Changing Ratings // the one where I play musical ratings

I was sifting through some of my old ratings and I ended up changing quite a few of them? Why, you ask? That, my friends, is a good question. The simple answer is that I’m ~indecisive~

And then I got thinking. Why did my feelings about these books change? I mean, the book didn’t magically transform into something better or worse over night, so what happened? Well, in true April fashion I decided to list it out. May I present to you 7 Reasons Why I Change Ratings.

Dragon Mode Sequence Deactivated

I fondly call this photo, “Ode de Dragon Mode”

When you finish a book, especially one that didn’t play out as you expected, it can be easy to go full dragon mode and rant about it in a slightly raging review. But once I’ve done that, what am I left with?

For Supernova my initial reaction was a hard no. But once my initial ick reaction wore off, I fondly looked back at some of my favorite parts. Like the absolute gold that the you can be my nightmare line is. Which is hella cheesy but also totally swoon worthy. Once some of my initial disappointment wore off, I was remember some of the things I did enjoy, like the characters that I absolutely adored. So, maybe it really is a 3 rather than a 2.5. 

Heh? What was that about again?

To Allude Thy Memory *spooky sounds*

Fifteen years old is too young to be forgetting things. If I go back 6 months later and can’t tell you what the book is about, it isn’t worthy of a five star rating. Most times it isn’t worth a four star rating either. I don’t have to be able to quote page 72, line 5 or anything, but I should be able to remember what I liked, basic plot points, characters, more. If I can’t, I dub the book unmemorable and knock it down a rating.

I Love You, But Please Stop Plaguing My Every Thought

I don’t like it when ghosts haunt me, why would I appreciate it when a book haunts my every though??? (answer: I don’t)

The polar opposite of the last reason, if I can’t stop thinking about the book days later and have the complete lack of motivation to read anything else, then it’s worth a bump up.

For example, when I originally read Red, White, and Royal Blue I rated it 4 stars. I said that the politics were a bit too idealistic, which prevented me from rating it higher. Fast forward days later and I had not been able to pick anything else up and only wanted to reread Red, White, and Royal Blue again and I knew that it deserved a 5 star. 

Same goes with The Vanishing Stair. I listened to the audiobook in one night, and then I spent the rest of the night starting into darkness and wanting to reread it and bask in its glory once more. 

Hype aka The Downfall of Humanity

A fish? An octopus? A mermaid? No! It’s a bloodthirsty siren!

The hype is my mortal enemy. All too often I am left with nothing but disappointment.

After reading To Kill A Kingdom, I was riding hype and my love of retellings. Don’t get me wrong, I really did like the book. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was more of a 3.5 star rating for me. The voice of each of the characters was lacking and they kind of blurred together, which kept plaguing my thoughts and ultimately led me to change my rating. 

I Reread, and Discovered the Meaning of Life (or at least a new perspective on the book)

Join The Dark Side, We Have Gorgeous Illustrations

One of my favorite parts of rereading is discovering the breadcrumbs. Being able to look back and pick up on all those hidden clues is so satisfying.

When I reread The Cruel Prince I moved it from a 2 star rating to a 3 star rating. I began to appreciate some of the slight changes in Cardan once he was removed from his toxic environment. I also gained a new appreciation for Jude and her ambition with my reread. I still didn’t vibe with the writing style and the pacing felt all out of whack, but I did appriciate some of its better qualities the second time around. 

The magic of the 5 star has worn off

Farewell, Zazz

With 5 star ratings, if you feel it, you feel it. But sometimes that wonder, that zazz, wears off. The book doesn’t become any less brilliant, rather I don’t view it with the same sparkle that I used to. 

Enjoyment vs Quality

Witch Rating Do I Chose?? (sorry for the bad pun eeeeek)

A lot of my initial reactions to books are higher ratings, but once I start to think more critically about them my perspective changes. Writing reviews often brings more flaws to my attention.

For example, Serpent and Dove was not the best quality book. The pacing was all out of whack (seriously it’s like the tortoise and the hare did a personality swap halfway through… talk about a change of pace), the writing was repetitive, and the descriptions were at times lacking. But I enjoyed it.

I originally gave it a 4 star rating. But as I sat down to write about it, and glanced back at my notes, I began to realize that there were a lot of things that weren’t so great about it. Finding that happy balance is a challenge, and ends up with a lot of indecisiveness.

As I’m looking back through this, I’m realizing that maybe the 5 star rating system isn’t for me anymore. Its so difficult to rate books on the same five step scale, especially when there are different components at play. Is there a point where you can overlook minor flaws due to your overall enjoyment? How do you balance world building vs characters vs plot, and why do they have different weights depending on the book?? Why do I keep confusing myself everytime I think about it???

Alright. We are going to call this discussion a wrap before I make my head spin further.

Do you use the 5 star rating system? If not, what do you use instead? Do you change ratings often? What influences you to change them??

