How many stars???

I have decided I don’t like the star reviewing system. There, I said it.

Image by Cecile Graat

For one, it is totally subjective. It is based not only on my opinion of what good writing is, but also on my taste of what a good book is. Therefore, a book that I totally love to bits, might be thrown across the room by someone else because they are bored with it.

And then there is another problem I have found. I don’t even trust my own star reviewing system, so why should anyone else take any notice? I’ll tell you why. I read a bunch of books, some I really love, some I shrug my shoulders at, and occasionally I put one down. I give them a number of stars accordingly to their likeability in my eyes.

However, then I read a book that blows me out of the water, steals my heart and tramples on it a bit, before putting it back in to live another day. This book should clearly be a five-star! But now does that mean I need to go back over all the other books I’ve read and lower their rating? Then people would be clear that I like this book above all others … until I find another which takes its place.

So, I’ve decided I don’t like giving stars, at all. I think if I can get away with it, I will not use them. Unfortunately, some sites require them to post a review. I suppose I will just read reviews with a suspicious eye from now on, and base my choices on the back cover blurb, not on someone else’s opinion.

What are your thoughts on reviews and giving stars?

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well, you need something for a rating, don’t you? Even if it’s just a guideline.

    • I think I prefer a written review, where I can detail what I did like about a book. Thanks for dropping by, Caitlin.

  2. Hi Amanda,

    I know exactly what you mean! I struggle with reviews, and even more so since I’ve begun writing. A 5 star review from me would have to be the kind of book I’d read/re-read at least once a year (like a F. Rivers book), and my 4 star are great books, but just not quite there. 3 star reviews are fun, light reads, but would probably pass on etc. See, now that’s not fair, really. Cos what I’d call a 4 star you could call a 5, or a 2… Then it could be an awesome story, but have published 10yrs ago and be riddled with head hopping/different grammar structure to nowadays, so my star rating would lower. Ugh. What a mess. But, as stated before by others, we need a starting point to see if the book is really worth investing the 3+ hrs reading it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post! Thanks for speaking about this. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Exactly so, Lucy. A book that I completely adore, you might find uninteresting. I think I will base my book choices on the back cover blurb more than reviews from now on, or perhaps a mixture of both – but not based on number of stars alone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. All reading is subjective. When I review I try and give why I liked a book or not, rather than just give a few stars. Sadly some reviewers just re tell the story without giving an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

    • Definitely Dale. Very subjective. I try to skim over reviews which seem to tell the story – I don’t really want to know that, just what they thought about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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