How Do You Rate Your Books?

My last review (Neverland by Anna Katmore) got me thinking about ratings and reviews of books, so I decided to share my thoughts. Also, I’d especially love to hear your thoughts on this subject – as a reader, reviewer, blogger, and/or non-blogger. I feel bad, but I don’t review every book that I read. I don’t have enough time to review EVERY book. Plus sometimes, I’m not sure how to put into words (without spoilers) how I feel about certain books. I try to always rate the books I read, though. I use mostly for my ratings and reviews of books, occasionally or (Barnes & Noble), and sometimes or


What websites do you typically use for your reviews/ratings of books?

Do you rate and/or review EVERY book that you read? What about books that you don’t finish? What about books that you don’t like? I haven’t been rating or reviewing books that I don’t finish. It’s rare that I don’t finish a book, but it has happened. I don’t rate or review them because sometimes I wonder if it’s just me –maybe I’m just not in the mood for this particular book, and so maybe I’ll try it again later. I rate books whether or not I like them; however, looking over my Goodreads stats – I tend to rate high. My average is 3 or 4 stars for books. My list of favorite and go-to authors is large and keeps growing, so I rarely read out of that comfort zone. I love those authors, so I usually (not always, though) love all their books. I think my stats for reading out of my comfort zone (new to me authors), is about 50/50 – for every new book I find that I love, there’s one that I don’t!


What are some things that make a book worth 4 or 5 stars to you? When do you give 2 or less stars? For me, if I: absolutely LOVE a book, find it incredibly entertaining, would read it again (and again), would recommend it to friends, start fangirling over it, etc, etc, etc – it’s 4 or 5 stars. If a book can’t hold my interest, falls flat, lacks a plot, etc, etc, etc – it’s 2 stars or less. If it falls somewhere in between – I liked it, it was entertaining, but probably won’t read it again – then 3 stars. I’m sure there’s more criteria, but basically, I base my ratings on how the book makes me feel and how it keeps my attention. I’m not picky on grammatical errors unless the book is full of them and becomes a distraction.


I read to be entertained!!

Do you find that your reviews/ratings follow the norm? Do you read reviews/ratings before purchasing or reading a book? This is what I’m really curious about. I thought I usually follow the norm, and I don’t usually read reviews before buying/reading a book unless it’s completely new to me. For instance, Neverland by Anna Katmore was a new-to-me book and author. I was looking for something different to read on my Kindle. I came across this book, and it sounded very interesting. Since I’ve never read anything by this author, I decided to read the reviews and check out the average rating. The reviews were highly favorable on both Goodreads and Amazon. The average rating on Goodreads is 4.19 stars and 4.50 stars on Amazon. I liked those stats, so I purchased the book for 99 cents. Now, I realize that no two people read the same book the same way – everybody has different opinions and feelings and that’s great. I know that my friends and I aren’t going to love or hate the same books – that’s what makes our discussions so interesting!! However, because my rating of this particular book was so different than the average ratings, I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with me, LOL!! I thought I followed the norm with my ratings, but I didn’t with this book. I’m okay with not following the norm, it just made me think about ratings and reviews, and I thought it would be an interesting blog subject. I’d love to hear your thoughts!!




  1. says

    So many questions, Tricia! I don’t even know where to begin!

    I read a LOT of books and I simply do NOT have the time to review every single one of them.. sometimes I’ll write a couple of words but aside from that I really cannot review every single book I read. I also do occasionally review books I didn’t finish and I review books I didn’t like all the time.

    I think getting a 5 star from me is becoming harder and harder because for 5 stars, I want something memorable. Something that will stick with me for a while and something I’ll go back to again and again. 4 stars is a lot easier and I just want something that makes me go a little insane with excitement or makes me feel or Idk is just… really really fun.

