My Musings

Do we need star ratings when reviewing on our blog??

bookish discussion

Do we need star ratings when reviewing on our blog??

Unlike my last post I’m going Troll hunting!!! which was a sarcasm laden and foul-mouthed vitriolic tirade of biblical proportion today’s post is nice and relaxed, it’s a pleasant and polite little ramble through sunlit fields of grass with no swearing, that’s right NO swearing, colour me shocked! πŸ™‚ Whereas I’m going Troll hunting was akin to a late-night 18-rated/r-rated movie with bad language, innuendo, debauchery and buckets of visceral gore this post is like a mid-afternoon matinee child friendly animated film, it’s fun for all! 

For most of us with the name of ‘book blogger‘ we predominantly all use a rating system for our book reviews. The most common would be star ratings, ranging from either 1 star to 5 star or 1 star to 10 star as the rating system with the lowest number being for the lowest rating and the highest number being for the highest rating, simples! Of course a ‘star‘ rating is merely the generic rating term we see near everywhere but you might have a rating that fits in with your blog. For example if your blog is called Pillowy Clouds and Cuddle Bunnies then you might forgo the use of ‘stars’ and rate in either ‘pillowy clouds‘ or ‘cuddle bunnies‘ as your rating system. Or for the grimdark fantasy version, your blog might be called Severed Heads and Bloody Knives and you rate in ‘severed heads‘ or ‘bloody knives‘. Heck, if you like mixing it up you might even name your blog Cuddle Bunnies and Bloody Knives, you can see what that rating system would be and where I’m going with it, so I’ll spare you me actually writing it and boring you! Point is that in some form or other, be it stars or your own personal term, you are use a rating system to tell us what rating you have given a book.

Recently though I’ve seen a few bloggers moving away from actually rating their reviews and simply offering their thoughts on the book they’ve reviewed. One might ask, but with no rating how do we know if they liked the book or not?! Yes we’d obviously read the review and see their thoughts. But where the rating is usually found with the book information at the beginning of the review, it’s missing, there’s nothing there, a big blank cavernous space of emptiness. For readers of the blog that means no way of knowing if the blogger liked the book or not until we’ve actually finished reading the review.

There’s also bloggers out there who instead of simply having no rating system whatsoever, choose to review using a more straightforward approach than the numbered system out of 5/10 star. They give us something to tell us if they liked the book or not, an indication of their preference. For example, say they would class it as either a ‘rate it‘ review or a ‘hate it‘ review with the rate it review being the equivalent of between 4 star and 5 star and the hate it review being the equivalent of between 1 star and 2 star. Then you’d also need something to rate and class a middling book of 3 star. I could be looking too much into that though and the majority of blogs might just have the equivalent of ‘rate it‘ or ‘hate it‘ but you get the gist of what I’m getting at and I’d personally have three choices (hate it, not bad, rate it).

With bloggers moving away from the star rating system and edging more towards no ratings or a simplified system on their blogs it begs the question of why?? Why are we ensuing a system that has been around for years and years and is known the world over as the standard rating system??

One answer would be uniqueness, changing up the system from stars to something that matches your blog name while only a minor thing adds that personal touch, it’s something a little different to make your blog stand out from the crowd.

But, I think the main reason is stress and that it’s getting harder and harder to decide on what rating to actually give to a book. Recently I’ve struggled on what rating to give, thinking to myself is it to high, to low, etc. I know it’s a personal choice what rating you give but when you start questioning it, well then it’s adding stress to the review. You try to decide on a rating and then stick to it. If you gave one book 4 star and another 4 star you then might start thinking ‘I’ve rated them the same but I enjoyed that book more‘ and you ask yourself should I have rated that book higher or maybe the other one lower?? And if you have the unfortunate occurrence of reading a book that you don’t enjoy, you rate it low but do you then start asking yourself was it really that bad?? Should I have rated it higher??

Then you weigh up what you liked and disliked about the book and you come to the final rating that you decide on. How do you determine the difference between a 4 star or 4.5 star book, obviously a 5 star read would be a book you couldn’t fault. But if you look lower down the rating scale how do you determine between a 2 star, 2.5 star or even a 3 star read what makes you pick the exact rating that you end up giving??

Thinking about it, to me it seems quite freeing NOT to have to decide on a rating that you give a book instead just offering either your thoughts or a like it/hate it simplified rating.

To answer the question I posed in the title of this post No, I don’t believe that we do need star ratings when reviewing on our blog. How we review and rate is of course a personal choice and is upto the individual.

If someone rates a book low then we know that they didn’t like it regardless of the actual rating, likewise if they rate a book high then we know that they enjoyed reading it and we still read the review though to know why the blogger actually felt that way about the book. Also, when we see a specific star rating we immediately perceive that the book is going to be good or bad without knowing the reasons behind the bloggers view, we pigeon-hole the book to that particular rating. And that begs the question when reading blogger reviews are star ratings included with the review beneficial to the book or detrimental to it?? If we see a 2 star review we perhaps won’t read the book at all or we will read it with very low expectations, not everyone likes the same though and what one person dislikes another may in-fact like. Same for a 5 star review, it means the blogger who reviewed it found the book to be perfect, that doesn’t mean however that you will also find it to be perfection, you might only give it a 4 star review and feel disappointed that it didn’t live up to that 5 star billing. Is it perhaps better to just go with the notion that the blogger didn’t like the book or really rated it without the stigma of a star rating being attached??

