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Our Favorite Books! > How do you rate books?

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message 1: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 352 comments As I find myself reading more and more, and actually taking the time to consider how I rate books, I wonder how other's determine their book ratings. How do you decide to give a book one, two, three, etc. stars? Do you have a formula or do you just go with gut reaction?

I find that if I finish a book it instantly earns one star. Books that I don't finish I don't bother rating because I feel that I couldn't give a complete informed opinion about the book.

Two stars means I fairly enjoyed the book but wouldn't be too upset if I hadn't read it in the first place.

Three stars means I enjoyed the book and would continue the series.

Four starts means I was sucked into the world the author creates and want more.

Five stars means I really connected with the characters and the story. Typically, this also means the book got some sort of real emotinal response from me, such as actually laughing out loud, crying, sighing, etc.

It is also important to me that editing (or more acurately a seeming lack thereof) is not distracting. Too many editing errors irk me and detract from my perceived quality of a book. Some errors are easy to ignore and with the speed in which books are often published today almost to be expected... but a plethora of errors is fairly unacceptable to me and will reduce my opinion of the book.

Plot, the more I read the more I recognize plot devices. I mean, there are only so many ways and motivations out there. What is important to me is that these seem genuine to the story and not just thrown in as part of some formula. Stories can be similar without being copies of one another.

So what about you? What do you judge a book by? LOL, and I can already see someone saying "it's cover."


message 2: by Xdyj (last edited Jun 14, 2012 09:42PM) (new)

Xdyj I think my rating is often not very consistent. I tend to rate a book lower if I read it after a few book I like very much, and in one occasion I raised the rating because of the author's request. Usually if a book has interesting ideas or what I perceive as good execution I would rate it 4 stars or more, when it has both I would rate it 5 stars. 3 stars means I like the book but find it serious flawed in a certain aspects, 2 stars are for books I find too formalistic or books I finished only because they're classics. I do not give out 1 star ratings.


Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey) (mybookboyfriend) | 19 comments I typically start reading a book thinking it's 4 stars and go from there, hopeful. If the book is disappointing, my rating goes down. If it really wows me, like an emotional response, then it moves up. I rarely rate books 1 and 2 stars because I typically don't read books that I don't like. If I feel like I don't like a book, I give up on it and don't rate it. I don't rate a book I can't finish with one expection and in my review I wrote all the reasons why.


message 4: by Karina (new)

Karina 1 star- I didn't enjoy it at al. It didn't grab or keep my attention for long and I had to force myself to finish it.

2 Stars- I enjoyed some of it but for the most part I was bored.

3 Stars- I didn't hate it but didn't love it. Most of my 3 star books are the ones that I'm glad I picked up but probably won't pick up again and won't recommend.

4 Stars- I really liked it. I liked the characters and the storyline. It was well written. Kept things interesting but it was probably lacking something I had wished more of.

5 Stars- I LOVED it. It captivated me from start to finish. It was original and beautifully written. Great detail. Loved the characters. And I want to tell the entire world about it.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

1 star- I couldn't even finish the book
2 stars- I might have been able to finish the book but decided not to
3 stars- I finished the book
4 stars- I finished the book and really liked it
5 stars- I LOVED the book!


message 6: by Lucille (new)

Lucille (lucillep) | 3277 comments I usually rate books based on how they made me feel after finishing it...

1 star - Aweful, big disappointment.
2 stars - Not bad, could have been so much better.
3 stars - It was okay, take it or leave it.
4 stars - Surprisingly good.
5 stars - Makes me wonder why people watch TV when they could just read this.


message 7: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Welsh (katrinawelsh_) I rate books based on the general awesomeness level of the plot, characters, etc.

1 star- Horrible. Should not have bothered reading it. I probably just forced myself to finish it, if I did.
2 stars - It was ok. Nothing amazing. Unforgettable and I probably wouldn't even recommend it.
3 stars - I liked it. It was a good read. Enjoyable. Wouldn't mind continuing on the following installments, if its part of a series.
4 stars - It was awesome. The characters were believable, the story was captivating and interesting.
5 stars - Best thing ever. Beautifully written, original plot, characters relatable and real. Exciting, fun and got a very emotional response to the book ie, crying, laughing, screaming in annoyance at the characters. You know, that kind of stuff.

