Do we really need them and are they necessary, or not?
Chatting over on twitter with a couple of my twitter friends—author, Luke Tarzian and reviewer Traveling Cloak—Luke was discussing how for an author, the 5 star rating system can be something of a downer. Especially when someone rates one of your book a 3-star read, which, when you look at it, means the book was, in fact, an ABOVE AVERAGE read. Given how 2.5 stars is, technically, an average read.
And yet … As Luke pointed out, 3 star still instills a sense of dread in authors who feel like they failed. When, if truth be told, they really haven’t.
This is one of the reasons why, over the years, I chose to go with a numbered review system one through 10, based on five categories: world building, plot/story, dialogue, characterisation and the over-all read.
But, to be honest, while this worked, up to a point, I’ve asked myself recently if, even now, it’s too critical. Because, when it comes down to it, what we need to do is ask ourselves one simple question: was it a damn good read, or not?
I mean, would it not be better to review a book as: Not for Me / Like It / Love It / Favourite! [Thanks to Traveling Cloak for this great suggestion!] And then, give a couple of pros and cons in your review of what worked and what didn’t. We are, after all, only offering up our own opinion, we’re not doing an all out critique, or scholarly analysis.
We’re just happy readers, sharing a passion for genre fiction. While raving about the books and authors we’ve enjoyed, and love, with other like-minded people.
So let’s make this fun again, and less a competition, and come up with some other fun ways to say how much we loved a book.