Book Rating: My New System

Ever get stuck on what to rate a book? Ever wonder how to rate that book? Here’s what I’ve discovered. 

5 Stars with people

So I’m in the process of writing a couple book reviews and had to take pause to figure something out. My book rating system. About a week ago, a good friend of mine happened to tell me about how he rates books. It was a good rating system and I thought it was a well thought out process. And then the conversation moved on and I didn’t really think more on it.

Not until my wife brought it up again. She had kind of overheard him explain his rating system but was caught up in her own conversation across the room. Once that was over, she rushed over and asked him to explain it again. It wasn’t until then that I realized I never really had a system of my own. I just kind of went, “Ah. Um. Eh. Hmm,” and picked a number.

5’s are easy. They’re 5’s right off the bat. Right?

But the other ones are a bit more involved, aren’t they? So I took my friend’s system and flat out stole it. In my defense, I’m sure he doesn’t mind. Besides, I added some of my own little things to help conceal the theft and wrote it all down for you. Call me the Robin Hood of Book Rating. Except my friend is no evil Sheriff. I assure you.

So, without further ado: The Book Rating System

The 1 Star Rating

The dreaded 1 Star Rating. No one likes to get them. No one likes to leave them. Well, that’s not completely true. We’ve all read 1 Star Reviews where it was very clear that person LOVED leaving it. They hated the book so damn much they just vomit fury and vitriol in an attempt to rid themselves of the entire experience in one vengeful stint of typed wrath.

I for one have a different approach. For the 1 Star Rating, the book will have never gotten my attention. I will have been bored from page one and never grew an ounce of desire to finish it.  In this case, I will have given up, probably at around page 30, maybe 10% in. If I honestly hated the book, I might say so but someone did work really hard on it. See my post on what it takes to write a book. Giving thought to that, I probably will never publicly say I hated a book. Unless it’s really, offensively bad. I haven’t done this yet.

The 2 Star Rating

For a 2 Star Rating, I will have read quite a lot of the book but much like the 1 Star book, I was quite bored during the reading as it was rather uneventful. I didn’t like the book so I didn’t finish it. I actually might not even take the time to rate it let alone review it. In some ways, this is worse than the 1 Star book because at least there I had enough emotion built up to say something.

The 3 Star Rating

Ya know what? I liked this book! But I won’t read it again. I might recommend it with a warning. But if it’s a book in a series, I won’t recommend it nor will I continue the series. Unfortunately, for me, I’d rather move on and find something really good. There’s only so many books we can read in a lifetime…

However, if it was a close call with rating it a 4, I might be on the lookout for the next book in the series to see if I can get it cheap. I might put it on my wishlist on BookBub or follow the author. 

The 4 Star Rating

I really liked this book! It was entertaining. It moved. The characters had good arcs and the plotting was great. This book didn’t get a fifth star because of that X factor but I will definitely recommend it to my friends and on social media to read it soon. It’s a worthy buy on sale or at regular prices. I will buy the next in the series when I’m ready to read it, if it’s available. I might read this book again, I might not. It depends. I might follow the author or even look for other books of theirs.

The 5 Star Rating

I LOVED THIS BOOK! Is what I would be saying while I’m reading it cover to cover. I’ll be telling people about this book while I’m reading it and telling them to go out and buy it while I’m still reading it. This book is the kind you know will end well. I will recommend this book on social media giving it a huge stamp of approval. I might even tell you to drop whatever you’re reading right now and start reading this book. Obviously, don’t do that. Honor that writer and finish their work, if you like it. 🙂

This book will have had excellent characters, wonderful pacing, and exciting scenes. The story has good flow, even better narrative, and a great story idea. It is written well so as to not pull me out of the story with poorly placed tree-wrap words and clunky sentence structure. (The last bit there goes for 3 & 4 star books too. Gotta get that one down, it’s a biggie)

If this 5 star book is in a series, I might just go and buy the rest of them right then. If there’s a hard copy available, I might pick pick that up too as I will be reading this book again several times.

I will follow this author AND check out their other books too.


So there you have it. That is how I will now rate the books I read. I’ve provided a short cliff notes of this in case you’d like to copy this for yourself. Why not? I stole it too!

  • 5 Stars – Love it! Will read it several times again. Definite recommend to read immediately! If it’s a series, I will buy all available immediately.
  • 4 Stars – Really liked it! Might read it again. Definite recommend, read this soon. I will buy the next in the series, if available.
  • 3 Stars – Liked it! Won’t read it again. I might recommend with a warning. I’ll wait for the next in the series to go on sale. Say on BookBub.
  • 2 Stars – Read a lot of it but did not finish it. Didn’t like it. Boring or uneventful.
  • 1 Star – Never got my attention. Have no desire to finish it. If I hated it, I mention it.

How do I decide to actually write a review?

Not really sure but every time I have, I was moved to do so based on either my own emotional response to the story or the author asked me to. 🙂

Leave a comment below and let me know how your system differs…