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General Chat - anything Goes > Too generous when reviewing?

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message 1: by Emma (new)

Emma (emzibah) | 4396 comments On Skype last night we were talking about reviewing and the giving of stars! It made me look at my reviews which all tend to be at 4 or 5 stars. I think this is because anything below a 3 star, for me, I would not finish and therefore not review.
There are also books that I have read, that since reading other books, I would perhaps not give 5 stars to. For example, for me, Stuarts 'Tollesbury' blew everything else out of the water and had I read this first may have influenced my rating of other reads. do you compare to other books when rating?
Although, having said that, I do rate on how I enjoy a book more than the technical side of things (typos and such, unless prolific doesn't really bother me too much) and the books that I rate at 4 or 5 may have been rated at that for different reason's.
Anyway, have been wondering how everyone else rates books, is there something, in particular, you look for? Or do you just like a good story?


message 2: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Here's how I rate mine:

5* = bookgasm
4* = I liked it
then the rest I won't finish so I ultimately won't rate.

Now I tried the rating, and like when doing surveys, for me it's all or nothing really. So some of my old ratings might differ from the above but in the last six months I've been more or less following this pattern.


Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2998 comments Reviewing has always been a flawed concept, especially when it comes to giving something a score at the end.

Anyone who has read computer game reviews for a long time will know how ridiculous the scores can be as they tend to rate things out of 100! Although an average game should get a score of about 50%, people view a score of 75% as being indicative of an average game.

It's also impossible not to be swayed by things you have already read and different people will have their own idea of what is and isn't acceptable in a book.

There isn't really a right or a wrong way to judge a book. The best you can try and do is be consistent.


message 4: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Thing is, as well, I see it as 1-5, 1 being bad, 3 being middle, and 5 being good, but others see it as 1-2 being ok and then 3-5 being different shades of good so it gets a bit confusing !


message 5: by Philip (sarah) (new)

Philip (sarah) Willis | 5174 comments I try to judge each book in it's own right as it can be so difficult to compare them.Most of my books are 4 or 5 star because I ponder over which books I choose to read.I have given a book by a very popular published author 1 star and even removed it from my Kindle it was so dreadful.


message 6: by Karina (new)

Karina Kantas I won't review if I give the book a one or two star.

3 star. If I read from start to finish, liked but probably won't read anything from the author again.

4 star. Liked but not loved.

5 star. loved and will definitely read more from this author.

Thankfully I don't think I've come across a book that's so bad in typos I couldn't read it. So I guess I judge a book by the story, plot and creativity and of course how much I enjoyed it.


Jay-me (Janet)  | 4325 comments I have given books 1 star & said why on the review.
I give 4 stars for the ones I really enjoy, & 3 for ones that were OK - enjoyable as a time passer. 5 stars is reserved for something really amazing - never to be beaten in its wonderfulness.

I do read a lot though so there are plenty of 3 star books on my list.
I haven't done many reviews though (as I mentioned on a previous thread)


message 8: by Kath (last edited Feb 24, 2012 02:57AM) (new)

Kath Middleton | 25063 comments Many of my reviews are 4 or 5 stars but I'm pretty picky about what I read. I will 'Look 'Inside' so I get a good idea before I buy the book that I'm going to get along with it. I read books for enjoyment - I expect to enjoy my books and in effect, they start with full 5 and stars get knocked off if my enjoyment wanes.

I will mark low if I really feel the book is poor. However, I try to ensure that I say why. I wouldn't mark a book down for not being in my favourite genres - I tend not to choose books outside those unless they come very highly recommeded.

Edit - I think if I really enjoy a book and find it thought provoking I don't compare it to others. I think they should all stand alone. If I think it's brilliant it gets 5* - simple as that. I won't mark it down just because I've given 5* to others and want to look hard!


message 9: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Duff (thrillwriter) | 38 comments I'll generally review a book if I have something to say about it, good or bad. So most of my reviews tend to be at one or other end of the spectrum. I do tend to rate books compared to the benchmarks in their genre, but of course it's totally subjective and dependent on mood/caffeine level/sleep deprivation etc.

I'll only read reviews that are relatively short - anything over ten lines or so I'll gloss over, and I try to keep my reviews short for that reason.

Everybody treats the star rating system differently - I've seen glowing reviews with four stars, and five-star ratings next to pretty unenthusiastic reviews.

I've currently got seven glowing reviews on Amazon - six 5-star and one 4-star - but I have wondered if there are others out there who can't be bothered to give it the 1- or 2- stars they think it deserves...


message 10: by Kath (new)

Kath | 1965 comments i tend to have difficulty expressing myself just in text, therefore my reviews take me bloomin ages to write. hence i only review books that i have really enjoyed and so all my reviews are 4 or 5 stars... life is simply too short to waste more time reviewing a book i haven't enjoyed as i feel i have already wasted enough time in reading the thing in the first place.


message 11: by Mo (new)

Mo (mobroon) | 797 comments I don't think you can get the overall picture if everyone only give 4 or 5 star reviews. I mark every book I have read giving it a star rating but do not review them all. Some reviews I have written about are books I loved and others I couldn't get into. If I have not managed to complete a book I may still review it as there is something wrong with the book if I could not finish it. I finish 98% of all books I start.


message 12: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 212 comments I think the star system here on Goodreads is basically flawed. It begins with one way of rating and ends with another. 'Didn't like it', 'It was OK', 'Liked it', 'Really liked it' should logically make a 5 star rating 'Loved it!'. If 'It was amazing' is the preferred 5 star rating then 1 star should be 'It was awful' and so on.

