Saturday, July 11, 2015

Musings on book ratings

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about my rating system. It has literally kept me up at night more than once! Currently I employ the same rating system as Goodreads, just because I use it so religiously. But in the last few months I've wondered (a lot) whether or not a simple five star rating system is really fair or accurate... Let me share a couple examples.

Earlier this week I posted my review of Sweet by Emmy Laybourne. I didn't really like Sweet. Um... really at all. I almost did, but then the last 40 pages happened and it took a pretty huge turn for the worst. It wasn't one of the absolute worst books I ever read, so I didn't want to give it a one star rating. Then again, I wouldn't really call it an "okay" book either. Because it was pretty bad. IF I used half stars, this would be a book that I'd give an in between rating to. But I don't. And maybe it's time to change that.

This book brings up an issue regarding my (and Goodreads') star labels too, though. I don't have a rating at the moment for "I hated it," which is what (I believe) one star ratings should be. Amazon actually has that part right!

On the other end of the spectrum is that I rate a lot of books five stars because I genuinely love them and can't find any wrong with them. At the same time, there are five star books that I feel more strongly about than others. For example, I was way more excited about An Ember in the Ashes than I was about The Raft. They were just two completely different books! While The Raft did blow my socks off and had me recommending it to everyone, An Ember in the Ashes punched me right in the feels and I'm still thinking about it a month and a half after reading it. I still loved The Raft, but does it really deserve the same rating as An Ember in the Ashes? I've seen some blogs use some kind of above and beyond rating (maybe gold stars instead of mint green?) and I've thought about reserving something like that for books that took it to a whole new level.

Yes, blog friends, I think you might see a new rating system on Cornerfolds in the next few days.

I'm curious to see how others handle star ratings or whether you even use them at all! I've noticed that some blogs don't even rate books in there reviews, which I've always found interesting. Do you use half stars? Do you have a rating for "hated it" or do you just DNF the books you hate?