    Idk about following the norm because for me, it is what it is. I do read reviews and ratings for books before reading them but then again, not always. It kind of just depends on how I feel about the book. Do I want to know what people think or do I want to dive in not knowing or do I not care? Yeah

    Fantastic discussion post, Tricia!!! :)
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  2. says

    Whoa. That’s a lot of questions. Where do I begin…

    I usually write my reviews on my blog and Goodreads, but I rarely add reviews on Amazon because the account I use in purchasing books there is a shared account.
    Like you, I do not review every book I have read but if they were requested I will, and must, write a review on them as courtesy to the author or publisher who sent me the book. I have DNF-ed a book and it was a first time. I had to ask other blogger friends what to tell the publisher because I can’t continue the book anymore. It was really bad and I didn’t want to trash it. In case of those books I didn’t like but finished, I still write them reviews. I try not to sound so harsh but it’s hard to keep spoilers from coming because I had to write why I didn’t like it.(I put warnings though)

    I usually give high ratings to books that touch my heart so much. It doesn’t matter if it has a very silly plot, but as long as it moved me and I can’t stop thinking about it I will give it a high rating. There are books that I didn’t like but ended up having a high rating because I liked how the story evolve. It was just a case of it’s-not-you-it’s-me.

    Hmm, following the norm? I don’t think so. I am a very weird person. I usually have a strange taste and sometimes the more the book is disliked the more I get drawn to it. Blurbs are what influence me the most, and covers too :P Sometimes I follow the hype too, or word of mouth.

    Interesting topic Tricia! :)
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    • Tricia says

      I know what you mean about not wanting to trash a book — once I won a book through a Goodreads giveaway, & it was a brand new book & the author’s very first book. The synopsis sounded really interesting, that’s why I thought I’d enter. I got an autographed copy along with a note to please review after reading. It was very difficult for me to review because I really struggled with it & didn’t like it! I think I was nice & constructive, but it was very difficult!! LOL, I’m a very weird person too, & like a lot of different books! Thanks for stopping by! Love the feedback! :-)

  3. says

    It takes a lot for me to give a book 5 stars; I have to have absolutely LOVED it. Most of my reviews fall in the 3.5-4.5 zone. I meticulously vet all of my TBR pile, so it’s rare that a bad novel ends up on it. I reserve 3′s for books that were only so-so, but still delivered all of the essential components. Anything below that means that the novel had serious shortcomings. I don’t review every book I read, try as I might. Great topic, Tricia!
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  4. says

    I have no problem rating a book 1 or 2 stars and it’s rare for me to give a book a 5 star rating. It has to be, by my standards, perfect. I try to select books that I will enjoy but sometimes the cover and blurb will be misleading, you know?? It’s all about execution and if it’s executed poorly then chances are I won’t have that many great things to say about it. My biggest pet peeves are: poor girl meets rich guy. *eye-roll* Virginal gal meets bad boy slut. *gag* And finally, beautiful gal who is insecure about her looks. Those things will either make me DNF or give it a low rating.

    I don’t review every book either. I read faster than I write. *wink* And when I do review, I post to goodreads and amazon. I will also share my reviews on pinterest because not everyone has a goodreads account and some people might just get books from the library.


    • Tricia says

      Ok, I totally agree with you on those pet peeves! Those really aggravate me too! I try to remember to review on Amazon if I’ve reviewed it on Goodreads. I really wish you just rate books on Amazon like Goodreads. Goodreads is one of my favorite websites — so easy to track my books (books I’ve read & want to read)!! I use pinterest, but I didn’t think about sharing my reviews as there as well. I have several bookish boards (on pinterest) though!! Thanks for the feedback! :-)

  5. says

    I don’t read or review every book I read. Like for example, I absolutely loved WAY OF KINGS and WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson, but I didn’t really leave a full review, because they weren’t ARCs and they were more of apleasure read for me, and I just didn’t want to cram my brain for reasons why I loved this or that. I just simply said I loved it (quite enthusiastically, in fact) all over the net and left it as that. Books I Don’t Finish, when I get past a certain percentage, I will review them as I am obligated to do so, but depending if I passed the halfway mark, I would leave a rating as well (usually 1-2 stars). Books I don’t like, if it’s an ARC, I will review it as well. The publisher deserves that at least, reasons why I didn’t appreciate the book.
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    • says

