Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How I rate books on Goodreads

Christy posted about how she rated books on goodreads and it made me think about how I do it. Honestly, my rating system is so weird, there is no system really, and 2 books that are rated the same could have complete opposite feelings, if that makes sense. It probably doesn't, which is why my rating system makes no sense. If you listen to The Armchair Librarians podcast (which you should) they talk about it as well and basically everything they said is how I feel.

But I thought I'd give explaining it a go, and I thought including books with those ratings would help with the explanation (it will probably make it more of a mess).

DNF / Abandoned

I rarely give up on books. I know, I know. Life is too short for bad books. But unless something pisses me off from the first page, or it's super long and I just can't get into it, or the ebook formatting is super weird and I legit can't make sense of it, I will keep going. Mainly because I just hope it will get better. It rarely does.

Here are a few books I've abandoned over the past couple of years:

The Best of Me - I remember trying so hard to get into this, I bought it when it first came out (2011) and good lord it was boring. I just couldn't get into it. I enjoyed a few Sparks books when I was younger but they aren't my jam anymore. I'm happy to watch the movies when I want a good cry, but that's it.

World War Z I know you probably won't believe this, but for the first half of 2013, I didn't read. At all. I was stressed about the wedding. I finally decided to try and get back into it because something was missing, you know? I got halfway through this book before deciding I wasn't fan and switched to Pride & Prejudice, which I probably should have just started with!

The Dressmaker - I got this from netgalley, I think, and the formatting was horrendous. I don't care if it's not pretty, but the sentences were all over the place with the third sentence being in front of what should be the first sentence etc etc. Mum said the movie was good though, so I might give that a go.

A Game of Thrones - I know, can you believe it? I just couldn't with this book. KC loves this series, I don't mind the TV show but I couldn't get into the book. I got about halfway through, but the reason I gave up was because of the ridiculously long split narratives. I don't mind split narratives, but they took too long to get back to the other people.

Bleak Seasons this is the 6th book in The Black Company series, which is KC's favourite of ALL time. Like, you think I re-read P&P a lot? You should see how many times he re-reads this series. It's ridiculous. I kind of enjoyed the first few, but then KC told me there was no happy ending and I like romance, gosh darn it, plus then KC and I broke up so I was like bye Felicia.

1 Star

You'd think because I rarely gave up on books, there would be more 1 star books, but I only have 5 over the last few years, and 2 of them were so long ago that I don't actually remember why I disliked them so much. But for the most part, 1 star means I hated it (why do I finish things I hate?), or I couldn't find a single thing about the book that I liked or didn't make me angry.

For the most part, I am pretty good at judging a book by its cover in the sense that I know when a book is not for me, so I don't read them. But sometimes, they slip through the cracks.

Here are the 3 that I remembered:

The Sisters of Versailles - Hated this one. It was boring, badly written and very hard to get through.

Longbourn - Ooh this one made me MAD. I was so excited to see a P&P variation in the airports and bookstores, maybe this would make people interested in the P&P world and then everyone would love P&P and we'd all live happily ever after? NO.

Station Eleven - Gah. This book made me hate reading. I tried so hard. As I mentioned above, I am pretty good about judging whether I will absolutely hate a book and staying away, but this one slipped through. It didn't sound like my kind of book, but I read it anyway and I couldn't tell you a single thing about it now because it all went in one ear and out the other. Nopeity nope nope.

2 Stars

Hmm. Looking back on my goodreads, I seem to have a pattern with rating books 2 stars and that is expectations. I had certain expectations based on other reviews, hype, the cover, synopsis or previous books. Also, sometimes I think a different me in a different time would have liked it. But either way, I think the recurring theme was that I was disappointed in it.

The Maze Runner - this was one of the times that I think a (much) younger me would have liked it, but I was indifferent. It was just too simple for me.

We Were Liars - everyone went crazy for this so my expectations were high. Not only did it not meet my expectations, I didn't care for the story or the characters.

The Summer I Turned Pretty series - again, high expectations. I'm mad at myself for reading the whole series and disliking all of them. The main character was stupid and whiny. Hated.

Allegiant - stupid ending to a stupid book in a somewhat okay trilogy.

Dead Ever After - stupid, insulting ending to a series that I enjoyed immensely until this stupid book. I want to read her other series, but I swear, I am still scarred by this one.

All's Fair in Love & Cupcakes - this book annoyed me because I feel like I was tricked. It sounded adorable and cute but there were things about it that weren't mentioned in the synopsis, so that made me cranky.

