Why I don’t use star reviews for books


Marissa Finger

Star reviews of ‘The Hunger Games’ on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/The-Hunger-Games-Book-1/dp/0439023521?scrlybrkr

What do you usually see when people review books? Somewhere, somehow there always ends up being a star rating. ‘The Hunger Games – five stars,’ ‘Fifty Shades of Grey – ✰✰✰✰✰,’ or ‘I gave To Kill a Mockingbird five stars because . . .’ ends up making its way into a book review. If you ever see my reviews, you don’t see any rating system. Why is that?


Personally, I believe that a star rating system is demeaning. Sure, I use them on GoodReads but beyond that I see no use.


GoodReads is a platform that I am sure that authors use to stalk their audience. ‘Hey, look, someone rated my book a two, let me see their review.’ It helps authors find better ways to engage their audiences and find ways to develop their writing styles to suit the plot and genre. That’s why I put star reviews on them, but my stars are kind of different from others.


I usually only have three stars, meaning your book was okay to read, engaged me in someway, and I would recommend. I never usually go below three unless the book was so badly written that I’m sure an editor did not look it over. Above a three is anything that gave me a new meaning. Fives are hard to obtain from me.


But when did someone decide that five was a good number to rate to? I don’t feel like I give that person an honest answer if I rate based on one through five. What makes a book a one or a two or a five? Is a one bad because we ultimately decided it is?


Reviews are better without ratings. They -usually- give some way for the author to write another book without the anxiety of ‘But my last book got a two so it was sucky, who will read this one if they think I am a bad author?’ This is just my opinion.


Disclaimer: I have never read Fifty Shades of Grey and never plan to.


Stars from:  http://fsymbols.com/signs/stars/

Photo from: http://www.amazon.com/The-Hunger-Games-Book-1/dp/0439023521?scrlybrkr