Star ratings are a fixture of reviews and found everywhere, but they’re not always friendly. Also the star rating meanings seem to change from person to person, site to site, and with the phases of the moon in conjunction with the 12th star from a distant galaxy as it rotates to the left. So many regard these ratings as somewhat mysterious and without a lot of meaning. Here at Three AM, I’ll try to help elucidate what my particular ratings mean. Also these ratings will stay consistent no matter what site the review is reposted to. Although Good Reads, Amazon, Library Thing and the like don’t allow half stars so the ratings may be rounded up or down accordingly.
So what exactly is my rating system and what does it mean?
Well I rate on a classic 1-5 star system. I post reviews of any rating so I may differ from some sites that will only post 3 star reviews and above. The hope is that each review is thorough and detailed enough to offer a reasonable explanation of the book, my feelings, and the rating. This isn’t always easy but I hope to do my best.
1 star reviews – these are books that I didn’t like. That may seem self explanatory but within these stories I find very little good to talk about. The story may have an offending element explained or have serious problems that led to severe dislike. These are books I wouldn’t have finished if not for review and/or wanted to throw said book one or more times.
2 star reviews – these are books I disliked but had some positive elements. Again these may be long reviews to explain many aspects that didn’t work and why. Here there may be serious problems with the plot, writing, characters, or all of the above. I got through the book but wouldn’t recommend these titles.
3 star reviews – these are perhaps the hardest reviews to write because the books are ok, decent but not ones I want to read again. Perhaps there were problems in the book but it may simply be I didn’t connect to the characters or story in any meaningful way leaving me bored or disconnected. Some of the stories may be good or decent, just nothing I’d want to read again. Since most books are likely to be average, 3 stars is NOT a bad rating. This rating means the book is ok/good and may fit in well with the genre.
4 star reviews – these are books I liked and would read again. These books entertained and maybe had problems but I got beyond those to still think positively about the book. These are stories that rise above the majority of books in the genre and offer something unique or well written. I enjoyed the story and recommend these titles to readers.
5 star reviews – these are the best of the best. This rating is reserved for the very select few that are simply outstanding in my humble opinion. You likely won’t see this rating all that often but it means the title is something special. While all of these books are highly recommended, these titles are also keepers and beloved additions to shelves. As a voracious reader, anything rated 5 stars caused me to sit up and take serious notice and so should you.