Bookish Musings: Why I Almost Never Give 1-Star Ratings


Somewhere amidst the various rating crises I’ve had since I started blogging, I realized that I rarely give 1-star ratings to books.

Seriously, out of the 550+ books I’ve read since I starting rating books, I’ve only given a 1-star rating to 12 of them. That really doesn’t seem like a lot.

Then again, maybe that’s normal and everyone gives very few 1-star ratings. What do I know? But I thought I’d muse on some possible reasons why and find out if any of you also give very few 1-star ratings!

Maybe I DNF All the Bad Ones?

This seems like the most obvious possibility, but I don’t DNF much at all. Only maybe 2-3 books a year.


Maybe I’m Good at Choosing Books I Like?

Maybe I am, to an extent. I know what I like, which is why I’m picky about books and often read lots of reviews before making a decision to read one. But it’s impossible to always know what a book will be like and to never end up reading any flops. Plus, I take chances on a lot of less popular books and ARCs that have no to very few reviews to base my decision on. And I also like to take chances on books in general if they have something in particular that interests me (like an uncommon supernatural creature), even if I’m unsure about the book as a whole. In fact, a lot of the absolute best books I’ve read have been ones I didn’t think I’d like or was super hesitant about. Taking chances often works out well for me. So it’s probably not this reason.


Maybe I’m a “Nice” Rater?

I give out even less 5-star ratings than I do 1-star ratings. I’ve only given 8 of those. As for 4.5 star ratings (which I round up on Amazon and Goodreads), I’ve given 40 of those. So I don’t just hand out 5-stars. However, I think I am pretty lenient with my other ratings, which is why I end up with so many 3.5- and 4-star books and also why I’ve given the same rating to books I loved but also to books that were more ok. So this reason is a definite possibility. But that brings me to my next point…


Maybe I Find Some Redeeming Qualities in Every Books I Read?

As I’ve said before, I never regret reading a book, and I feel like I gain something from every book I read. I even have a whole post about the good thing about bad books. So those redeeming qualities I find often sway me to give a book at least 2 or 2.5 stars, even if I personally really disliked it. And that’s another thing…


Maybe I’m Trying to Be Objective?

Sometimes I read a book and feel like, well, *I* didn’t like it, but it seems like something other people could possibly like. I try to rate books based on my personal enjoyment since that’s what helps people understand my taste… but I don’t rate books solely based on how I feel. I also take into account the writing, the story, things it did well or not-so-well, etc. That’s why I might completely love and adore and rave about a book but still give it 4 stars. So it makes sense that I might also do the opposite—hate a book but give it 2 or 2.5 stars because I recognize there were some things that were done well even if they weren’t to my liking.


Maybe It Has to Do with Emotion?

When I look back at my list of 1-star books, those are the books that I’d write down if you asked me to make a list of the worst books I’ve ever read. They literally stick out in my memory because they actually made me angry because they were just so terrible, or the characters acted so ridiculously, or nothing made sense, or the book were problematic and filled with things like sexism and romanticized abuse. So I guess I feel like, if a book didn’t make me feel that passionately, if it wasn’t so horrible that it actually made me angry, then it just doesn’t feel like a 1-star book to me.


I Think It’s a Combination of All These Things

For example, there are some books that I’d include on my list of worst books ever, books that truly made me angry and are still memorable for this reason, that I gave 2 stars to. So I guess I must’ve felt like those books had some redeeming qualities. Or maybe I was in a more lenient mood. Or maybe my ratings are just all over the place since I have no actual system and decisions are hard. But still, I think I really have to be angry at a book and find little to no redeeming qualities to give it 1 star.


Talk to me!

Do you give a lot of 1-star ratings?
For what reasons do you give a book 1 star?


