Discussion

Experimental Star Ratings

This original idea came from Naty @ Naty’s Bookshelf and i found the idea to be such an innovative and thought-provoking one that i wanted to try it out myself. Definitely go check out her blog, she’s fantastic!



We all rate books in different ways, and sometimes it can be hard to take someone else’s star rating and understand what it means for ourselves.

Ratings are normally done in one of the following ways:

  1. Via emotional response. This book really touched me and had me crying all the way through- 4 stars.
  2. Via categories. Great writing -5 stars. boring plot – 1 star. Final rating: 3 stars.
  3. Via comparison. I actually loved this book, but I can’t give it 5 stars, I gave this other book 5 stars and it was so much better. 4 stars it is.

Personally, I always try to rate my reviews via 3 categories – writing style, plot/story development, and characters. Then i leave my final thoughts/feelings at the end to give you guys an analytical review but also understand my likes and preferences as an individual reader.

So the experiment here is…

Let’s rate the same book in the 3 different ways, and then we see which method comes closer to Goodreads ratings. I encourage you guys to do the same and leave the link to your posts (also if you’ve done similar things) in the comments below and on Naty’s page so we can see how well this works.

I’m going to choose some of my most recent reads, but also those that have high popularity, so we can all participate here.

The Gilded Wolves

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Emotional Response:

I was extremely bored throughout and had to push myself to continue on till the end.

Rating: 1 star

Categories:

Plot (includes originality): 2
Characters (includes development): 2
World building (historical setting, magic system): 1
Writing style: 2
Pacing: 1

All Categories Ratings:  (2+2+1+2+1)/5 = 1.6 stars

Comparisons:

Typical 1 star rating books of a similar genre: Magic Study, by Maria Snyder
Typical 3 star rating books of a similar genre: Keeper, by Kim Chance
Typical 5 star rating books of a similar genre: Half Lost, by Sally Green

Rating based on the comparisons above: I liked Gilded Wolves about just as much as I liked Magic Study, so the same rating goes here, too: 1 star

Results

Goodreads: 3.79

That is a lot higher than any of my three methods. I just don’t think this was a very good book emotionally or mechanically, but based off of this maybe I’m just too harsh.



Six of Crows

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Emotional Response:

I really enjoyed this story and although i had a few critiques about it, overall it was quite enjoyable.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Categories:

Plot (includes originality): 4
Characters (includes development): 3
World building (historical setting, magic system): 5
Writing style: 4
Pacing: 3

All Categories Ratings:  (4+3+5+4+3)/5 = 3.8 Stars

Comparisons:

Typical 1 star rating books of a similar genre: The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi
Typical 3 star rating books of a similar genre: Smoke Thieves, by Sally Green
Typical 5 star rating books of a similar genre: Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

Rating based on the comparisons above: I liked Six of Crows about just as much as I liked Rebel of the Sands, so the same rating goes here, too: 5 star

Results

Goodreads: 4.47

Definitely closest to my other book comparisons, whereas my emotional response and categorical one are very similar but not close to Goodreads.



Sadie

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Emotional Response:

I thought this was a well thought out story, which i found myself totally enthralled by. I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much without the audiobook though.

Rating: 3 stars

Categories:

Plot (includes originality): 3
Characters (includes development): 4
World building (historical setting, magic system): 2
Writing style: 4
Pacing: 4

All Categories Ratings:  (3+4+2+4+4)/5 = 3.4 stars

Comparisons:

Typical 1 star rating books of a similar genre: Paper Towns, by John Green
Typical 3 star rating books of a similar genre: One of us is Lying, by Karen McManus
Typical 5 star rating books of a similar genre: The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton

Rating based on the comparisons above: I liked Sadie about just as much as I liked One of us is Lying, so: 3 stars

Results

Goodreads: 4.23

Again, all three methods have ended up nearly the same, yet so far from the Goodreads results. Definitely highly critical with my ratings..jeesh.



The Nightingale

 

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Emotional Response:

This is one of the few books that actually have made me cry. Such an emotional and touching story that really immerses you.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Categories:

Plot (includes originality): 4
Characters (includes development): 5
World building (historical setting, magic system): 4
Writing style: 4
Pacing: 3

All Categories Ratings:  (4+5+4+4+3)/5 = 4 stars

Comparisons:

Typical 1 star rating books of a similar genre: The Signature of All Things, by Gilbert
Typical 3 star rating books of a similar genre: The Notebook, by Nicolas Sparks
Typical 5 star rating books of a similar genre: The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton

Rating based on the comparisons above: I liked The Nightingale about just as much as I liked The Forgotten Garden, so: 5 stars

Results

Goodreads: 4.56

I’m honestly not surprised that my Emotional response is so close to the Goodreads rating as it is an extremely emotional book and i would expect people to read and rate it that way.



So I’m not sure what these results tell me either than i am so critical compared to Goodreads! I do find it interesting to see how much my star ratings can differ with the three methods on one book. Looking at my actual ratings for the books compared to the three methods i am definitely a “categorical” kind of book reviewer which is what i kind of knew all along.

I had a lot of fun doing this and i encourage you guys to try it out as well, you may learn something about yourself. Let me know what you think of this experiment in the comments below, and let’s chat!

Larissa

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Disclaimer: All book covers were taken off of the Goodreads website. All rights and acknowledgements go to the people at Goodreads.

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4 thoughts on “Experimental Star Ratings

  1. Hey ! I’m Chhavi. I just published my very first book!! I would love to hand over a review PDF copy to you in exchange for an honest review. If you’d like that, reply with your email address and I’ll send it to you! xx

    Like

  2. I like this idea to see how your ratings differ compared to different criteria- although that said it seems like your results are quite close, so you clearly have your rating game down to an art! 🙂 I’d love to experiment with this one day as I know I am to indecisive with ratings

    Liked by 1 person

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