Lola’s Ramblings: Is a 3 star a positive rating?

November 17, 2016 Lola's Ramblings 56

LolaRamblings

Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.

Today I want to talk about the 3 star rating. I always find ratings such an interesting subject and I am pretty sure I’ve talked about it a few times on my blog so far. In this posts I wanted to focus specifically on the 3 star rating, whether I consider it a positive rating and how my 3 star ratings changed in value over time.

3-stars-rating

Do I consider a 3 star rating a positive rating?

In short, yes I do consider a 3 star a positive rating. When it comes to my own reviews I consider the 3 star rating a positive rating. If I give a book a 3 star rating I still consider that a book I enjoyed. Although within a 3 star rating there are differences, or as I like to think of it the higher and the lower end of the 3 star rating. And book on the upper end of that rating I enjoyed more than books on the lower end of the 3 star rating, which does cause some variation between books that got a 3 star rating.
As a tour organizer I consider 3 stars and higher a positive review and allow those reviews in review tours. I have seen companies who have the same rule, but also tour companies which only consider a 4 star rating or higher a positive review. Then again I have seen 3 star reviews that are quite negative or at least I wouldn’t call positive, but I think it really varies from review to reviewer what a 3 star means. I feel that the 3 star rating is one where there is the most difference in what it means between reviewers. A 5 star rating is always a book that was really good, but 3 star ratings seem to vary from very close to dislike till a good read depending on the reviewer.
I’ve also seen the question around when you tag the publisher and/or the author when sharing your review and often the 3 star rating falls on the no side. Which always makes me feel conflicted as I do consider those 3 star ratings positive, but the author or publisher might not find a 3 star rating positive. For that reason I usually won’t tag the author on twitter or facebook when posting it as I don’t want to risk accidentally offending someone. As a tour organizer I do share the links to those 3 star reviews during a tour as I do promote every stop.

I always feel the 3 star rating is a difficult rating as it never fully feels like a positive rating as not everyone sees it as a positive one. What a 3 star rating means depends too much on the individual reviewer. And at times I think that’s also what makes the 3 star rating so interesting as 3 star reviews often highlight both the things someone liked and didn’t. And I do enjoy reading 3 star reviews and I often look at those as well when I am trying to decide whether to read a book or not.

What does my 3 star rating mean?

If I give a book a 3 star rating that usually means I enjoyed the book overall, but also had enough issues or things that didn’t quite work for me to not give it a 4 star. I like writing my reviews for 3 star books, but on the other hand they also can make me feel conflicted as I they are often books with things I did and didn’t liked. If a book is on the higher end of the 3 star rating spectrum I will most likely continue the series or pick up other books by the author. A 3 star rating is a book that I might recommend to others depending on their tastes and if I think they will enjoy that book. Only a 2 or 1 star book is one I wouldn’t quickly recommend, but then again every reader is different and I am sure the books I didn’t enjoy will be enjoyed by others.

How my 3 star ratings changed to a more positive rating

Even though nowadays I consider my 3 star ratings a positive rating, I do think my 3 star rating is the one which changed the most over the years. When I read old 3 star reviews I am often surprised at how negative those were. My 3 star ratings years ago were often books that were just okay and books I sometimes even struggled to finish. 3 stars were the books in a series I loved that fall flat and left me feeling disappointed. Nowadays my 3 star reviews feel a lot more positive and I think that’s also partly due to my recent lack of 5 star ratings. It feels like my 3 and 4 ratings have become more common and both are more positive than they used to be. I think that my ratings and the way I write my reviews has changed over the years as well. I used to be way more critical and harsh in my reviews and I feel like that has changed over the years. Just for comparison lets look at my 2012 3 star review for Tirade by Cambria Hebert and one of my more recent 3 star reviews for Dating for Decades by Tracy Krimmer. I cringe when reading that old review for Tirade, the way it’s written is not at all how I would write my review nowadays and I think it’s pretty harsh. And then there is my use of the words “weak and stupid” which I wouldn’t use nowadays. When reading that review now I would say it reads more like a 2 star review instead of a 3 star review. My review for Dating for decades also lists issues that I had with the characters and connecting with them and such, but it also displays a lot of things I did enjoy and I feel that my review is better written and I better explain my thoughts. Then again I always dislike reading my older reviews, it just makes me cringe.

