got some flaws.

    That’s kind of how I am with Sarah J. Maas — in hindsight, I can list so many reasons I wouldn’t have given the earlier books such a high rating. But at the time? Totally got 5 stars.

    Michelle @ FaerieFits recently posted: Pokemon Indigo League Read-A-Thon #ReadThemAllThon

    1. Kristen Burns

      I have the most inconsistent “criteria” too considering I don’t even *have* criteria, haha. Seriously, I look at my ratings, and the books that have 4 stars are like all over the place from “super realistic and really great” to “some flaws but affected me emotionally” to “not realistic or emotional but light and funny.” So I’m hopeless. But I can’t help that there aren’t different scales for different *types* of books or whatever.

      I almost never give things ratings right away on GR since I do need time to sleep on it and let it sink in before I can decide. And I also need to write out the list of things I liked and disliked sometimes before I can figure out my rating. It helps to make sense of my thoughts. But yeah, the books that get 5 stars from me are generally the ones that are so good I just freak out and can’t even handle it lol.

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  18. Got My Book

    I really hate giving star ratings in the first place; so, when I got serious with my blog, it took me forever to decide what the ratings meant to me. Since I am 1) an audiobook blogger and 2) a huge re-reader, I ended up rating things by how much I love relistening to the book.

    I am very stingy with 5* ratings, they only go to books that are on high rotation and have stood the test of time. If I think that not everyone will love it as much, I do try to say so.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I tried to figure out what my ratings meant to make one of those charts, but I really don’t have a certain criteria so each rating ended up with a whole paragraph of me trying to describe what it might possibly mean and eventually I just gave up lol. But that’s good that you were actually able to figure out some sort of criteria/standard, probably a lot more helpful for your followers that way.

      I do that too, mentioning that a certain book won’t be for everyone even though I personally loved it if it’s super dark or something.

  19. Mareli Thalwitzer

    I definitely rate on how I feel and also WHEN I rate. If I rate a book directly after reading it, my rating will sometimes differ from when I think about the book for a while. Ratings are subjective, but I do try to think outside the box. Sometimes something in a book or a character will put me off, but then I know it might actually only be me – think outside the box. I do that with people’s comments as well. I saw a review on Goodreads from a guy last week giving terribly bad reviews and viewpoints on a book I loved. I wanted to comment and then I just stood back and realised that he is entitled to his opinion. The fact that I think it’s a shitty opinion and he actually doesn’t have a clue has nothing to do with it. Loved this article! Great discussion point.

    Mareli Thalwitzer recently posted: InkStains July 2016

    1. Kristen Burns

      I almost always wait a bit before giving a book a rating. I rarely mark a rating down right away on GR because I need time to sleep on it and think about what I liked and disliked, etc. But good call not commenting on that review. It won’t bring you anything good to start an argument on GR. Just post your positive review to balance his out and point out all the great things to people :-) Thanks!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I have a favorites label, but I’m rather free with it lol, so it’s not really used in the same way as yours since I use it even on books that I don’t give 5 stars too. I find myself giving a lot of 3.5 and 4 stars though.

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  21. Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

    I used to give 5 star ratings to anything that I liked. Looking back, there are so many that I would change the rating. Now, I’m very picky. One example is Swear on this Life. I absolutely LOVE that book. And I was so close to giving it 5 stars but there’s something that didn’t quite made it so perfect (I still don’t know what it is) so I would give it 4.5 stars. To me, 5 stars is when the book is either perfect or even with flaws, I still felt so good reading from beginning to end. I was content with everything, despite minor flaws. I don’t always round up to 5 stars if a book is 4.5. If I know the book deserves to be round up, I definitely will do it.

    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews recently posted: Weekly Latte Rewind ~ 8.6.16 | Food, food and more food!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I’m the same. Sometimes I love a book and think it’s amazing… but there’s just something stopping me from the full 5 stars. Generally I know a book is 5 stars when I completely freak out about it. Like, I just *know*. But I do round up my half ratings on GR and Amazon. I feel like, if I didn’t, my ratings would all look so low lol.

  22. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    I definitely rate books based on how I feel about them. If I absolutely loved a book, I’ll give it five stars and if I see that there are some technical flaws, I’ll note that in my review. This does sometimes leave me wanting to give a handful of my very favorite books ever something above five stars though, so perhaps I should be using that rating more selectively.

    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted: #FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Playing Dead

    1. Kristen Burns

      That seems like a good way of doing things, giving books 5 stars to give them the credit they deserve for affecting you so much but still using the review to point out any flaws. But then, like you said, your favorite books ever don’t get quite the same recognition. Though you could always just mention in your review that they’re your favorites ever! And I have a shelf on GR that for my “favorites,” so you could do that too :-)