- 1 star means a book is just awful. I've only given a few books that rating. I gave The Lovely Bones 1 star early on in my book reviewing career and I realize now that it was unfair. I judged it more on the language and violence that I found offensive more than the actual story and content. I should probably go back and re-evaluate it with more objectivity.
- 2 stars means that I just didn't like it. It wasn't for me or the writing wasn't great or poor execution. I haven't given very many of these ratings either.
- 3 stars means that I liked it okay. Didn't think it was great but wasn't bad either.
- 4 stars means I really enjoyed it. Most books seem to fall into this category. I'm really not that hard to please.
- 5 stars means that it was amazing. I loved it.
So the problem is that there are really only 3 ratings I usually give a book--a 3, 4, or 5. So when I give a book a 4 star review it feels a little like a cop-out because it's just a middle of the road, sitting on the fence, straddling the line type thing. I don't give out many 5's because I'm too afraid to. What if something even better comes along? If I've been giving out 5 stars willy-nilly then what do I do for this exceptional book? Aaaarrrgghhh! The stress!
I know a lot of people deal with this issue by just not giving starred reviews. I don't want to do that so I wonder if I just need to down-grade everything a bit. Maybe some of my 4 stars should be getting 3 stars but I don't feel nice doing that and I try really hard to be nice. Maybe I need to go back to doing the half-star thing but that doesn't work on Goodreads. I'll probably never find a perfect solution but if any of you have figured it out I'd love to hear about it.