Your Thoughts


100 thoughts on “Bookish Musings: Why I Almost Never Give 1-Star Ratings

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  1. Adrian

    Yeah, If I’m going to rate a book 2 stars then it’s probably a DNF for me and I will contact the author or publisher to explain why I won’t be reviewing it. I just finished Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman. I only gave it 2.5 stars as I was bored to tears with it for the most part. The lowest book rating I’ve ever given is 2 stars-that was for Six Scary Stories – selected by Stephen King. What an absolutely awful book, and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay. Also boring as hell.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That makes sense. But I try not to DNF once I’ve passed 15%, definitely not once I’ve passed about 30%, so I don’t really know my rating yet that early. It sounds like for you, if a book has enough something to make you finish, it gets at least 2 stars.

  2. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    I never give out one stars either. I guess that would be a DNF for me? I am pretty careful about what I choose to read, and for me, two stars is a book I did not like at all. I rarely see bloggers hand out one stars, so maybe it’s a blogging thing?

    1. Kristen Burns

      That makes sense, if you consider 1 star a DNF rating. But yeah, 2 stars generally means I had some serious issues. Idk, I guess I don’t pay enough attention to ratings to even remember if I’ve seen 1-star ratings around lol.

  3. Miggs

    All of the above with me. I’ve given a few rare 5 Stars, and the lowest I’ve ever given is 2. Anything warranting lower, I prefer to forget.

  4. Greg

    I don’t really do stars per se although I guess I do on Goodreads, if I’m ever there. But same here- I give VERY few bad reviews. I guess it’s because I like most of what I read, so either I’m easy to please lol or… just lucky? Ha I’m not sure! This has me thinking though… if I REALLY dislike a book or am bored I’ll probably DNF it, so maybe that’s part of the solution, at least for me. I think you’re right though, it’s a combination of things? I know for me I go off feel a lot, so I’m maybe not as objective as I could sometimes be, but whatever.

    Good point about emotion too. Yeah if a book is REALLY bad or pisses me off then yeah not only might I give it 1 star but it would be memorable for that reason as well. Not in a good way.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol being easy to please isn’t a bad thing! It means you get more enjoyment from reading. But the DNFing could def have something to do with it. Yeah, it’s just a whole combo for all of us, probably.

      Yeah, a book pretty much has to be so bad or offensive or problematic that it makes me angry in order to get one star!

  5. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    I went on GR to check because this is actually really interesting and out of 712 books 70 of them are 1 stars, I thought it was going to be more tbh but almost 10% isn’t bad at all. The last few years my patience with bad books is almost nonexistent, I’ve read a few too many bad books back to back and they really put me in a reading slump so I can’t even read those books I was looking forward to.

  6. Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing

    I never really counted my 1-star rating so I have no idea how often I 1-star a book. But it is usually because book made me angry for one reason or another. If book, writing, characters are bad but it did not evoke anger in me, I usually go for 2 stars. SO yeah, it all comes back to emotions and anger when 1-starring a book πŸ™‚

  7. Jenn @ Bound to Writing

    I haven’t been rating books for that long as I only started my blog back last July, but in that time I’ve only given 1 1 star review. and even then I gave it 1.5 stars. I try to find the good in books which is usually why I don’t rate them low. I’ve noticed that I read a lot more higher-rated books though which could explain why I don’t give 1 or 2 star ratings.

  8. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I don’t give many 1-star reviews, either. I think it’s mostly because I DNF books I don’t like. I’m also pretty good at choosing books I’ll love. I know which genres don’t work for me.

    1. Kristen Burns

      If you DNF books, then it makes sense to not have many one-stars. And I’m the same, I think I’m at least somewhat decent at choosing books—I know what I like/dislike, and I tend to be picky!

  9. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    You got me curious so I checked my GoodReads ratings. I have exactly three one star ratings – and have been using GR since 2007. So yeah… go me. LOL I mainly attribute this to one of the reasons you brought up: I choose what I know (or am fairly certain) I’ll like. Sure there are always surprises, and I have plenty of 2 star reads in there, but for the most part, after 40 years of reading, I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Wow, you have even less one-stars than I do! But yep, it prob helps if you know what you like and are picky about what you read. Of course we can never know for sure, but it helps!