Spelled - Cute cover, right? It was much, much too young, and I think a much younger me would have liked it okay.

The Brontë Plot - pretty cover, fabulous title, synopsis sounded great. I have learned that Katherine Reay and I are just destined to not like each other, and I will not read another of her books. They have so much promise in my eyes, but they do not meet what they could be, and they are dragged down by absolute shit that she insists on including in her books, and some people like that shit but I am not one of them.

3 Stars

I rate a lot of books 3 stars. A lot. There is no real rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes it was just 'eh' okay, but I feel bad rating it 2 stars. Sometimes I'm just indifferent to the book as a whole. Sometimes it is in comparison to similar books. Sometimes I can't look past the flaws, though I did enjoy reading it. Sometimes there was a hint of good but there was too much bad and it overshadowed it. But overall, it basically just means this was good, passed the time fine and I'm not mad I read it.

Landline - I definitely did not hate this, but compared to Rainbow's other books, I just didn't love it as much. It was cute and I liked it, but I was pretty indifferent to it overall.

The Closer You Come - There were a few things about this book that really bugged me, a conflict at the beginning and the characters names, but I didn't hate it.

Pride, Prejudice & Cheese Grits - I wanted to love this, of course. But there were a few things in this book that I hate and can never get over, even though it's totally not the authors fault, it's something I am prejudiced against (haha get it) but whatever.

The Cuckoo's Calling - I definitely had higher expectations for this book but overall it was just long and boring. When I don't care to read the other books in a series, that says something because I am worse than a cat with my curiosity sometimes. Just shows I am indifferent to it.

Orphan Train - I remember this book took a long time to get into, and right when it started to get interesting, it ended. I was never fully invested in it, so eh.

Blackmoore - I loved Edenbrooke by the same author, but this one fell flat. The story, the character, big fat 'meh'.

The 5th Wave - I didn't have enough feelings towards this book. I was kinda eh, but like I said above, it says something when I don't want to read the other books in a series, and I am actually listening to the second book as I type this (not as I type it, but like it is the book I am currently listening to) so I clearly felt a little bit more than The Cuckoo's Calling. For this one, I was intrigued enough to keep reading.

Bared to You - Well now. This book is not normally something I'd read and I just didn't feel anything towards it, but if someone who hated classics picked up a classic, I'd think it was unfair of them to rate it 2 stars, so that's how I felt towards this book. Why read something you don't think you'd like normally? I didn't hate it, and if people like these kinds of books, they might like it. It just didn't do anything for me.

Where She Went - I read this book straight after the first one, which I really enjoyed, and it didn't compare at all. In fact, I disliked it so much that it tainted If I Stay for me. I ended up not hating the ending, but the whole feel of the 2nd book was just blah.

Night Circus - I cannot believe I rated this 3 stars! I HATED this book. I'm changing my rating. I still remember how much I hated this book. Also, I listened to it, and I despise Jim Dale (but everyone else loves him).

4 Stars

This is where it gets super murky for me. 4 stars feels to me like they are books I really enjoyed but didn't love love love. Sometimes they are books I liked well enough but the flaws bugged me. Sometimes they are books I loved but I feel silly giving them 5 stars. Sometimes I don't make sense.

Twilight - omg she likes twilight, how dare she. Yeah I like it, what of it? Honestly, I LOVED these books when they came out. It was before goodreads and before I was influenced by what other people think. Back then, I would have rated them 5 stars for sure. But now, many years and several better books later, I can recognise their flaws and why other people dislike them so vehemently, but I am no literary critic and gosh darn it I like them, okay?

First & Then - this book was super cute. I enjoyed it. Not enough for 5 stars, but it gave me all the warm and fuzzies which is what I want out of a book, so I am not sure why.

Life of Pi - I really don't know why this is only 4 stars. This book blew my mind like no other book has done before, back when I read it several years ago. I do remember finding it very boring whilst reading it and my friend who lent it to me was all 'just wait' and I was all 'blah' but then I kept reading and yeah. Mind blown. It does kind of lose it's magic afterwards and it's not something I would re-read, kind of like watching the sixth sense the second time around. Bruce, you're dead. That's not a spoiler by the way.

One Plus One - Why is this only 4 stars? Upgrading to 5 stars because I loved it, and I still love it when I think about it, and I read it well over a year ago.

Maid for Love - This book was all sorts of dorky and romantic and lame and sexy and cheesy but it was the right part of all of those and I loved it. I think I felt silly giving it 5 stars, hence the 4, but I really did enjoy it.