Has anyone recently stopped rating the books they review on their blogs?? Do you feel free and like a burden has been lifted not having to decide on a rating?? Has there been any comebacks from fellow bloggers, authors or publishers due to it?? If you don’t rate on your blog how do you choose what rating to give on Amazon and Goodreads??

What about those of you who use the star rating system, what do you think?? Should everyone use it?? Do you look down on those who don’t rate the books they review??

And a question for you all, is a star rating really that important on a blog review??

You might be wondering why I chose this topic to babble on about and surprisingly I do have a reason. As I mentioned earlier I’ve struggled recently on what to rate a couple of books I’ve finished read, I found myself questioning why I came to that particular rating and it got me thinking that it could be time for a change.

I’d still give a star rating on both Amazon and Goodreads, though I must admit that once I’ve posted my review on either site I tend to forget about it (unless someone trolls it, hi Amazon jerk), it’s done with, posted, time to move on. But with my blog I pay more attention to it as it’s my review on my own blog.

But I’m seriously considering getting rid of the star rating system that I use to review (1 star lowest up to 5 star highest, yep, I’m generic) and changing to a simplified rating system. I think it would be fresher for my blog and also a burden lifted on me as I wouldn’t need to question the actual specific rating that I decide to give.

The rating system would be classified as:

  • Hell No!!! Book Review. Which would be for 1 star to 2 star reviews.

hell no book review

  • It’s OK!!! Book Review. Which would be for the middling 3 star reviews.

its ok book review

  • Hell Yeah!!! Book Review. Which would be for 4 star to 5 star reviews.

hell yeah book review

(If you are wondering how I decided on those terms, it’s simple, I’m a wrestling fan and back in the day Stonecold Steve Austin would say ‘gimme a hell yeah’ and it’s always been one of my favourite sayings along with hell no, so a hell no review for a poor book and a hell yeah review for a great book).  

Thoughts my fellow bloggers?? Is it a stupid idea?? A good idea?? Would you stop reading my blog if I change the rating system?? Does it not bother you how bloggers rate??


wolf lets chat

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114 thoughts on “Do we need star ratings when reviewing on our blog??

  1. Fantastic thoughts… I’ve used the 5 star rating system on Goodreads (GR), but I have my own definition of each star, which I’ve included on GR and on my blog. It’s rate I give a 1 or 5, and if I do, it signifies something of importance to me and to readers. As a result, I’m really down to a 3 star system… and some folks get offended with a 3. But to me, that’s the all around good book. With so many books out there, I’d be looking for a 4 or 5 given the length of my TBR list.

    You make some great points. I tend to want to know the rating, but I also want to know what it means to that person, so I look for the legend or key, plus the context in the review. Your suggestions make sense… ultimately, for me, it comes down to the genre, the author, the year published… and then I think about reading a few reviews to balance the perspective for that specific book.

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  2. I personally like the star rating system cause it’s easiest for me to use and I like having stars because it’s very straight-forward, but I have absolutely no problem with people who choose not to use stars or instead use other forms of rating (I know a BookTuber who gives them grades like a teacher would on an essay, for example: 88% would be a B+). I’m okay with either, really, it’s the reviewer’s choice of what rating system they want to use.

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    1. Yep, it’s the reviewers choice how they review and it doesn’t change the content of the review regardless of the rating system used and the content of the actual review should be of more importance than the rating given as the rating doesn’t tell you why the blogger thought the way they did about the book.πŸ˜€

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  3. I only use the star ratings on Goodreads and Amazon but not on my blog. I recommend a book if you like the genre or a similar author. I’ve also mentioned on whether it’s worth buying or just borrowing from the library. I don’t mind either way if you use ratings or not as I’ll get a feel from what comes over in your review. I like the idea of billowing clouds, fluffy bunnies or even house trained kittens, so may steal that idea hahaha

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  4. I personally don’t use a rating system when doing reviews on my blog. Now, if I’m posting a review else where and it calls for a rating then yes, I’ll rate it. As for my personal reviews, I just let the reader know how much I loved the book and if there were parts that weren’t my favorite, I’ll add those in on my review.

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  5. I’m currently working with my designer for a special rating that will go with my new design :p I have seen people give up on ratings but I do feel I need it to find closure with the story and know where I stand. It helps me writing my review, prepare my arguments and state my case πŸ™‚

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    1. Yeah, still have to rate on Goodreads and Amazon anyway so still need to figure out what score to actually give, there seems to be lots moving away from it on blogs though, I do like to know if the person liked or disliked the book before I start reading though, that’s why I commented on a simple like/dislike rating, don’t want no system and then be left wondering if they did actually like the book or not!πŸ˜‚

      Lol, a designer for a new blog design and rating system, probably Waffles for the system!πŸ˜‚ How the better half live having a designer!πŸ˜€

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  6. I didn’t use star ratings when I first started Every Day Should Be Tuesday even though I had been reviewing books on Amazon for a while by then. But I eventually I started adding them because too often I felt like my review only told part of the story. E.g., I spend much of the review talking about a flaw in the book but I still really liked it overall. Maybe that doesn’t come through unless I throw the “4 out of 5 Stars” up there. I did cut myself a break by adopting half stars.