Also, I rate it on how I felt after reading it. I've certainly rated books that were probably not note worthy higher than another that had a more complex plot, maybe. This is because I just felt good after reading it.


message 8: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 352 comments It's interesting to see the ways we rate books. Although we have some differences it seems that we do so quite similarly! Do you ever wonder how it is that we each have different tastes in books? Or that a book that I rate a single star someone else rates five? I know we all have different tastes and such, but the variety is sometimes astounding! Based on this, if you agree, how do you decide which books to read?

Sometimes I'm really shallow and read a book just because the cover grabbed me. Other times I think the description sounds interesting. Some books I read simply because they are by one of my favorite authors. The vast majoriy; however, I go by other peoples ratings and reviews. I try to run a baseline or average of the number of ratings reviews and what those ratings and reviews are/say.


message 9: by Karina (new)

Karina I was about to ask the same question!!


For me the one thing that I count on the most is the description. It needs to spark my interest.
There are a few times when I read a book simply because its by an author that I like or because they recommended it.
I never base my decision on rating or reviews. I HATE the reviews on here...most of them anyway.
I do take other readers recommendations but only if we have similar taste.


message 10: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Welsh (katrinawelsh_) I based my picks mostly on the title and the cover. I don't even read the description. I used to, but after reading such an interesting synopsis for this one book, I expected so much from it and it did not deliver. At all. It was the boringest book it the world. If the cover looks cool and the title sounds interesting, then I'm sold. Besides, I find the mystery more exciting.
I don't hesitate delving into a book by an author that I already like.
Also, I take reader recommendations from people on Goodreads and friends. I consider myself to have an eclectic taste in books so I'm open to anything.


message 11: by Michele, The bookoholic! (last edited Jun 18, 2012 08:41AM) (new)

Michele C (mcgxo95) | 4897 comments Mod
Wow great question! I always wonder how others rate books. Personally I don't follow Goodread's ratings where they consider a two - ok, a three- good, a four- very good and a five-loved it. I consider..
-Ones -> Books that are absolutely horrible and don't recommend to anyone
-Twos -> I really didn't like this book either but it wasn't too horrible and there were some redeeming qualities
-Threes -> Very average book in my opinion. Not bad yet not very good either.
-Four -> Really great book that i suggest yet not an absolute must read
-Five -> Awesome book that for me is the best of the best and must be read asap


Diana Stormblessed (dashichka) | 5 comments 1 star- couldn't finish the book, or had to skim a lot to finish
2 stars- finished the book, but was riddled with what I call eye-roll moments. I didn't enjoy this book.
3 stars- It was ok. Nothing special. Nothing memorable. But I got through it without hating it.
4 stars- really liked the book, but it was missing something special
5 stars- I reserve this for books I got emotionally attached to. The ones I couldn't stop talking about after I read them.

I try to be more lenient with Indy books, but I reserve 5 stars for really great books only.


message 13: by Annabel ♥ (new)

Annabel ♥ (cinnamonbliss) Surprisingly, I don't follow the Goodreads guidelines when rating a book, except for 1 star (I hated it.) and 5 stars (it was amazing.)

1 star- Absolutely despised it. Could barely finish it and found myself skipping through some parts. The plot was boring and didn't grab my attention.

2 stars- Didn't like it, but there might have been one or two things I liked about it. A bunch of useless moments, stupid plots, uninteresting characters, etc.

3 stars- I didn't find anything awesome about the book, yet it wasn't my least favorite book by far. It's basically the mid-point for me. Half of it I enjoyed, half of it I hated.

4 stars- It was really, really good and I'd recommend it, but I'd tell the people who I was recommending it to that they should be warned of the star I took off for various things that annoyed me about it.

5 stars- A great book with awesome writing, characters, plots, and just about everything you want in a book. Possibly one of my favorite books I've ever read. Ever.

Oh, and just a note: I often rate books when I'm currently reading them just to give my opinion thus far, but then it often changes when I'm done.


message 14: by Jon, The Paperback Prince (new)

Jon (scottreadsit) | 5707 comments Mod
Sometimes when I rate books I think I gave this book 3 stars but I liked it better than this book so I'll give it 4 stars. Does anyone compare books to figure out a rating?


message 15: by Michele, The bookoholic! (new)

Michele C (mcgxo95) | 4897 comments Mod
Scott wrote: "Sometimes when I rate books I think I gave this book 3 stars but I liked it better than this book so I'll give it 4 stars. Does anyone compare books to figure out a rating?"


Yeah I do that. I also change my ratings very often.


message 16: by Karina (new)

Karina I don't like comparing books to one another when I am rating.

