What’s in a rating?

After reviewing books on a regular basis over the last few months, the rating system I’ve used has left me unsatisfied. I adopted the rating system from Goodreads where 1 through 5 stars ranged from “hate it,” “didn’t like it,” “liked it,” “really liked it,” to “loved it.” The system isn’t very partial, and I found that I didn’t really use it anyway. Besides, who cares if I liked it?If I like a it, does that mean it was a great book? Absolutely not! I’ve loved books that really weren’t great writing and hated books that were incredibly well written.

Therefore, I’ve decided to change the rating system I use on the site. Ratings will be given based on such things as plot, characters, grammatical errors, pacing, and so forth. Ratings will also be given relative to their genre. Characters in a children’s book such as Artemis Fowl are quite different than characters from Pride and Prejudice, and each should be rated accordingly.

Without further adieu, the new and improved rating system for Novel Tease will be as follows:

5 out of 5 stars

Five stars mean that I wouldn’t change a single thing in the novel. The characters are developed, relatable individuals. Plot was interesting and well paced according to the novel. There were no grammatical or editing errors, and the overall quality of the novel was excellent.

4 out of 5 stars

Four stars mean that the story was good, but it needed a few things changed. This could mean that the pacing may be a bit slow or that a few of the characters required more development, but not too much needed to be changed.

3 out of 5 stars

Three stars mean that it needs work, but there was something compelling about it. Either the writing was excellent or the story was intriguing or the characters were excellent, but the novel needs one or two drastic changes to make it better. If I were an editor, I would tell the author to rewrite some parts.

2 out of 5 stars

Two stars mean a lot needs to be changed. Characters need to be developed, plot needs to be rewritten, spell check needs to be used. It could be good, but it needs work.

1 out of 5 stars

One star means that the novel needs to be completely rewritten to be salvageable. Very few novels receive one star because most don’t make it to publishing.

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About Kimberly Dyer

Kimberly is a Reference Librarian at her local library in Texas. She loves reading Young Adult and Teen Literature.

2 responses to “What’s in a rating?”

  1. Briana says :

    This is actually a pretty good idea, attempting to come up with some type of objective rating system.

    Rating systems dissatisfy me in general because, despite guidelines such as the Goodreads one, which says three stars mean you like it, I always feel I have to give something at least four if I want to send the message I actually want people to read it. Threes just sound very neutral to me.

    Then, there’s always the question of rating a picture book a five vs. a classic novel. One might be “better” in some sense, but if it’s a really good picture book it shouldn’t get a two just because it’s a picture book!

    But I really like your proposed system here. I think it helps to deal with these issue.

    Like this

    • Kimberly says :

      Thank you! I was really dissatisfied with it, too. I felt like it didn’t capture what I really wanted to convey about the quality of the book. Whenever I rate a book, I do so with the assumption that the rating is relative to its genre.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Like this

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