I’ve always avoided talking about my rating system simply because, personally, I focus more on reviews themselves than ratings since they vary from person-to-person. But I can see the reasoning behind wanting to know what each individual’s rating means, so for those curious cats, here’s the breakdown of what my ratings (generally) mean:
A 1-star rating means I struggled to finish the book and if it’s part of a series I definitely won’t buy the second book. Books with this rating range from I hated the reading experience and wanted to throw the book under a truck to I had very high hopes and they all came crashing down.
A 2-star rating is given to books I thought had potential but were only touching the surface. If a book is ‘okay’ but doesn’t have anything in it to wow me, then I will give it this rating. I would consider buying the second book in the series to see if the author did go on to improve whatever it was that I thought could have been done better.
Contrary to popular belief, I actually give 3-star ratings to books I like. These are books that were good and I would recommend but something about them stopped them from being amazing. More often than not, the ‘something’ will be explained in my reviews. When recommending a 3-star book, I’m likely to say: “Hey check this book out, I liked it but I did have *this* issue with it.” So fret not if thy book hath a 3-star rating.
Anything with a 4-star rating is a ‘favourite’. I give 4-stars to books I loved, they’re books I would highly recommend. These are books I couldn’t put down or I was blown away by, they’re books I randomly started calling and texting people about while I was reading them. The only thing stopping them from being 5-stars is explained in the next bit.
I only ever give 5-stars to books I would re-read. These are out-of-the-ordinary insanely amazing books I want to climb a mountain (not literally) and scream about. The sheer size of my TBR is pretty scary so I don’t re-read often, even when I’ve finished a brilliant book, I don’t usually think, hmm I’d re-read that because so many great books such little time. Due to the rarity of me finding myself in a situation where I’d consider a re-read, I’ve decided the books that linger on my mind and call me back are the ones that deserve the highest rating.