A Writer, Blogger, Reader Journal, Discussions

My 2nd Discussion // Not to My Taste… BUT…? // Rating Woes

Okay, gulp… time to do this discussion thing again! My safe but inspiring topic is still on the back burner (but its peculating back there…) I’m actually more nervous than excited but I have been thinking about this topic for about a week now and really want to hear what all the smart and opinionated bloggers in the book community think… so please weigh in!!

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Book Reviews

I’ve read for the past several months different book bloggers thoughts on the merits of posting reviews. Are you still a book blogger if you don’t have review posts? By necessity reviews must be spoiler free and worse, they don’t get the hits that other posts receive…

I’ve read where other book bloggers have made the leap, choosing NOT to write reviews for EVERY book they read but picking and choosing when a review will suit them or not. This is all due to the time they need to invest in the review writing…

I’m NOT saying any of these perspectives are wrong or right… If you don’t WANT to write reviews then great, don’t. It you do want to WRITE reviews then great, do!

(Some of us are FORCED to write reviews because we receive ARCS… #kiddingNOTkidding)

We may not all review, but we ALL rate books…

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Example #1 – Not to My Taste… WHAT DO I RATE IT?!

(This book inspired this discussion post…)

Recently I finished an ARC that I had been looking forward to and had finally received. I struggled through the whole book by turns LOVING the story and the characters and HATING other specific aspects of the characters and the story. I’ve been really TORN!

This book is one of my favorite genres… post apocalyptic. It includes mental health issues and abuse one of my other favorite genres. It’s decently written and thought out. I was engaged with the MC and the family she meets. I WANTED, NO NEEDED to see HOW THEY END UP!!

The first drug scene I ran across I thought, okay… she’s trying to add some realism. The next scene seemed unrealistic to me as they had SO MUCH DRUGS.


I know this sounds like these scenes came one on top of another but they were spread out just enough that I’d almost forget them then BAM, there it was again.

I’m not here to ARGUE about the PROS AND CONS of drugs… they aren’t to my taste (especially how they are depicted here) and I’m NOT going to apologize for disliking them.

What do I rate the book? Should my taste issues influence the rating?

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Example #2 – Not to My Taste… 4 Stars!

(This book inspired my conflicted feelings on this matter…)

Eight days ago I settled down to read a dragon book (I LOVE AND ADORE DRAGONS!!! Sorry, deep breathes… no fangirling right now!) and couldn’t finish reading it. I felt conflicted doing this but it was a load off my shoulders to dnf it!!

Dragon Personality

(Thank you to all those bloggers who have talked about how they can’t finish a book they are not into!) Personally I can finish a book I HATE *shrug* I love to dissect books like this… but being indifferent and feeling the drag of my disinterest WAS TOO MUCH! I don’t, no I CAN’T regret this…

Then I proceeded to write a review about the aspects of the book I did enjoy and did like, merrily ignoring MOST of what I couldn’t stand. The publicist joyfully asked me to post this review on Amazon. This is a regular practice for 4 Star reviews…

I knew other readers would get a kick out of this book… Comedy fantasy not being my thing…

But was 4 Stars TOO much when I didn’t ENJOY the book?

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So what I’m saying is…

I don’t have any easy answers. Rating books is a personal and individual thought process we share with ALL. Giving example #1 4 stars is not going to happen, no matter HOW MUCH I loved the book. I was able to rave about example #2 which wasn’t to my taste and I’m HAPPY with the 4 stars. #ConflictedMuch

I do know if I didn’t NEED to write these reviews I wouldn’t have learned that my tastes matter. That my specific tastes make me a book blogger!

Yes, I am also a writer book blogger who shares my perspective about the storycraft and writing techniques in the books I read. I’m also ALLOWED to be a reader who loves some things and really, seriously dislikes other things…

As both, writing reviews is IMPORTANT to me!! They help me clarify who I am and refine what I find important. If my taste choices influence another reader to read for them self then that makes me happy. The #1 and #2 advice for writers is to write everyday and read everyday. Another author’s book offers that opportunity.

Lay it on me

(Note: I do not expect writing reviews to be important to you too! I love that people are diverse and that we can accept everyone’s choices…)

What is your opinion on writing reviews? Rating books?

Is it the page views that matter? Or clarifying your FEELS? Do you think there should be consistency in the numbered rating? Is it about the story craft for you or if the book covers ideas/situations to your taste?

Please share your thought about reviews!!

Dani Signature



19 thoughts on “My 2nd Discussion // Not to My Taste… BUT…? // Rating Woes”

  1. I’m another one who doesn’t write book reviews. Rating books is honestly too difficult to accurately sum up in a simple “How many stars?” but readers look for it, so I think it’s a matter of balancing your personal reaction with a more clinical assessment. So maybe if you LOVE a book personally, but technically it’s “eh,” (or vice versa) maybe it averages out to 3 stars? Personally, I like the reviews that rate several aspects, like character/plot development, writing quality, readability, personal opinion, etc., and then literally takes the mathematical average of all of them. I think Neurontree makes a key point too, in that with book reviews, it’s about giving potential readers the tools they need to decide for themselves if it’s worth pursuing. So rating in my mind is more of a personal/critical blend, and reviews should address those discrepancies and allow room for others to form their own opinions.

    Side note, I’m really loving your written voice, keep it up!

