Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Discussion: 1-Star Reviews

19 comments
I don't give out 1-star's very often. In nearly a year of blogging, there have only been 4. Which is kind of surprising. This past month alone I read at least one or two books I would have been fine not reading. Why then is my 1-star count so low, I puzzled.

I thought about it long and hard...*two minutes later*...and I realized the key lay in my Rating System. In short:
1 star = Didn't like.


A ton of work goes into writing a book, never mind the editing, marketing and all the other cogs of the publishing machine. I have a huge amount of respect for authors and, as such, I only give out 1-stars as a last resort. Even if the characters, plot and writing are sub-par, you still have a shot at a 2-star "okay" rating. When I give 1 star, it means I actively disliked the book while reading and, upon finishing, wished I hadn't read it.

That's some pretty heavy stuff, which is why I also try to keep my 1-star reviews a little humorous. Usually dry, sarcastic humor, but humor. ;) Ranting is better received (and more fun) when it's entertaining. I sometimes fall too far into ranting territory, but I try. I've read reviews that tear apart books I love, but the good ones made me laugh at myself and the book in question.

That's the other thing I try to keep in mind; I know there are readers who LOVE books I hate. I don't want to tell people what they should or shouldn't enjoy reading. (This often results in too many instances of "for me," "I felt," and "in my opinion" in a review, but better safe than sorry.) It's a subjective experience. I get it. :)

What about you guys? Do you have any extra special criteria when it comes to 1-star reviews? Or do you pay more attention to 1-stars from certain readers?

PS- If you're interested, you can find the Hall of Shame titles at the top of my Review Archive page.

19 comments :

  1. I don't even use it anymore, my rating system at this point is really a four point system that goes 2-5. I used to use 1* for DNF's but now I just call them DNF and don't finish them. 2 stars is crappy enough, I will save the 1 star review for that very special book that manages to insult not only my intelligence but any since of decency as a human.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it bad that I'm looking forward to a 1-star review from you now? >.>

      Delete
  2. You know I don't give many 1 stars either because honestly if I'm hating it that much then I just stop reading. I no longer force myself to finish books that I dislike on that level.

    I'm with Nathan - usually mine range from 2 to 5 because now I just DNF them and then I write a short bit of stuff down as to why I couldn't even be bothered or manage to force myself to continue. Some of the DNFs I don't even necessarily hate I just realize after awhile they aren't for me at all.

    So no ...no special criteria. I do have a few one star reviews floating out there though.

    As for who's 1 star reviews I trust...I would have to say its a very few select people (like Mogsy and Nathan, Anya and a few other SFF reviewers - those that I know have very very similar reading tastes and habits as I do.) There are some people's reviews that if I know they frequently rate low then unfortunately I take all of their negative reviews with a grain of salt if they are pumping out a negative review every week. Because then I know that my reading habits and mentality and theirs do not coincide at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DNF-ing instead of giving a 1-star sounds much easier. Good idea! Although, I can usually tell if I'm not going to finish a book within the first few chapters, in which case I don't even add it to my list as a DNF. Granted, two of the 1-stars were eARC's, which might explain why I made it so far. Oh well, no regrets on the Emperor's New Groove/Frankenstein gif fest! :D

      Delete
  3. Ha! I'm probably one of the few bloggers that DO give 1-star ratings and reviews. And this isn't because of a DNF, because I always finish books I start. I have no qualms with giving 1-star ratings.

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to finish everything; now, if I'm going to put it down, I usually do so within the first chapter or two. That doesn't even make the "currently reading" list. I seem to remember reading a few 1-star reviews from you, but your reviews are always fun! :)

      Delete
  4. I reserve my 1 star for DNFs. Even a 2 from me is pretty rare, cause it means that I didn't like it at all and want me time back, lol. I heavily rate 3s and 4s. A 5 is rare, and means I absolutely loves it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm starting to see a DNF=1 trend. And I noticed you mostly hang out in the 3- to 4-star range. :)

      Delete
  5. I think I've only given one book review rating that was less than a 2 out of 5. (Probably because I was silly enough to keep reading the book despite how much it frustrated me.) I should probably revisit my rating system at some point to update it... but basically I have to agree with everyone else. If I DNF a book, it'll be an automatic 1 out of 5.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I consider updating my rating system every few months. Then I realize how much work and energy that would take...nope, too lazy. :)

      My current DNF policy seems to be no rating, just a spot on the DNF shelf. I guess because the DNF means it obviously wasn't for me, but I don't want to rate it in stars based on one little section. If that makes sense?

      Delete
  6. Yeah I'm the same, 1 star for me mean I didn't finish. I haven't posted many 2 star reviews either, mainly because I haven't posted a review of every book I read this year (bad blogger, bad blogger).

    To be fair, I have read over 300 books for the year and haven't had the time to review each and every one. That being said, I'm more likely to blog about stuff I loved, if I have to choose, than stuff that just left me "meh".

    Interesting topic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you're reading that much, it's no wonder you don't have time to review them all. When do you sleep?! But prioritizing reviews of books you loved sounds like a good policy. :)

      Delete
  7. Honestly I've never rated a book 1-star! I think the lowest I've ever rated a book was 2-stars and that's only happened about 2 times!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never?! O.O Wow, you must be really good at picking out books you'll like. That's awesome!

      Delete
  8. I don't tend to do 1-stars either. My one and only was a book I hated so much I couldn't force myself to finish it. So honestly I should just go back and remove that star rating altogether. If I'm disliking a book enough that it sounds like it will be a 1 star book, I'm much more likely to just stop reading it and write up the review as a DNF instead.

    I've noticed lately that I seem to be reading a lot of books that end up at 3 or 3.5 stars. I figured when I began reviewing that I'd end up with more 4 and 5 star books. Because if I'm reading them then I must have picked out good ones right? Not so much. Some books that sounded really really good, have ended up irking me. And some books that were given as gifts that I just kinda looked at and was meh... I guess I'll read this... I ended up loving.

    So my long ramble is pretty much: Life is too short to waste your time on a 1 star book. DNF it and move on. *grins*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's probably why I have so few 1-star's. I have to force myself to finish them. Which is also probably why 2/4 are review books. I felt the guilt and obligation. ;)

      Having a lot of 3's or 3.5's sounds pretty normal to me. Not everything that sounds good turns out to be worth it, and not everything you ignore or overlook is necessarily something you won't like. :)

      Haha, sounds like good advice! Although, I am glad I forced myself to finish Frankenstein, if only because it resulted in a fun gif review. And I was 70% of the way through Winterspell and REALLY needed to catch up on my GR challenge...but yeah, in general, drop the losers and move on. :D

      Delete
  9. So far I've never giving out a 1 star. For me 2 star is I didn't like it, while a 1 star is I really didn't like it. When a book is so bad I would give it a 1 star rating that usually means I DNF it before I finish it and as I don't rate books I didn't finish I never give out 1 stars. My 2 stars are very sporadically as well, but there are some books were I just felt like I rather not have read them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I'm starting to feel really lonely in the 1-star range. Oh well, we'll call those reviews "special events." :) Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete