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:
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 to long to get back to the other people.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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?