Does anyone judge a book by its author?


message 17: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Welsh (katrinawelsh_) Well, I would definitely read a book, because it was written by a certain author, without a single thought of what it may be about. But after reading it, I don't have any hesitations about giving it a bad rating if i honestly didn't like it.


message 18: by Karina (new)

Karina Lately, Ive been reading reviews saying how they won't read a certain book because they heard horrible stuff about the author. I wanted to know if anyone else did that.


message 19: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Welsh (katrinawelsh_) I suppose I can see myself doing that. But only if I've personally read works by the 'horrible' author. I'm still open to anything but in this situation, I'll be more hesitant to read it and I'm usually already expecting myself to not like it. I know, I know, it's really bad of me to do that. But, I'm only human, I guess.


message 20: by Karina (new)

Karina It seems like there is always drama with authors here on Goodreads XD
Someone once said that joining goodreads was the fastest way for a author to ruin their careers because of how many reviewers seem to love to just bash everything they hate.
Personally, I don't like reading those type of reviews or paying attention to the drama.
I've heard things about some authors like, Rachel Hawkins and Rachel Vincent, but their books interest me so I'm going to read them and not judge the books just because other people think the authors are terrible people.
I understand what you said about only being human though (:


message 21: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Welsh (katrinawelsh_) Lol, tell me about it. I think I remember the time when everyone was reading The Selection and everyone seemed to be bashing it and the author. Cass or something snapped and retaliated. It got quite heated, I think. It's really disappointing to see when an author reacts to something negative like that...


message 22: by Karina (new)

Karina I think that as authors they should learn to handle bad criticism a little better, because not everyone is going to love what they write, but some reviewers are harsh! So I can understand why authors would want to defend themselves or their work.
But I have seen how some authors respond and I must admit some act pretty immature.


message 23: by Xdyj (new)

Xdyj I try to rate books only based on my enjoyment of the text, but b/c I often follow author's blogs information like some authors are very nice or very mean may affect my ratings.


message 24: by Michele, The bookoholic! (new)

Michele C (mcgxo95) | 4897 comments Mod
Xdyj wrote: "I try to rate books only based on my enjoyment of the text, but b/c I often follow author's blogs information like some authors are very nice or very mean may affect my ratings."

Yeah i see many viewers on goodreads go by author's behavior to see whether they want to read a book or how they should read a book. I personally do not do this and if I want to read a book I will read it, no matter an author's behavior. However, I will not support an author by buying their book and instead get it at a library


message 25: by Xdyj (new)

Xdyj Michele.♥ wrote: "Xdyj wrote: "I try to rate books only based on my enjoyment of the text, but b/c I often follow author's blogs information like some authors are very nice or very mean may affect my ratings."

Yeah..."


I also try my best to avoid this.


message 26: by Gary (new)

Gary Patella | 2 comments Karina wrote: "1 star- I didn't enjoy it at al. It didn't grab or keep my attention for long and I had to force myself to finish it.

2 Stars- I enjoyed some of it but for the most part I was bored.

3 Stars- I d..."


I use pretty much the same method.


message 27: by Dina (new)

Dina Heikal (dhekal) | 442 comments *the characters
*the main idea
*the plot or what it's done with the idea
*the style of writing
*the ending
for each a star


message 28: by Madeleine (new)

Madeleine | 1065 comments I have never met a book I didn't like...well...mostly. For that reason, I almost never give below a 3. From there out, its

-5 if a book got me really excited, or if I particularly enjoyed the style with which it was written, or the subject matter, etc.

-4 if I liked it, but didn't think it was anything special. Most books are 4s.

-3 if I took a while reading it, but still residually felt that it was a generally alright book.


message 29: by Raevyn (last edited Jun 20, 2013 06:13AM) (new)

Raevyn "Lucia" [I'm in it for the books] (raevynstar) 4 and 5 are mostly interchangeable, with 4 maybe a little flawed. (Most books)

3 is an okay book with something that I hated about it, but not the whole book.. (Divergent, (view spoiler) took away two.)

1 and 2 are nonexistent.


message 30: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 23 comments 5 stars: twisting plot, character development, necessary setting, organization, lasting impressions
4 stars: few mistakes
3 stars: no emotion towards the book, but like the way it was written
2: only the plot of characters were describe well. Everything else needs work
1: utterly dislike it, only one thing may seem nice about it.


message 31: by Cas ❦ (new)

Cas ❦ (rowangalathynius) I mostly do 5 stars unless I really Hate the book, but even with allegiant I loved the book in general.


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