Blog Post

Star Ratings: How I Use Five Stars to Rate Books


Using stars to rate a movie, restaurant, or book is very common today. Everyone gives a star rating, whether it’s out of five or ten or full- or half-stars. But are they really universal?

I’ve talked with a friend about a book, and we both liked it. It wasn’t our favorite book, but we would probably read it again in the future. My rating on Goodreads was 4 stars. She only gave it two. If we had the same opinion of the book, why was it different? Because not everyone uses stars the same way!

Goodreads uses a five-star scale, full stars only. If you hover over the stars it’ll tell you what they all mean.

⭐ – didn’t like it.
⭐⭐ – it was OK.
⭐⭐⭐ – liked it
⭐⭐⭐⭐ – really liked it
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – it was amazing

Pretty vague, right? I mean…did you like it enough to read it again? Would you recommend it? Did you finish it or DNF (did not finish) before you decided you didn’t like it?


I think of ratings more specifically than Goodreads. Especially at only a five-star rating, every star is precious! I always make sure I’m giving the most accurate and honest review I can within those little stars. Here’s how I scale five-star ratings for books:

DNF. I had major issues with the book and couldn’t get through it. Maybe someday if the stars are aligned I’ll try again…on second thought, probably not.
^pun intended…”stars” align 😉

I really didn’t like the book. I finished it though! It had it’s good points, but not something I’ll reread or recommend. If it’s a series, I won’t be reading the next book unless I really think something magical will happen in another 300+ pages. Maybe I’ll try a reread in the future, maybe.

Was the book good? Yes. Will I be rereading? That’s iffy. I’ll probably keep it available just in case, probably read the next book if it’s a series, but not putting it high on my recommendations list.

This book was pretty great. I really enjoyed it and finished in a couple days. If I don’t already own it, I’ll be purchasing to reread in the future, though I don’t know when that will be. If a friend asks for a book with this setting/trope/etc, I’ll make sure to recommend it!

I LOVED this book! I couldn’t eat, sleep, or speak to ANYONE until it was finished. If I see anyone in the next 48 hours, they will be hearing about this book! It was beautifully crafted, had engaging characters, and you’ll probably see me rereading it within the next year.


So there you have it: my five-star review system. Hopefully this gave you a better idea of how I personally look at books. I think about all these things while choosing my rating. As you can see I don’t take the task lightly! Reviews are so important for both authors and readers, even star ratings which take two seconds to fill-out.

Does anyone look at ratings differently? Do you agree or disagree anywhere with my system?

See you next time~

One thought on “Star Ratings: How I Use Five Stars to Rate Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s