I’ve been watching a lot of BookTube lately. I’m also a member of writing groups. This results in a dual vision of certain book related issues. More specifically, starred reviews. A few of my writer friends get disgruntled with how many stars their books get, for one reason or another. Both sides seem to share a distrust of anyone who gives mostly five stars on Goodreads.
I occasionally rate movies on Netflix, and honestly, I probably give more thought and consideration to how many stars I give movies than to how many I give books. There is probably something wrong there, but the simple fact is that unless I’m trying to decide whether or not to buy an unknown book from Amazon, I don’t pay that much attention to starred reviews. Often, when I go look on Goodreads at reviews for a book I’m reading or that I just finished, I disagree with the reviews. They’re often very negative and the stars are low and pitiful.
There’s been a lot of fuss in recent years about reviews and how negative reviews can turn you into a target, or how some people take a negative review too far and attack the author directly instead of just discussing and critiquing the work. I can’t go into all that here, or we’ll be here a long while.
So. How do I rate my reads and handle my reviews? If I’m not crazy about a book at all, I usually don’t even finish it to rate it. If I forced myself to finish it and kinda sorta liked it but not enough to ever buy another, it gets three stars. If I really enjoyed the read and it took me away from myself for a while, five stars. I’m easy. Does that make my opinion count any less? I don’t think so. Does it make me slightly lazy?