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My Goodreads Rating System

Some people have asked me what my rating on Goodreads mean, so here’s a quick cheat sheet. (This applies to fiction only.) I also put the baseball analogy in brackets.

starstar grayedstar grayedstar grayedstar grayed 1 star — Goodreads interprets this as “didn’t like it”. I give 1 star to books that had mechanical, character, plot and/or craft issues to a degree serious enough that that I couldn’t overlook them. They’re obviously DNFs (did not finish). [Out]

starstarstar grayedstar grayedstar grayed 2 stars — Goodreads interprets this as “it was okay”. I give 2 stars to books that were just okay. Many books that get 2 stars from me end up being DNFs as well. But others may enjoy the stories I rated 2 stars as they don’t have any glaring issues the way 1-star rated books do. [Got on base, but may or may not come home.]

starstarstarstar grayedstar grayed 3 stars — Goodreads interprets this as “liked it”. I give 3 stars to books that were enjoyable enough, but that didn’t have anything that would’ve elevated them to something better / more impactful. Basically they’re the kind of books that did the job, but didn’t do much beyond that. [Got on base, then made it all the way around to come home.]

starstarstarstarstar grayed 4 stars — Goodreads interprets this as “really liked it”. I give 4 stars to books that were not only enjoyable but had that special something that elevated them — beautiful prose / style, clever plot twists and/or some other elements that made me go “wow”. [Wooo…some exciting plays, possibly a 1- or 2-run homer.]

starstarstarstarstar 5 stars — Goodreads interprets this as “it was amazing”. I give 5 stars to books with stories so well told that they shut off my internal editor. They’re virtually flawless. [Grand slam, baby!]

Please note that individual tastes differ, and my 2-star books could be somebody else’s 5-star rated titles. :)

How do you rate the books you read?

3 comments to “My Goodreads Rating System”

  1. Colette (A Buckeye Girl Reads)
    · July 12th, 2010 at 8:45 am · Link

    My rating system is similar to yours. Sometimes I’ll give a five star, even if it should only be a four star if I really like the characters and the book has me going through a gauntlet of emotions. I figure if the author has me loving and hating the hero at the same time, they’ve done their job and an extra star is in order. I really wish goodreads had half stars-because sometimes a book that is a 3 star is actually closer to a 4 star, and vice versa.

  2. Renmiu
    · July 13th, 2010 at 2:10 am · Link

    Will pay attention to your rate system hun :)

  3. Nadia Lee
    · July 13th, 2010 at 11:26 am · Link

    Colette — I think putting readers through some serious emotional roller-coaster counts for something. I agree about half-stars, although if they do half-stars, somebody will want quarter-stars. LOL.

    Renmiu — Thanks! LOL. It’s just a FYI though since many asked me if 3 stars mean I hated it or something.


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