Wednesday, 24 February 2016


I got this idea from Emma's latest video titled THE GREAT RATING CRISIS OF 2016 where she discusses her struggles with rating books. If by any chance Emma is reading this, I want you to know, that yes I have thought about me rating books, if my rating is bias or not and if I even deserve to rate books(more on this later in the post).

Rating Scales

First point of this discussion has to be rating scales. I personally use both the 5 star scale and the % scale. Like Emma pointed out, the % scale gives a lot of anxiety. But I personally have dealt with that with saying to myself, "You are not a professional reviewer, it won't matter." Which then raises the question, "Should I even give a review? because I am not qualified to give a review." and my mind debates that "Not everyone is a professional reviewer, probably most people aren't but they still do it." and finally "But just cause everyone does it, doesn't mean you should do it as well." This conversation between my mind and my mind always ends with me distracting myself with something that won't finally blow my mind, out of a debate that can never be won.

Probably my biggest problem with both scales is, "Am I using these scales right?" The answer to that is probably not. The % I give while using the % scale is dependent on the criteria on which I judge books on. In my case it changes for genre. For Example if I am rating Illusions of Fate, I would rate it on everything I judge a fantasy book on except for the literal world because in that book I think it is more about the romance, language used, politics and mystery than the world itself. But this brings the problem of not everyone is rating every book on the same things because there aren't any set of characteristics that you need to rate it upon. The % scale takes more time for me to figure out and it probably is less of me FANGIRLING and more accurate than the 5 star scale. In the 5 star scale, I don't evaluate on specifics, I evaluate on how much I liked it or not. So when I rate with the 5 star scale, it is total bias and how much I love the book personally.

Individuality vs Comparison

I personally think Individuality with a tiny bit of Comparison is the more professional way to rate books because you are rating them on what they are Individually but also Comparing them to what is popular and so making a better more accurate rating. When Emma mentioned this a new debate started "What do you rate books on, Comparison or Individuality?", to which my answer is I don't know. But the more likely of these two is Comparison because all I do is compare. When I read Throne of Glass, I instantly began Comparing it to The Ixia Chronicles and even the Kane Chronicles which I loved but because of Comparison I went around to lower their rating. But on the other hand, I change my rating criteria according to the certain book. So I think I equally rate them on Comparison and Individuality.


Everyone has some kind of Bias and consciously or sub-consciously it will effect your rating. My would probably be Magic. If a book doesn't have enough magical scenes in it I will rate it less than 5 with the exception of this being Poison Study. This probably comes from me being effected by the rest of the series but I don't care cause that book barely had any magic until the last parts and I utterly loved it. But this Bias only effects ratings negatively because it probably won't boost a rating unless we are talking about types of magic. Types of Magic is another Bias of mine that effects my rating positively because if like Truthwitch and The Ixia Chronicles, the world is enriched with magic and different magic popping up everywhere then my rating will be increased!!  

Final Thoughts

Finally I think that everyone should let their Bias effect their rating because that is what makes everyone's opinion unique. Also if someone knows they like books that you like, not letting that Bias effect your judgment is making you less 'authentic'. And my final, final thought is that I should start trying out different scales and see which best works for me so if there are any other scales that are not % and a star scale, please let me know in the comments or tweet me @duanethereader.

I hope you enjoyed my first Discussion and please let me know what you think about this topic and what I could improve next time in a discussion post and if there are any topics that you want me to discuss leave them in the comments below!! :)


  1. Interesting discussion, Duane! I've actually never seen the % rating system - but it sounds really interesting, and a lot more specific than a rating!
    For me, I feel like ratings are just ALWAYS super biased haha xD I try to be more objective though, but that's just by breaking down the novel into four parts - Plot, Characters, Entertainment Value and Writing Style, and rating each one individually then averaging it all out. Still subjective, but it adds a layer (albeit a thin one!) of objectivity to the rating system!
    Great discussion, Duane! :)
    Oh, and hey - you can review whatever you want. So long as you've read the book, I reckon you're qualified enough to give a review on it!
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    1. Thanks! Your objective rating system is more to the comparison side and I think mine takes them more individually. I think I might start using both to see the difference. Since yours is based on the same ratings every time and mine is more adjusted to the book. I really like your way. :) I am glad you enjoyed it! :)

  2. This is a great post! I struggle with this so much. I've been reviewing now for over 3 years and I feel SO unqualified. I get wrapped up in comparing books to others with the same ratings...and I get confused. Really, I think rating is the hardest part of writing my reviews. I flip flop and finally just decide on one and most get 3-4 stars. I usually DNF anything under 3 stars. I think you are right about the bias! That is what makes everyone's opinions their own. I really do wonder what professional reviewers take into account when doing their rating. Great discussion!