Do you think a 3 star is a positive rating? What does your 3 star rating mean? Have your ratings changed over time?

56 Responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: Is a 3 star a positive rating?”

  1. loverofromance

    I agree with you….a 3 star rating, for me is still positive, and usually for myself it means an average likable read, has some flaws but still a solid story. I do know some authors are super picky about ratings and hate seeing anything below a 4, but I am of the mindset, that its not a bad rating at all. My ratings have changed a bit over time but not by too much. 5 stars is what I am the most picky about. They don’t happen that often anymore and I used to 5 star quite frequently.

    Great post!!!
    loverofromance recently posted…ARC Book Review-A Night Of Forever by Bronwen EvansMy Profile

    • Lola

      Yes it’s similar for me, a 3 star read has some flaws, but overall still a good read and I enjoyed it. I also think that a 3 star rating is not a bad rating at all, ofcourse it does depend a bit on the actual review or reviewer. I am also most picky about the 5 stars and give them out rarely. So I think that’s why my 4 and 3 stars both have become more frequent.

  2. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Actually, no, I don’t consider 3 stars positive. If I give a book three stars, it usually means I didn’t like it very much, or I liked some things but had quite a few issues with it. But I also don’t necessarily consider it negative either. I mean, it’s in the middle. So usually 3 star books for me are one that had a fairly even weight of things I liked and things I disliked. Or maybe I did like the book, but it had too many issues to ignore. Or maybe the book wasn’t to my taste, but I can see that others might like it. Or maybe I just generally didn’t like it, but it wasn’t terribly written. Ok see, this is why I don’t have a description of my ratings on my blog lol, my ratings mean so many different things.

    I usually don’t continue series if I give a book 3 stars though. Only twice that I can recall have I done that, and both time it was only because 1) I already had a review copy of the 2nd book, and 2) the specific issues I had weren’t terrible and seemed like things that could improve. Oh wait, I have continued a couple other series when I gave the books low ratings, but that was only because I was determined to finish the full series and understand the hype, so that doesn’t count.

    But yeah, every time Goodreads is like, “Because you liked this book, we recommend this one!” and I’m just like, “But I didn’t like that book! That’s why I gave it three stars!”

    Like I said though, it’s not a bad rating either. Like, it means I didn’t like the book that much or I had issues with it, but I don’t look at 3 star ratings and think OH THAT BOOK MUST BE TERRIBLE. You know? So it makes sense to allow them in blog tours because they do still point out good things usually. And like you mentioned, 3 star books are ones I might recommend to others depending on their taste and depending on exactly why I gave the book 3 stars. But I do think my 3 star rating has come to be a bit more positive than it used to be. I look back at some books I’ve given 3 stars to in the past and I can’t even fathom why because they were awful books, whereas now my 3 stars are just middle of the line books. I’ve started rambling. I’m just gonna end this comment now lol.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: The Man in the Long Black Coat (Dale Bruyer Book 1) by J.L. AarneMy Profile

    • Lola

      It’s so difficult to give a general description for a rating, only with the 5 star it is pretty straightforward and the 3 star rating is probably the most difficult one to describe. My 3 star rating can mean something different or have different reasons depending on the book. Which is why I thought it would be interesting to discuss.

      I feel my 3 star rating is a bit to the positive side usually, instead of neutral. It was more neutral when I started reviewing, but nowadays my 3 star rating have become more positive. I’ve actually quite often continues series where I rate a book 3 stars or give another book by that author a try. It does depend on what I didn’t like as well. When I read your comment I had to think of how you continues the Harker trilogy, but that fell into your category of already having the next book for review, so that makes sense.