  10. Kathy

    I think I’ve only ever given out a 1 star once, and that was because of something I found troubling and offensive. I usually try my best to stay away from those. But if it’s just a book that I didn’t like, I’ll give it a 2. I’m Canadian–I don’t like being mean. πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, most of the books I’ve given 1 star to, it was because I found them offensive and problematic. Haha, maybe authors should start giving their books to more Canadians πŸ˜‰

  11. Angela

    I don’t give one-star ratings. I DNF quite often and I don’t rate those books, and I figure if I finished a book, it at least held my attention even if I didn’t like it. So I have given out 2 and 2.5 star reviews. When I’m reviewing a book I didn’t like, I do try to point out some of the things I did enjoy, even just a little bit.

  12. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Some good thoughts here. First of all, I think quite a few of us research books we want to read and pick ones we think we will enjoy which accounts for some lack of low ratings. Also, like you, I think if it’s close to a 1-star read, I’m probably going to have DNF’d it – which I don’t do a lot of either. I think sometimes I’m too generous with 4-star reads and if I give it a 5, it still may not be the greatest book but it struck a chord with me. I like ratings, but I try not to get too hung up on them. If it’s a book I want to read, and I see a bad rating, I will probably still give it a try. However, if a blogging friend tells me they don’t like it and explains why, chances are I might skip it – see The Woman in the Window πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Idk, I feel like a lot of people like to read as little as possible and avoid blurbs even?? I’m not one of those people though. I read like 20 reviews before deciding on a book most of the time lol. So that prob does account for less low ratings for those of us who do research books. I also may be a little too generous sometimes. I agree though. I don’t pay much attention to ratings because it’s the reviews that matter.

  13. Danielle

    I very rarely give out 1-Star ratings. The last 1-Star rating I gave didn’t even make it on my blog. I don’t even give out 5-stars, even though I have it on my rating system. I’m a mood reader, so if the book is good/bad, I’ll say it in a review.

  14. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    I haven’t given a 1 star rating to a book in I don’t know how long. I think, like you, I’m good at figuring out what I like before I start reading, AND I do find SOME redeeming quality to at least give it a 2. I think I gave 2 books 1 stars last year, but they were DNFs for me (and I felt justified in giving the 1 star because they were PAINFUL to read).

    Before I blogged I definitely gave out 1 stars a lot more liberally because I’ll come across something I reviewed back in the day on Amazon or something and be like HARSH!!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, those books that are just painful to read are the one-stars for me. But if there are at least some redeeming qualities, I usually feel like it deserves more?

      I think I was the opposite! I was easier to please lol.

  15. Rebeccah @ The Pixie ChroniclesRe

    I can totally relate to this! It’s actually extremely rare for me to give either a 1 or a 5 star rating, because I feel like I should reserve those for books where I feel extremely STRONG feeling, either negative or positive. If it left me just kind “meh”, even if I didn’t like it, I’ll still give it a 2. I don’t know, I think I just need something to truly make my blood boil to deserve a 1 star, and most of the time I don’t feel much other than boredom or apathy toward my lower starred books.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Same. I try to reserve those for the most extreme of feelings. If I just feel meh but there wasn’t anything too horribly wrong with the book, then I wouldn’t give that 1 star either.

  16. Stephanie Jane

    Love your reasoning and quite a few of your thoughts resonate with mine.
    I only 1 star for DNFs and fortunately I’ve not had many of those although there is one this month. If I’ve ploughed through to the end then the book must have had at least one redeeming quality so that’s 2 stars from me.

  17. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    I’m pretty good at choosing books I’m going to like, so I think that helps. Even if I don’t LOVE the book, I liked it enough to probably give it three stars. I don’t know how often I do 1-star ratings. I didn’t always rate books – and I don’t really, except on Goodreads if I KNOW the rating I want it to to be. However, I think I’m also trying to be objective too. I like to notice what was good about a book, or what someone else might enjoy more than me.


