How I Rate Books

Hello again honeybees! As I’ve been reading more lately and writing reviews, I started to look hard at how I rate books. This post really helped me narrow down the key characteristics of a one star, two star, etc, book and I hope it gives you a better understand of how someone else rates books!

I, for one, love seeing these posts. So if you’ve done one of these, feel free to share the link in the comments so I can check it out!

The only way for me to rate books is on a 1-5 star scale, and I am a firm believer in using half stars for books that are almost to the next star rating, but not quite. I do (very rarely) give out pity half stars when I wanted to like the book more, or I feel like it deserves a higher rating, but I just can’t commit to the full rating. Is that breaking some sort of reviewer code? Maybe. Probably.

One Star

A one star rating means this book was awful. It was boring, there was issues with the mechanics or it was problematic, and I would not recommend this book.

I don’t rate books that I don’t finish, so a one star rating would be one that I painfully powered through and wish to never think about again. It’s very rare that I give such a low rating to a book, but when it happens, it’s pretty awful.

Two Stars


This rating means that the book was boring and maybe just not my cup of tea. Maybe it was slightly problematic and overly odd. I couldn’t get into it and there’s a 80% chance that I wish I’d never read the book.

Three Stars


This means I liked it, but I was disappointed. It was an enjoyable read with minor issues, but overall it wasn’t a bad book, it just didn’t live up to the hype/my expectations. Usually, I didn’t connect to the characters, didn’t understand elements of the plot, and/or didn’t click with the writing style.

Four Stars


I’ll be honest, I give this rating out like candy pretty often. This rating means I really enjoyed it, there wasn’t any major issues, and I would recommend. If I read a book, really like it, but don’t love it—four stars.

People seem to think that 3-4 star ratings aren’t good, but for me, these mean that the book *was* good. Just not a favorite.

Five Stars


Oh, the rare and elusive five stars. A five star book must have relatable and beautiful characters, an introspective or gripping plot, deep messages, and amazing writing. This is a very tall order, I know, but my five star books are almost nearly perfect. Except, when they’re not.

Books I give 4.5 stars have some of these characteristics but got a higher rating probably due to how much I enjoyed it. (Example: Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout)

Sometimes I give books high ratings simply because I enjoyed them that much, but very rarely do I give a book five stars without it checking off some of the above criteria.

How do you rate books? Is my rating system similar to yours? Do you give five stars out easily, or make the books work for it? Do tell!

For more bookish content, follow me on Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter. Thanks for reading! Love, Destiny

One thought on “How I Rate Books

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