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  7. I just saw that Kirkkus reviews gives a “bottom line” rating for books : so they recommend for a person to either buy it, borrow it, or skip it. I kind of like that rating system. It’s simple but still gives the reader a heads up of what is to come.

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  8. Personally I prefer things to be rated. Just my preference. So I will never get rid of it. It is by far the most simple and universal term to show how highly you rate/enjoy a book.

    I have regular views on my blog from places like Kuwait, Indonesia etc … some of these users may not have English as their first language and may struggle to fully grasp the terms I use in some of my reviews. But if they see 1 star or 4 stars they can pretty much guess how high or lowly I think of a book.

    Ps I can’t for the life of me figure out who you can talk about switching from the world’s most simple system to a ‘simplified’ system πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah well, there’s a few reasons why or how I can write about simplifying the worlds simplest system. I’ve seen a few bloggers getting rid of the rating system altogether recently and there’s lots out there who’ve never had it and only offered their thoughts. I’m considering changing mine and I also thought that it would make for an interesting topic of discussion.

      Now you see Master Booth, while a 5 star system is simple it gives you 5 options, likewise if you rate in half stars that then gives you the choice of 10 options when rating a book. If you’ve changed it to hate it/meh/love or the equivalent it then you only have 3 options, ergo there are less options so it’s simpler and if you don’t rate at all then there’s no options so technically they are simpler due to less choices, gotta love technicalities the escape route of the male populace! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see what you’re saying πŸ˜› I thought you meant simpler for the reader, not the blogger. I can see how three choices would be simpler to choose from. Think I’ll continue doing it the hard way, though πŸ˜›

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  9. I totally get what you mean. Sometimes I can spend aaaages deciding on how to quantify my like/dislike for a book. It’s really hard to pigeonhole a book into a star rating when our thoughts on it are often a lot more complex than just a 4/5.
    There is a comfort to using them though, so I still use them – personally I use them, because I try to focus on the positive aspects of a book, rather than going too far into the negatives, so sometimes I feel that I need the rating to distinguish between a 3 and a 4 star book (one that was good but not great, and one that I really liked a lot). But it should be pretty clear from the review itself whether we enjoyed a book or not.

    You’ve also got me thinking about my rating system, and now I’m wondering if I should rate my books using molecules of dopamine instead of stars – what do you think? πŸ˜›

    All round, great discussion topic, and really interesting thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely agree that there’s a comfort to using them and I try to focus on the positive aspects in reviews too, if I changed my system then predominantly all reviews would be hell yeah, it’d just mean that I didn’t have to decide which to give between 4, 4.5 and 5 star. Luckily I’ve only had three bad books since I started blogging to be hell no reviews as I try to look on the positive, I’ll say what I didn’t like about the book but I don’t see the need to rip a book to pieces or always look on the negative like some do.

      Yeah, totally agree, it should be clear from a review if the reviewer liked the book or not, I wouldn’t know what to think if I got to the end of a review and was left thinking well did they like the book or not!πŸ˜‚

      Dopamine molecules is a pretty cool idea.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At the end of the day though, you have to be honest! I think there’s a way to say that you didn’t enjoy a book/it had a lot of flaws without actively trying to make the author feel bad about it. There’s a difference between being an honest reviewer and being a bully πŸ™‚

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  10. We don’t do star or numbered reviews and I think they are silly on a blog. For a review aggregate site like Goodreads or Amazon they provide a good average from hundreds of reviews but a blog is more than numbers, especially BOOK blogs. I want people to trust my opinion and they can’t do that staring at a number. The flip side being they have to spend time and effort which they might feel is best spent elsewhere. It’s also why we don’t share big long reviews to Goodreads or Amazon, only the bare minimum to justify our rating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true, I like spending time and effort though and I think most bloggers do to read the review and not just look at the star rating, I want to know why the blogger liked/disliked the book not just the rating they give, you want the bloggers opinion and not just “5 star it was great” that’s fine for Amazon and Goodreads but for a blog want more detail.

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  11. It IS hard to pick a generic rating when 3 stars to some is good and others is bad. I only do it because I know that later, when I look back quickly at my review, I can remember how strongly I felt about that book. As most of the time a book is not a one or two star, my “Wowness” to me always comes in 3, 4, and 5 “stars.” I think there should be half-Stars. But for me, the Stars actually simplify my feelings for later so that I remember how I felt toward the book.
    Most of the time my ratings don’t even match how others feel about the book so I don’t even worry anymore.
    But if people choose to stop using arbitrary ratings, that’s cool too. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t use star ratings – or any rating – on my blog. I post my thoughts and let readers decide for themselves. Star ratings are so subjective. Honestly, I might give a book a 3 stars today and 4 stars tomorrow, but my thoughts and opinions remain the same.