I do find rating difficult here. I can easily appreciate the brilliance of a book, yet not like or enjoy it - a recent example being Bruce Chatwin's The Viceroy of Ouidah. I ended up giving it 4 stars and a short review explaining why I didn't give it 5.

Maybe though, not everyone considers the designated meanings of the star ratings to this extent, but I find it makes reviewing problematic. I'd really like 10 stars and a more logical progression.


D.M. Andrews (author) Andrews (dmandrews) | 1551 comments If I was reading a book that I felt was a 1 or 2 star, I'd probably not finish it (or start it?) ;) Thus most reviews will always be 3-5!

You can always put a ten-point system in your review text, or even break it down into areas. Characterization 8/10, Plot 7/10, etc.


message 14: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 212 comments Life's too short...:)


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I agree Nell. I'd rather spend my time reading than reviewing. I do try to make an effort for 'our' authors though, as I've realised how important the reviews can be for exposure.

Having said that, my reviews are a reflection of how I felt when I finished the book. Just a couple of lines, expressing if I'd recommend it to others and why. I'm not going to waste my time recapping and dissecting a book.


message 16: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Duff (thrillwriter) | 38 comments Quite surprised at how many people don't finish books - I think I've finished every book I've ever started. My low-star reviews tend to be written in anger at having had my time wasted/intelligence insulted etc, and not wanting others to fall into the same pit.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I rarely give anything less than three stars on amazon (or two on goodreads) because I wouldn't finish reading anything worse than that, and wouldn't review a book if I hadn't read it. The only time that I have given one or two star reviews is when the formatting was truly terrible and I have said that is the reason in my review (with the option of editing that out and giving it an extra star if I find the book has been edited later.) I'm pretty certain that none of those books with absolutely terrible formatting has been by indie authors! The only one star review I gave was to a comic book that was completely unreadable.

Oh, there was one truly awful book which I did finish reading and gave a two star review to. It was in my early kindle days and I was more reluctant to give up on a book then - now I have too many to be so fussy about. It was http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Mrs-Fitzwi... - it really is an awful book!!

:0)


message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2335 comments I'm another one that will only give a 5 star to something stunning/want to marry it and have its babies. So 4 star for me has to be pretty darn good. Almost perfect.
3 star - 'liked it' - that's a very very broad band and I have lot of shades within that, so a lot would really be 3 and 3/4 . Most of the books I read and finish will be 3 star cos I wouldn't finish them if I didn't enjoy them.


message 19: by Kate (new)

Kate (littlekate1) | 574 comments This is something I've wondered about... I've only recently started reviewing books and only review ones I like (even though I generally 'have' to finish a book once started... it may get better). I like lorraines term of 'bookgasm' and I use a similar way of rating books.As with so many things rating books is very subjective and is after all, just a marker.

I've just (this morning) finished reading a book which was good but I couldn't mark out of 5 because it was a survival tale of the holocaust. This, at least to me, is not something you can read and enjoy, but that doesn't make it a 'bad' book if that makes sense? I did write a brief review stating that I would recommend it as it tells an important tale.


message 20: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Karl wrote: "Most importantly, I am apparently bookgasm, thanks Lorraine, aweseome phrase and so pleased I could pleasure you on that level ;) "

Lol, the pleasure was all mine, literally ;) ♥


message 21: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Ayris (stuayris) | 2668 comments "For example, for me, Stuarts 'Tollesbury' blew everything else out of the water"

Thank you Emma! The last thing I blew out of the water was a hefty fart so thank you!! ; )


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Crack me up Stuart!!!!


message 23: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments ewww am having lunch here !!!


D.M. Andrews (author) Andrews (dmandrews) | 1551 comments *is really happy everyone will review and rate this GoodReads author* ;)


message 25: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Ayris (stuayris) | 2668 comments You can count on me, Karl!


message 26: by Paul (new)

Paul (latepaul) I just did a quick tot-up and in the last three years that I've been blogging about the books I've read and rating them out of 10, I've given 1 three, 1 four, 3 fives, 10 sixes, 32 sevens, 17 eights, 7 nines and 1 ten.


message 27: by Emma (new)

Emma (emzibah) | 4396 comments Stuart wrote: ""For example, for me, Stuarts 'Tollesbury' blew everything else out of the water"

Thank you Emma! The last thing I blew out of the water was a hefty fart so thank you!! ; )"


Ha ha, just spat tea everywhere!!


message 28: by Joo (new)

Joo (jooo) | 1636 comments I've been using GR to mainly keep track of my books and whether I've finished them. When you click "I've finished" you get the option to rate them, so I've rated all my books here (on my star rating - I've not paid much attention to what the ratings "should be for") If I haven't finished the book I scored it 1 star and dated it 100 years ago so it doesn't come up in my Book Challenge (And mentioned in the review it was 1 starred because I didn't finish it).

