Freadom Speaks About Rating Books

Freadom Speaks about Rating Books

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my discussion feature, Freadom Speaks!

This is a topic that I have talked about before. I made a video about this when I still had my Booktube channel because it’s a huge part of booktubing and book blogging and the entire book community. But today I wanted to talk about what this topic is all about and how I personally rate books, something that has changed since I became a bigger part of the book community.

SO let’s get started!

Rating books is a huge part of the book community. We use it as a resource to recommend books and everyone has their own personal system.

I have always been a reader but I didn’t really give a lot of thought to rating books before starting my Booktube channel and/or my blog. I would go to the bookstore, buy a book, read it and that was that. I usually enjoyed them since I picked things that were similar and that were in the same genre and I never really thought too hard about the content. I was an easy to please reader all around and I never looked deeper into what I really liked about a specific book.

Once I started Booktube, I made a pretty simple rating system as well as a book review format that I have since developed further and I would love to share it with you now!

If you’ve seen my reviews before, you know that I have them divided into two different sections. The first is critically where I evaluate three separate parts of a book in an objective way: the plot, the writing style and the characters. I give star ratings on these three sections whose meaning differ from what my overall rating means. This section is rated more on execution and how I think the author managed to tell their story, whether that’s good, bad or even average.

The second section is called emotionally and this one doesn’t include a star rating. It’s casically an in depth look of what I talked about in the first section with additions of how I felt about characters, plot points, specific scenes and more. It’s a bigger section and a lot more rambly, specially when it’s a book that I really enjoy but I always try to keep it spoiler free.

Then finally we have the overall rating. This is basically a visual representation of how the book made me feel in its entirety, because that’s why I read, to feel something, positive or negative, happiness or sadness, etc. This used to be a pretty simple list. Basically if I loved it, it was five stars; if I liked it, it was four; if it was average, it was three; if I didn’t like it, it was two and if I hated it, it was one star. But this is very simplistic and restrictive when trying to explain my thought process and feelings. So the other day when I was creating my Review Policy (which I didn’t have before, I mean seriously, what kind of blogger am I?) I expanded upon this concept and it has now become this:

  • 5 Stars  – Absolutely loved it. Interesting, entertaining and engaging plot. Well executed and well developed writing style. Characters are complex and intriguing with significant growth throughout the book.
  • 4 Stars  – Definitely enjoyed it. The plot was interesting and kept my attention. The writing style was good though not mind blowing. The characters are likeable intriguing but not special and may have some growth throughout the book.
  • 3 Stars  – Average, all books start with this rating and generally improve, get worse or continue to be okay. Plot is interesting but not engaging or really slow. Writing style is really simple and might not push the plot to its full potential. Characters are average with maybe some interesting qualities but not enough to connect and may be generally stagnant or flat.
  • 2 Stars  – Did not enjoy it at all. Not the kind of book for me. Boring or incredibly slow plot. Writing style is poor, maybe with grammatical errors and repetitiveness. Uses a lot of uninteresting tropes. Characters are annoying, frustrating or pointless with little to no growth throughout the book.
  • 1 Star  – Awful, hated it. Very few redeeming qualities. Plot feels over used, copied, unoriginal, unrealistic or just plain boring. The writing style is messy, poor, with grammatical errors abound. Characters annoying, make stupid decisions or generally have no growth or depth to them. Pointless book.

I feel much more comfortable with this new layout. It really encompasses how I feel about the previous book that I’ve rated and the ones I’m going to rate in the future. Maybe not all aspects are exactly there which is why I also employ the use of half stars.

For me, every books starts at a three star rating. I mean, it’s been published right? So at the very least it’s an okay book, it’s average or what I usually refer to as solid. From then on, as I read, it can either get better or worse. If I picked well, hopefully it gets better, I get hooked into it and it can climb up to four or five stars. If I didn’t pick as well, I may lose interest and it can turn out to be two or one star. It all depends on how I feel about the book which is how I base my evaluations for reviews.

So that’s it for this post! I hope you liked it. I would love to know how you personally rate your books. Do you use stars? Are you a reader who rates out of ten? What criteria do you look for? I’m really interested to know so comment down below! Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!

Send off


12 thoughts on “Freadom Speaks About Rating Books

  1. I love you rating system, it’s really clear and well thought out! I think that’s really helpful to have when you finish a book and you have to decide what you felt about it. I might have to do something like that to make the task of rating a lot easier! Great post Sara, you put it into words perfectly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Sara! And very eloquently written, too. I’ve given some thought to how I rate books but I don’t think I could explain it quite as clearly. I think 3 stars is also generally what I start with when reading a new book – it’s after a few chapters in that I’d get a better sense of what the rating will change to (if it will change at all).

    I use the usual five-star scale and divide it semi-similarly to you, but sometimes I wonder if I should break it down further. Certain things matter more to me than others, e.g. if a protagonist really, really, REALLY annoys me with their stupid thoughts/actions/decisions, the book is very likely to get 1 star from me even if the plot is amazing… but you know what, maybe I’m overthinking it. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think there’s such a thing as overthinking this particular topic. It’s very important to really delve into what makes a good book to you, how different aspects affect you differently and so on, specially if you’re a blogger since its kind of our job haha I know between the two of us you spend more time looking at books in an objective way and that shows in your ratings and reviews. I find my emotional take away to be more important when reading and my rating and review reflects that. It’s all about finding the best way to represent you ❤️


  3. I’m struggling with rating a boring book that wasn’t my cup of tea (2 stars) but won awards for its high literary merit (4 stars or more). What to do! I think it comes down to finding my balance between rating for my subjective enjoyment or rating for an objective appreciation of literary technique. Do you ever have this problem?

    This is the ratings system I’m currently using (still a work in progress):

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s definitely hard to judge a book when you know is good quality, well written, but it just wasn’t what you wanted or what you like. That happened to me with And I Darken. I enjoyed it in general but I was expecting something different so I was a little disappointed, but it’s a very well written book and I knew it. So I gave it three stars and that’s why I love the way I’ve created my own format for reviews. I can talk about it objectively and praise it that way, while still speaking about what didn’t work for me and letting my general rating reflect that. It’s just a personal journey and it may take time to find your own groove and even when you think you do, it could be years later and you think differently. Give yourself the time to figure it out! Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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