Question: When Do You Know How You’ll Rate A Book?

Posted February 29, 2012 by Carmel in / 21 Comments

Julie's Question - Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks
by Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks

I don’t have one go-to answer for this question it really depends on the book. Sometimes I know after only the first few chapters; if I can’t connect with the characters, the writing is full of spelling mistakes or I’m confused from the start after an information dump, etc. Other times I pass judgement around the mid-way point because I feel like I have a good sense of the quality of the story by then but, more often than not, I withhold my rating until the end. For me, the final chapters have the power to make or break a book that was, up until that point, just okay. Either everything finally comes together and my imaginary thinking light bulb engages or I’m left feeling like the last two days were a total waste of my valuable reading time.

When I’m immersed a book I frequently make mental notes throughout. I’ll think to myself “ooh this is definitely a 3-star”… one hour passes… “no, this is a 4-star”… This process goes on for pretty much the length of the novel. Whenever I finish a book I’ll usually update GoodReads and rate the book but it’s happened a time or two when I’ve gone back and revised my original rating upon writing my review. So, yeah, I don’t really have a set rating routine…

I’ve actually thought about abolishing my rating system because I only read books that appeal to me so it’s rare that I’ll give a book anything below 4-stars. If I’m reading a novel it’s because I’ve done my research and I think that I’ll like it.

What about you?

When Do You Know How You’ll Rate A Book?

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I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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21 responses to “Question: When Do You Know How You’ll Rate A Book?

  1. Usually by the middle of the book I know my rating….or at least I’m thinking if this doesn’t pick up it stays at this rating, or I’m thinking if the book gets better I’m going rate it higher…Does that make sense? Lol. Basically unless something tragic happens I usually know my rating way before the end.;)

  2. DJL

    It usually depends on the book for me when it comes to rating them. Sometimes it’s at the very beginning, most times in the middle, and sometimes at the very end of the book. The problem is when it’s at the beginning and I’m not enjoying the book. I’ll usually stop reading and set it aside, and sometimes I won’t pick it up again. Sad but true, I cannot keep going with every book I start, though I try to give them at least 50 pages or 3 chapters to draw me in. So I totally know what you mean, Carmel. 🙂

  3. If I’m really enjoying the book, then I don’t think about it until the end. If I’m really hating the book, then I think about it within the first few chapters. I don’t make my final decision until I’ve finished a novel, though. Sometimes the ending can make all the difference.

  4. For me it’s usually by the middle of the book (unless it hasn’t pulled me in much in the beginning) that I have an idea of what I’m going to rate it. If it really starts to pick up midway, I will rate it higher. I’m really bad about not thinking about what I’m going to rate it while reading. Like you, I have gone back and changed ratings as well.

  5. Sometimes I know for certain from the first chapter if I am going to like a book and if I can click with it from there, I usually want to carry on reading. I also find that if I can get through a book quickly and the writing quality is good, then it usually gets 4 or 5 stars. If I can’t finish a book quickly and I have no desire to read it because I can’t click with it in the first part of the book, then I tend to give it 3 or lower. Sometimes I compare a book to others in the genre and even if the writing is ok, I will give it a lower rating if the plot isn’t as engaging as it should be (this usually happens with Star Wars novels).

    Flaws like spelling, cardboard characterisation, repeated words or phrases that are annoying and the character constantly going into situations that are unrealistic also make me rate a book lower than it would have been.

    The thing I really hate to see is a book which could have been excellent but flaws like unfleshed out characters, repeated phrases and unrealistic situations mean that it is horrible. I’m in the middle of reading a book like this at the moment and all I can say about it is that it’s very sloppy on the author’s part and I sometimes wonder if the publishers have either pushed them too much to get it published quicker than it should have been, or if the author is indeed not that good. Books which fall into this category don’t do the author (who probably thinks that he or she is the god or goddess of writing!) any favours because they never improve.

  6. I’d definitely say by the middle of the book for the most part. Although there have been times when the ending has swayed my rating in one direction or another because a lot of time that’s where the action climaxes, characters turn on each other, and other dramatic stuff happens. Especially if it’s a series book. So sometimes those things can either make me angry or giddy, depending on how they turn out. lol

    ♥ Sarah @ I’m Loving Books

  7. I usually wait till the end of the book before I make my final decision. While I do sat to myself from around chapters 4-5 what rating I think I’ll be giving, I’ve been surprised a few times before. The choice between 4 and 5 stars is the hardest and the difference is usually made by how I really feel about the book and if I see it as a future reread or not. Also, it has to do with how I felt during reading the book and how strong my feelings were and if at any moment I felt that a little detail, something pulled me out of the story.

  8. Ruby and Carmel,
    I also usually wait until the end to make a final decisions, but often I know in general what I’m going to rate it. The ending has to be really good to change my overall view of the book. I really hate reviewing books that I know I probably don’t like because of the topic or genera when someone who was into that type of book might like it better, but I also tend to be more clinical when I review those types of books.
    I usually go with my emotional reaction if it’s a genera and topic I enjoy reading about. However sometimes I feel I’m more critical of those authors because I’ve read more in the genera and I know what a good book looks like…. know what I mean?
    I also agree with you both that the difference between 4 and 5 is really hard. I rarely give the full 5 because it’s so rare to get a book that is that over the top for me. However 3 to 4 is the easiest difference because for me it’s the difference between a well written book that draws me in and one with flaws or that I don’t connect with but is well written.

  9. @Dreamer2229 Sometimes I feel pressured by either the author of the publicist to review a book that I really don’t want to read. They’re so “confident” that I’m going to like it and then I end up hating it. It really pisses me off! lol

  10. @Dreamer2229 I know what you mean, and I stay away from genres I’m not comfortable with and from books I know for sure I won’t enjoy. Why lose my time reading something I don’t like and then write a review for it?

  11. Sometimes I know what rating I’ll give a book when I’m not even halfway through, and other times I won’t figure it out until I actually sit down and write my review. It really just depends on the book.

    I usually pick books I think I’ll like, but I’ve been wrong before and have had to write some negative reviews. But I think I’m physically incapable of giving out one-star reviews, lol. I consider anything three stars or higher a pretty decent book most of the time. I think the only way you can really tell if you’ll like a book is if you read it, and there will always be books that sound good but turn out to be crap *shrugs*