#BookBloggerLife : 5 Non-Literary Things that effect my book ratings

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I’ve been bumping into my old reviews on Goodreads and I sometimes find myself too generous or too harsh in a past review. Most of the time I change it, a push down or a bump up.

This made me think about what sort of things effect me when I write a review or rate a book, so I decided to give it a go to sum them up!

1 – The Book Before … The “Ex”

Reading a book is a lot like having a relationship. So when I welcome a book in my  hands I unintentionally and subconsciously judge and compare it to the books I’ve read before it.

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I can’t get over the last book I read if it was terrible or fabulous.  If I read a really good one, the next one will be judged harder! If I read too many books I didn’t enjoy in a row, anything I slightly enjoy next, becomes a good book. Sometimes much better than it actually is. Hah!

2- Timing of the review

The more you wait, the more you digest what you’ve read. I find myself being pretty harsh sometimes, if I immediately rate a book. Usually waiting is better, give it a few days to sink in, let it flow into you, give it some thought.

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Being patient and giving it a day or two always helps me have more honest ratings. In the end the poor writer probably took ages to complete the book, so it’s fair to be patient and let the book completely get digested.

3- My mood

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I wish I was a stable, rock solid person but I am not. Some days I feel quite moody.

On my moody days, I hate moody books. I was always very determined to finish a book once I started it. Only until recently I started dropping books if I don’t like them. So finishing a book that made me feel worse than I was never ends up with a good rating.

I have a theory about happier readers and happier ratings: read a book when you’re happy and it’ll definitely be a happier rating than you normally do! I don’t think this will make massive difference, but it can easily push up a 3.5 stars to 4, or a 3 to 3.5! (I wish Goodreads let us to rate like that…)

4- The Timing of the Read

Sometimes your life doesn’t let you love a book.

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There have been times I’ve been terribly stumped in reading. I have at least two books in my favourites which I really, really loved when I managed to finish them finally but my first attempts were such fails! It’s weird but true. One of these books was A Hundred Years of Solitude. My first attempt was when I was in university and with a very stupid timing, exam season! Obviously my poor brain cells were worn out from Computer Science and trying to read a magical realism book with hundred different characters didn’t work. I dropped it frustrated only to pick up in a few years time and fell in love with it. I admire that book. It is a fantastic read and literally one of the best books ever written.

5- The holy trinity: The cover, blurb and PR

Ever read a book with a blurb that has nothing to do with the actual book?

Or been frustrated by a book labelled as THE NEXT GONE GIRL or next Harry Potter, or next Insert popular book name here?

Or a fantastic cover full of praises, only to discover they are for the writer, not specifically that book…

Then you know what I mean!

Sometimes publishers are very cheeky. They cheat us big time! I’m not going to name any names, but my first listen on audible was a book praised so highly and on the top of the cover it said : For fans of Gone Girl (and some blah blah saying it’s next gone girl or something) and it was nothing to do with Gone Girl, the writing was terrible, the story was crap. I was so lucky that audible accepts returns!

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I forgot the count of the times that book blurbs were gone wrong. One recent example is All is Not Forgotten.  It was described/marketed as a stalker story but it is absolutely not a page turning stalker story, but a very highly sophisticated, psychological thriller. Why do you do that to a book?

That’s it folks!

Do you find anything else apart from the book content effect your ratings too? Please share it with me 🙂

 

 

 

 

25 comments

  1. Comments well made; a previous book can make or break the one you are reading. My mood when picking it up MUST be taken into consideration too or I may dislike it simply because it was not what I felt like reading at the time.
    Also, publishing companies do often lie. It’s sad but true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I completely agree! Taking a few days to consider a book is a good idea. Sometimes I write a review, but I’ve found it best to wait a bit to publish it. I will sometimes adjust my rating after a little time away from the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Maria Antonia! I think when we let it sink we do more justice. If the Ending isn’t good we can end up only focusing the end for instance, although the reading experience is a whole..

      Like

  3. I like your suggestion to take some time before rating a book, but I just can’t do it! If I don’t rate a book within a few hours or the next day, a lot of what I want to say totally leaves my mind! And since I usually read more than one book at a time, my brain just automatically jumps on to the next one. But I admire people who can take their time when writing reviews. The ones I post on my blog are more thought out, but my Goodreads ones are usually not as thorough!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! We read so many books, I understand. I have a trick. I created a WhatsApp group, added my sister, then removed her so I am alone. When I am reading, anything I want to put in my review I drop myself a voicemail into that group. Also when I finish it, I tell myself what’s happened and what I thought about the book. That’s how I deal with Netgalley books, as you have to wait for closer to publishing day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, probably all of the above for me as well 😀
    I usually take a break between books if the one i just finished was really awesome. Don’t wanna ruin it straight away with something that might not be good.

    Also for me the writing style… it can be a mediocre story, if it’s written in some lovely or unusual way, i might end up liking it more because of how it was written.

    There are books i know i won’t like, no matter what, and those are the DNF ones. There are others i know i’d like them in a certain mood, so i postpone those. The problem is with ARCs cuz i really want to finish them on time, so i try and disregard my mood sometimes, and look at it obejectively, but lately i just kinda gave up on the deadline a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true Norrie! I think the writing style is defo a marker for me. I actually feel the opposite is true too. Sometimes i get picked by story but hate writing. 🙈
      The deadlines doesn’t help too😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post and agree with all your points, especially the ‘holy trinity’ one! I hate misleading advertising, especially when it leads to lots of bad reviews for a book that is essentially a good one but just not what readers have been led to expect. Amazon’s own publishing arm is bad for this. They’re all about a lot of quick sales and no plan for longevity. It’s so unfair to the authors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stephanie! It is definitely unfair for the writers, they shape their work with effort and then someone comes and changes it with two words

      Like

  6. You voiced my thoughts exactly with this post Ova. I really enjoyed reading it, and loved the memes, lol! The end of the book is so important to me that it definitely can bump my rating up and down 1 star, although the book is much more than that. And you’re so right about publishers! It really disappoints me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is funny how our mood effects are rating. I’ve found that happen to me several times. I do like to wait a little bit and think over the story before I review, but not always. Great post, enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I also do that with old reviews, constantly change ratings 😀
    And comparing a book to those read before is something that gets high marks in literature class/exams. so you should continue doing it as well as referencing them in your reviews. it is a mark of a well-read & critical reader. besides, no book stands apart all on its own, all books are part of a whole body of literature that has come before it and will do so in the future, & they are in constant dialogue with each other.
    I agree with you that waiting to write a review is better, but I would add that sometimes rereading is even better (if its a book I liked but was unsure or perplexed at others for loving it) I end up noticing much more detail, nuance, & humour that I missed the first time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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