Oh, the dreaded, much-debated-about three-star read.
If you’ve been in the book community for long enough, I’m sure you’ve seen the disclaimers that many book bloggers and booktubers give out, hands in the air in surrender as they are slammed by fans of books that they gave three stars.
“THREE STARS IS NOT A BAD RATING!” they cry.
But is this true?
In my opinion? It fully depends on who rated it.
There are no hard-and-fast rules to ratings. Everyone who rates a book has their own standards and their own rating system. I include mine on my blog in case someone doesn’t want to read my full review and just wants to know, quick and dirty, what my thoughts are.
For me? Three stars means, in short, “just ok.” It wasn’t great and it certainly wasn’t mind-blowing, but I also didn’t DNF it.
This is all true… for me.
Many reviewers have a much stricter rating system than I do, and vice versa.
This is why I feel this argument, whether three stars is good or bad, really shouldn’t be an argument at all.
Because the answer is different for everyone.
I will say that no reviewer should be attacked for their opinion… and I think that is where the true issue lies.Yes, we all wish that everyone loved the books we are obsessed with just as much as we do, but guess what? That will never happen.
Because everyone has different tastes in books. And is that really such a bad thing?
I fully support mature discussions about differences in opinion when it comes to ratings. Or even non-douchey rebuttals to someone’s gripes about a book.
However, when a reviewer is attacked because of a three-star rating (or any rating, really, good or bad), it absolutely baffles me.
Though to be fair, many things about internet trolls baffle me, but that is a discussion for another day.
Anyway, here is my unsolicited advice: If someone’s three-star rating rubs you the wrong way, do one of two things:
- Skip it and only read the five-star ratings, because clearly seeing those two empty stars is just too much for you to handle
- Read. The. Full. Review. Before you lose your mind. Chances are the person may just have a different rating system than you do.
(Or you could just do what I do when I see a low rating on a book I love: roll your eyes and say out loud to yourself, “Pffft… Who knew an opinion could be so wrong?”)