The Bookish Rantings Rating System

I realize I should have done this when I first started this blog last year, but better late than never. I want to quickly go over what I mean when I give a book a certain number of stars. I explain what I like and don’t like about a book but I can’t always say everything I feel about a book, so I let the rating speak for me. Let’s get started!

5 stars: If I give a book 5 stars, it means it made me think about life in a different way. It changed something for me. It made me feel so much that I can barely get the words out. Sawkill Girls is a great example of this. I think about that book at least once a week. Every Note Played is another great example. It made me think about forgiveness in a way I had been looking for. Ironically enough, it’s hard to describe what it means when I give a book 5 stars because it means so much. To put it simply, 5 stars equals FEELINGS. That being said, if an author I love writes a book, they are probably getting a five-star rating. I have no shame!

4 stars: Four stars means I loved a book but it didn’t quite hit me in the gut like a 5 star would. This also goes for books that I just genuinely had a fun time reading. There are so many dark and intense books out there that it can be so refreshing to read something fun. And if a fun book is well-written and has great character development, it gets this rating. You can look to The Matrimonial Advertisement, The Witch Elm, and The Royal Runaway for examples of what I’m talking about. They are all brilliant books and very fun to read, but they didn’t punch me in the gut or change my point of view. There is nothing wrong with a book I give a four-star rating. Literally. Nothing. But I am a ball of emotions and if a book is great but doesn’t hit me in my heart, it gets four stars.

3 stars: A three-star book might be well-written but there is just something missing. Something didn’t connect the way I wish it had. There also might have been a chapter or two where I felt bored or didn’t feel immersed in the story. Also, if I read a book that is well-written but has something problematic or triggering in it (it would have to be something small), it would get this rating. The Trial and Execution of the Traitor George Washington is a great example of a book I gave three stars because while it was an interesting story, it could have been so much better with a few improvements. A three-star rating means a book was good but not great.

2 stars: I feel like I should just link to Fight or Flight and you’ll understand what it means when I give a book 2 stars. A 2-star book probably has a lot of problematic material in it. A character or a situation might be problematic. A book with one or more problematic tropes will most likely get this rating as well. A book that has one of my triggers AND that uses it carelessly will get 2 stars as well. A rape scene for no reason. A suicide that doesn’t advance the plot. A stereotypical scene of what a mental hospital is like. Yeah, a book will get 2 stars if they have any (or god forbid all) of those things in it.

1 star: Oh boy. I don’t think I’ve given a book one star since I started this blog. Usually, if I think a book is this bad, I don’t finish it. I learned a while ago not to make myself finish a book if I’m really not feeling it. Why torture myself? Ok, I just looked through Goodreads and I did give 1 star to a book I purposely didn’t review for the blog because I was (and am still) so mad at it that I can’t really form words. If you want to know which book it is, send me a message or leave a comment. If I do post a 1-star review, it will probably be because it is so deeply problematic that I feel I need to warn people about it.

I won’t post a review of a book if I don’t finish it or if I decide it deserves 0 stars. I’ ll probably talk about it on Twitter lol, but as a writer, the author doesn’t need to see that and I feel bad reviewing a book that I didn’t finish.

That’s all folks! See you back here later. 🙂

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