    1. Kristen Burns

      Same, most books I feel like are at least decent enough to get 3 stars. And I also can’t help thinking that some points aren’t bad, they’re just not for me, and so that ends up bumping up my rating too.

  18. Lola

    I think I only gave 1 book a 1 star rating even on Goodreads and that’s a book I DNF”d and wouldn’t even rate nowadays. So I rarely give out 1 stars either or almost never. In my case I think it’s mostly that I DNF the books that I don’t enjoy. But overall I only DNF a few books a year as well. I also like to think that I am relatively good at picking books I like, although just like you I do take chances on books I am not sure about or don’t have reviews yet.

    Besides that I think I always find something good in a book if I manage to finish it. If a book really isn’t for me I DNF it, so I never would get to that point to 1 star, although some of the books I DNF probably still would get a 2 star if I managed to finish them. I can’t really image how badly I would have to dislike a book to give it a 1 star.

    I don’t really believe in being objective in reviews, a review is someone’s personal opinion and it’s impossible to rate a book objectively in my opinion. I do get what you’re saying there that just because you didn’t enjoy a book someone else might. Reading is very subjective.

    Another thing that contributes is that I rarely strongly hate or love books. I rarely give out 5 stars as well and for me the 2 star is usually the lowest I give if I don’t enjoy a book. But who knows maybe I will ever give out a 1 star.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That makes sense that you wouldn’t have many 1-stars if you DNF. But yeah, you’re prob also good at picking out books you like.

      I can tell you how a book would have to be to get 1 star because I have read some. There was literally nothing good I could say about them, but there were so many things that were just awful and didn’t make sense and poorly written, and usually stuff that was offensive/sexist/etc. too. I haven’t read any that bad for a while now though.

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with rating books entirely subjectively, but I myself just can’t help but think sometimes that the book still wasn’t poorly written, it simply wasn’t for me, and so I don’t want to mark it way down.

      Well, hopefully you’ll never come across a book bad enough to warrant one star πŸ˜›

  19. JJ @ This Dark Material

    I very rarely give out one stars (never yet on the blog, and only 12 out of 400+ on GR). If I had to guess, I think it’s mostly a combination of good luck selecting books and also DNFing what would otherwise be a 1-star book. It’s really interesting to sit and consider why I have so few minimum ratings, though, because I don’t think of myself as a reviewer who fudges my opinion. Even if it’s just the number of stars on a website πŸ˜› I really enjoyed reading your own reasons for rating books and thank you for making me give some thought to my own! πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve given one on the blog, and one is scheduled to be posted eventually, the rest I just rated for my own personal records. So it sounds like we have similar numbers/habits there. I definitely don’t think anyone is fudging their opinion just cuz they don’t give a lot of one-stars! We’re still being honest about what we think each book deserves πŸ™‚ Glad you liked my discussion!

  20. Lindsi

    If I DNF a book, I still give it two stars. I’ve only given a single one-star rating, and that’s because I found the content to be offensive. The author wrote about rape like it wasn’t a big deal. Her MC raped a girl as payment for a tattoo he gave her. She was drunk/drugged and out of her mind. She didn’t even feel the tattoo being given to her and it was on her vagina. Any conscious, consenting person would have felt that. The MC said “she knew what she was getting herself into” by being there. To make things worse, his friend comes in later to ask if he’s “done with that” and takes the girl with him slung over a shoulder. The MC makes a comment about his friend “enjoying his seconds.” That was just the first chapter. If I could have rated that book 0 stars, I would have, but that wouldn’t show as a rating.

    I feel like every book has its audience, so when I DNF a book, it just wasn’t for me. That doesn’t mean it won’t be for someone else. I also hate when bloggers/reviewers author-bash because they didn’t like something. It’s okay to hate a character and complain about a story, but when you attack the author personally, you’ve gone too far. They took the time to write their heart, and went through the process of getting published (no easy task), and they deserve respect. You can respectfully inform people why you didn’t like something without crossing that line.