      That makes since. I haven’t reviewed many ARCs, & thankfully the few I have — they were books I really enjoyed! I think it’s hard to review books I don’t like for authors & publishers. Hard to figure out if it’s me or the book! Thanks!! :-)
      Tricia recently posted…How Do You Rate Your Books?My Profile

  6. says

    So many questions…so little time. But here’s my two cents : I don’t review every book that I read. But as of late, I’ve been reviewing every book. Usually, it’s the novellas that I skip reviewing. I don’t read other people’s review before I do mine. But sometimes, I do skim them when I encounter it on the blogs that I frequent. As for purchasing books, I usually check the average ratings and go in blind. Most of the time, I just check the genre and don’t read the synopsis. Some synopsis contain some spoilers, so I skip them. Most of my below 3-starred reviews are hard to write, but those with 4-5 are quite easy, but I do end up rambling sometimes. Great post, Tricia!
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    • says

      Ok, I think it’s awesome that you’re now reviewing every book! Way to go! I wish I could, but just not enough time. Also, I have to read the synopsis of unfamiliar books & hope for no spoilers! Thanks for your input!!
      Tricia recently posted…How Do You Rate Your Books?My Profile

  7. says

    I totally changed my system a few weeks ago. Now, I no longer rate books at all and I no longer write traditional reviews. I also canceled my goodreads account and I no longer have aTBR liat or any other type of book lists. And I no longer read reviews of books that I haven’t read yet (which I used to do). I’ve gone all Matrix like over here, lol.
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    • Tricia says

      Wow, you really have gone all Matrix! I don’t know what I would do without Goodreads — it’s one of my favorite websites. I know I could track what I’ve read on my own, but Goodreads makes it so easy to track what I want to read too. Especially if it’s a new book that’s not out yet, then I’ll get an email reminding me (because I won’t remember) that the book is coming out soon. I love that! My OCD organized self loves it too, LOL! Kudos to you, though for throwing caution to the wind — I hope it works out for you!! Happy reading!!

  8. says

    I dont review EVERY book i read but i do review quite a lot of them lol. I tend to only put my reviews on my blog and on goodreads but i occasionally add them to my local libraries websites in case they may help somebody! I do tend to rate my books 3-4 stars since i’m especially picky when giving a book 5 stars. A book needs to practically be life changing for me to give it five stars!
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    • says

      Oh, that’s a good idea to post reviews on your local library’s site! I don’t know if my library allows that, but I bet it is helpful! I really should review more, but sometimes I just don’t know what to say other than whether or not I liked it. Thanks for commenting!! :-)
      Tricia recently posted…How Do You Rate Your Books?My Profile

  9. says

    Tricia – this is a wonderful post! I’ve wondered about a lot of these questions as well, so it’s been great to hear what everyone has said. Personally, I try to review each book I read; unless it’s part of a series. I do review books I DNF – usually with a paragraph or two about why I didn’t finish it.

    I only give out 5 stars to my all-time favorite books and/or books that I feel are “perfect”; so it’s really rare to see that kind of rating from me!

    Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT post! <3
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    • says

      Oh thanks so much for the love & feedback! I may have to start reviewing or at least listing books that I DNF. It may be helpful, plus it’ll help me remember what & why I didn’t finish. I think it’s awesome that you try to review each book! I know it is helpful to authors and other readers. So many books, so little time, though, LOL! Thanks again! Happy Reading!
      Tricia recently posted…How Do You Rate Your Books?My Profile

  10. says

    Oh lala, you sure have a lot of questions there. xdd I’ll try my best.

