Let’s Talk | Ratings

As a reviewer, I’m constantly struggling with the concept of rating books. To put it simply, I can never figure out if I’m supposed to rate a book based on my own personal enjoyment, or as an objective measurement of the quality of writing. Sometimes my ratings more answer the question of, “on a scale of 1-5, how likely am I to recommend this book to someone else?”

But occasionally not even that works out. Rating systems, as a whole, suck.

I feel like I need to implement, at very least, a three-pronged system based on the criteria above for future reviews/wrap-ups on this blog. I guess this is more of a test-post, where I can outline exactly how I’m thinking of rating books in the future, and maybe get some feedback from you guys to see how you like it!

To help illustrate, I picked four debut novels from 2014-2015. I feel like that’s about as level a playing field as one could hope for.
17399160Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch (Goodreads: 4 stars.)

  1. Personal Enjoyment: ●●●●○ (I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to the rest of the series.)
  2. Writing Quality: ●●●○○ (Average; there were some issues that I would have expected from a debut author.)
  3. Recommendability: ●●●○○ (I would recommend this to people if I knew their reading preferences.)

18667769The Merciless by Danielle Vega (Goodreads: 4 stars. No review.)

  1. Personal Enjoyment: ●●●●● (I really loved this book.)
  2. Writing Quality: ●●●○○ (Average; there were some issues that I would have expected from a debut author.)
  3. Recommendability: ●●○○○ (I would only recommend this to people if I knew their reading preferences really well, but would not generally recommend it.)

20560137

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Goodreads: 3 stars.)

  1. Personal Enjoyment: ●●○○○ (It was at least worth finishing.)
  2. Writing Quality: ●●●●○ (Above-average; compelling writing.)
  3. Recommendability: ●○○○○ (I could not, in good conscience, recommend this book to others.)

18798983 The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (Goodreads: 4.75 stars.)

  1. Personal Enjoyment: ●●●●● (I really loved this book.)
  2. Writing Quality: ●●●●● (Stellar; compelling, immersive, beautiful writing.)
  3. Recommendability: ●●●●● (I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone.)

Well, that worked out a lot better than I hoped. In the future, I think I’ll put up an extra page with those parenthetical definitions instead of defining them with every book review. As far as comic books go, I’d still have to tweak this setup to account for the visual medium… So, what do you think? Does this give you a better idea of how I feel about a book? Or should I stick with the solitary 5-star scale review?

alecksis.

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One thought on “Let’s Talk | Ratings

  1. Ohhhhh I really, REALLY like this rating system you have set up! It’s simple, short and gives you more than just a star-rating! I mostly rate this book based on my feelings towards it all. The Merciless is a great example for what you want to achieve with this system. Even if you absolutely loved that book, you couldn’t recommend it to everyone because of it’s subject.

    Like

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