      I think on some sites (not sure if it was goodreads or a vendor site) they describe the 3 star rating as I liked it while the 2 star rating is okay. Which doesn’t always fit the reviewer their individual ideas for each rating. On that topic, that’s also the reason why I got new rating graphics designed as my previous one had text beneath them and I felt like that text didn’t fit my ratings anymore and I rather have my review speak for itself.

      In general I think most people their 3 star reviews have both good and bad points and that’s why I allow them in tours as well.

      My ratings have changed a lot as well, I gave easier 5 stars and my 3 stars where more negative than they are now. I also feel like I give less 2 stars now, but not 100% sure about that.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: Is a 3 star a positive rating?My Profile

      • Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

        Yeah the Harker Trilogy was one of those time lol. That and the M/M vampire-werwolf series.

        It’s GR that has 3 stars as being “I liked it.” But Amazon has 3 stars as being “It was okay” or whatever. So that’s problematic right there since many reviewers post on both sites. If we followed their guidelines, we’d have to change our ratings depending on the site -_-
        Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: The Man in the Long Black Coat (Dale Bruyer Book 1) by J.L. AarneMy Profile

        • Lola

          I never change my ratings depending on the site, I just rate the book using my own standard for what the ratings mean. But yes if you had to follow their guidelines you would have to change your rating. I’ve heard/ seen a few reviewers who did that.

  3. sjhigbee

    Like you, I regard 3 stars as a positive rating. I don’t happen to use it all that often, because I work quite hard to select books to read that I think I’ll LOVE. So anything that is a ‘meh’ these days won’t make it to my TBR pile and even that has a slush pile of books that I thought I’d like, but when I come to open it up, I decide against it…
    That said – I do give 3 star reviews from time to time – and like you, it’s because there’s probably an issue or two with the book that stopped me from loving it. And the reason I’m so sure it’s a positive rating – I don’t bother to finish a book that I don’t like, so I can’t review it.

    • Lola

      Interesting to hear a bit about your reading and reviewing selection process. I do my best to only select books that I think i will enjoy, but for me that enjoy means a 3, 4 or 5 star rating. And sometimes I just pick up a book because I want to give it a chance without being too picky, it depends a bit on the situation.
      I do finish books I don’t enjoy sometimes, although I also will DNF a book if I am really not enjoying it.

  4. Sophia Rose

    A three star rating is pretty much middle of the road for me. The book has good stuff going on, but it also has problematic stuff going on. When Shari started using half stars on the blog, this helped me put the more high-end three stars in as 3.5s, but the other extreme as 2.5s reserving a three as a solid middle of the road read. I always give due reflection before setting a rating on a book like this just because I’m aware that authors can see it as straight up negative.

    The other thing I notice is that many times when I get emotional over a book I can tend to pull out what bugged me moreso than giving equal time to what I loved so that one of my three-star reviews can appear more negative than I intended. I try to make it clear that I had overall or at least equal enjoyment as dislike with the book.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Review: Freckles by Amy LaneMy Profile

    • Lola

      Sometimes I think those half stars would be very handy to differentiate between the higher and lower end of the 3 stars, but on the other hand I like the simplicity of only 5 stars. And having half stars would make deciding on a rating even more difficult it seems.

      I have the same trouble with 3 stars as well, sometimes with those I can point out so well what didn’t work for me, that it makes my review sounds more negative than intended. I also try to emphasize both the good and bad things in my 3 star review,s but it can be difficult.