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  13. I think it is all down to personal choice, many readers of blogs are used to a rating system, others like to read a reviewer’s thoughts and recommendations. No rating might put off some of the badly behaved authors who complain when they don’t like what they see. Those will be the ones who live by star ratings, not realising that Amazon use the number of ratings to help push books up ranks and not the actual stars they have.
    Good luck with whatever you choose.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally agree with your star dithering; I have the same problem myself when I think a book is worth 3.567 recurring. As a well behaved author I would pick you up on one thing though- you said no swearing and then you mentioned bloody. :O

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  14. I, unconsciously, stopped rating books on my blog and didn’t realise until a couple of days back when I was going through some newer reviews. Thinking about it I actually detest rating something but I will do it for Goodreads or Amazon, however, the star ratings on them sites aren’t accurate as there is no half star rating system.

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      1. I don’t believe so. I state if I dislike a book so it’s no odds although I do like seeing others ratings. The thing is, a 5* for me could be a DNF for you. Maybe I will start doing it again without realising it 😁

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      2. Yeah, I mentioned that in the post that people like different things and while one person might hate a book another might love it, I just think if they see 5 star then they immediately think that the book will be great likewise if it’s a low review say 2 star they just see the rating and immediately think the book is poor even though what that reviewer disliked they might like.

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      3. Well….didn’t want to make a statement when I don’t know but yes I would say so! My 60 odd yr old mother in law tried talking to me about it when it came out. I was running round the house like a child, fingers in my ears and screaming LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

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  15. I’ve always rated books on my blog using a scale of ten – but I often find myself giving a book 6.5 or 8.5. I probably couldn’t even tell you why I gave (or took away) that extra half a point – it’s purely a feeling at that particular time but I like being able to finesse it (yes, truly!). My ratings only lead me to problems when books grow on me, or the reverse where I’ve been wildly enthusiastic, only seeing flaws later. However, I’ve never had to downgrade a 10/10 book. Then there are three star books that are useful, important or interesting without being literary gems. It’s difficult, but I shall continue as I find it useful.

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    1. Lol, nothing wrong at all with finesse, as I said in the post people should review how they want. You mention 6.5 or 8.5 and that’s why I’m considering changing because I’ve reviewed to a certain rating and then questioned it, likewise I’ve reviewed another book, gave it say a 4 star review and then starting thinking why I’d given it the same rating as the previous book when I liked it more or liked it less.

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  16. I HATE star ratings and have never used them on my blog. They are too narrow and although I do use them on Amazon and Goodreads I find deciding on a star rating harder than writing the review! I find it difficult to quantify how I feel about a book in that way. I would hope you can figure out from my reviews whether or not I liked the book so for me I feel star or whatever ratings are superfluous.

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    1. Yeah, gotta use them on Amazon and Goodreads though as some reviews on those sites consist of “dis book waz da bomb ya dig” then……πŸ˜‚

      Yeah, I think most reviewers would like to think that you can see if they liked/disliked the book from the review content, I think lots of people just see a star rating though and to them it takes precedent over the actual content.

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  17. Fascinating topic you have chosen to discuss Drew, and I must admit , I’m enjoying these discussion posts more and more .

    As you know I use a 10 point scoring system , never thought of why I use it ? I guess I did it since I rate movies and Animes on sites like IMDB and Myanimelist and they use 10 points scoring system . I also use a scoring system since I think i can give the books a more varied range to rate from. Not to mention I do realise my reviews can be very long and people tend to busy . So my ratings simply give them a quick insight into what I thought of the book .

    Anyways as I wrote earlier , Loved the topic , Loving the discussion posts keep it up πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, thanks Rash, not sure about keeping it up though, I’m not one of these bloggers who can think of thousands of different ideas so discussion posts will still unfortunately be rare occurrences on the blog.πŸ˜€

      Ah, yes, well, as someone who writes long reviews at times myself, I’ve got to get in, long reviews rule!

      Your 10 point system works well for reviews, very thorough and it’s cool how you give the pros and cons in the rating graphic too.πŸ˜€

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  18. Great post! I’ve been thinking about changing my review system or at least defining my star system more thoroughly. I like to see a star rating or even a broader rating like you’re thinking about so I can tell at a glance what the reviewer thought. I find that I’m more inclined to read a review if there’s a rating of some sort at the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s very true, I get why people don’t want to use any type of rating and just offer their thoughts but I do prefer knowing if it’s going to be a review for a book that the blogger liked or disliked and not just having to figure it out from reading the review. Luckily I’ve yet to read a review from anyone who doesn’t rate at all that after finishing reading left me questioning if they liked or disliked the book!πŸ˜‚

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  19. I’ve been having thoughts on this recently too, especially because I switch genres when I read and sometimes I do have that thought that I’ve rated two books 4 stars (or inverted triangles in my case) and that actually I liked one better than the other. Sometimes it can be a nightmare to rate as well, especially if you start thinking about comparisons with books in other genres, general moods when reading etc etc. However I think if I take the rating system away then maybe it would seem as if I hate a book that I didn’t mind because I can be critical, or vice versa. Personally I prefer to see some sort of rating over nothing, so I think your idea is good, it means there is still an indication but without you having to be too specific πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s definitely a valid point about different genres, it’s one of the reasons behind the post too, I recently read a couple of books (The Hatching and Skitter) and they are just quick good dumb fun books that I loved but they were so different to the fantasy I usually read, in them hardly any of the characters were developed at all, they aren’t that type of book and it didn’t bother me but if I’d been reading fantasy and the characters showed no development it would have been a major issue and I gave them 4 and 4.5 star ratings as I thoroughly enjoyed them but then I started thinking about the fantasy books I’d rated lower and rating becomes murky when rating different genres.

