How Do You Rate Books? (Discussion)

Most of the time when I rate books, it’s on Goodreads, so a five-star scale. Recently, I started including half-star ratings as well in the review. What I’m curious about, is how other people decide what star rating they’re going to give a book. Here’s a very basic break down of my feelings about a book next to what I would rate it:

1 star: I didn’t like this book at all.
1.5 stars: I didn’t really like this book, but it did something right.
2 stars: This book was fine, but nothing special.
2.5 stars: This book was mostly okay, but there was something off.
3 stars: This book was average. There wasn’t anything special about this book, but there wasn’t anything bad either.
3.5 stars: This book was better than average. There were elements that stood out.
4 stars: This book was great. It was thoroughly enjoyable and there was an emotional connection, but it lacked in other areas.
4.5 stars: This book was almost amazing, but there was something that I didn’t quite connect with.
5 stars: This book was amazing! I can recognize it’s flaws, but it’ll stay with me.

When I rate books, I try to take into account the quality (writing, plot, characters, ect.), the overall impact it had on me, as well as how much I enjoyed it. This usually works for me, but it gets more difficult when I read something that I don’t personally like or connect with, but I recognize that the writing is good or that the story just isn’t for me. Here’s an example that came to mind:

I read The Diary of a Wimpy Kid because my younger brother loves the whole series and I wanted to be able to talk to him about what he was reading and enjoying. I personally didn’t love the formatting or the story, but my younger brother (who’s in the target audience) loved it.

How would I rate this book? If I use the same guidelines that I usually use, I would rate it somewhere between 2.5 and 3 stars. However, I know that younger readers connect to the story and enjoy the style. Should that affect the way that I rate it? Should I rate it on a completely different scale since I’m not in the targeted audience? Or should every book in a genre that’s outside my comfort zone be rated on a different scale? I try to use my best discretion, but I’m curious, how do you rate books that you don’t personally love/like, but that you didn’t love/like for reasons that are unrelated to the book?

A Very Small Book Haul

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I have a book buying problem and I’ve been pretty open about that, but lately I’ve been a lot better about buying books. I don’t know what happened, but recently I’ve been more drawn to my shelves than the bookstore. That’s not to say that I haven’t bought any books, because I certainly have, but I used to buy 10-15 books a month and so far I’ve only bought four books! I wanted to share those books with you guys today because I’m insanely excited for all four of them.

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1. I honestly don’t know that much about this series, but I’ve heard it’s feminist af so I can’t wait to get to this.

Descender, Vol. 1. I LOVE Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth series and I’ve been wanting to read more of his comics and this one is a sci-fi series that centers around a young robot who’s trying to survive when robots and androids have been outlawed. I’M ALL IN.

American Girls. All I really knew about the book was that the main character, Anna, researches the Manson Girls which sounds so intriguing, but then I heard Monica (from shemightbemonica) talk about how emotional and real this book is and I was sold. I have a love/hate relationship with YA contemporaries and this sounds so different from a lot of books in the genre.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I’ve had my eye on this book since I read Between the World and Me last year, but I finally picked it up because of everything that’s been going on in the US lately. I guess I wouldn’t say that I’m excited to read this, but it feels like something that I need to read.

Have you guys read any of these? If you have, let me know what you thought and if you haven’t, let me know if you’re interested in them!

The Princess Saves Herself In This One (Review)

Goodreads Synopsis:

ah, life-
the thing
that happens
to us
while we’re off
somewhere else
blowing on
dandelions
& wishing
ourselves into
the pages of
our favorite
fairy tales.”

a poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

My thoughts: 

This book was exceptional.

This collection of poems was so personal and heart-wrenching that I had to put it down momentarily and collect myself on multiple occasions. Even though it was so personal, it still managed to be very relatable and engaging. I found myself flying through the poems because I NEEDED to know the princess’s story; I NEEDED to know she was okay or at least that she was going to be.

I’ve already read this collection twice and I foresee myself revisiting it’s pages over and over again. Like all collections, there were standouts, but none of them were anything less than excellent.