  5. Berls

    I agree a 3 star rating is a positive rating. I think it does have a negative side though, because to me, 3 stars is a book I enjoyed but that had some problems. The problems didn’t keep me from enjoying the book, but are worth noting because (1) without them it would have been a higher rating and (2)they could mean something else to others. Maybe they like what I found problematic. Or maybe it’s a deal breaker for them when it just made it less great for me. So my 3 stars always have some negative comments in them.
    Berls recently posted…A Month of Giving Thanks: To the Book People!My Profile

    • Lola

      I agree the 3 star rating does have a negative side as they are books you had some problems with as well, then again even with most of my 4 and 5 star reads I had a few issues, just more with a 3 star. But overall I still consider a 3 star a positive rating. My 3 star reviews always have some negative comments in them, but often a mixture between good and bad points.

    • Lola

      Thanks! It really varies from reviewer to reviewer how positive or negative a 3 star review is. I always consider mine to be on the positive side, glad to hear you agree :).

  6. chucklesthescot

    3 stars on my blog means decent read-I read and finished it and liked it well enough. I regard it as a positive review for my purposes. If it is better than decent I rate it 3.5 on my blog and if it is on the lower end of decent but better than average it gets 2.5. Obviously this is not an option on Goodreads and certainly not on Amazon! For the sake of authors and publishers etc I do try to be specific in my reviews about exactly I gave a certain rating so they can understand why I did it and that 3 stars IS positive on this occasion!
    chucklesthescot recently posted…TV Review: Game of Thrones series 3My Profile

    • Lola

      I don’t do half ratings, but I do notice that some of my 3 star reviews are more to the upper side of that rating and others more to the lower side of the rating. But overall I still think that all my 3 stars are a positive rating. If I didn’t enjoy a book it will get a 2 star.
      Lola recently posted…Review: Betrayals by Kelley ArmstrongMy Profile

    • Lola

      Yes exactly, that’s what mine mean too. 3 stars are great books, even thought they might not be super special or outstanding.

  7. Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous)

    Great post, Lola! I think 3 stars is a tough one because it’s ultimately a swing rating. It’s right in the middle. 3 Stars for me mean that I enjoyed the book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t really struggle with finishing it either. However, it also means that the book is more than likely forgettable. It didn’t stand out to me. I don’t think that’s negative, because I did enjoy it, but it’s not a raving review/rating because there were problems I had with it or it just didn’t stand apart from other books I’ve read.
    Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) recently posted…Excerpt: The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey [Giveaway]My Profile

    • Lola

      The 3 star rating always seems to be a tough rating because of it’s spot in the middle it can swing either side depending on the book or the reviewer.

      Usually that fits my 3 star books too, I didn’t struggle to finish, but I didn’t love it either. Some can be rememberable and I also will continue a series regularly if I gave the first book a 3 star rating. It also depends on whether it’s a book that has lots of small things that bothered me or multiple larger things.

  8. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

    I think a three star rating is almost neutral for me. I liked some things and not others but can easily see others liking it a lot. I find I usually have more to say in those reviews because I have issues to go through as well as things I liked. Sometimes it is harder for me to write a really positive review because I just wind up gushing. Great discussion!
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted…Favorite Authors Books Ranked ~ Lauren OliverMy Profile

    • Lola

      My 3 star reviews often are longer reviews as well as I have so much to say. I often have quite some things I disliked and liked, but overall am still happy I read the book.

  9. S. J. Pajonas

    I consider YOUR 3-star reviews to be pretty positive, and over the years, I’ve come to be okay with 3-star reviews in general. I feel like 3-stars conveys a feeling of “meh,” I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. Not everything is going to hit it out of the park, you know? Anyway, I avoid my own reviews now (lol) so these are mainly my thoughts on other reviews I read of other people’s works. 🙂
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Sunday Update – November 13, 2016My Profile

    • Lola

      Glad you agree that my 3 stars are pretty positive. I think a 3 star is often a book you didn’t love and didn’t hate, but it can still be a good book. I have 3 star reads I still think of now and then or where I continue the series.

      I know you avoid reviews for your own book, but as it’s more of a general topic I think thoughts on other reviews work just as well.