    I only use Goodreads to post reviews and now my new blog I guess (coz I just created it today!) No, I don’t rate EVERY book I read, but only if I DNFed it at less than 30-40%. Sometimes I feel like you, like I’m affraid I will spoil the book if I write a review so sometimes I don’t. Also, I read 2 books in 3 days so that makes a lot of reviews per week and I try to write the best ones I can so sometimes I’m tired and don’t. Though I usually write 3 reviews per week in average. A 4 star means it was great and I truly enjoyed reading it. A 5 star means I LOVED it. I couldn’t put it DOWN. I didn’t want to leave it before finishing it OR it was VERY original and so much fun!! :D
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    • Tricia says

      Oh thanks for stopping by & adding your thoughts! I appreciate it & I think our rating process is similar. I go through spurts and read anywhere from a couple books a week to several. If I only read a couple, I try to review them, but if I read more, then it’s doubtful they’ll each get a review. Now, I’m off to check out your new blog! Happy reading!! :-)

  11. says

    I commented but it must have been swallowed by the interwebz. :-) I only rate, no reviews unless it is a short blip on my blog. There have been a few books I have not been able to finish so I rated them 1 star. Funny enough two were really popular: Catch 22 and The Magicians. You have great taste in books Tricia! You have yet to steer me wrong.
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  12. says

    Oh geez, LOL. My rating system has gotten so complicated since I started blogging. First, I may not review a book for any multitude of reasons (the most common being I’m too busy reading my next book), but the only time I don’t rate a book is when I DNF it, and sometime I’ll rate it even then (if the reason I DNF-ed it was something specific that I took issue with, rather than overall boredom). How I rate . . . that’s where it gets tangled up. My system is a work in progress. I’ve changed a lot of ratings for rereads recently, b/c my initial rating was based on, “I LOVE IT,” and nothing else. Now, if I love a book and give it 5 stars, but I didn’t quite love the previous book as much, even if I gave it 5 stars originally, I’m compelled to drop it to 4.5 stars. I haven’t worked out cross-series comparisons yet, but suffice it say I’ve gotten much stingier with my high ratings. I rate 2.5 and below when I had serious issues with a book, be it flat characters, poor world-building, predictable plot, or something specific like a heavily featured book peeve (cheating, child/animal abuse, etc.) And now my head hurts, LOL. Great discussion topic, Tricia!
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  13. says

    Aww sorry for making your head hurt, but thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate your input! I do the same thing on occasion with changing ratings on re-reads or series. If I loved the next book in the series more than the first, then how are they rated the same, LOL! Happy reading!
    Tricia recently posted…How Do You Rate Your Books?My Profile

  14. Marianne says

    Wow so many questions, where do I start? Lol

    First of all, I tend to post my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon (other than on the blog). Sometimes the publisher will contact me and ask me to post them on Barnes and Noble or Smashwords and I’m more than happy to oblige.

    I used to give out 5 stars like it was nobody’s business, but then blogging appeared in my life and I started to analyse books more. Now my biggest ratings are always 4-4.5 stars. My Goodreads average is very high because I tend to only pick up books that I’m sure I’m going to love.

    I can’t review a book immediately after finishing it, because I’m usually just jumping from one book to another. I try to let my thoughts on the book simmer for a while and then go back to review it. I sometimes review a book MONTHS after I read it.

    I don’t have problems with giving 1 or 2 star revies because I always try to keep my reviews professional. I try to address what didn’t work for me and what could’ve been better. I try to make them sound polite. xD

    Really great discussion, Tricia!

    • says

      Thanks for the praise & your thoughts! I’m kind of mixed — sometimes I review/rate right away & other times I need to let my thoughts simmer a bit as well before I review (glad I’m not the only one who does this!). I don’t think I could wait months though to review, just a few days or maybe a week. Happy reading!
      Tricia recently posted…How Do You Rate Your Books?My Profile

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