Fantasy Lover - Yeah this book is exactly how it looks and sounds, but again, I loved it. I think she is a really funny writer and I do quite enjoy her books. But again, I feel silly giving something like this 5 stars even though I've read this one twice, so clearly I enjoyed it.

On the Island - Read this in one sitting and I loved it. But something was missing, I am not sure what. I hate when that happens. I did enjoy it and absolutely recommend it.

Code Name Verity - I LOVED the first half of this book, the second half wasn't as strong, and sprinkled all over were very boring parts. But overall I loved the story and the message, but I don't know if I'd recommend it. What's up with that?

Handle with Care - jeepers, why is this 4 stars? This book wrecked me. When I want to talk about a sad book (for whatever reason) this is the one that I bring up, all the time. I just told my friend about it the other day, actually, and I told her the ending and gah. It literally broke my heart. Okay not literally. So why no 5 stars? I don't know.

Eligible - this book was lame and dorky and had some issues. But the P&P lover in me loved it. It's hard to separate P&P and whatever I am reading sometimes.. no-one can be Jane, and I am not a purist, so I can enjoy them for what they are, most of the time (unless they are horrible, cough, Longbourn, cough). It definitely did have flaws that I didn't love, hence the no 5 stars.

Sharp Objects - this was one that I read, could see the good writing and I couldn't put it down, but it is not my kind of book. I would never read it again but I can see that it's a good book. I don't want to drag down the average rating by giving it how I probably really felt about it - 3 stars. Not that the average matters. But does that make sense? It's like someone who hates classics, it's not fair that they read a classic, hate it and give it 1 star. Don't read what you don't like. I didn't hate this one, but it didn't give me warm and fuzzies.

Of Beast & Beauty - this book was super cute. I loved it. It was definitely lame and cheesy though, so I probably felt silly giving it 5 stars.

The Handmaid's Tale - I probably had super high expectations for this one, and I can see why others love it, and I think that might have influenced my rating, which I hate, but what can you do. It's not something I would read again or recommend to most people, but I still think about it often and I did like it. See, I make so much sense!

After You - I loved Me Before You, like everyone else, but I didn't expect another one. It was hard to separate this one from the first, but that's what happens with sequels. I did enjoy it, but not as much as Me Before You.

5 Stars

You'd think 5 stars would be relatively easy - I loved it, end of story. Sometimes. Most of the time.

Angela's Ashes - This book.. man. I recognise it is a good book, the writing was fabulous, it was a wonderful/heartbreaking/beautiful story but you couldn't pay me to read it again. Other 5 star books that I feel the same way about are Unbroken and The Kite Runner.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - goodness gracious this book was boring. I don't know if I gave it 5 stars because I felt like I should, but I am not a non fiction fan. The writing was good and it was interesting, but it was very sciencey and boring, and I am not one for the science. I'd probably rate it 3 or 4 now, but again - why am I reading sciencey non fiction if it's not my cup of tea?

The Sea of Tranquility - Oh this book. So much love and no idea why. I stayed up all night to finish it, and it gives me warm and fuzzies just looking at the cover.

Throne of Glass series - Don't even care. Love this series so much. I will go down with this ship!

Saving Francesca - Not sure why I loved this as much as I did. It was so Australian. It made me feel like I was in a hug. I loved it.

The Lunar Chronicles - Again with the no shame, I loved this series so so so much. Am I 29 or 19? Don't even care.

What Alice Forgot - Again with the so Australian. It's weird. Would I like Australian things if I was there? I just loved this book. I loved the characters and the story. It felt so real to me.

Outlander - I loved this book. I know lots of people don't, but I think people who have issues with suspension of disbelief, or reading things that they don't agree with or wouldn't do, need to stay away from this book. I loved it. Would I go back in time and marry someone else? Nope. Would I allow my husband to beat me if I disobeyed him? Nope. It sounds weird when you say it like that, but I loved it.

Attachments - This book was so cute and warm and fuzzy. I loved it. Simple.

The Book Thief - One of my favourites, I re-read almost every year. I love that I read this before goodreads and the like so that I couldn't dissect it like other people have. Sometimes you just love books and that's okay.

A Little Something Different - This book was totally adorable. I loved it. Probably not worthy of 5 stars, but I don't care.

The Selection series - Again, this series is all sorts of lame and I hated the way the 3rd ended, I wanted more but not the more they gave us in book 4. But anyway. Loved the first 3.