    1. You know I didn’t think about how a review is to help others to decide whether they want to form their own opinion… I’ve always thought it’s about sharing my opinion… that is something to think about… I agree I like when different aspects are graded… I tried to do that with my reviews but felt I was getting too complex. I do try to balance between a personal and critical blend and I take into account my own tastes vs a wider view. It’s a balancing act for sure!

      Thanks Veil of Shadows! For the comment that really made me think and for the compliment… I’ve been feeling terribly down the last week and you’re thought about my writing voice has kept me going ♥️❤️♥️

  2. great discussion ( I expect nothing less form you 😉 ). You summed it up by stating it is a personal and individual process. Just like the experience of reading, we all walk away with our own. I tend to rate books solely on my own experience. Regardless of genre, tastes, etc. I walk away with my own feeling about the book and that is where my rating will lie. But I do always factor in every aspect such as quality of writing, variety of elements and so on 🙂 I really dig for the positive when I can, even if the story does not click ❤

    1. Thanks Danielle ♥️❤️ I do love that about your reviews! I know they will be positive but that you aren’t just gushing either. Hmmm, I like that you just rate it based on how you felt…! Your sincerity comes through your reviews.

  3. Very interesting discussion, Dani! I feel like reviews are very personal and varied. I don’t see rating consistency as essential; a book may not have been amazing but I may give it 4 stars because I loved a certain character. On the other hand, I may absolutely love a book and give it 4 stars. It really just depends on the book.

    1. Hi Clara!! I really appreciate you weighing in!! I LOVED your example about ratings! That is exactly what I was trying to get at… I always feel like I need some criteria to explain why I gave such and such star but I SOO AGREE!!! Sometimes its about one thing and sometimes its about a feeling and you should just go with what you are feeling at that time. And reviews are very personal… when you stripped to down to such simplicity it really resonated ❤

  4. Such an interesting discussion, Dani! I post reviews on my blog once a week but can’t possibly review everything I read on my blog, as I read too quickly and take too long to write my reviews and schedule blog posts, it is impossible ahah. Rating books is SO hard however, I sometimes don’t know or take days just trying to decide on an actual rating that seems to fit what I felt for the book. On the one hand, there are the emotions but on the other hand, there are all of the technical aspects of the books, development, plot-line and everything else …. it is so hard at times ahah.

    1. Awww you are one of the LUCKY FAST READERS!! Yeah I have some books sit for a month or two waiting for me to review… so I totally understand. I have a goal to write a review for every book even if it is short and sweet, lol but I am NOT a fast reader, hahaaa…
      WHY IS RATING BOOKS SO HARD? I don’t know but every seems to agree that they struggle… I always wonder most about 5 star books because ALL 5 star books don’t feel equal… I feel like I need like 4 five star categories, to cover everything right. Thanks for sharing Maria, BTW I love your reviews… you always make me wonder if I should be reading a contemporary (I’ve said this already haven’t I? #sorrynotsorry it’s so true)!!

      1. YES. All the 5 stars books aren’t really equal but sometimes I just don’t know how to rate them?!! It is such a struggle haha 😛
        Oh thank you so much, and YES you should read a contemporary 😛

  5. Ooh, great discussion, Dani! I don’t post reviews on my blog (but I should haha) because I have LOADS of other content ideas and some of my followers don’t have the same taste as me. But I do review every book (sometimes the review is short) on GR and give it a rating! And AGH RATING BOOKS IS SO HARD. Like if a book was good, HOW good was it? If a book was bad, HOW bad was it? Love this post! 😊

    1. Hey May! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!! I agree sometimes a short review hits everything you want to say. And RATING BOOKS IS SOOOO HARD, LOL! I feel so all over the place on it. Like the logistics of what I read before or with the book in question affects the rating and if I’ve read another book like it recently… A LOT plays into a rating,.. You’re so sweet, thanks!

  6. As someone whose getting into book reviewing myself on my website (not my blog), I’ve been having similar considerations. I’ve opted just not to give a star rating but rather talk about what I did like, what I didn’t like, and then that way the reader can make their mind up. I gave one book an appalling review! But a reader said she thought it sounded good and went on to read it anyway! Ha ha!

    1. That is so cool, lol! I love that you influenced her and if she thought your review sounded good then hopefully she enjoyed the book too! I tried not doing ratings and I felt like I was missing out, but I agree it is totally a valid way to go!! Really I think we just want to be heard as readers! Thanks for sharing your experience!!

  7. I sort of just said this on someone else’s post. I’m not a book blogger but I will post about a book I read that resonated a lot. However on my Goodreads profile I try to review every book I read. Now, that only just started late last year cause I felt my reviews didn’t have enough substance for people to care so I would only do star ratings but then I started reviewing for an indie author and that changed my perspective. I like reading other people’s reviews on multiple platforms. They actually help to influence whether I want to read a book or not. When reading or writing a review, I want to hear about the world building even if weren’t talking about smut. I need to feel something that will peak my interest. I don’t think consistency in star ratings should matter cause you just never know how you’ll feel after a story but that’s just my opinion since I’m not a regular book reviewer. (Sorry, I can be long winded!)

    1. No, no I appreciate your explanation! I agree with you that just a short review of your feelings and the thoughts you had as you read are enough! Reviews don’t need to be verbose at all!
      They should touch on your personal feelings and by sharing those sincerely other can be influenced!
      And I’m glad to hear that you believe that consistency in ratings are not necessary! I always feel like I’m all over the place on ratings… Thanks so much for sharing Nel!!

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