      Oh yes, general moods play a big part and can be a real pain when rating.πŸ˜€

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  20. In my “other world” I’m a teacher and just naturally started assigning books a grade. I do struggle with the relevance of it at times. After all the grade is only my opinion. Still, I do like seeing other bloggers’ ratings. It can help me if I’m in the fence about a book.
    What we write is most important, but in the end I think I prefer some sort of rating system and like the three levels that you came up with.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I like some sort of rating system to, happy for people to have none and just wrote their thoughts but for my blog I’d want a system just so people know I liked the book or not even though it would show through in the review….hopefully, I’m at least guessing I’ve never wrote a review where people didn’t know if I liked the book or not regardless of whether it had a star rating.πŸ˜‚

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  21. My co-blogger and I didn’t use star ratings for years. Partially I think they’re reductive. Partially I think some readers just look at the rating and don’t read my review, and it leads to odd comments like, “I’m glad you loved this!” when clearly I did not not love everything about the book–if you read the review. We started doing star ratings (maybe a year ago?) to test them out when we updated our blog look. I think our readers like them, but to me they always seem slightly arbitrary.

    I also don’t do half stars, which makes it less nuanced. And i think the issue is that three looks neutral, even though some people say it is actually “good” in their system. But it’s right in the middle. So I think it you *actually* want to recommend a book, you basically have to give it four starts/

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  22. This is really interesting. When I started blogging, I didn’t include a rating with my reviews. But, I score all the books I read, and I have done since before I started blogging, and I eventually decided to share those ratings on my blog. I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way of doing this, and I don’t judge anyone who chooses to do something different to myself.
    I agree with the comments above that it’s an easy way of seeing what someone thought of a book overall, although you’re proposed system works just as well for that.
    Another system I’ve seen that I particularly like is flagging favourite books e.g. having something to highlight the 5/5 (or similar) books, and then not having any rating at all for other books reviewed, and I’m considering moving to a system like this.

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  23. Lovin the “Hell No!” etc. and that definitely works for you, But all the major book marketing sites have their own star ratings why duplicate. Unless…the reviewer’s review has such an impact on market forces that their ratings really rank.

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  24. I used to do star ratings but went away from them mostly because I didn’t like the way others sometimes used star ratings. I would see reviews that talked about how much they loved the book but then would give it 3 stars or would give a one star rating for a stupid reason like not liking the topic of the book. I think it is more beneficial to read and write a review saying what you liked and disliked about a book. The other thing I struggle with is that if I know the author and don’t like the book, I don’t want to give a bad star rating. I just try to highlight the things I like most about the book and summarize what it is about.

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    1. Yeah that’s very true, massive praise and then a 3 star rating, which isn’t bad but when they’ve praised the book so much you think it’ll be a 4.5 or 5 star rating and its not, you then question why if they liked it so much didn’t they review it higher.

      Yeah, it’s unfair to give a 1 star rating just because you didn’t like the topic, if it’s not a topic you like you perhaps shouldn’t be reading the book in the first place.

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  25. I use stars and like stars. It helps me find a balance between what I liked and disliked about a book before I write my review. Whenever I go to other blogs, it also lets me prepare myself for what is ahead when I read a review. I mean, I am a fan, so if someone has given my favorite book of the moment a 1 star rating, I can decide if I really feel like reading about how my taste is awful for enjoying this novel. Perhaps that is shallow of me, but there it is.

    Oh, I have no problem with the Hell Yeah! rating system. In fact, I really think you should go with it. Cool and different!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah that’s true, I actually enjoy reading how my taste is awful though, everyone likes different aspects of books, etc but it does amuse me to read the reviews that disagree, say I gave the book 4 stars and someone gives it 1.5 then I like to see why my taste in books is so bad.

      I’ll probably go with the hell yeah system, give it a go and see what happens anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Absolutely not needed, and I believe that if I were more confident on ,my writing abilities I would drop them. But they are a useful baseline for me so I keep them. I refuse to do half stars though; the system just gets more complex with more ratings. For me it is as follows

    DNF
    1 Star – Books that actually insult me or are very problematic
    2 Stars- I may have finished it but wonder why. Not recommended but not actively insulting.
    3 Stars – Books I like but certainly don’t love.
    4 Stars – Books I love. Most of my books are 3 or 4 stars
    5 Stars- Books that really hit hard

