Book Discussion: Why I didn’t rate your book with five stars?

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Hi, guys.
It is Sunday, and it is raining here, so I hope that you’re having chilling Sunday evening cuddled with a good book. Here is one topic that I want to talk about: rating the books.
When writing a review, it takes time and effort to write really honestly what we like and what we dislike and being objective as much as possible, and when I say „we“ I mean us , the book bloggers. Some authors take it really personally when we tell them that the characters aren’t developed well, or it is hard for us to follow the story. But that’s why we obliged ourselves to write a review, to tell our honest opinion. It is nothing personal, it is simply what we think about your book. I might love and adore the author in real life, but that doesn’t mean that I think that all his/hers books are masterpieces. I always try to be as much as constructive as possible. If an author asks for an honest review, he/ she suppose not to expect only five stars. I disagree with people who never read the book but rate it with one star just because it arrives at their door later than expected. I always finish what we’ve started, spend time reading the book and thinking about it, so when the review is written, sometimes later than expected, the story is well consumed and overslept, and there is an inner discussion about every single character.

Personally, I rate the books with 3, 4 and 5 stars. I gave 2 only once. Five stars are reserved for the books that literally smacked my head, or with other words, make my jaw drop. A story that causes emotions, that can make me cry or laugh, that makes me wondering till the very last page, that’s a story that deserves all five stars. A book that when I start reading and can’t stop till finishing it, that book is rated with five stars. A book that is well written, but lacks the emotions, is rated with four stars. I don’t have to have anything in common with the main character, but if he/she is well developed and I can imagine that character with every single detail in front of me, it is a good book. A book rated with four stars IS a good book but doesn’t have the emotion factor, or the wondering factor. With other words, it didn’t smack my head. That’s why it is rated with four stars.

Three as a rate is not a bad grade at all. It doesn’t mean that the book is bad, nor that I didn’t like it. The story might be shallow, predictable and cliche, the characters might be superficial, but overall the whole story might be very adorable. But there is nothing that makes that story unique and different from the others, there is nothing that makes the story stand out and say: “Read me!”. Books like this are usually reserved for relaxing when I don’t want to think of anything. When reviewing thrillers, for example, three stars are reserved for predictable crimes filled with so many unnecessary details that are spoiling the story. In romcoms, heroines with no ME, a lack of character, superficial personalities, who do not know where are they going in life, rate the story with three stars.

So, authors, we, the book bloggers, think that it is more important to say what we honestly think about the book than the rating itself. We never spit on the book, we love the books too much to do that. But when something doesn’t work, we want to say it. When something is good, we also want to say that loud. We review books for free, we don’t take money to write a review. We don’t do commercials, so we don’t have to say all the best about a book. We are simply honest, we share our love for books. 

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