  10. Trish @ Between My Lines

    If I give a book 3 stars, it means I liked it and it is a positive rating. The problem sometimes is that there was often something that stopped me loving the book, and when I mention what that was, it can make the review sound negative. I make a big effort to shoutout what I loved just as much as what I didn’t like. And hopefully it all balances out. I’d have no hesitation recommending a 3 star book to someone.
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…Book Review : Lyrebird by Cecelia AhernMy Profile

    • Lola

      Yes I have that trouble with 3 star reviews sometimes as well, I can often verbalize quite well what I didn’t like and it can make the review sound too negative sometimes, while I still overall enjoyed the book. I also try to mention and emphasize what I did like or love just as much.

  11. Kate @ Opinionated Book Lover

    Great post! 3 Stars is a positive review for me, but like you said, I don’t tweet the author or publisher for those reviews. It’s a book that was good, but not great. I also try to highlight the things that worked and didn’t work because others may enjoy it more than I did. They’re books I won’t re-read, wouldn’t really recommend because I didn’t love it enjoy to rave about it IRL, but I also won’t tell you not to read it, like I would with 1 or 2 star books. I agree that there is a lot of variability within the 3 star range – some I would have liked to give 2.5 stars and some 3.5 stars. I don’t normally read books that others rate 3 stars unless I was already planning to read it because there are just too many books. I’m on the hunt for great books; I’d rather not waste time with the “just OK” books.
    Kate @ Opinionated Book Lover recently posted…Review: Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn BarnesMy Profile

    • Lola

      Thanks! I mostly don’t tweet the author or publisher as I am afraid they might not consider a 3 star a positive review. My 3 star review soften are a bit contradictory and contain things that worked and things that didn’t work for me, but quite a lot in both categories usually. When it comes to others their reviews it often matters what they did and didn’t like and whether I will think the same or not. And sometimes I do pick up a book even though I don’t expect it to be great, not often though.

  12. Greg

    I think a 3 star rating for me is a book I liked, or sorta liked, but wasn’t crazy about. If I REALLY like a book it usually gets 4, and my absolute favorites get 5. So a lot of books that just worked for me okay but weren’t stellar get 3’s. And I don’t do star ratings on my blog but Goodreads, obviously. I still think in terms of stars though sometimes, and have thought about going to ratings on my blog.

    I think you’re right there is a lot of variability among reviewers on 3 stars. I wouldn’t tag an author on a 3 star because again it’s just an average or slightly above average (depending on the book) read, but I still think it’s good. If I really don’t like a book it’s either a 2 star (or less) or more likely I’m not even reviewing as I don’t like to tear books apart.
    Greg recently posted…Why I Like Grittier FantasyMy Profile

    • Lola

      I think reviews say more than just a star rating, so i can see why you don’t do star ratings on your blog and form your reviews I still get a good idea what you thought of it.

      I think my 3 star reviews are a bit more positive than that, but mostly they are still books that were good, but not great. And yes the 5 star is only for books I really loved at the moment.

      The 3 star rating is one that varies so much among reviewers, it’s hard to know what their 3 star means sometimes. If I really don’t like a book it either gets DNF’d or a 2 star rating indeed.

  13. Natasha Anne

    First of all, what an interesting topic and a great job on the post! I admit, I am awfully biased when it comes to 3 stars rating. For an instance, if a book ratings fall anywhere shorter than a 3.5-stars rating, I’d look away regardless of how tempting the blurb was. I guess in my mind a 3 stars rating is given whenever a reader couldn’t decide whether if it’s a book they liked or disliked, sort of like the “Neutral” option whenever we are forced to pick an answer to a question we have no strong opinion of – in that case, we tend to gravitate towards the middle of the scale, the 3-stars rating. I normally avoid giving 3 stars or below because they represent negativity, and if I have to, I’d give it just for the sake of politeness (Oh Gawd, that sounded harsh :/). I most probably wouldn’t reread them, though. I like that you mentioned how your 3 stars rating changed over the years, I guess we mature in our writing with time! 🙂 I believe in giving every books a chance and stop judging them based on ratings, so I am learning to do just that. I did love a book people hated, and hated a book that people loved, haha! Wonderful post that got my brain thinking! 😛
    Natasha Anne recently posted…Blog Tour + Review – She Runs Away (Sheridan Hall #2) by Jessica CallaMy Profile