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  27. Haha I love your rating system, super simple and a little quirky, it’s full of your personality. I don’t rate books on my blog. I simply review, tell my thoughts on the book and leave it at that. I rate on Goodreads because you kinda have to, but half the time the star rating doesn’t represent how I felt about the book, so being able to leave it out on my blog makes things easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Great post! I don’t use a star rating for my reviews, I just have my “bottom line” in which I give a brief snippet of my overall thoughts. I’ve been asked why I don’t give star ratings out in my reviews, and to be honest, my star ratings will change over time, but my thoughts on the book do not. For example, I could read a book & rate it 3 stars on Goodreads (that & Amazon are where I use the star system), but that 3 star book can stay in my thoughts longer than a 4 or 5 star read. Plus, if I start using stars then I will definitely compare books together and think “ok, I gave that a 3, so I guess this one is a 3.1 or 3.2”. I just find the star system frustrating so I don’t use it.
    I really like your idea of the “hell no”, “its OK”, and “hell yeah” rating system. It definitely makes more sense to me, as the reader, as I can instantly grasp what you thought of the book rather than trying to decipher what a 2 or 3 or 4 star rating might be.
    I really like this post idea & am interested to read all the comments here and see what the consensus is, as I’m one of those “rebels” who doesn’t use a star rating πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I don’t think you’re actually a rebel though as a lot of people seem to either use a simple rating system or none at all and merely offer their thoughts, more than I thought actually! I guess as you say about comparing is one of the main issues, it’s why I wrote the post as I’ve found myself questioning the rating I’ve given and comparing it with other books, thinking how can I have rated it the same when I enjoyed it more/less and it just seems like it’d be liberating to get rid of that hassle.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  29. When reviewing books on Goodreads and Barnes and Noble, I use the star rating system. However, I do things differently on my blog when it comes to my reviews. I think it’s all about personal preference, and I would never shame someone who decides not to use star ratings.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Great post! I think it really depends on the reviewer. Personally I love using the rating system. Sure, I have my moments of indecision- but these usually get ironed out as I quibble over what rating to give it on GR (especially since it’s harder on there without half stars) and I like to think it’s (mostly) self explanatory (which is my excuse for being lazy and not clarifying on my blog- but it’s basically practically perfect to this sucked). I also like seeing some clear indication of what the blogger’s overall views are- so Hell Yeah/Hell No etc works just great for me, but I’m also happy with a sentence at the top or bottom, just for clarification, if the reviewer doesn’t want to put in any form of rating/ranking. That said, it really isn’t up to me and I would never judge a blogger for doing what suits them. There are things I do/don’t do on my blog that most people do- but that’s my decision and it shouldn’t affect anyone else. I think it’s great to see people stepping outside the box and figuring out what works for them πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Great post. Definitely a topic that has been discussed a lot in the past and, in the end, it depends on everyone’s preference. I totally understand people who’d prefer not give any star ratings and others who have a sophisticated rating system that is just super clear to understand and gives us a good idea of where they stand regarding a book (love it/hate it/not for me, maybe for you?). I like to have a 5 star classic rating at the very end of my reviews cause.. well.. you just can’t escape them. Goodreads uses it, Amazon uses it. It’s pretty universal and everyone has to answer the question in some form at some point. I do hope that most people read my thoughts instead of summing everything up based on the number of stars cause even 5 star books can have things that can easily turn other people off and make them take off a star or two!

    People who would stop reading your reviews just because you changed your rating system is stupid though. If they leave, you should just be happy about it hahah I like the wrestling-influenced system you hope to bring to life. It’s unique and simple to understand. In the end, what you’ll have to say about the book would probably weigh more in my desire to the book in question or not anyways. Great discussion post, mate. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol, I’m not sure I’d be happy if they stop following the blog due to a change in ratings as lots of people follow blogs because they like the blogger and their style not the rating system they use but if any do, it just goes to show how they are as while most of us are cool, some a bit crazy and others scary we’re all good but there are a few unfortunately that think they know it all and that their way is the right way and we should all do the same as them.πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I think this is entirely personal. I agree with many above. But for me, I personally prefer the rating system. Yes I struggle figuring out what rating to give books sometimes. If I liked a book that was 4.50 stars, but the next one was better, I will up it to 4.75 stars and so forth. It kind of eases that quarreling mind. I also found that the authors I’ve reviewed for have improved how I rate books. For me, I think it wasn’t there, I probably wouldn’t have grown as a book reviewer.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Interesting topic! I like seeing ratings on reviews as they give me a general sense of what the blogger thought of it, though I’m equally happy with systems like the one you propose (hell yeah, hell no, it’s okay) with three categories as they still achieve that. I feel like they perform the same function as stars anyway: 1-2 stars means me the reviewer didn’t like it, 3 means it was okay, 4-5 means they liked it. I guess it depends whether you want to have that differentiation in the upper and lower categories (e.g. 1 star as opposed to 2, or 4 as opposed to 5). I like having that on rating websites, so I’d personally find going to 3 categories hard, but I guess it depends on your preference.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Very relevant and good, solid post Drew πŸ™‚ For myself, ditching the rating had nothing to do with the stress of figuring it out (as I actually still know what I am rating them and do so on retail sites) or anything aesthetically. I had never really considered lack of ratings to be unique either. I guess some may though. So that is a great point! But it seems very common now.

