Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Whatcha Think 'Bout Wednesday (5)

So, I've been going back and forth on a blog review related issue.

What do you think is the most effective way to review/rate a book?  Do you like when people use a star system, a grading scale, or do you think these things aren't necessary if your put up an adequate review?

Me? I just don't know.  I have a hard time sometimes because I can hold two books in my hand and in my book they are both 5-Star books BUT, here is where it gets tricky, they aren't the same kind of 5-star book.

I can't remember exactly, but I remember when I reviewed The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa.  I, of course, gave the book 5-Stars.  I then changed it to 5+Stars because for me that book was just FABULOUS.  But then I reviewed another book, on my scale it rated 5 star as well, but it wasn't the same kind of 5 star.

Is this making any sense?  Of course, when I pair my rating system with the best review I am capable of then maybe it all levels out but it still feels like I am finding too many books that are in the middle.  Example:  It is better then a 3-star rating but just shy of a 4-star.

What kind of rating system do you use and do you think it is always adequate or do you find yourself sometimes stumbling over it?

How would you feel if I took out my star rating?



  1. I think stars give a quick, overall impression so that I know what I'm getting into when I read the full review. For example, if I see that you've given a book 2 stars and start with some praise, I know that you're probably just saying what you liked before getting into what you didn't like, not that you loved the book.

    What you said is true - a five star rating does not always mean exactly the same thing (or a four star, or three star, etc.) but I think that's okay. When reviewers back up their ratings with explanations, they always make sense to me.

    Great question!

    Erin @ Quitting My Day Job

  2. I agree it is hard to compare books. For me Harry Potter is the highest 5 ever but Twilight series also gets a 5. I like Harry Potter more and think sometimes it's unfair it shares the same review but I guess that's the way it goes. Maybe it should be called a Flippin'Fabulous 5 hehe :o)

  3. I think you shouldn't compare one review to the other. Each book is unique and if you feel like they are both 5 stars, and you have backed it up with reasonable comments, then by all means give them both five stars.

    Basically what you are saying with the stars is how much you personally liked it, without taking into consideration any other book. It means that in your opinion, both books shall be read :).

  4. My perspective as a reader of reviews, before my blog, was I would only read reviews with stars. I was afraid if the person rated the book bad then they would put ideas in my head that I didn't want. That does happen to me sometimes, a reviewer will mention something and it gets stuck in my head.

    From a bloggers perspective, I do have trouble sometimes rating something. Sometimes I do love a book, but at the same time the content is different from other books I love. Some books have fluff and other books are serious.

  5. There are books like Lonely Planet that are hard to rate because they are so complete and full of info that you can say they are bad, but the theme is tourism so it is not considered literature.
    When I travelled to Argentina I took one of those and thanks to it I got one of those apartments in Buenos Aires to rent and it turned out a good experience. I highly recommend that book!


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