    • Lola

      Thanks! I usually do look at the average rating on Goodreads and anything lower than a 3.5 star does make me wonder why. But that is more an average. When I read a 3 star review of a book on someone’s blog I might still want to read it, depending on the blurb cover and also what they did and didn’t like.

      That’s interesting you see a 3 star more as the neutral option. I do feel my 3 stars are more to the positive side, which can be difficult sometimes as like you said there is negativity associated with the 3 star rating. And indeed sometimes you love a book someone else hated and the other way around as well.

  14. RAnn

    When I first started reviewing books I’d use stars on Goodreads and a three star book was “liked it” and it was my default rating. I started using it on Amazon and seeing my reviews in the “unfavorable” catagory and I guess grade inflation happened. My ratings now are A+ – F with pluses and minuses on most letters and generally speaking I give four stars to books I like just because it seems to be what is expected. My rating system is here http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/p/rating-system.html

  15. Donna @ OnDBookshelf

    I use the goodreads guide for my star ratings (if you hover over the stars when rating a book on there it shows up). 1 star – I didn’t like it, 2 star – it was okay, 3 star – I liked it, 4 star – I really liked it, 5 star – it was amazing.

    Using this, I would consider a 3 star book to be one that I enjoyed, usually with some reasons why it wasn’t stellar, and that I would consider a positive rating.

    • Lola

      Yes same here I consider a 3 star generally positive, but with some issues or reservations. But it’s still a book I am glad I read. And indeed with every star rating there is a bit range of reviews, as everyone rates slightly different, but I feel that with the 3 star it’s even more extreme.

  16. Michelle @Because Reading

    I think a 3 star is more of a Neutral review. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good. I had issues with it but some things I liked. It is usually my most critical review since I rarely give anything lower than a three because I usually bail on the book before I can get that far.
    I also tend to read more 3 star reviews over 4 and 5 because I also think they give the best info on a product or book.
    I also think a 3 star depends on how someone writes the review. It seems everyone does 3 start different than other people.
    Michelle @Because Reading recently posted…Just a week and a party ~ WIR & TSPMy Profile

    • Lola

      Mine are usually a bit more to the positive side from neutral. They are often my most critical reviews and I often have quite some things that didn’t work for me and I got into depth about the why. I give a 2 star sometimes, but often DNF a book if I am really not enjoying it.

      3 star reviews can be good to read when you’re considering buying sometimes as they show both the good and bad things. But yes 3 star really do depend on the person giving them and what exactly they mean.

  17. Silvara

    For me, a 3 star rating is typically a just ok book. I usually like them well enough, but there were a few things that irked me, or kept me from really enjoying reading it. My usual rating for a not-quite 4 star book is 3.5 stars. That way the better 3 star books are differentiated from the ones that weren’t quite bad enough to be 2 stars but still aren’t ones I’ll be continuing with if it was a series.

    I haven’t really changed my ratings since starting my blog, except to be a bit pickier about what ends up a 5 star. Though quite a few books end up in the 3.5 star area this year especially.
    Silvara recently posted…Foxheart by Claire Legrand (review)My Profile

    • Lola

      I usually would describe my 3 stars as books I enjoyed, but definitely also had a few issues. Then again I usually also still have a few issues with 4 and 5 star reads. It depends a bit on the actual book if I will continue the series or not, but I have continued quite some series with 3 stars.