    If I finish a book, it usually gets at least 3 stars. It was good enough for me to finish, so it doesn’t deserve something less. If I’m not mistaken, I believe all my two-star ratings are for books I didn’t finish. I rate books based on how I felt about them, even if I think someone else would like it. That’s why I do DNF&Y now, so I can explain why I didn’t like something, and you can see if it’s something you’d enjoy.

    I love how creative you are with your discussion posts! They’re always fun to participate in!

    Lindsi at Do You Dog-ear?

    1. Kristen Burns

      You’re even nicer than I am then! But wow, yikes, that MC sounds completely awful. I wonder if he was just meant to be awful or if the reader was ever supposed to come to like him? Because I can’t imagine ever liking that guy.

      But yeah, exactly, I have a hard time giving one-star partly because I know that just cuz it wasn’t for me, it might still be for others. Author bashing is definitely not ok.

      Since I don’t usually DNF, the mere fact that I finished a book doesn’t always mean it deserves three stars. But I understand how that makes sense for you since you do often DNF books you’re not enjoying.

      Aww, thank you!

  21. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Ugh, I have a similar issue. I think I mostly feel bad? And try to see the good in all the books, you know? But like you, some have really made me stabby, therefore they get 1 star, but they have to be *really* bad. And like you, it’s definitely not DNFing because I almost never do that. I do think it probably has something to do with being pickier about what I read, and vetting books first before I obtain them.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I do know. I also try to find good things in every book. But on rare occasion, I just can’t. Or the bad is so bad that it outweighs any good. But I guess we’ve both just gotten fairly good at choosing books!

  22. Sam @ Spines in a Line

    That’s a really tough thing to figure out! I feel like even when I haven’t really enjoyed a book, it usually ends up a 2-star rating for me. I don’t think I’d ever consider giving a book 0 stars so 1 star is really worst of the worst and I don’t know that I’ve ever actually read any like that!

  23. Annemieke

    It definitely is a combination of all of the above for me. I rarely rate books 1 star but when I do… And I always try to find redeeming qualities in a book.

  24. Karen

    I rarely give 1 star. I having given a few 2 stars but my average is 3.5 or 4. 5 stars are pretty rare for me too though.

    If I’m reading a 1 star book (& not dnf’ing) it’s out of morbid curiosity of how it ends and I usually skim reading at that point and it doesn’t feel fair to rate it if I’m not fully reading it so I don’t. I just mark it as read.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, my average is also 3.5 or 4, but 1 and 5 are rare. I force myself to finish books once I reach a certain point or else I feel like I wasted all that time on what I’ve read so far. That’s my logic lol.

  25. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

    I rarely give a one-star and like you I occasionally DNF. Only 2-6 a year. I use to read to the bitter end, but having read 250= books a year each year I won’t hesitate. I do try to give a book to 25%, but have nixed one at 75% lol I read for pleasure so yep my emotions have everything to do with my rating. 5’s are for books I immediately want to read again.

  26. Sheila @ She's Going Book Crazy

    “Or maybe my ratings are just all over the place since I have no actual system and decisions are hard.”

    LOL. Yeah, it’s very true. I feel like my ratings are everywhere–within each star rating. I’ve rated books 2.5 stars and still overall enjoyed them but the quality wasn’t there, while others I didn’t like much at all. Giving a rating is almost as difficult as writing a review. There are a few books that make their worth more obvious, but others I feel like I’m trying to find the answers in the stars.

    Great post! I really enjoyed it! I also rarely give 1-star ratings. They tend to be for books that are potentially harmful for readers as characters aren’t represented properly or the like.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, mine are all over the place within each star rating too lol. It’s a mess. Technically I have a system listed on my blog, but I don’t really use it cuz it’s exactly like you said. 2.5 stars could mean I liked it but could see it had issues, or it could mean I really disliked it. Ha! Did you make that star pun on purpose? Cuz it was perfect πŸ˜›

      Thank you! And yep, books that are offensive or harmful, those are usually the ones that I end up one-starring!

