Those pesky three star reviews

imageReally interesting blog here from Ishita on 3 star reviews! I don’t see a 3* rating as bad, for me it was an ok enjoyable read but not one I’d necessarily shout from the roof tops about and would donate rather than keep on the shelf.
I don’t use a rating system other than on Goodreads but I’m aware other bloggers do and sometimes I mention in my review what Goodreads rating I gave, and sometimes I don’t. It’s not always about the star rating.
What are your thoughts on 3* reviews?


There are different ways you can classify a review based on the structure and style, but the reviews (movies, books, art, plays) I grew up reading were in newspapers and mainly of two “types” – ones with a rating system (out of five) and ones without.

When I started this blog for book reviews, I didn’t use a rating scale at all. Over time, I became active on Goodreads, started opening up my blog for review requests and came to know about the importance of leaving reviews on Amazon. It was then that I started rating books, because I realized how inbuilt and expected it is in the scheme of online retail, forums and promotions. I also went back to my earlier reviews and rated all of them.

However, there are times I wish there was no concept of a rating system at all. I feel that way every time…

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13 thoughts on “Those pesky three star reviews

  1. BrizzleLass says:

    I’m in agreement, that 3* is a compliment, the book is good but hasn’t knocked my socks off. I found faults but not so many I didn’t enjoy it. I still see it as a good book and when looking at reviews myself I wouldn’t interpret a 3* review in a negative manner. I see it as a really constructive rating.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ishita says:

    Thank you so much for the reblog! I really appreciate it!
    I feel like it would be great if the rating descriptions on Amazon and Goodreads were consistent … I mean, in Amazon a 3 is “Okay” but in Goodreads it is “I like it” ..


  3. shazjera says:

    I’ve been contacted in the past from an author that I reviewed on GR as a 3* review saying if I liked it, why wasn’t it 4* …

    To be honest I don’t read many that are 3* (lately they’ve either been 4/5 or DNF with nothing in between). I don’t like rating anything (including the products I buy and the holidays I purchase) although of course I do understand that consumers are swayed by them.

    There’s always discussions about ratings and I don’t think there will ever be an answer that suits all …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle says:

      Well yeah, I could see how that could be awkward. Did you respond or just leave it?
      And I think you’re right, everything has to be rated these days. I was only using M&S the other day and I got a pop up asking me to rate the website and I hadn’t even purchased anything!


      • shazjera says:

        I did respond and gave an explanation Lindsay. Not that I felt the author was owed an explanation but I did want to justify why. That’s my Libran ascendant needing to be fair 🙂

        Those pop ups on websites are REALLY annoying. Just saying.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. siderealday says:

    I agree about 3 stars still being a good rating. I mean, for me, a bad rating is DNF or anything below 2. Once you start hitting 2.5 and above, it means that there’s something there. Especially with 3 and 3.5-stars (which I seem to give a lot of), I feel that you’re saying ‘I thought it was good but not great’.

    Liked by 1 person

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