Friday, November 15, 2013

In Which I Reconsider Book Ratings

I don't often change my mind. I am the type of person who struggles over decisions but once I have made a choice I a fully committed. The problem I have found while blogging is that I have to make decision quickly on what to rate books. I have to figure out a rating and get my review up usually within 24 or 48 hours so I don't have the luxury of time for the full effect of a story to sink in. At the time I issue ratings I don't know if I will be thinking about the book months later or if it was a read once and then forget deal. 

That is why, after much consideration, I have decided to change some ratings. There are certain books that I rated lower or higher then I should have and now I want to make some official changes and give reasons as to why they are being changed.
Moving up to 5 Star Status
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
I haven't stopped thinking about this book since I finished it. Even when I rated it 4 stars and gave a reason the reason seemed shaky. Plus, Kavinsky alone demands 5 stars. I want a book all about Kavinsky, I love that motherfucking thief.

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke 
I am a sucker for a Gothic novel, and my original justification for 4 stars was that the ending wasn't creepy enough? If I'm being real with myself the creepy children hunting the devil in a cemetery was awesome enough to warrant 5 stars. And while I do wish River had been the bad guy I wanted him to be this isn't an episode of Dexter. It's hard to love a murdering psychopath and I'm glad he wasn't one.

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
I didn't even write a review for this because I wasn't sure what to stay. But after reading it 8 months ago I still remember exactly what went down and secondary characters names so I think it's time to get real this wasn't a 4 star book it was a 5.

Moving up from 3 to 4 Stars
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
I know the exact reason I gave this book 3 stars. Length. This book was too long but now with some distance I can objectively say this book is better then 3 stars so I'm bumping it up to 4.

Moving down from 3 to 2 Stars

Dance of Shadow by Yelena Black
The only reason I can come up with as to why I gave this book 3 stars in the first place is that I was on the blog tour. With some distance and the blog tour in the past this book is moving down because all I can remember is how much I disliked it.

In Summary
Although I only reconsidered 5 books I am glad to have done so, it's freeing being able to change ratings rather then being stuck in a rigid number structure. Now I am curious:

  • Are there books you have rated and then gone back and changed? 
  • Are ratings on blogs/goodreads/amazon helpful? 
  • Would you be for or against getting rid of the rating system on this blog altogether?

 Let me know in the comments!


  1. I have considered doing the same thing. But where you're changing star rating for the books you've mentioned, I'm considering getting rid of the star rating altogether. I'm still thinking about it though.

    I often second-guess myself after much deliberation. So yeah, I get you. :)

  2. I feel ya. I know many blog tours have forced me to rate a book 3 instead of 2. The pressure from the blog tour seems to work on me and decide to rate books a 3 when I don't think i would have otherwise. I am thinking about going back to change quite a few. Books I want to change to higher is generally because I didn't give the book time to sink in all the way and they always seem to be the deeper, darker, or more involved books such as The Raven Boys. I have thought about this issue quite often and know sometimes I feel guility or off rating outside the popular rateing of my friends and bloggers. I struggle with it and trying to get out of it as best I can. I mean really who is gonna hate me based on my opinion of books. I am a real people pleaser so this I do struggle with. Great post though. I love how you included explanations.

  3. This makes me sad as I have Dance of Shadows on my to-read list! I have often thought about re-rating books but haven't done so yet. The ones that I want to do would be all moving down 1 star as I feel I was too generous with them at the time, not many about 3 of the top of my head. And these were from my early days of blogging, I think I'm more consistent now about how I rate but I know I have a few that are too high.

  4. I actually don't include ratings for my reviews on my blog, but I do for goodreads and I struggle with that. Usually it's hard to decide between 3 and 4. For some reason, 5's are easier because if you're raving about it, absolutely loving it, want a copy in hardback, that's a 5 (at least for me). And I agree, sometimes it's later when you think about a book that you realize how good it was (or maybe that it wasn't that good). What's interesting to me is when I read someone's review and they rave about a book, and then they rate it a 3. So that makes me think sometimes the ratings don't mean as much, I would rather rely on what the person wrote. Interesting post! ~Pam

  5. It's funny -- I find other people's ratings helpful, but I just can't do them for some of the reasons you describe. I would constantly be changing my mind. I agree with Pam that rating the books that fall between 3.5 and 4.5 stars is the hardest. Plus, some systems don't allow half stars. I support whatever you decide!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  6. I think you should only remove your rating system if that's something you do for YOU. I use stars to rate, but honestly, my ratings are hate, okay, like, really like, and love, although I do increase stars based on technicalities (for instance, many Meg Cabot books will get 5 stars from me because I just adore Meg, but another book may earn 5 stars just because it was technically well written and enjoyable, even if it won't end up on my all-around favorites). I may be weird, but I usually know before the end of a book where it goes on my scale. Only one book in recent memory was difficult for me to rate, and I ended up giving it 3.5 or 4.5.

    I very rarely go back and change ratings. Usually I need a reread to reassign a rating, and I just don't have a lot of time for that these days. Ratings on Goodreads are helpful in that I like to gauge the reactions to a book before I read it, but that's only for books that have real ratings that I don't know much about. Amazon ratings help not at all for me. I only buy what I want, regardless of rating. For me, price is a better indicator on Amazon.

    Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog

  7. I love this post. I think my problem is right after I read a book, I tend to rate them too high and then when I have a couple days to digest it, I wanna go down a star, lol. This is why I don't use stars on my blog!

    Btw, I had a hard time getting into Raven Boys, but will give it another try next year, haha. Loved Grave Mercy though!

    AKA Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island