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  28. The Orangutan Librarian

    I think it’s a great thing to have higher ratings- it shows you’re better at picking books you like for sure πŸ™‚ And I think that’s a very good point about finding redeeming qualities- I’m finding more and more that I rate books I don’t like 2-2.5* because I can see why other people might like it, even if I didn’t. I think you’re being very fair here!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I agree, I’m certainly not complaining! But yep, I guess a lot of us rate books knowing that other might like the book more, even if we personally didn’t, so we end up with less 1-star ratings.

  29. Aimee (Aimee, Always)

    I actually do give a lot of 1 star ratings, but it ~confuses~ me that I’d give 2-star ratings to truly horrible books sometimes! I guess for me, when there’s mood-reading, there’s also mood-reviewing. Like I have certain moods where books that weren’t even that bad get 1 star, and moods where horrible books get 2. I DON’T KNOW. It’s still a mystery to me! But I definitely agree with the finding redeeming qualities thing you mentioned!

  30. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I don’t give out many one star reviews either. Usually if I’m disliking a book that much, I DNF it and just move on. I don’t give out too many 2 star reviews either, which makes me want to say that I’ve gotten better over the years at picking books I know I’m going to have a good chance of enjoying.

  31. Tori @InToriLexa

    I also barely rate books 1 star. Over the years I have been much more selective with what I pick up. I know my taste now, and can basically spot most books I won’t like from the synopsis or cover.

  32. Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

    Personally, I think its 100% emotional. Whether a book resonated with you or not. I’ve never given a book a 1 star rating, but I have DNF’d before. Doesn’t happen often though. The lowest rating that I give a book is a 3 star. Which means it’s just meh. Great topic.

  33. Uma @Books.Bags.Burgers.

    I’ve never DNFed a book. I have this thing where I NEED to know what happens. But like you I’ve given maybe one or two 1-star reviews and I agree my reasons are a combination of the above! I do try to find redeeming qualities in the book and I mention these in my review. And I do believe I am a somewhat ‘nice’ rater at times πŸ˜› Wonderful discussion post Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Wow! I don’t DNF much, but I have DNFed a few. I understand your inability to DNF though, I really do. But yeah, it must be a combo, and I think looking for the redeeming qualities helps. Thanks!

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  35. S. J. Pajonas

    Yeah I DNF all the truly bad books and then I just move on and don’t think of them again. I don’t really review anyway, but that’s my excuse. πŸ™‚

  36. Sophie

    Well I rarely give 1 stars either. I would say I’m a mix of all your reasons above especiallt the “objective”. Provided the author did a good job I will try to think whom this book could please. Great post!

  37. Daniela Ark

    I don;t give many because if I finish the book it is because it was awesome πŸ˜‰
    The few I have given it is because I found the book offensive
    I agree that is a combination! You are one of the most dedicated book bloggers I know! You read and promote lesser known books and authors, writing very relevant and needed books with disability and diverse. And you ALWAYS finish all your books! So if any book gets a ONE star from you WOW!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, being a serial DNFer and all, I imagine you’d likely DNF all the potential one-stars! Same, some of the one-stars I’ve given, it was because I found the book offensive. But it’s definitely a combo! Aww, thank you <3 But believe it or not, I actually DNFed three books so far this year!

  38. Olivia Roach

    I rarely give 1 or 2 star ratings either… But especially not 1 star ratings! I think it is a good thing to be good at choosing books you think you will like. I don’t necessarily think it is because you’re a nice rater? The impression that I get is that you are a very objective reviewer, who sees good qualities among the ones that don’t work out too.