24 thoughts on “Changing Ratings // the one where I play musical ratings

  1. Oooh this was a super interesting post! There are so many books that I want to change the rating but I’m way too lazy to go back and actually do so, haha. I do agree with the ‘Dragon mode’ one, that hasn’t exactly happened to me but there are times when I rate a book four stars or so and then months later I’m thinking back and going, ‘why did I rate that four stars? It was such a good book! There was this part and this part and this part!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Relatable 10000% omg!!! I also deal with this issue!!! The only difference is that I’m unable to put the reasons behind my ever-changing ratings down so concisely, hahaha 😅 All of the reasons that you listed definitely play a role in my indecisiveness. For me, the quality of my previous reads is also huge. If I’ve been reading stuffy classics for months, of course I’m going to give the next fluffy romance I read a preposterously high rating, no matter how badly it’s written 😂

    Ooh if you’re struggling to balance all the different parts of a book within a single number, you might want to check out the CAWPILE rating system?? I saw a few bloggers use it and thought it’s really neat how it rates each individual storytelling aspect on a separate level.

    Great discussion April!! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh yes that is a really good point! Especially if you’re hopping genres, it can be really hard to compare them against the same scale. as a whole my ratings are just ever changing lol
      I might need to check the CAWPILE system out— thanks for the suggestion Abby!
      Thank you for reading!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this is such a great post!! i’m honestly also kinda indecisive at times when it comes to rating books that i end up changing some of them after a while oops. and i totally get the enjoyment vs quality thing, it’s sometimes hard to be objective when you really love the book but you know objectively it’s not worth 5 stars HAHAHA.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. aahhh this is such a relatable post haha!! i’m also very indecisive when it comes to rating books (and honestly everything in life lmao), and i’m pretty sure my rating system probably makes sense to no one except me, but it’s fine :’) i also tend to bump down ratings when i sit and think more about the book, and realize all the flaws it had that i completely forgot about due to the high of finishing the book lol. lovely post!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These literally all my reasons why I change my book ratings. I too am indecisive as heck.

    I think it is only instinct that one would want to rant about a book when it doesn’t end the way they wanted. But then your head clears and it’s settled a bit. And I really need to read Renegades. This is the second time someone has mentioned a line from the book and I know I’m going to go crazy when I get to that line and I love that feeling.

    For your second point, tbh I think I remember all the books I’ve read from 13 and on, but that’s only because I’m slow so I basically savor every single book I read. But there are books that are most memorable and touch your soul, your heart or whatever.

    Then again, as much as I may love a story, there could be faults I see and even though I love the book as a whole, objectively and subjectively speaking, it wasn’t the best. And I rate it 4-4.5 stars even though it touched my soul.

    And then I personally have ratings based on genre because I can’t compare a rom-com with a high fantasy. Ratings are complicated, but they make sense to your own self.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yess ranting def helps clear the soul. after I finished ranting about supernova I realized that I didn’t hate it as much as I originally though I did. I actually liked it once I got over my initial disappointment. I hope you’ll love it when you read it! as a series it is very good!

      wow remembering books from 13 on is impressive! my memory is lacking but normally if I see the cover it will jog my memory (I’m very visual that way lol). a lot of the time books just get overshadowed by even better books.

      ahh yess that makes sense! there are some books that are just so amazing and speak to you that are worth the 4 or 5 despite flaws!

      ooh rating based on genre is smart! there are unique elements to both so it makes sense to rate them differently!

      thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really like reading this post! I’m guilty of changing ratings SO MUCH, for basically all the reasons you listed. I have for sure gone into Dragon mode and given books one stars and then later raised it a little higher because I realized it wasn’t totally terrible and I was just mad I wasted time on a book. Most of the time though, I think I tend to decrease the ratings I give because I try not to be too harsh on books and then end up letting the annoyances I have with them stew until I have no option but to lower the rating. That was a super long sentence, but I think you get what I mean 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yesss I totally know what you mean! sometimes you want to give the book the benefit of the doubt, but then all of it’s flaws keeps throwing mind rocks at you until you are annoyed enough to change it. and other times you are just raging that you spend multiple hours reading something that ended up being disappointed in, but it wasn’t that bad. ahhh basically my ratings are temporary feelings that are subject to change at any given moment lol
      thank you for reading!!


  7. ahh this is such a great post and so relatable! Changing ratings of books some time after I have read them is something I do often and well, it obviously makes it hard to make the 5 star rating system objective and comparable. But as long as you understand your ratings, it is all okay, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have been thinking about star ratings quite a bit lately and how I never feel settled with one rating for a book. Books which have the same rating can make me feel completely different things so why did I give them the same rating. Now I don’t think 5 stars are a good enough way to group my feelings for books, I need more room to explain, but I don’t know what I would replace them with, if anything.
    I really appreciate how in this post you were able to touch on different emotions that change over time, its why I stopped rating my books as soon as I read them. I tend to sit on my rating for like a week then I will decide haha but now I’m like ‘should I even do ratings at all’. haha. This was a great post though, I loved it !! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yesss! there are so many reasons why I might rate something a certain rating, so having a blanket statement, like the stars, never feels like enough.
      Oooh sitting on ratings is smart, to let your thoughts simmer for a minute! I’m debating not using stars anymore, its just hard because I like having a set system. Ahh I don’t know!!!
      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment! Happy reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

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