The Giver - On goodreads, this is 5 stars, but in my blog post about it it's 4 stars, and I agree with my blog post (now, I'd probably give it 3). I think I was worried everyone would stone me if I disliked it, but I could take or leave this book and I have no desire to finish the series.

The Martian - Oh look, it's that book I wouldn't shut up about last year. I loved everything about this book. I loved that I didn't expect to like it, I loved the characters and the writing. A lot of people complained about the science and math, but when I read something I don't care about or understand, I don't try and understand it or make myself focus on it - I move on if it's not pertinent, which to me, it wasn't.

The Nightingale - This book was slow and boring in parts but holy dagger to the heart at the end.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Again, I am glad I read this one before goodreads and the like because I loved it SO much.

The Royal We - I remember I rated this 4 stars and then upped it to 5 because I don't care, I will shout my love for this book from the rooftops. So lame, so cheesy, so me.

The Grand Sophy - SO much love for this book. This is one that I loved with all my heart but wouldn't recommend to anyone but my mother in law because I could bet $100 most people wouldn't love it, but that is okay.

I know this post wasn't super exciting, unless you like to read about books and how people feel about them. Honestly, rating books with 1-5 stars is really hard. Not the hardest thing in the world, but it's weird. Sometimes I can absolutely love a book but recognise it's flaws, so I won't give it 5 stars. Or sometimes I love a book despite its flaws, so I will give it 5 stars. Sometimes it's about how a book made me feel, or if I would re-read the book, or even if I would actually recommend it. Sometimes I enjoyed reading a 4 star book more than a 5 star book and where is the sense in that?

Sometimes I rate books out of personal enjoyment, and sometimes I rate them based on how good a book it actually is (in my opinion, like writing, plot etc). It's hard.

How do you rate your books? Are you nonsensical like me?


  1. It's funny because I was just thinking about Twilight last night. I loved the books when they came out, and own them all, and re-read them once, but I haven't read them in probably almost 10 years?! I was thinking about picking them up again to see if I still like them as much now that I have "broadened my literary horizons" hahaha. To me, it was just a captivating storyline and that was what kept me interested. Same with the Selection series.

    This post really reflects how I feel about rating on Goodreads sometimes too. I find it interesting how I can rate something like Persuasion or The Martian 5 stars (which many would agree with) and then also something like The Royal We or Cress, which aren't necessarily the same 5 stars but they were so enjoyable to me personally that I rated 5 stars. I'm constantly torn between a 5 star rating FOR ME vs. a 5 star rating as a book itself. (and etc. for all the other star ratings). It's difficult in the sense that it is a social media site too, so if everyone feels that a book is a 5, I don't always feel like I should rate it a 2 because I might have missed something but sometimes that just happens.

    Anyway...great post, thanks for reminding me about The Grand Sophy. I have it on audio and I really want to get to it soon because it sounds like my kind of book for sure :)

  2. First of all yayyyy for The Royal We getting 5 stars! Love your system, and you totally just motivated me to get back on there and rate my old books <3
    Green Fashionista

  3. This is great to see all of your books laid out! I'm changing my bus route when we move and the bus ride is 45 min instead of 15 min, so I'm going to need all the book recommendations. Thanks!!

  4. I love this list and learning how you rate books. Out of the ones I've read, I agree with most of them. The only one that I just couldn't get into was Life of Pi. The beginning was SO slow for me and I just kept looking for other things to read instead of this book so I abandoned it and watched the movie instead (insert the gasp noise here, I know!)
    I loved What Alice Forgot too--it made me think! And The Royal We--yes!

  5. this sounds like my rating system. I just kind of go with my gut. I've only rating DNF ones as 1 star too. 3 is my most common and 4 is really like but not love.

    The Midwest Darling

  6. I read the sea of tranquility YEARS ago. I remember nothing about it except for a running scene, but it still holds such a sweet place in my heart that I know I'll have to read it again. I have absolutely zero method to my ratings. As a writer, I know that's terrible.

  7. I saw World War Z and loved it so I decided to try to read the book and just no. It was so not as good as the movie! Yes to Twilight and The Royal We! Now I kinda want to re-read Twilight since it's been years! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  8. I'm interested to see where book 5 in the Selection series goes! I love the Royal We and The Nightingale too!

  9. This is actually a great reference post! I really don't think your book rating system is nonsensical. Ratings are arbitrary and how you feel/how much you liked something is just a reflection of that. I just know I'll be referring to this for suggestions from your 4 and 5 star list. And for a few to skip...I don't ever want to feel like I did after the Kite Runner so I'll skip Angela's Ashes, thank you very much!

  10. SO I have a post for next Wednesday about my ratings. I've been thinking about it a lot!

  11. I totally think its personal & I'm the same way - it really is nonsensical... but I try not to over think it. I've rated books & then think, Wellllll... &go back & change it - but I try now to go with my gut.
    I am finishing up We were Liars right now... I'm interested in you giving it 2 stars...
    I really think it depends on every persons mood to while reading it.
    But I do love seeing what others rate things. Like I know EVERYONE gave Wild or The Martian great ratings - & I was like, Meh on The Martian & HATED Wild... its why God gave us all opinions :)

  12. You and I are basically on the same page with rating stuff - I feel like I rate a majority of things a three because it really has to get to me to rate it higher (even if it's cheesy like Maid for Love, oh well). I hated Best of Me - I finished it and threw it across the room at the wall. And, I can't help it but I loved the Bared to You series (I just finished the last book that came out). Sometimes I just need to read crap and be okay with it!

  13. Here's my problem with my DNF shelf-- do you keep them on your 'tbr' or move them to 'read' and just not add a date so they don't go into your read books for the year? Choosing a rating is really hard and you're so right about totally different books being rated the same even though they made you feel a different way.

  14. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason for why I rate a book the way I do. I mean, if I sat down to think about it, I'm sure there is but for the most part, there isn't.

    I hate the Goodreads rating system. I think it's nonsense.

  15. I have a similar rating system. This made me go back and see which ones I've rated one or two stars. I don't have a ton, but the ones I did mark were easy for me to remember how much I hated them! If I don't actively dislike the book and feel meh about it, I give it a 3. Some of those I might forget about, but I remember the terrible ones and the awesome ones.

  16. I have a totally arbitrary rating system on Goodreads that varies according to my mood, the books I read before it, the phase of the moon... Who knows. I often go back and have to change my rating because I was overly harsh or conservative. I struggle with there only being 5 stars, because that doesn't feel like enough scope by far, but I know that even if it were a 100 star rating I'd quibble over the exact number I should give it. Sigh.

  17. I really enjoyed this post! (Although I can't believe you gave Twilight such a high rating.... then again, the first book was tolerable.) I'm going to try Game of Thrones soon (fingers crossed) and I'm on the second Lunar Chronicles book (love, love, LOVE). I'm also starting Orphan Train soon so hopefully I find it entertaining!

  18. I think it would be so hard to rate books. I would probably rate them in the moment and then feel bad if it were a low rating, or then go back and think I rated it too high! I loved twilight, too! No shame in my game!

  19. There really isn't any rhyme or rhythm to the way I rate a book either. To be honest, my logic is very similar to yours. With the exception of Best of Me. I am sorry, but that book was a 4 star. :P

  20. Charlaine Harris is another author on my abjured list. I loved Sookie Stackhouse and there was a period where I might have been slightly obsessed and reread and reread them. They were my non-fat comfort food. Then, it just went to hell. I don't know if she began to hate the characters and the money was too good to stop or what. Once I lose faith in an author (or they break the sacred trust we have that they don't know about), I won't read their others books. It's like fool me once ...

    I could not get into World War Z either, although I enjoyed the movie, which really didn't seem anything like the small portion of the book I read. Cuckoo's Calling is the weakest of the Galbraith books. They get better but understand why you aren't continuing with them. I did read the Maze Runner series. It was okay, not great, but I liked it more than the 5th Wave which I didn't finish. It wasn't awful, but it didn't keep my attention and I actually forgot about it. I have read the first 2 Games of Thrones of books. They were fine but haven't continued on. And I just read Winter this month, so flipping good! 100% with you!

  21. I probably shouldn't rate a book immediately after reading it -- emotions are high and I'm in the moment. Then when/if I reread the book or happen to review my reviews at a later date, I usually end up embarrassed: "What was I thinking?? THAT was NOT worth a (whatever) star!" Or I might have added books that I read before Goodreads was around and "thought" I liked them, but then reread them and had to lower that star number pronto. I need to be more consistent about actually writing out a review or what I thought of the book -- then if I do think about changing the number, I'll know what was going through my mind when I did the rating.

  22. I loved reading this! I really have no system at all when rating books. The biggest way to get a high rating on my Goodreads list is for it to be a book that I never want to put down. Like if I'm engaged and hooked the entire way through then I'll give it a 5. I feel like I rate the majority of books way too high.. I don't think I've ever given a book a 1 haha.

  23. We have SUCH different taste in books! Station Eleven and Night Circus were my favorite books of the year that I read them. I thought The Royal We and The Martian were so-so. I do agree about Attachments - Definitely my favorite Rainbow Rowell book. And I loved the Outlander series, Well maybe the first 3 or 4 books, After that there were too many storylines going on.
    My rating system is: 5 = Loved it, 4 = Liked it a lot, 3 = OK, 2 = Didn't like it at all, 1 = Hated it and/or DNF

  24. I'm with you that I tend to just not pick up books I don't think I enjoy. But sometimes I have a book that's so highly recommended that I reluctantly try, and it either turns into a wonderfully pleasant surprise or a huge disappointment.

    I'm almost done (finally, why does this book feel so damn long?) with Life of Pi and I know it'll probably be 4, MAYBE 5 stars for me. My rating systems makes no sense either, by the way. 5 stars are for books I devoured, thought intensely about afterward or during, inspired some sort of change in behavior or thought for me, etc. 4 stars are ALMOST there, but not quite. It's a feeling, not something I can accurately describe! I have few low-star ratings because I just abandon books and don't bother rating them if I don't like them.

  25. I'd call it "subjective", not non-nonsensical :). I think your thoughts and ratings match up perfectly! And I've wanted to create a page like this that summarizes my 5, 4, 3, and 2 reads. No 1 reads for me since those I DNF.

  26. this is SUCH a good list of books! pinning it for when i have more time to read! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  27. I think my rating system is similar. Both personal enjoyment and my opinion of the overall quality of the book factor in. Some of my favorite books just can't be 5 stars because they're too dumb, and some beautifully written classics are 2 stars because I hated them so much I wanted to make it a 1, but had to admit there was some value to it. I also tend to put too many books in the 3 category, because I feel bad about rating it a 2. Isn't that silly? 3 feels like it should be neutral, not "liked it." And sometimes 4 vs 5 stars gets very murky, especially if it's been a while since I've read a true 5 star book and I get confused about what that feels like.

    I'm so sorry that I didn't love Throne of Glass as much as you did! I liked it, I swear, I just didn't love it.

    1. Oh, and I probably should have just emailed you, but I commented on your Goodreads review for Bitterblue, because I liked that one better than Fire, and I had many thoughts.

  28. Sometimes there's not rhyme or reason to my rating of books either. I'm pretty sure that I've rated some Pretty Little Liars books as 4 stars because I just really enjoyed them. I agree with you that sometimes there are those 5 star books that make you feel all the feels, but you totally want to read again because it's not the warm and fuzzies that they make you feel. And The Lunar Chronicles are amazing, I don't care what anybody says!

  29. I'm pretty nonsensical too. For example, I'm rating Luckiest Girl Alive a three just because it kept me interested however I would probably never read it again. I might also rate a book where wasn't super interested in as a 3 but it may have been written really well. Who knows.

  30. Ah, this was a great read and I'm so happy that you shared. I have way too many DNF's to chime in or even establish a rating system for a book. I have to be completely captivated by the story or feel like it's going to be a life-changer to finish books these days.

  31. Haha this was a great post! I'm always curious how other's rate books on there! Sometimes I'll see my friends talk about how they LOVED a book but then they only give it 4 stars and not 5, and I'm like WHYYYYY. Most of them reply that they are VERY strict with giving out 5 stars. I think I'm a little bit more easy to please, or give them out more freely. If I loved a book and couldn't put it down, regardless of it's flaws, I will probably still give it 5 stars. I've also learned that you just have to rate each book on it's own experience - you can't rate 5 star reads against each other, you know? (Which I think is what you said too). I also follow what the stars on goodreads mean...so if the book was just "ok", then I'll give it 2 stars, if I "liked It" then 3, so on. I also admit to falling to peer pressure when rating a book....meaning, I don't own my opinion lol. If it's book everyone is only giving 4, I feel silly giving it a 5 sometimes, which is ridiculous and I need to just OWN my opinions. ;)

  32. lol. I love it. I've never heard of this platform or service but I dig how you have this down to a science that makes sense to you!

  33. One word regarding your Twilight review: SAME. I actually think it's rated 5 stars on my Goodreads because when I first read it I LOVED it. I got the box set and I read the first book in like one day and the rest probably that week. Now I would also probably reduce it to 4 because yeah I can see the issues with it like the crazy stalker obsessive-ness...but I still think I would like the books if I read them again. Which I probably will not.

  34. well if this post isn't the best!? so awesome. and really tells me so much about how you do it! sharing!

  35. At least you are more honest in your ratings than I am, ha! I've only rated one book a 1 star (The Scorch Trials aka book 2 in The Maze Runner series) because it veered so far away from the first book (which I did actually enjoy enough to read book 2). I didn't even finish it. I read the entire plot online because I was curious, but I gave up on reading it. Otherwise, there are a handful of books I've given 2 stars and those are books I really didn't like. And then there are a TON of 3 stars. Those are all the books that I was either indifferent to or didn't really like, but felt badly giving it 2 stars (it's ridiculous, but I am friends with a couple of authors and I know it hurts their feelings to see bad ratings so I find it stops me from being more honest which is terrible, ha!). Anyway, I have LOTS of 4 stars and that ranges in the "I liked it" to "I REALLY liked it" and then I have some 5 stars and those are my absolute LOVE LOVE LOVE books. :)

    We share a lot of similar ratings on books! I'm actually reading Of Beast & Beauty right now thanks to a recommendation of yours. :)

  36. Love how honest you are with your reviews! I think we have very similar tastes in books and loved reading your reviews for ideas of what to and what not to read!

    xx, Caitlin

  37. I totally agree about the same rating having different feelings depending on the book! I've given up on the audio of Longbourne, and was thinking of trying a hard copy, but now, maybe not... I loved Twilight when the books came out :)

  38. I need to start actually reviewing books more because I rate them so weirdly! Most times I give books a 4 but definitely for different feelings. I definitely have to take into account the type of book it is...even if it's a kitschy, corny book I tend to still give it a 4 because I know it's not meant to be a literary treasure. The book has to be REALLY bad for me to give it a low score.

  39. I feel like I'm pretty ridiculous when it comes to reading things as well! I look back on them and I'm like that I just get this three stars because I didn't really want to commit to one way or the other? I do agree with you on the Martian being amazing actually pretty much agree with all of your five star rating ones including A Little Something Different which I believe I can take credit for!

  40. So I don't use Good Reads, which is just ridiculous I know! I also never finished Game of Thrones (only my second book that I have ever done this). TV show is amazing though!

  41. I love this post!! It's crazy how a handful of stars is interpreted so differently from person to person. I wish they would allow some sort of word system on Goodreads instead like "Skip this," or "I would save this book if my house was burning down!" A few years ago I forced myself to sit down and come up with a system for this whole star rating system. It's all very scientific, so I'll probably do a post at some point. haha

  42. You know I gotta chime in to this post. I am just like you when it comes to my ratings. I'm a bit all over the place. Sometimes, I'll write in my reviews "4.25" or "4+" because it's better than a 4 point book, but not a 5 point book.

    And, I hate it too, but I feel like I get swayed by others' opinions. I don't want to, but it happens.

    Station Eleven and The Night Circus are two books with a lot of chatter and attention that I've stayed away from. I think I made a good decision to give those a pass. I feel like the two of us read different books from time to time (I like non-fiction, you like The Lunar Chronicles), but the books that we do both read, we often have the same reactions to them.

  43. I totally need to get back into using Goodreads. I used to use it religiously and then stopped when life got busy - and now I'm worried I'm going to end up rereading a book I read during a busy time and not realise til I'm halfway through and know the ending, haha!

    If I give a book a 5 stars, that pretty much means I'm obsessed and have already bought five hundred copies to distribute to my friends, haha! I am one picky reviewer! ;)

  44. I want to read the Nightingale so badly I just haven't pulled the trigger on it yet! I agree with Sparks - I've actually never read one bc they aren't dark enough for my taste but if I want a good cry? Um yes.

  45. I like your rating techniques! I feel like I give most of my books 3 stars because I guess majority of the books I read tend to be pretty average. I rarely ever give out 5 stars unless the book was completely life changing. And I tend to give 1 star only if I suffered through every single page in the book lol.

  46. I think it's hard to rate books in general because sometimes you like a book because it was well written and a good read but sometimes you like a book just because you liked the story well written or not.

    I rate a LOT of books 3 and 4, honestly to get a 5 a book has to compare in enjoyability to Harry Potter which is next to impossible.

  47. My ratings can be pretty nonsensical too. I wish so desperately goodreads would make it available to give half stars.