    It was simply that I wanted people to walk away from my reviews with a real thought on the title that was not influenced by how many stars they see πŸ™‚ Read my review please, sort of thing. I started noticing that certain visitors were simply leaving comments based on the number of stars I left without actually reading my review (kind of annoyed me haha). When I right an almost rave review but give a title 3 stars for a specific reason and you comment with “sorry this wasn’t good”… I know.. I know exactly who is not reading πŸ˜‰ You know what I mean haha. I also could not understand why we see 3 stars and automatically assume bad? When did average for one person become such a terrible rating? Seems harsh. But yeah, I simply hoped to encourage more focus on the actual review.

    So far I really enjoy the decision. I cannot see myself going back. Again, fab post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, very true, 3* out of 5* is the same as 6* out of 10* which a lot of the time is classed as good, it’s definitely OK and would be an enjoyable read but that actual rating a bit like 3.5*/7 gets hated on when it’s not bad, it’s better than half, it’s not great but it’s not bad either.

      I’m not sure lack of ratings is unique, it just makes it slightly different like if you don’t use stars for the rating as they are generic, say you rated still and with your blog name used tea cups instead of the star rating then it’d be unique to your blog, just a small thing but it makes it unique/personal to the blog if they use something that ties in with the blog name and a little less generic.

      Yeah, that’s my main issue, you see a star number and immediately think it’s either good or bad and as you say with 3 star, if the blogger who’s reading thinks 3 star is good then they will think the book is good but the blogger writing the review might think 3 star is bad and in the review they rip the book, it’s all very subjective which is why I’m considering moving away from it, like you I’d rather what I write sells the book or not and not just the star rating.

      Thank you, this was a nice clean post with no swearing, an enjoyable read for all.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  35. personally, I don’t mind either way… star ratings, no star ratings.. stars, suns, planets, flowers.. whatever is used πŸ™‚ Funnily enough, I like to use ratings but I hardly ever decde on the book based on its rating… hmm.. so rating books is kind of pointless, yet necessary? I don’t know… XD
    As for the ‘giving two people 4 star ratings’ and then thinking whether one should be higher or lower rating… every book is unique, and so every review and star rating is unique… that’s how I see it anyway, I never really compare books… I go with the emotions that the book managed to make me feel and I usually pick my star rating by what feel right to me. I read it, I review it, I pick the rating πŸ™‚

    Your new rating system sounds interesting… defo have a go at it to test it out… after all.. your review content is what will make us either want the book or not want it and the new proposed rating system sounds fun! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Flowers, sniggers, bit too girly!πŸ˜‚ have to say no it’s not necessary, the comments in this post alone have shown that lots of people don’t rate on their blog at all, really does seem a personal choice which I guess it is, your blog, your rules, you do what you want.πŸ˜‚

      That’s true it’s the content that will sell people the book or at least it should, I’d hope a 5* review wouldn’t leave people thinking god it sounds awful likewise I’d hope a 1* review wouldn’t make people think damn this sounds good.πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, now… there have been 1/2* reviews that have made me want to read a book… it happens quite often, actually πŸ˜€ I just want to take part in the madness, and the possibility of writing a rant review but it has happened that I read a book because it had 1* reviews and I ended up loving it… gotta keep ze options open, ja! πŸ™‚ I think though, I missed the point you were trying to make… hmm.. blame the language barrier I may have going on here XD

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I didn’t mean that your English is bad, I meant MY English is bad .. second language and what not πŸ˜€ ze options open, ja… ugh.. that’s my husband’s doing… he loves doing a German accent (gosh, I hope I ain’t going to offend any German followers here now) so it kinda sticks sometimes… heh

        Liked by 1 person

  36. I only do star ratings on Goodreads. Reading a book is a personal experience and what I think about a book may differ to somebody else, my 2 star might be there 4 star. Also it’s dependant on when I read the book. If I read it after a book I loved I might fell less about it due to it not living up to the previous one (a book hangover if you will).
    I would rather offer my own opinions on books without rating it. I feel too much pressure can be put on such a specific rating. Also as a reader you can go in with preconceptions based on ratings which can actually damage your reading experience if it doesn’t live up to said expectations. I hate reading a book that’s been rated 5 stars and wondering “what aren’t I getting?”
    Basically I don’t use them and I doubt I will use them πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s part of my current issue with them, you see 5* and immediately think it should be great and if it’s not you’re disappointed, likewise a 1* review might just make you think the book is terrible based on that rating when it’s perhaps not that bad.

      Very true about the book hangover and rating the following book less.

      Like

  37. I like your new labels πŸ™‚ While it’s a personal decision, I still do it for now. But I also use a type thing that movie critics did: skip it, try it, etc. It’s a good idea to change things up as well to see what works. Great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Great thought provoking post. My old blog used to have posts without stars, you’d have to click through to read my review on goodreads of amazon before you’d see the rating, but then I added it later so all posts had it after that. Now I don’t do stars any more. I don’t do pillowy clouds (interesting name though :p ) but feathers…peacock feathers which I’m pretty proud of because I designed them myself πŸ˜€ !! I don’t think ratings really matter. I read book review blogs which rate books but others which clearly don’t and it’s easy to see how a blogger feels about a book based on the review. The reason I have ratings is I started reviewing on amazon and it’s become second nature to me to review with a rating. I have struggled to give ratings to some books in the past, I especially struggled with indie books before where I wanted to be honest but didn’t want to hurt the author with my rating. If I’m honest I’m more fussy now and am finding it easier to rate books since getting rid of half ratings (I’d never cut a peacock feather in half) but that’s more because I feel I’ve cut myself off from those authors I could ‘hurt’ and have put on my amazon rating hat again, lol. I’d say go for whatever rating system you enjoy doing. That’s why I love reviewing all over again because I’ve made it something I love and if you want to rate something as ‘hell yeah!’ than why not!? πŸ˜€ -Reminds me of rant or rave reviews πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, but I’m sure rant or rave wasn’t the first to do it even if they proclaim they were and there’s lots of blogs with a similar system now anyway, hell no and hell yeah are just words I use in every day life and so suit me better than like it/hate it or read it/don’t.

