Not Every Book is a 5 Star Book...

And that's okay!


I don't know about you, but when I pick up a book, especially for review purposes, I am well aware that it may not be earthshaking and life changing. But shouldn't that be what a 5 star read is? Shouldn't a book you deem the highest level of stars be ah-maz-ing? Shouldn't it leave you with some kind of feels, maybe a lesson learned? Shouldn't it stick with you for days, months, years?

Shouldn't it?

Why do we just give away our stars like they're nothing?

In the indie world we have this awesome opportunity to get to know authors. It's both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because we're able to interact with the women (and men) who have created these amazingly diverse and well-rounded (hopefully) characters which we've fallen so hard for. A curse because once you know an author, your stars become personal...

There is a difference, my dear authors, between a readers thoughts on YOU and YOUR WORK. They are not one and the same, at least they shouldn't be.

My husband is BIG into the music scene. To him, music is life - just like books are to many of us. He said it best when he said:

"Even my favorite bands make shit albums sometimes."

Guess what? That applies to works of fiction, too. Sometimes they're amazing, and then sometimes they're...not. As a reader, you shouldn't feel pressured into giving a good review simply because you've liked previous publications by an individual. Or because you have developed more of a personal relationship with them.

I personally feel like there's a lot of pressure on bloggers to 5 star the shit out of everything they read. That's not fair.
It's not fair to anyone.
Not the authors.
Not the readers.
Not to themselves.
It's not fair.
Am I saying we should never give 5 stars? Nope.

What I'm saying is this:

5 STARS = Life changing. Pulled me in by my hair and wouldn't let me go.
4 STARS = Loved it. Good read. Captivating.
3 STARS = Liked it. An overall entertaining read.
2 STARS = Eh... Meh... It was.
1 STAR = What the hell did I just read?! No.
DNF = I couldn't even. 

Now look... Is 3 a bad review? No. It's Average. Somewhere along the way we forgot that 3 stars is still a decent amount. Somehow 3 became 1. Writers cringe and feel that they've failed over a simple number which falls in the middle of the star scale.

Why? There's no shame in a 3 star review.


If a book is 5 star material, wonderful. If it's not, please don't rave about it like it is the next coming of Christ simply to gain favor with someone. It's wrong on so many levels and calls your integrity into question. When you rant and rave about everything you've read, your opinion slowly begins to decline in the eyes of those around you, at least in my book. It's okay not to adore every word that passes before your eyes. It's also okay to review those books and respectfully say why you feel the way you do.

Basically... As bloggers, and fellow readers, we owe each other the Courtesy of being honest with our thoughts.

Maybe this year we can do just that.

Oh, and street teams/groupies... Quit ganging up on people who don't share your opinion. They're entitled to their thoughts and feelings just as much as you are to yours. BE KIND.

Vomit over.


Jen Carver said...

As always...right on point...<3

Jen Carver said...

As are right on point. Thank you! <3

Jules said...

Thank you! I have a similar rating "key" on my blog (Book Junkie Reviews). Even before blogging, I would get harassed for giving an ARC less than a 4/5 star commenter even suggested that it should be an automatic because it was an honor to be given an ARC and a review of less than 4 stars was not supporting Indie authors.

I don't think anyone should expect to get all A's or all 5-star reviews. That said, I also don't think that blogger's need to shred an author and make the comments feel personal when a book didn't work for them.

Thanks again for the spot-on post!

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