Home "Shady Talk" Shady Talk: Giving a Book a Low Rating

Shady Talk: Giving a Book a Low Rating

by Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

Shady talk Giving a book a low rating



This post will somewhat be a cathartic experience for me. I don’t particularly enjoy giving a book a low rating. Whether it is DNF (did not finish) or 1 to 2 stars. But it got me thinking, what constitutes a low rating? What went wrong in the story that led me to give it such a score? This doesn’t really happen to me all the time, thankfully, but when it does I don’t feel good about it.


As a book blogger I have to be honest. Or else my readers will not trust my judgement. I don’t really want that to happen, so not every book I read is stellar.ย  But whether I post low rated titles on my blog is another thing altogether. A lot of bloggers out there refuse to put negative reviews on their blogs. I, myself, don’t put books that I’ve rated less than 3 stars on my blog. As a reader, would you want to see less than 3 star reviews on a blog? Goodreads is typically where I would post it.

The more I think about it the more it makes me want to change my policy. Negativity aside, I really think it’s my job to post all reviews on my website. There are tasteful ways to do a negative review. I’ve seen so many snide and cruel remarks on Goodreads that don’t really lend to constructive criticism in any way.ย  Some go as far as belittling the author. It’s horrible, but I’m sure you’ve seen it.

There are those that see a negative review and buy the book anyway. Reading is all about people’s tastes. I’ve read some negative reviews about a book, that I, in turn actually loved! So, why should I limit what goes on my blog? The book I disliked might be your next favorite read.

The book that spurned this article was Wrong Number, Right Guy by Elle Casey. It was actually the audiobook version, but I doubt that reading it would have changed my opinion on the matter. I will end up giving it less than 3 stars, unfortunately, but all with good reasons.

I will not write off the author indefinitely all because of one book. I’ve heard her other series was good.

The fun part about being a book blogger is the experimentation. It’s all about getting a feel for an authors’ writing style and whether it is a good fit or not.

To be honest, it’s kind of rare for me to give a book a low rating. I usually like most of the books I read. However, are my tastes evolving too? Probably. I’ve actually noticed that I’ve become a little more critical in some of the books that I read. Never in a snide way of course. ๐Ÿ™‚


So, ultimately you will be seeing all kinds of ratings on this blog. It’s just something that I feel I must do to be a fully rounded blog.


Do you have any policies on ratings?




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Aleen @ Lampshade ReaderJenSiran ToukhanianJess@Fairday's BlogMary Kirkland Recent comment authors

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I try to mostly read novels that I’m really interested in, or that I feel I would really enjoy checking out. Mostly, the books I’ve read this year have been ratings of 3-5, a few two’s. I’ve thought about that though, whether to post the lower rated books on my blog or not, I’ll probably be doing that also. I really enjoyed your post, even more because I don’t see a lot of posts about this and I was just as curious about it. Thanks for sharing!

Siran Toukhanian

This post did get me to think. So far all my reviews are 5. The one time I was about to give a lower rating I said what made me consider a lower rating. I believe that I am still learning to how to give reviews.

Jess@Fairday's Blog

Sounds like doing this post helped you sort out your feelings on the topic. Awesome! I think it is important to write honest reviews. People can post negative reviews in a way that states where the book went wrong for them. I don’t like when people just say they didn’t like it, but not really the reason. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Mary Kirkland

I review what I read, simple as that. These days I only post reviews on my blog so all of the reviews end up there. If it’s a story I didn’t care for then I will rate it lower. I usually only read books that I actually want to read and I read a lot of the same authors over and over again. So for the most part I like most of the books I read. But there are exceptions and I will write what about the story that I didn’t like.

Lily B

never really thought about it, the only thing that made me wary of posting a negative review is the fact that if it’s a popular book you might have push back – which to me does not make sense because everyone taste is different. I feel like if I don’t slander the book I am okay with posting what I did not like about it – hoping that if someone reads why I did not like it they might find the reason minor and still read it anyway? Other time like you said, sometimes you really just don’t have anything… Read more »

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I have to say that I am a bit relieved that the book wasn’t the White Trash Zombie book. I post all of my reviews on my blog – good and bad. I actually do like reading what didn’t work in a book for some people. Sometimes, I know that those things wouldn’t bother me but other times I know that I may have an issue. I don’t usually post anything regarding DNFs just because I throw the towel in too early to write much of anything.

Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

Good questions to ponder! I will post negative reviews or meh reviews (which for me would be a 2 or 2.5) if I finished the book, or read enough of it to feel I can be fair. I do try to be objective and focus on the book’s flaws, rather than being snarky or mean about the author—like you, I’ve seen that on Goodreads and elsewhere, and I don’t care for it. I will call an author out for not doing their research, though, and if they’re self-published, I’ll call them out for errors that should have been caught by… Read more »

Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

I don’t have a set policy on posting books that I gave a low rating – it just depends on the book. Sometimes I didn’t enjoy a book and really just have nothing to say about it. I read, I didn’t like it, the end. Sometimes there were specific issues I want to discuss air point out and in that case I do usually post a review. I try to point out what I did like as well as what didn’t work for me. Great topic, Aleen!

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