On Ratings: How I Rate Books

“Book review” by Thad Zajdowicz is marked with CC0 1.0

Alone, the the star system is a flawed way to review books. Just simply providing a star rating on Good Reads or Amazon, especially when it is below three stars is bad, bad, bad. One should state why they didn’t like it, because my reasons for rating a book bad will be different than yours.

Ratings really are funny things. They can be good / bad depending on how close one is paying attention and also can be affected by mood. But, they shouldn’t be. As a reviewer, this is to be addressed.

However, so forth and so on, the star rating is a good way to sum up your rating at a quick glance. Also, when coupled with an evaluation and a recommendation makes for a great review.

A couple other things to note:

  • I don’t rate books based on their ending.
  • I don’t like drawn out endings or algorithmic story lines, but I wouldn’t take off star ratings if a book falls into this, because it is a personal preference and has nothing to do with the quality of the book.
  • I’m not a stickler for plot holes, grammar or accuracy. If something doesn’t make total sense, I’m fine with it – as long as it is entertaining me and I’m getting something out of it.

I Rate Books Based on Entertainment Value:

★★★★★ – 5 Stars – This means the book is highly entertaining. I don’t have to agree with or like it personally, but it makes for one hell of a ride. I might wake up the next morning thinking about the book, excited about picking it up again. It probably has given me a new perspective on something. I might sleep with the book like it’s a teddy bear.

★★★★☆ – 4 Stars – The book still rocks, it just didn’t knock my socks off, so-to-speak. I am excited about reading it or talking about it. Still, I considered it prized reading.

★★★☆☆ – 3 Stars – The book was good enough to read and it was worth it. It is still recommended reading and I didn’t feel cheated out of time.

★★☆☆☆ – 2 Stars – Its bad. Sentence structure isn’t varied, words are used wrongly. It’s starting to be incoherent, even when an attempt is made at putting the pieces of the puzzle together by going back over parts. I’m not so much of a grammar police, but I do like to feel as if I’m not reading. I would never rate a book this over one aspect of the book. I might not have finished it out of lack of total interest, and not because I got distracted. I chose not to read it, ever again.

★☆☆☆☆ – 1 Star – I have yet to rate a book this yet and I would probably have a vendetta against the author and that is why I am rating it this way. I’m joking. But rating a book this means that it is indecipherable, unoriginal and just a complete mess. The author probably didn’t put much as much effort into getting their message across as they should have.

One last thing, I’m not someone who runs around thinking everyone else should think like me. So, if you disagree . . . well I’m fine with that, too. 😎

Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley

By S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980's and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

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