    I think I’m not a lenient rater either, but… actually, I have no idea. I really haven’t though about why I don’t give many low low ratings either πŸ˜›

    1. Kristen Burns

      I agree it’s a good thing! Well, see, it’s the fact that I’m an objective rater that makes me a “nice” rater, I think. Cuz even if I don’t love a book, I might think about how it was still well-written and so instead of 3 stars, I might give it 3.5 or something. So yeah, I do try to see the good qualities in every book.

      Hmmm, I mean, I’ve never noticed you being harsh with ratings, so I think you’re a pretty nice or fair rater too? Who knows, it’s prob a combo of reasons for both of us πŸ˜›

  39. Sophie

    Hello Kristen!
    I love your thought process in this post, and I can relate to all of the reasons that you listed! I’ve only given 1 star once in the last year or so that I’ve been tracking ratings on Goodreads. Most books that I don’t enjoy get a 2-star (mediocre, boring, or unmemorable). Very rarely does a book make me so angry to deserve the 1-star rating. I don’t give 5 stars often as well πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Yep, most books I dislike end up with 2 stars, I guess. It has to make me angry to get that 1 star! I guess we both reserve the 1 and 5 stars for exceptional books!

  40. Jennifer | Book Den

    I don’t give a lot of 1 star ratings, but like you, I don’t give very many 5 star ratings either. My 1.5s and my 4.5s get rounded up on Goodreads so most books get the benefit of a better star.

  41. Sam@WLABB

    I have NEVER given a 1-star rating, and I have very few (maybe 2?) 2-star ratings, and they were really 2.5-stars that I rounded down. Like you, I DNF books I am not enjoying. If I finish a book, it is because I liked it, which means, 3-stars. I also have come to see, that there are so many books out there I want to read, and I have been sticking to my comfort zone with my reading. Because of that, I do usually enjoy the book. Not all of them blow me away, but I like them. And, YES! to the emotion thing. I could read a book, which was not perfect, but evoked so many emotions from me, that I have to give it a favorable rating. I saw one reviewer call this “emotional manipulation” (which she was using in reference to John Green, btw), but I don’t care! It’s good to feel and remember our humanity on a regular basis.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh wow! I’m not nice enough to give a book 3 stars just cuz I finished it, haha. But yeah, when you know your taste and pretty much stick to it (as I pretty much do too), you prob do end up with less lower-rated books. And if a book makes you feel, then that’s a great thing!

  42. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I don’t tend to rate one star cos I plain old don’t get that far into a book, I’ll DNF and I don’t like rating DNF books. I think it’s probably also you’re aware of your won bookish tastes before you pick a book up. You won’t get a book you don’t think you’ll like in some way, you know? Even if you don’t love a book, you’ll end up having something which redeemed it slightly because something made you want to read it in the first place. At least, that’s the logic I’m using.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think that’s the reason a lot of people don’t give one-stars, cuz they DNF those books. But yes, I am pretty picky with books, so there usually is at least one aspect to redeem it. That’s a good point!

  43. Cee @ Dora Reads

    *whispers* Down with star ratings!

    …what, who said that?! πŸ˜‰

    I feel like, if I managed to finish the book – and if I *have* to give a rating – then unless it was really racist or otherwise really bigoted, it deserves at least 2 stars. Because it convinced me to keep reading, and writing books is hard! Lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      No, I agree. I hate how much emphasis everyone puts on star ratings because they’re so subjective and mean something different to everyone. And I hate to think people are avoiding books just cuz some random person gave it a low or medium rating when maybe the reason they gave it that rating was for something the other person likes!

      But anyway, that makes sense for people who DNF. Since I rarely DNF and definitely don’t DNF once I’ve reached like 30%, I do still occasionally read some crappy books. But usually the reason they’re crappy is cuz of sexism and how horribly women are portrayed/treated, so yep, I get it! But writing books IS hard, which is why I try to be nice and point out positive things even in my negative reviews πŸ™‚

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    1. Kristen Burns

      See, I rarely DNF, so I do FORCE myself to keep reading books sometimes. But sometimes those still end up getting 2 or 2.5 stars. I have to really hate something to 1-star a book!