Thursday, June 19, 2014

What star ratings mean to me

Book Riot recently had a post titled "The Convoluted Calculus of Rating Books" that I connected with because I feel like rating books this way is confusing and in general a mess, at least whenever I attempt it. And yet I like star ratings. They're a quick way to see overall what people think of a book and also gives you a good idea of what sort of review you're about to read.

I'm not planning on adding a rating system to my blog at any point, but pretty much every book tracking website out there asks for a star rating. And by every I mean Goodreads and Shelfari, but those are the two I use so yeah, every. I realize everyone has a slightly different definition for what the different star ratings mean, hence the Book Riot post. Following their lead/blatantly copying them, here's how the ratings break out in my world:

5 Stars
OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK! You are going to hear me going on about this book A LOT. And for years, because this is a book I'm going to re-read and you'll have to go through another round of my evangelizing.
Lamb by Christopher Moore
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
World War Z by Max Brooks
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

4 Stars
Yes! I very much enjoyed this book. Sure, it's not perfect, but I can forgive any faults it may have. I'll recommend it to people, I just won't shove it down people's throats like I do with 5-star books. (I DO IT WITH LOVE!) Most books I read fall into this category, which is pretty lucky for me.
Lexicon by Max Barry
True Grit by Charles Portis
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

3 Stars
Eh, this book is fine. It has faults but it's not terrible. I liked it well enough while reading it but it's unlikely to be a book that really sticks with me.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Zone One by Colson Whitehead
In The Woods by Tana French
Under the Dome by Stephen King

2 Stars
Ugh, this book. I couldn't get into it. Maybe it had a stupid plot, maybe the characters were boring. Maybe I could see what the author was trying to do and there were brief moments where they succeeded but overall, no thank you to this one.
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Emma by Jane Austen

1 Star
No. No, book. I hated you. Haaaaaaated you. Was angry during the time I spent reading you or just didn't finish. Luckily there aren't many of these. Unlucky for the few that do fall here though.
The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich
My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me edited by Kate Bernheimer

So there you go. Here's how the star rating breaks out for me. I can re-rate books overtime. Maybe a book I loved immediately after reading it has sort of faded. Maybe a book I wasn't crazy about at the time suddenly hits me.

What do book ratings mean to you?