Let’s discuss the rating system.
I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve sat down to write a post. Everything is really stressful right now, exams are in full swing and I can’t find the time for anything. Which unfortunately includes reading. So why not do a discussion? This time, it’s all about how we rate the books and how the rating system sometimes doesn’t work and also about rating guilt. Yup it’s a thing. Fun stuff ahead!
The Rating System
Do you rate your books? I do. Ever since I started using Goodreads (which I love) ages ago, I have rated every single book I reviewed. And sure, the 5 star system isn’t differentiated enough, but there’s always the option of using half star ratings for your own benefit. And it works for me. Except when it doesn’t.
At times, I really struggle a lot with how to rate a book. Do I rate it on gut feeling alone? Or do I take into consideration every thing I caught that irked me or rubbed me the wrong way? Do I take into account previous books if it’s a series, or do I base my rating on that book alone? It’s hard. It’s hard to sum up so many thoughts and emotions into a 5 star grade. That’s why reviews really help. When I write out a review, it helps me form a sort of rating within the 5 star rating system.
There are three main reasons why I would have trouble rating a book:
- Everyone loved it, and I didn’t.
- It’s by an author I usually love, and I didn’t like it
- It’s important, but didn’t work for me
All of these lead to…
I feel guilty when I rate a book a certain way. That sounds dramatic, but you know what I mean. It just feels wrong to me rating a book a certain way, but that’s the way it is.
Exhibit A: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Everyone loves this. Truly. So when I finished it, I was like what do I do now? How do I rate this? It has such high ratings – it must be me! So I proceeded to give it two stars. And I know, that’s not high, but I was well aware that that is a one star read for me. Sorry. But it was. And I upped my rating because I wanted to fit in!!! Kidding. I just kept looking for redeemable qualities about it, something to grasp so I can say, yeah I get why people like it. I settled on Chaol, but that so far fetched. I liked him, but he alone wasn’t even that amazing to drive the whole book.
Exhibit B: The Cursed Child by whoever (it really wasn’t by J.K. Rowling)
The most hyped book ever. I never do preorders but with this I had it preordered the same day it became available. I think I cried when I heard it was happening. And then I read it. And let’s be real, I hated it. But I could not for the love of me rate it. I couldn’t detach myself from the story I knew so well and a writer whose story I know so well. And the book was so manipulative in playing with your emotions and sentimentality, so I couldn’t discern my feelings for Harry Potter from my feelings for The Cursed Child. But it’s a one star read.
Exhibit C: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Now, this is the most difficult one. I read this back when the hype was huge. It was everywhere. Everyone was crying about it, and everyone, everyone was saying how this was super important. How we have this character who is quadriplegic and we don’t see that enough. And that’s completely true. However, when I read this I felt there was something wrong with the book. I felt it was very problematic at times. Yet, I know nothing about the topic, and everyone was like this is important, so I thought again it’s me, not you. So I didn’t rate it. I have since changed that to 1 star because I realized I was right and it is problematic. If you’d like to see a post about that let me know in the comments below.
So all of these led to me feeling guilty about giving a book a low rating. However, I’ve been working on that. The truth is, every review is subjective. If I feel there’s something that’s not working for me, or there’s something that’s not working period, I have the right to say what it is. And people might feel differently, but that’s what’s great about books. We can all have an entirely different experience with them. And we can continue to talk about the stuff that aren’t so great and that should be discussed. Like problematic content.
SO that’s all for this post from me. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic? Do you rate books? How? Do you feel the dreaded rating guilt? Let’s talk in the comments!
Come hang out with me:
*Above used Book Depository links are affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you buy a book through my link, which helps me out a lot!