  48. I am the worst at ratings! Usually if I finish a book, it's because I loved it. So like 90% of my ratings are 5s! I sadly have to officially accept that I just DNFed a book. I hate not finishing but I have so much else going on and I'm just not really driven to pick it up again!
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

  49. Thanks so much for the review- I need to use my good reads account! I just got so many great books to add to my list from your post. I also loved the nightingale! If you haven't ready Circling the Sun, I highly recommend that too!

  50. I really loved this post! I try to rate my books using the same criteria each time, but I think sometimes I just end up rating them based on really random things and then the ratings make no sense to me when I look at them later.

    I've been thinking a lot about my ratings and reviews lately as well, mostly because I think it's a topic that seems to be coming up a lot lately (and probably also because the last link-up was last week). Maybe this will inspire me to write something similar at some point! :-)

    P.S. Station Eleven and The Night Circus on my "To Read" list, and your reviews are kind of scaring me away. Haha. I know that we have some different tastes in books, but then I think about how we both loved some other books (like The Sea of Tranquility and The Nightingale) ... So I just don't know. If I ever read them, I'll be sure to let you know what I think!

  51. you've encouraged me to just give up on those books that don't grab me bc life is to short for bad books! you are so right!! officially adopting this principle.

  52. I have a hard time rating books too. 1 star is for my DNF and 5 stars are for books that I couldn't put down and loved and thought about for days afterward and think other people should love them too. I'm pretty stingy with 5 star ratings. Haha! 4 stars are for books I was really into, but didn't LOOOOVE. 3 stars mean they were fine and passed the time and I'm not mad I read them. 2 stars for books I finished but didn't really like.

  53. I'm pretty similar. I rate DNF books 1 star, if I make it through the book, but hated it, I give it a 2. 5 stars I reserve for books I absolutely love. I ask myself, would I read this book again? If the answer is yes I give it a 5.

    I believe I added The Grand Sophy to my TBR because of you, so glad, I absolutely adored that book. So much so I just ordered myself a physical copy (had an ebook).

  54. I love seeing how other people come up with their ratings. I'm fairly similar to you in that I have different reasons for rating books what I do. I rarely don't finish books as well and I'm *usually* good at knowing what I'll like, but geez there have been some duds over the years.

    I actually liked Where She Went more than If I Stay. It slayed me. But I think I might be in the minority with that one.

  55. My rating system is totally arbitrary and largely depends on what else I've been reading around the same time - something could get a low rating because it was bad compared to the book I read before it, where if I read it at a different time I might have enjoyed it more.

    I rarely give books one star, I have to REALLY hate them for that and it's rare that a book has no redeeming feature for me, but Wuthering Heights got one star. It would have got ZERO stars if that was an option. I hate that book so, so much!!

  56. I feel like we have the same rating system. Which does not surprise me at all considering we've basically bonded over books. :)

    I've also realized that you read WAY more than I do. I need to up my game. Thank god you've got about a thousand that I can choose from. When are we going to meet in real again? Oh we haven't set that up. Well we need to. K thanks.

  57. I love this post. 5 stars! Haha! I think I rate books similarly based on expectations and/or compared to other books I've read by the same author. For instance, Gone Girl blew me away because it wasn't anything what I expected, but Sharp Objects is my favorite of hers, so they both got 5 stars. I expected way more from Life of Pi, so it only got 2 stars. But I'm pretty arbitrary between the 3-4 range, and that's where most of mine get rated.

  58. I feel the same way about rating things. When I look at HP I'm like obviously that's like max score but nothing else comes close sooooo what does that mean for the rating of everything else? It definitely gets skewed based on author, similar books, etc. Good to see the rating of a lot of these that are on my list though. I also love Rainbow Rowell :)

  59. I tend to rate a lot of books 2 or 3 stars. 2 stars are those that weren't exactly bad, but they were just ok and kind of forgettable. 3 stars are books that I liked - I wouldn't necessary recommend them to anyone, but I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading them either.

    My ratings are kind of skewed thought, because I recently started reading non-fiction and I'm not sure a 4 star non-fiction is equivalent to a 4-star fiction.

  60. What a great idea for a post! haha I think that sometimes I'm super random for rating books on there mostly because you have to round up numbers. Like I wished sometimes I could rate 3.8 because it's not really a 4 for me, so I rate it 3 which feels unfair as most books end up in that category. And still need to get my hands on the Royal We haha

  61. I am totally nonsensical too. It is all about how I felt while reading the book and it can changed if I was to read it again. Some I really enjoy but not think they are serious enough for a 5 star rating. I know it makes no sense.


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