Lately, you might have noticed I stopped giving book reviews on my blog a star rating. And you might be wondering why.
I came to the conclusion that my reviews didn’t really need them. If star ratings are part of your review process, then go right ahead — but with my blog, and the direction I wanted to go with it, and with my style of blogging, I didn’t feel it was necessary. (If you’re my friend on Goodreads then you’ll see I still rate books. This is more for me so I can remember what I thought of books without having to review it.)
There’re a bunch of other reasons, too, like…
- I have a complicated star rating system. You’d need to really, really understand how I rate books — most of the time I don’t even know how I do it — and just because I rate something low doesn’t meant I don’t like it. I’m a tough rater. I’m critical. But that does not mean I can’t enjoy a flawed book.
- Sometimes books don’t just FALL into a certain rating. Sometimes they hover between two stars and three stars, or four stars and five stars. And other times one book might excel in one area — like characters — and fail in another… THEN how do I rate it!? It’s complicated and confusing and what’s the point? It’s so much easier to explain what I liked/didn’t like about a book than show it through a star rating.
- Everyone’s star rating system is DIFFERENT. Three stars might mean something entirely different to someone else. What if I’ve unintentionally put someone off a book because my rating means something different to theirs when in fact it might be something they love?
The way I see it, I don’t believe that you can sum up an entire book in a few stars. Books are complex, challenging things, and while sometimes it is nice to skim to the end of a review and check the star rating, I don’t believe that — in the scheme of things — they hold much water. It’s the words in the reviews that matter.