I've written reviews for the books I've either enjoyed or been given to review and these are posted on KUF, Amazon and my blog. If I like the author I'll even be brave and do it on .com

My reviews are just a little bit more than "this buk wuz gud" I don't give anything about the plot away.


message 29: by Joo (new)

Joo (jooo) | 1636 comments I base my 5 stars on whether I want to recommend the book to everyone and my 4 stars on if I rather enjoyed it but don't feel I want to rave on about it.


message 30: by Emma (last edited Feb 24, 2012 09:26AM) (new)

Emma (emzibah) | 4396 comments Joo wrote: "I've been using GR to mainly keep track of my books and whether I've finished them. When you click "I've finished" you get the option to rate them, so I've rated all my books here (on my star rati..."

Don't you hate it when a reviewer gives away the plot in their review? I really don't like that and if I see a long review now don't even bother reading it! Just in case


message 31: by Joo (new)

Joo (jooo) | 1636 comments Yes, Emma


message 32: by Kath (new)

Kath | 1965 comments Joo wrote: "I base my 5 stars on whether I want to recommend the book to everyone and my 4 stars on if I rather enjoyed it but don't feel I want to rave on about it."

i like that :)


Jay-me (Janet)  | 4325 comments Emma is apparently lovely!?! wrote: "Don't you hate it when a reviewer gives away the plot in their review? I really don't like that and if I see a long review now don't even bother reading it! Just in case "

And the ones that just repeat the blurb


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments I always make a point of avoiding giving the plot away, although sometimes it's very hard to do.

My score is very much based on how entertaining the book was and whether it actually worked. Many's the book that seemed to be okay until you hit a plot hole.

I try to note in the review the editing quality. If it's really bad I note it and mark down accordingly.


message 35: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Lorraine - bobo needs kiss from a cute guy wrote: "
5* = bookgasm"


Brilliant word.


message 36: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments hehehe ;) Working on a proper definition for it !


message 37: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25063 comments I dislike the feeling that a book that I've really loved (I am a creature of passions - oo-er Missus!)should not be given 5* just to keep something in reserve. I have read books that, if a 6th star were avaiable, I would still want to give a 7* to! If it's a belter and I've loved it, it gets 5*. I will use the review to explain why.


message 38: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I only never finish a book if it's BORING.

1 - awful. never read for fear of dying of bad book

2- generally a good book - i can see why people like it but i didn't

3- a book that gripped me but fell short

4- i really liked it but it's forgettable after some time

5- unforgettable.


i suppose you could say i rate a book on how i'll remember it....


message 39: by Lorraine (last edited Feb 25, 2012 02:12PM) (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Ok, here's my first attempt at defining bookgasm



Bookgasm: physical reaction experienced during the reading of a book. Reaction can manifest itself under various forms, depending on the nature and the genre of the book. From laughter, to tears, any outpouring of emotions. From frustration to anticipation and the building up of something more. Something the reader will remember or want to experience all over again.

How does that sound? Anything else I should add ?


message 40: by Joo (new)

Joo (jooo) | 1636 comments I had bookgasm reading That Bear Ate My Pants. I laughed and I cried and there was much anticiptation.

And I will definately want it again in the future.


message 41: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments So you gave it 5 stars then I take it ;)


message 42: by Emma (new)

Emma (emzibah) | 4396 comments I had a bookgasm with both of Stuarts books and am currently having one with David's Bang!!


message 43: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Yea I loved Bang, got me laughing out loud a few times, you just feel like your mate is telling you his story, totally great !


message 44: by Lyra (new)

Lyra | 34 comments I was once moved to give a 1 * on amazon to Jean Auels
The Land of Painted Caves
as I felt so let-down waiting so many years for the ending which was so disappointing ( I loved the first 3 and would have given them 5*)

3* would be ok. Passed the time.
4* really enjoyed it
5* keep forever and re-read


message 45: by Lyra (new)

Lyra | 34 comments so... for me a 4 or 5* is amazing, but I do see other reviewers give a 5* with a review that more matches my 3*


message 46: by Pat () (new)

Pat ()  | 29 comments I agree with you about The Land of Painted Caves such a dissapointment.


message 47: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Lorraine - no more bobo ! wrote: "Ok, here's my first attempt at defining bookgasm



Bookgasm: physical reaction experienced during the reading of a book. Reaction can manifest itself under various forms, depending on the nature a..."


Yep - good definition, great word.


message 48: by Patti (baconater) (last edited May 11, 2012 08:34AM) (new)

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Pulling this thread back up to have a wee rant.

The statement 'if you like my book, please leave a review' really gets in my teeth.

There. I've said it.


message 49: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25063 comments I'm just about to leave on for a book I didn't like.
That'll surprise him!


message 50: by Ian (new)

Ian Ayris | 473 comments Here's one: I don't necessarily subscribe to this but here goes: if a punter gets a book for free, is their more of an implicit obligation to leave a review, sort of out of politeness? I've heard this from some writers, and just wondered what the group felt.


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