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How I Rate Books

Hello readers! Today’s post is one I have done before, but it was WAY back in February when most of my current readers weren’t around, so I thought I should go ahead and update it.

I also wanted to mention quickly that I am taking a week off as of today! I mentioned this is my Wednesday post, but wanted to say it one more time, if you missed it. I have pre-written my post for the 16th, which is a Down the TBR Hole post,so I don’t have to work during my break to get it up on time. I’ll be working again starting that day, but you guys won’t see me officially back until the 18th, for WWW Wednesday! AND just like last time, I will be looking at all your comments, so don’t be afraid to drop me a comment or DM on Instagram during my week off.

This post is just to show you, my readers, how I decide what rating to give books when I read them. When I can’t decide on a rating, I do use the CAWPILE system, which I don’t have to do very often.


When I give a book five stars, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t dislike anything about it. However, I can drop a star for just one problem, depending on what it is! If I’m reading a thriller, it has to keep me hooked, even if I guess the ending! If it’s a fantasy book, I have to be invested in the characters and their wellbeing. I want to laugh with characters, cry with them, grieve with them, or whatever feeling the book has, I want to feel all the feelings with them. Overall, I have to get that blissful passionate feeling for reading when I’m picking it up.

The second reason is if I grew as a person while reading and can’t stop thinking about the book. This doesn’t have to be literary fiction, but is a lot of the time. If I know this book has changed the way I see things, it deserves a five star rating!


Usually, 4 stars just meant there was one big issue or a few small ones that made it not hit 5 stars. For instance, a book I LOVED was Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant, but the ending left me really confused and I didn’t love it, so it became a 4 star read. It also could be if I didn’t like a portion of the book. Let’s say it’s a thriller than the first 1/2 or more was really slow and didn’t capture my attention, or the last 1/3 of a book just wasn’t as good as the rest, I would give it four instead of five.

Most of the books I read go into the 4 star category. In fact, 1/3 of all the books I’ve read in 2021 have received a 4 star rating.


3 stars is the rating I give a book when it was okay. I may have enjoyed it, but could’ve lived without reading it at all. I try to avoid giving books this rating because I feel like I waste my time reading 3-star books. This is just the default rating I give when I didn’t really feel anything for the book, good or bad.


Two stars is not always a bad rating for me. I have two different reasons I might give a book 2 stars.

First is DNFs. I don’t add every book I DNF to my read list, far from it. However, when I do, I usually give it 2 stars. THEN, I will put in my review why that book didn’t work for me and I try to recommend it to other people that might like it. I made a post last year where I talked about all the books I DNF’d and most of them fell into this category. The book just didn’t work for me in one way or another or I just didn’t vibe with it.

The second reason is if I think the book was really frustrating, and not in a way that it was meant to be that way. For instance, I read Anxious People by Fredrik Backman back in December and I just hated every minute of reading that book. All the characters were really dumb or overly defensive and unhelpful. The police officer was SOOO aggressive. I don’t mean in his actions, but in the way he was talking to all the witnesses. I also thought where the robber was, was kind a bit obvious. Anyways, I could just talk for a long time with all the reasons I DIDN’T like a book like this one.

I do not like to give out this rating. I have only given 2 books in 2021 this rating and hadn’t given one before that one star since 2018. I give out this rating if I think the book is offensive and I can’t see why other people would enjoy it. If you have been here for any amount of time, you know my feelings on Outlander. I gave that book 1 star. I am happy for you if you liked it, but I don’t see how anyone could like it.

An AMAZING example of this is a book I was reading to my daughter one day. It was a Dr. Dolittle book. I hadn’t read one of these books before and had only seen Eddie Murphy playing him as a kid and LOVED those movies. I was reading it to her before she could read, and came across some incredibly offensive language that I won’t repeat here. People of color in his books are described as caricatures and are stereotypical.

I have since researched a bit more about the Dr. Dolittle books and found there is scene with a black character and he talks to Dr. Dolittle about how he wants to date this girl and the only way he can is to bleach his skin to make him white. I was just appalled to find that information out and I wish more people would put things like that in their reviews these days.

PLEASE comment down below and let me know how you rate books or if you have a post about it, because I would love to know!

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