Rating Systems When Reviewing Books


Golden stars rating template isolated on white background.

For any book blog, reviewing and rating books is an extremely big part of what we do, sure we create a place where we can share out love for books, have discussions on things we like/hate within a book, find and give recommendations, and basically relate anything and everything back to books, but it is the reviews that seem to be the staple of any book blog.

So how do we review? Every reviewer varies, in general, it’s all about stating your likes and dislikes whether you would recommend and analysis characters writing and plot. The easiest way to see if someone enjoyed a book is normally there star or number rating. Sites like NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon have star rating systems out of five. For NetGalley the recommended rating system is below:

GoodReads and Amazon are pretty similar as well, with both of them using a similar 5-star rating system. Both of these are an easy visual to see just how much everyone likes a book. With these, it’s also easy to filter out any bad books by just looking at higher rated books, but the problem with these is that they still do lack consistency, what I mean by this is that everyone does rate things differently, for some a really highly rated book may only be a 4 star book while others will chuck out 5 star ratings for any they mostly enjoyed. There is nothing wrong with rating books in either of these ways, everyone has different preferences on what they like.

For me I use stars out of five, I do use ‘half’ stars to give a little more wiggle room in really how much I like a book, in fact I actually started off with a rating system out of 10 just because I wanted to have all the options available to really get into how I felt about something. To be honest I did end up feeling that perhaps that was a little too much just because after going through and deciding if a book were say a 7 or 8 star rating out of 10, I would then sit and debate if it should be a 7.5 or 7, and after  a while it just became tedious, how far can you really go with just numbers? This does become a problem when I go to add my review and rating to other sites as I usually just round up if they don’t offer half-star ratings (which is basically all of them haha). I know some people also have their own rating system which they clarify somewhere on their blog, that’s something I’m not quite there with yet, but I’m working on it!

How do you ‘rate’ your books? Numbers star or something completely different? Let me know!


10 thoughts on “Rating Systems When Reviewing Books

  1. I do hearts on WP because I can’t figure out how to do stars lol. On GoodReads and every where else its out of five stars. For me, 5 stars is “I would read it again.”, 4 = It was good but not a 5, 3 = okay, 2 = What?, 1 = WTF!

    Most of my reviews are 3 or higher, but I do give out 1 and 2 stars when necessary. It is never a reflection of the author or quality of the book (I also read a lot of indie authors). It is only on the story presented.

    In regards to actually reviewing them I do a lot of reading off NetGalley and 4&5 stars are promoted on GoodReads and Twitter, a few make it to my blog (about 3-4 a week). 3 stars may or may not be posted to GR. 1&2 stars never make it past NetGalley out of respect for the author and publisher. If I didn’t find the book on NetGalley, it is all fair game, but I have to feel very strongly to publicly but a 1 or 2 star review up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the idea of hearts 🙂 I find most of my reviews are on the higher side as well but I think that has something to do with I will try to only pick books I’m pretty sure I will like, I don’t think I have rated anything one star yet, but do have a couple of 2 stars now

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I use the 5 star rating and, like you, use the half stars as well. Sometimes a book falls between – not quite a 5 but more than a 4 or not quite a 4 but more than a 3 and so on. It works for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Recently I started grading 5 aspects out of 5, then getting the average to use for Goodreads/Netgalley. Setting, Characters, Plot, Writing, Message. I’ve found it’s giving me a more accurate estimate. I sure wish Goodreads and Netgalley would allow half stars.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s