Friday, April 22, 2016

It's in the Stars - Or Why I Don't Give Ratings on My Blog


Here we go, my 2nd discussion post as part of the 2016 Discussion Challenge hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight.   My first one was all about if teens are really as dumb as we think, and will expect what happens in books to be real life.  You can go read my thoughts and then share what you think on that one HERE.   Today I want to talk about giving ratings to the books I read.  

I admit that I often go look at the stars or ratings that other blogs give sometimes before I read the actual review.  And whenever I finish a book I always give it a star rating on Goodreads. And if I leave a review on Barnes and Noble or Amazon, I give star reviews there too.  But here on my blog, ever since I quit just copying my reviews from Goodreads, I've not bothered to put the rating in the post.  

I'm not sure exactly why. But here is what I came up with when I tried to think about it a little more.  I feel like rating systems are often hard to use.  A lot of time I LOVE a book, but I know maybe it isn't the most well written, or maybe the story itself is really silly and superficial.  And maybe then I feel weird leaving it a 5 star review, when a book that was really well written and on a very deep subject, I didn't enjoy even though I feel like I should have because of what book it is, I would only leave a 3 star review.  Examples.  I love Twilight.  

I know that supposedly it is written horribly.  But to me, the writing grabbed me, and I couldn't put it, or any of the others in the series down.  To me, that is a good story, and it is well written.  A book I could not stand and had to force myself to get through, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night,

I know that really I should have thought it was a great book. Right?  I mean the character is autistic, and of course it didn't read like something I am used to, and it shouldn't read easy because it was written the way they would think and they think differently.  Another book that I couldn't even finish, yet so many people talk about what a great, profound book it is, is Dante's Inferno.  I was bored to tears.  And didn't finish it.  

Another issue.  I have a friend who is self publishing. And while I do like her stories, and enjoy reading them.  I often feel maybe it isn't as fair to compare it to traditionally published books that have editors that are paid to make sure it is done well.  Or if there is a book that I can see why other people really liked it, but I just didn't really care for it, I hate to mark it down, because then it is my opinion, not necessarily whether it is a good book or not.

On Goodreads, you can't do half-stars, and there are some books that I don't want to give them a 2, or a 3, but honestly they don't really rate as a 3 or 4.  So that is another thing I think of.  And then sometimes the sites tell you what each star stands for.  On Amazon the ratings go:  1 star - I hate it, 2 stars - I don't like it, 3 stars - It's okay, 4 stars - I like it, 5 stars - I love it.  But sometimes I give books a 4 that I loved, because they had issues that kept me from giving them a 5.  On Goodreads they are different:  1 star - did not like it, 2 stars - It was okay, 3 stars - liked it, 4 stars - really liked it, 5 stars - it was amazing.  On Barnes and Noble:  1 star - poor, 2 stars - below average, 3 stars - good, 4 stars - very good, 5 stars - excellent.  

Okay, so those are my reasons for why I am not big at rating on my blog.  I know a lot of other blogs have their own rating systems, and they show what each star means on the side bar of their blog.  I do like that method for sure.  But for me, I think I just like to talk about the book on my blog and tell what I do and don't like about it.

What do you think of my reasons?  What do you think of ratings?  Please, leave me some discussion below.