On Changing Ratings

I’ve been wondering about this lately whilst perusing my GR shelves for various reasons. I keep coming across books and I see those stars and I’m like

Because my thoughts have changed since I read the book. Now that I’ve had time to actually sit on it for a while, I realize that my initial star rating isn’t accurate anymore. As a reviewer, I would always rate and review right after reading (otherwise I would forget all my thoughts and have nothing to say). But the thing about those kinds of gut reactions is that they’re easily changed. I go with my gut at first, but my heart feels differently after the passage of time.

It seems to go in both directions, too. Like I enjoyed Open Road Summer while reading it, so I gave it 3 stars, which is a solid read for me. But after thinking about it for a while and picturing Matt Finch’s perfect face, I realized I actually loved it more than I had initially thought. So I upped it to a 4-star book on GR. This might not seem like a big deal, but 4 or 5 stars ratings are pretty hard to get from me. On the other hand, I was looking for fantasy recommendations for a friend and I scrolled past Defy and saw I had given it 2 stars. Seeing that just brought back all the negative feelings and ragey-ness I had after reading it and I realized that 2 stars was being way too generous, so I docked one.

I used to think that ratings were set in stone once the review posted. Like that was my final word on the book and once published, couldn’t be refuted. I have a lot of ridiculous thoughts sometimes. But this subject also brought to mind how much my perception of book blogging has changed the longer I do it. Things that I thought were irrefutable facts, like you must post book reviews to consider yourself a book blogger, are just not true. They’re just arbitrary rules that I decided to follow until one day I didn’t. So, if I want to change a rating, I’ve decided to just go for it.

Let’s chat! Have you ever changed a rating after taking some more time to think about it?

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16 thoughts on “On Changing Ratings

  1. Some people feel a need to have rules and criteria for each star a book/movie earns to get their rating. While I agree that makes your ratings very even across the board I feel like I should go with my gut. I normally sit on my own ratings for 24 hours, it lets everything jell and I revise from there. Many times I rage while reading a book and at the end I’m like eh, that wasn’t so bad and sometimes it’s the exact opposite.

    I say if your gut changes then change it! Nothing’s set in stone. Cheers.

  2. I have done this too! Mostly I will change my mind after I type out the notes I took on a review book. I always take notes to remember stuff and once in a while as I’m typing I’m like, “Wait a minute, I really enjoyed this more than I remember.” (Or the opposite) I guess it depends on my mood:-)

  3. I have changed my rating plenty of times in the past! Even after I write a review for it, I tend to change my ratings depending on how I feel afterwards. The question I always ask is: Should I change my rating on my blog review. Well, I don’t, which is a bit bothersome now that I think about it. :/

  4. I change my ratings quite often but I also don’t write reviews right after I read a book, I only take notes. Once I wrote a review a few days later I often change my initial rating when I realize that it deserves a higher/lower rating

  5. I love this post! Because it is so true! I have totally overhauled some of my ratings because I was being waaaaay to generous on a lot. My 5 star books are LEGIT, 4 stars are really, really good but juuust not to the 5 star epicness. 3 stars is a good rating for me, too. I liked it…but nothing GREAT or bad just liked. Love love love this!

  6. This is the very reason I take days before rating and reviewing it. I like to think about the book over a few days just to make sure I actually like it. I’ve changed a lot of my ratings in my head but on Goodreads… I’m just too lazy XD

  7. I’ve never changed a rating after I’ve reviewed a book. And it’s not because I’ve placed some kind of rule upon myself where I cannot change a rating … it’s just that I don’t want to. When I rate a book, it’s how I felt about it at the time, and if I go back and change it, I’d feel like I wasn’t being true to the feelings I felt immediately after finishing it. And, to be honest, I’ve never had the overwhelming urge to change a rating, either. I am bad at all kinds of decisions except for rating a book. Because the rating is normally based of the feels that the book gave me when reading it. So the only instances that I might change a book’s rating would be if I re-read it. Like Divergent. It went from an original 3.5 stars to 4 stars after I re-read it. But I still kept the original rating, and then rated a different edition with the new rating (if that makes sense).

  8. I can relate! When I started book blogging in late December, I realized that a lot of my star ratings on Goodreads had been way too generous. Especially in that hazy middle of the 3 star books. I decided that I was going to back and rework a lot of the 3 star reviews to better reflect what I actually thought of the book. I ended up going with Goodreads’ suggestions for the star ratings and consequently bumped a lot of former 3 star reviews down to 2 stars–“it was okay”. And I was so much happier with the way everything looked after that.

  9. I don’t touch the ratings once they’re there. Not because I feel like my rates are set in stone, but because I don’t think about a book for too long after I’ve finished it. Sad, because I have such a huge collection of books, but slowly I only want books that have really left me breathless or filled with so many emotions my head will hurt for days (yes, it’s happened). But I won’t bother changing something, no point dwelling on the past 🙂

  10. I’ve often changed my rating, but typically only after a re-read of the book. Just thinking on it usually isn’t enough to change my mind, if only because my memory of the details gets fuzzier the longer it’s been since I’ve read it, so even if I might start to question it, I tend to stick with my gut reaction. Once I read it again, though, anything can happen.

  11. I’ve never changed a rating after I’ve posted, and it’s for a lot of the same reasons as Chiara. I feel like how I felt after reading and how I feel now can be two different things, each deserving of their own rating. I’ve never been moved enough to add this, but I’ve decided if I ever do feel the need to change a rating, I’ll keep the original rating with my review and then add an addendum stating that upon further reflection, or with a re-read (ideally), I would re-rate the book as “x” and list my reasons for doing so.

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