  18. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    This is an awesome post! Like you said, I have seen tours that say that 3 stars and up is fine, but some that require 4 stars. To be honest, I think requiring 4 stars is kind of… limiting, because I don’t give TONS of books 4 stars. To me, a 3 star IS positive- it’s more than half the stars, right? Like, a 2.5 for me would be straight up “meh”. 3 stars means I liked more than I didn’t like. Sure, there are problems, but is a book that I would at least recommend to someone, somewhere. I think it’s weird though because when I READ reviews, 3 stars mean something different from each reviewer. Some reviewers NEVER give anything lower than 3 stars, so it means they probably hated it. Some NEVER give full 5 stars, so 3 is pretty good. Stars are so subjective without review context, so I feel like they should probably just be taken as a starting point, and let the review do the talking. VERY thought provoking, Lola!
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…Happy Birthday to Me, 34 Books to You!My Profile

    • Lola

      I personally find 4 stars too limiting as well, which is why for my tours I always allow 3 stars and up as I consider 3 star a positive rating as well.

      I don’t give half stars myself, but I agree that a 2.5 stars is exactly in the middle and would be a meh by those standards. So a 3 star usually ends up being positive for me and 2 star a I didn’t like it.

      And yes it seems a 3 star means something different for each reviewer, so it’s hard to know what a 3 star means sometimes. And I totally agree with your statement to take a star rating as a starting point and let the review do the talking!

  19. Roberta R.

    Ha! I recently wrote a post about ratings, and how they sometimes give me a headache. I’m like you – 3 stars mean I liked the book, it just didn’t “wowed” me for some reason (BTW, I use half stars as well). AND I still recommend 3 star books to some categories of readers. AND I don’t regret reading them. But here comes the headache part – since there are people who think 3 stars mean a book they don’t need to bother with, I’m afraid I might scare them off picking up a certain book that ISN’T bad – just less up my alley than others, or not perfect but still enjoyable. So I try to explain why they might like it in my review, but I’m afraid most people don’t read other people’s reviews anymore, just look at the rating *sighs*.

    • Lola

      I know exactly what you mean! While I consider a 3 star a positive rating I a aware others might not and I don’t want to scare anyone away from a book. I do think a lot of people read reviews (or at least I like to think so), but definitely not everyone. And that’s also why star ratings are so handy as they can give you a general impression with a rating, but a star rating never tells the whole story, that’s what the review is for. Ratings are such an itneresting topic to discuss!
      Lola recently posted…Review: Betrayals by Kelley ArmstrongMy Profile

    • Lola

      Thanks! I do agree that a 3 star rating is often seem as a negative thing and while it might not be a book as good as a 4 or 5 star, I still consider a 3 star rating a positive one.

  20. Danielle @ Bookish in Texas

    I think that 3 stars is overall positive when I review a book. It would normally mean that the book was decently enjoyable but may have had some things that just didn’t work for me, but the book was still overall enjoyable. However, when I’m looking at Goodreads or other reviews, if something is just 3 stars I’m not likely to pick it up. So, I guess it’s a bit of a double standard in my head!
    Danielle @ Bookish in Texas recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2016 TBRMy Profile

    • Lola

      Same here a 3 star is enjoyable, but also had things that didn’t work for me. If I am looking at the average rating on Goodreads or amazon I do consider a 3 star low as most book at least average out at a 3.5 stars. But when reading reviews it depends a bit, although they usually don’t make me as curious about a book as a 4 or 5 star.

  21. anna @ herding cats & burning soup

    It is hard to decide about tagging an author or pub in those reviews. For me 3s are more neutral-positive than they are negative. They’re ones that I didn’t hate but did have some issues with but still want to read more from the author or series so they didn’t turn me off from trying again, ya know? Not a bad thing really. 🙂
    anna @ herding cats & burning soup recently posted…4 stars– When a Laird Finds a Lass (A Highland Fairy Tale #2) by Lecia CornwallMy Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge