I got thinking about this recently and, you know, it’s so funny because I say that I don’t trust people that always like something or always hate something. I mean, I’ve seen review blogs where they never have a good thing to say and other’s that constantly give out five stars and I get where I don’t really believe/trust either of them. So, I felt like it was time to clear up a few things.

DNF Books

Any more, I’m not at all afraid of DNFing a book if I’m sure it won’t get over two stars. Sometimes I keep reading the book, just to see how it turns out, but, more often, I’m also willing to move on a read something I’ll enjoy more.

By that same token: I do rate books low, but they usually don’t get reviews here on my blog. You see, if I read a bad book, one that I just dislike, chances are that I’ll post my ranting over at Goodreads instead of dropping a review here.

Spread the Love

As strange as it would sound – and just might – even though I come off cynical, I’m actually a very happy person by nature. Sure, I like complaining, but the fact is that I’d much rather use my reviews as a way to recommend a really great book than as a way to warn people off a book.

As much as non-critical reviews are difficult for me to write, I don’t believe even a five star book has to be flawless. To me, all five stars mean is that it was a perfect book for the reader. I have rated books five stars that I think have flaws, but I enjoyed them enough to say the book was perfect for me at the time.

Emotional Rating

To me, when I rate a book, it’s based solely on my emotions when I finish the book. I don’t think in depth about what I liked, what I disliked and what was just meh. I’m going with my gut, how much I just simply enjoyed reading it. (I almost said ‘how much fun I had reading it’ but I’ve enjoyed and rated high some books that I wouldn’t call ‘fun’.)

Does that mean that I’ve wanted to change my rating after awhile – raising it or, more often, lowering it? You bet. Does that mean that sometimes I write a review for a book before my opinion changes and then I’m looking at it and wishing I’d reviewed it differently – or not at all? Yup.

Finally, the most important reason my reviews skew higher.

After many years of reading, I’ve finally gotten better at picking out books I’ll like. That doesn’t mean I never get duds (see the section on DNFing) but it does mean that I know more which books I’ll have a better chance of liking.

How do your reviews tend? Do you have more 4-5 stars or 1-2 stars? (Or maybe you write a lot of – my dreaded – 3 star reviews?) Do you post reviews to different places and post your more positive ones at one website and your less positive ones somewhere else?

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7 thoughts on “Why Most of my Reviews are 4-5 Stars

  1. Goodreads says my average rating is 3.87, so I do rate pretty high. I do post books reviews on books I DNF or that got a low score, either because they are from Netgalley and I try to give those all reviews on my blog, OR because I want to share my feelings/findings and want to chat about it, OR help someone else make a decision about reading a book or not.
    I know personally, I trust every review I read from a blog on my feed because I picked to follow them for a reason. I just hope other people feel the same way ^_^

    A weird thing on my blog, I don’t post many reviews on books that aren’t the first in the series. I feel like I should… or I should at least do a series review when I finish one… I’m thinking about it.

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    1. My average rating at Goodreads is 3.32 – but that includes all the books I read before I joined Goodreads that I rated with my feelings now as opposed to what I thought when I actually read them. (And a few DNFs I rated one star before I figured out how to make books as read without rating them.) I do usually write up a few thoughts on all the books I read (DNF or finished) on Goodreads, though that’s partially for me so I know why I liked it or didn’t. I do trust the blogs I follow, but sometimes I’ll find a new blog and see that they either loved everything or hated everything and that makes me a little suspicious.

      Ugh. Series reviews are HARD. I’ve been trying to get one pulled together for a series I binged at the end of February and it’s just not coming together. I do prefer reviewing the first book in a series, though if I’ve got something to say, I’ll review later ones – especially if I’m hoping that will draw more attention to the first in the series.

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  2. I post all of my reviews on my blog, and I rate all the books I read (even 1 star, if necessary, because I’ve only DNF one book since I’ve started blogging. I usually want to know what happens even if I don’t like what I read, if it makes sense…). Most of those books have been 4 star material, but the 3.5 ones follow closely. Like you, in time I’ve probably gotten better at picking out books (because I still consider 3.5/3 star ratings “good”).

    Giving 5 stars to a book doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s perfect, I agree (then again, are there “perfect” books out there? I’m not sure…). To me, it’s a balance of how good the book is and how hard it hits me personally. So I always expect the same when I read 5 star reviews 🙂.

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    1. Okay, I am seriously impressed that you only DNFed one book since you started blogging. I mean, that’s less than I DNF in a month. Even a good month. For me, three stars are the hardest books for me to categorize. They’re that neither good nor bad, nothing made me feel strongly one way or the other, middle of the road that I usually don’t have much to say about. (Unless the book is an even mix of good and bad and that does nothing but drive me nuts.) And I can’t use half stars. There have been times I want to, but ratings have been known to be difficult enough for me with just the 1-5 thing without adding half stars.

      (What’s so funny is that on my kindle, I organize my finished books by ‘favorites’ which are my five star read, ‘liked’ which covers four stars and most three stars, and ‘bad’ which covers one stars and two stars and a few three stars. Oh, and DNF. Seriously, I’m still impressed by your DNFing record.)

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  3. This was an excellent post! I relate to most parts of this- especially what you said at last. I’m picky when it comes to books and I have a fairly accurate knowledge of what I’d like so I usually end up reading books I like. I dont generally DNF books though. However bad it is I always have this nagging hope for things to be better and I always have to see how things out lol.

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    1. Thanks! I used to finish all the books I started, but the more involved with blogging I got, the more difficult that became. Sometimes I’ll read a book that everything about it sounds perfect for me, but there’s something in the book I can’t get over. (You know, those serious things, misogyny, racism, that kind of stuff.) Things that would effectively kill any enjoyment I was getting out of the book and…well, I’m always looking at my books, figuring I have to have something I’d like more. (Occasionally, I do have those books that I DNFed that stick in my head and I’m wondering what happened, but I’ve yet to be motivated to try again. And, sometimes, I feel like I’m watching the proverbial train wreck and wondering how it gets worse from where I stopped.)

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