BOOKS: Ratings & Reviews

Lisa SF
Clan Fraser
Joined: 11:43 PM - Aug 02, 2011

9:59 PM - May 19, 2016 #1

How do you rate books? Do you share your ratings and reviews online (Goodreads, Amazon, other places)?

A discussion started over in our May BOTM thread about what makes a 5-star read or a 1-star read, and how it can vary from person to person.

It's an interesting topic, worthy of its own thread!

Do you use a ratings system, and if so, what are your criteria for your ratings? Please share your thoughts!
"There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books." - Irving Stone

Just another reader with a blog... check it out here.
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Joined: 11:01 PM - Jul 10, 2014

12:02 AM - May 20, 2016 #2

Thanks for opening this thread, Lisa. I would love to learn how others rate their books.

I already posted it on the other thread, but I'll re-post my unscientific criteria here again.
5. A Wonderful book that I would like to own because I'm definitely going to read it again. Examples: The Outlander series (except the Lord John books), The first trilogy by Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits, Portrait in Sepia and Daughter of Fortune)
4. A Great book the I really enjoyed reading, a literary masterpiece, but one I'm not in a hurry to read again soon. One that made me think and stayed in my mind for a while. Examples: Great Expectations, Anna Karenina, The Golden Finch, Gone Girl.
3. A Good book, one I enjoyed reading. I liked the story. It kept me reading. Most good light reading would end up here. Examples: The Lord John books, Mary Higgings Clark novels, The Little Bookshop in Paris, The Magician's Wife.
2. A fair book. It was good enough for me to finish it but I had issues with it. It might have grammar, or plot, or character issues that make it less than acceptable. The issues were likely technical but not too bad, or I kept reading hoping it would get better but somehow it hooked me, and I was likely disapointed at the end. Example: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer, The Maze Runner
1. Yuck! I shouldn't have read it. I have no idea why I kept reading it. It must have been in audio and it just kept playing while I was thinking of something else. Example: Cinder, The Lost Gate
DNF - A 1 or a 2 I stopped reading before it was too late. Example: The Boys in the Boat; Eat, Pray, Love.

What's your criteria?
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Lisa SF
Clan Fraser
Joined: 11:43 PM - Aug 02, 2011

8:00 PM - May 20, 2016 #3

Thanks, Demetria.

I find it so interesting to see how others approach ratings.
For me:
5 stars -- a perfect book! Something I loved completely, and I can't think of a thing I'd change.
4 stars -- a really great read. Maybe not the ultimate masterpiece, but really well written, original, moving, etc.
3 stars -- a nice book, but nothing that gets me too excited. Maybe a book with a great plot but not great writing, or lovely writing but a plot that doesn't engage me enough.
2 stars -- some good elements, but otherwise disappointing.
1 star -- Poor. Didn't like the plot, characters, or writing.
DNF - I quit books if they aren't clicking for me. It's not always that they're not good books. Sometimes, my mood and the book aren't good matches, but the book itself might be perfectly fine.

It's funny to see how widely opinions may vary. For example, The Boys in the Boat was a 5-star book for me, and Cinder was probably a 4-star!
"There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books." - Irving Stone

Just another reader with a blog... check it out here.
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Joined: 11:01 PM - Jul 10, 2014

3:42 AM - May 21, 2016 #4

Lisa, trying to keep my criteria to fews words I neglected to say a lot has to do with my mood at the moment, what I've been reading, the subjects I'm interested in, etc. So, in the case of The Boys in the Boat, I was bored out of my mind because I really don't care about rowing, or much about team sports in general, so it wasn't the book's fault at all. It was just me :)
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Joined: 11:59 PM - Oct 24, 2013

6:05 PM - May 21, 2016 #5

Great topic! I think my rankings are very similar, except I'll rarely rate a book a 1 because if I disliked it that much, chances are I didn't finish it.

5- The book kept me totally captivated and I loved it from beginning to end.
4- I really enjoyed the book, it was very good, but not quite worthy of a perfect rating.
3- The book was ok enough - kept me interested in reading, but definitely lacking in something.
2- The book was a disappointment to me, although I did finish the book. Many times if it is an author I like, or based on great reviews, I will keep going hoping the story will redeem itself, but for whatever reason I just couldn't appreciate the book.
1 for me would be the same as DNF- if it's that bad, I don't want to waste my time.
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