Truth is, I give most books I read three or four stars. Why? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Because most books aren’t worth five stars. It’s just the truth and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Over the last few months, I’ve reviewed several books on my book blog, DJ’s Book Corner. I get lots of emails from authors thanking me for reviews or asking me to further elaborate on something I said in one of my reviews. As long as they’re not asking me to change anything about my original review, I actually have no problem with doing this. But one email made me raise a brow.
The author thanked me for taking the time to review their book and said they really appreciated how thorough I was. But they also said they don’t freak out over negative reviews and that they would take everything I said into consideration.
I gave this book 3 STARS. How is that a negative review? I guess this would depend on what others define as “negative”. But on my blog it says that a 3-STAR rating means “I liked it. Had some issues.”
So I say again...what?
I’m not going to name names or anything, but believe me, the review was not negative. I did as any good reviewer would. I talked highs and lows, good shit and bad. I rambled on about the characters, pacing, and the overall plot. I even mentioned an interest in the second book. Trust me, if I really dislike the first book in a series, I ain’t reading the rest of ‘em!
Nothing against the author though, because I see this a lot. Authors really think 3-STAR ratings are B.A.D. No, people. 1 and 2-STAR ratings are bad. 3-STARS are G.O.O.D. A lot of authors (and readers) see a 3-STAR review and immediately write a book off.
Why do you do this???
Those are the books you need to check out. Books with all 5-STAR ratings are the gambles and chances are, you’ll probably lose big. I have. Many times. Example? City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I gave it 3-STARS when it probably deserved two. It had its strong points but the amount of 5-STAR reviews of this book are misleading. It ain’t all that, believe me.
Brings up another point. Does anyone else besides myself feel like people give books high ratings simply because everyone else is giving the book a high rating and they don’t want to be the odd reviewer out? I think so. In fact, I know so. I found myself about to do it for a couple of popular books before and stopped myself like “WOAH. What the hell are you doing?” Most will deny they do this, but some will be like “Damn. She’s talking about me.”
Yup. I know.
But to get back to the point. 3-STAR ratings are NOT bad. The only time they have a negative impact is when the review doesn’t match the rating. Either the reviewer gave a really great review and a lower rating, or a negative review and a higher rating. I know most authors won’t complain about the latter, but it doesn’t do an author any good really. Once people read the review, they’ll see how off the rating is and pass judgment that way. Not a good look for you as an author, let alone the reviewer.
Bottom line? Stop hatin'! A 3-STAR review from ME is a positive. I rarely write 5-STAR reviews and those books that I do rate that high, absolutely deserve it. So just think twice about brushing off a 3-STAR rating. Really dig into the review and understand what the reviewer is saying about the book, before you throw up your hands and call it a “bust”.