      Ah, peacock feathers, same as a star rating but personal to your blog and ties in to the blog name, great idea.πŸ˜€

      Ratings don’t really matter, that’s the best way to look at it, unfortunately lots of people seem to pay more attention to the rating than the review content.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. I don’t do a rating system on my blog. I rather just put if I really liked it or not in the review. Most books I like them unless I actually say I don’t like a book. On Goodreads, I use their rating system.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Another stellar discussion post! Personally, I use a 5 star rating system, BUT I do not always give a book a rating. There are some books that I have not exactly enjoyed, but felt that the book was well-written and would be enjoyed more by a specific audience. For those books, I will forgo the star rating because I don’t necessarily think it’s fair to give a book a low star rating if I do not feel I was the target audience for the book. I hope that makes sense? Basically I give a star rating when I feel confident in it, and don’t use a star rating when I don’t feel it would be fair to the book.

    I really like your new rating system idea! This would take out all the half star rating dilemmas, as well as the hours spend agonizing whether to give a book a 4 or 5 star rating (or 1 or 2 stars).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, a stellar post, why thank you my dear, I on occasion write some half decent posts as opposed to the troll one which was just sarcasm and foul language!πŸ˜‚

      Yeah, you make perfect sense about rating some books and not rating those that you don’t feel comfortable with rating.πŸ˜€

      Like

  41. That was such an interesting post to read, as always, Drew! I use some sort of star-rating system, it’s personalized to go with my blog’s theme but basically it works the same way, from 1 to 5, 5 being the best a book can be ahah.Sometimes it’s really hard to rate a book and it takes me a couple of hours – days ahah – to decide on what rating I want to give this one. No matter the rating, I hope that the bloggers reading my reviews are more attentive to my text than to my rating, because it’s in the description that they’ll figure out if the book is for them or not. After all, we all have different taste in books and a 5 stars rating for me won’t be one for someone else if it’s a fluffy contemporary and they hate that genre ahah.
    I think that your new rating idea is really, really good πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.πŸ˜€

      The new systems simple but as you say, it’s hard to decide on an actual rating and I’d started questioning some of mine so I thought I’d try something new. I was also interested to see people’s opinions as there’s been a few bloggers recently who’ve stopped rating at all on their blogs and found it freeing.

      You’re definitely right about everyone liking different books and what for one person is a 5* wouldn’t be for someone else.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  42. I won’t mind reading reviews in which people don’t use star ratings. I barely even notice, to be honest. I’m usually more interested in what they have to say about it, rather than their rating. Truthfully, sometimes their speech is so incoherent and mixed that a stars rating can come in handy to understand their feelings, but those are really rare cases.
    I use a star (coughchocolatecough) rating in my reviews because it makes sense to me and I’m used to it. I never actually considered not using it and it can help me sort out my thoughts. But I do struggle with choosing which rating to use sometimes. Five options (or ten, if you consider half-stars) is actually not a lot, especially when you have no idea how to express your feelings. But then ten options (or twenty) does feel like too many and I end up feeling just as overwhelmed! So I like to simplify it and keep it at 5, even if it makes books look a bit too much the same when they were really not.
    Phew, it’s hard being a book blogger!!
    Awesome post, by the way πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s definitely the best way to be, interested in what the blogger has to say but I’ve seen a few bloggers mention that it’s become obvious when people have commented and just seen the star rating and not read the review.

      Ha, yeah, chocolate, that makes it personal to your blog though even if it’s the same as stars but everyone’s different, some like ratings, some don’t, it’s all good as we’re all different.

      I just wanted a change as I’d read a couple of books, loved them and rated them exactly the same as fantasy books and they weren’t, they were The Hatching and Skitter, just good dumb fun and the opposite of fantasy as what I liked about them (no character development as it wasn’t needed) I’d have hated in a fantasy book as they are journeys that you take with the characters, need to love them or hate them otherwise you don’t care about them. But those two books being a different genre were different and I was questioning myself that I’d rated them as highly as fantasy and so that’s why this post and trying something different came about.

      ‘Truthfully, sometimes their speech is so incoherent and mixed that a stars rating can come in handy to understand their feelings, but those are really rare cases.’ – I hope that’s not me!πŸ˜‚ Luckily I’ve never read any reviews that bad, a few that you have too ‘really read’ if that makes sense to get the points but when the bloggers first language isn’t English or it’s Yanky equivalent then I don’t mind.

      Like

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