The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration Part VII

We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions.


Book Ratings - What's Your System?

Uma says...
My rating system is kind of similar to the Goodreads rating system with a couple of changes. For one thing I use hearts instead of stars but like Goodreads I don’t really use half ratings much. Sometimes I do mention when a book is somewhere halfway between ratings.

1 heart - Did not like it
2 hearts - Not for me
3 hearts - It wasn’t bad
4 hearts - An enjoyable read
5 hearts - It was AMAZING!

But 3 hearts doesn’t always mean the same. It could either mean “it wasn’t bad” as in “This was actually better than I expected” or it could mean “It wasn’t bad” as in “I expected so much more and this did not deliver but I’m gonna be a nice little butterfly and give it 3 hearts” #bookreviewerproblems

Amy says...

I use flowers for my rating system because I’m obsessed with flowers. They just make me feel so happy and at peace, and I guess it’s kinda weird, but I just really love flowers.
My ratings range from 1 flower to 5 flowers. And I also use in between, half ratings, which kind of stand for “really”.
1 flower is: did not like it.
1.5: It had some redeemable qualities.
2 flowers: Okay.
2.5: Almost liked it.
3 flowers: Liked it.
3.5: Really liked it.
4 flowers: Loved it.
4.5: Really loved it.

5 flowers: Absolutely loved it.

What things make you lower your rating for a book?

Uma says...

Ok hard question as this mostly depends on the book. But regardless of the story and genre, some things I really hate are bad grammar, characters drawn and cut out from cardboard, bad/ improper representation of any group, and plot holes so huge I could build a fort in them.

Now thing is I don’t like cliches and tropes either. But of late I’ve realized that some authors work with tropes but write so well that they’re actually enjoyable! So I give tropes and cliches a fair chance before judging them!

Amy says...

Hmm, hard question. Just the usual things, I guess. But characters are probably the biggest factor for me - if they’re badly written, flat, unoriginal, or if the female characters are discriminated against and the story’s clearly sexist, then that automatically lowers my rating. If the plot’s weak but the characters are awesome, then my rating will still be pretty high.

Whether I find the book boring or not is also a strong factor. Or put more professionally: whether the pace is too slow or not.

If a book is an ARC, then I won’t take spelling errors into account. But if it’s published, etc, and has spelling and grammatical errors, then that will definitely affect my rating.  Errors in a properly published book are unprofessional and distract from the enjoyment of the story itself.

Have you ever looked back on ratings and reviews and wanted/needed to change them?

Uma says...

Actually I haven’t felt the need to change my ratings or reviews that much. Come to think of it, I’ve probably just changed my ratings one time so far on Goodreads. But if I did feel like I want to change a rating / review, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it. We all have different opinions on things and sometimes our own opinions might change over time depending on how we look at the things. I think it’s totally cool to respect that and say “So yeah, I used to love strawberry sundae but of late I’d rather go with mango.” Bad comparison! But what I’m trying to say is if you find that you do not enjoy a book you loved three years ago, it’s totally cool to go change the rating and say so!

Amy says...

Yes yes YES! All the time! I’m so fussy and I’m literally never satisfied. Well no, not quite. It’s only a particular few books and movies’ reviews I wish I could “redo”.
For example, my reviews of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series were really problematic for me. I plan to re-read the books sometime soon, and then my ratings will definitely drop; I won’t give them 4 flowers if I reviewed them again, I’d drop them to about 3 or 3.5   And I would definitely rewrite my reviews: I’m not happy with my reveiws for those books, and I think some of them were just plain badly written.  

But something to keep in mind when you’re panicking about old reviews (and something that gives me comfort): It’s not fair to be hard on yourself for a rating you’re ashamed to have given a book. If the review is badly written and if your opinion’s changed, fine! You can rewrite the review. But don’t slam your opinion. What you wrote (or rated) was what you thought the book deserved at the time. It was what you thought at the time, and that isn’t wrong. You didn’t just randomly throw a rating at a book and scribble some incoherent review (though some of mine might look like that...). You gave it serious thought, and you wrote and rated what the book meant to you. At the time. There’s no such thing as a wrong review.  And you’re not lying in a review if your opinion has changed since then. By all means, if you’re unhappy with what you said and your opinion’s changed, then re-write and re-rate.  But don’t be ashamed of what you thought of the book back then.

To see my answers make sure to visit the other collab posts!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion post! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!


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