My Star Ratings Explained

My Star Ratings Explained

Since I've started posting book reviews more frequently on the blog, I decided I should probably explain how my star ratings work. Everyone has a different system and idea about what stars mean. I'll show you how they work for me, starting from the bottom and working my way up.

1 Star- The worst

One star ratings are reserved for only the most terrible of books. The ones with horrible writing, plot, and everything else all in one book. You know the ones I'm talking about. Or ones I personally hated for one reason or another.

These books are few and far between. So far on my Goodreads, I've only rated one book with one star. It was called Cinder and Ella. Obviously, it was supposed to be a Cinderella retelling, which is why I picked it up. However, I think it was the worst thing I've ever read. It sounded like a five year old wrote it. I didn't even see much of Cinderella in it. I would never recommend this book to anyone.

2 Stars- Bad, but not the worst

Two stars is for book that were bad or I didn't enjoy in the slightest. I might give a book this rating if the writing was poor, the plot was bad, the characters boring, or something else along those lines. I might also give a book this if it sorely disappointed me or it was something I really didn't like.

There have only been nine of these books on my Goodreads shelves. Four of them are Gregory Maguire books. I was on a kick where I read everything he wrote, and several of them I didn't really like. Wicked to me was the best one he did. Books still have to be pretty bad for me to rate them two stars, since I tend to be generous with my ratings.

Half Stars- Right in between

Before I get much further I should tell you what I use half stars for. So far, Goodreads hasn't added the setting for rating something a half star (though since they did come out with the re-reading option, one can hope that isn't far behind), so you have to type in the exact rating you give something. Anyway, I use a half star when I can't quite decided if something is say two or three stars.

A half star means I think it had elements of both parts. Like it may be bad in some areas, but okay in others. Though a lot of times I just round up or down depending on how much I liked or disliked a book, I will occasionally use half stars. I've never been one to rate things 3.75 stars or something like that.

3 Stars- Okay

Three stars for me means the book was generally all right. It wasn't horrible, it wasn't great, but I enjoyed it enough to rate it right in the middle. Rating something three stars normally means that it was either a) something I semi-enjoyed or b) something that I enjoyed but had lots of flaws.

A majority of my books are rated either three or four stars, depending on where they fall on my spectrum. About two and a half pages (of 15 pages) of my books on Goodreads are rated three stars. Of course, that might doesn't mean that other books should have gotten three stars or less, but I may have just gone with four stars and left it.

4 Stars- Great and I enjoyed it

Four stars is my go to rating if I enjoyed a book and it didn't have too many problems. Yeah, I may be a little generous on them, since roughly 4/5's of my books are rated four stars. (Which I didn't realize until I went to write this post.) I probably should be a little more judgmental on rating things, but what can I say? I like to round up.

Of course, some of them are three and a half stars, but since Goodreads doesn't show that, I can't calculate that amount. The reason I think I have so many rated four stars is because I have a pretty good sense of what sort of books I do and don't enjoy. That means I read a lot of books I like, so I can rate things fairly high. That's what I think, anyway.

5 Stars- Superb and masterful

Five stars is a rating as reserved as one star, except instead of only for the worst, I only rate the best books with five stars. It has to be a great book, with almost no problems, and really have to wow me to get five stars. Thus, I don't rate a lot of books this. It's really hard to find books that deserve five stars.

I have about two and a half pages of five stars on Goodreads. Some of those are actually four and a half stars, but we've already discuses that. The five star books range from fantasy, to children's books, to non-fiction. Most of the Lunar Chronicles and The Selection is on, as is The Lord of the Rings. As you can see, it's pretty hard to get on that prestigious list.

There you have it. I hope this post gives a better insight to how I rate books for future monthly book reviews and such. Of course, your system might be different. It probably is, and I'd love to here about it.

Let's talk! How do you rate your books? Which is your most used star amount? Tell me in the comments.


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