Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thoughts and debate-When to Rate & Review

     I have had this on my mind off and on for awhile and is now to a point that I feel I must share some viewpoins I have and to perhaps get some of yours in return.

     I keep seeing a lot of people rating and reviewing books they have never read.  The more I see this the more it bothers me.   If a person doesn't like a author, genre or book summary people will give it a one star and flat out state they did not and will not read it.  Honestly, if you don't want to read a book, fine but don't negatively affect the stats of a book you never read.

     Then there is the flip side.  A person loves an author and automatically gives all their books 5 stars.  I see this a lot on Goodreads with sequels in particular.  Patrick Rothfuss even made an amusing review of his own when he kept seeing people rating his upcoming book.  He flat out says he isn't done writing it even!



     I have no problem with them shelving the book as a favorites or a 'will not read,' etc.  I don't even have a problem under the review options stating your opinion.  But why rate it?  This affects stats of the book and is not fair to the book, author, publisher or potential buyers.

     One author in particular jumps out at me for both these highs and lows.  Kiera Cass.   I see people who love her book and are off rating The One at five stars.  OR those that refuse to read it rating it one star.   It isn't even out yet!  Then there are those who are angry at her for some comments apparently made back with her first book that put some readers off.  That is fine, but why  fault the book?  By giving it one star, you are saying the book is bad.  The author is another story.  Maybe there should be a rate the author system or something.

     Then there are DNF's.  We all have them, but at what point can we fairly judge a book?  I see reviews where people flat out admit they don't like the genre, read 5 pages and stopped. Then leave a 1 star and a hateful rant...Um, you didn't even give the book an honest chance, in my opinion.   Now I have, on extremely rare occasion only read 1 or 2 chapters then stopped. But if that is all I read I will not rate and review usually.  There is so much to a story and while the first few chapters are vital they do not make or break a book.  For me, personally, I insist on at least 50 pages (or 25%) of the book/story, before I feel entitled and knowledgeable enough to make anything close to a sound review.  The book simply dissapears from my shelves.  Now I can understand a brief blurb about why you didn't finish.  In fact, those can even be appreciated.  It is those that act as if they read the book, know the ending, understand the characters, and just use it as a negative rant that bother me.

     Now these are just my opinions, as I said before. his is most assuredly not meant to start any drama.   I am willing to bet that some who take a look at this do exactly what I said bothers me.  This is not a hate rant to you.  This is not meant as a lecture.  This is me stating an opinion, seeking others and hoping to perhaps get some new insights.  Let me know your thoughts.  I value each and every one, even those radically different from my own. 

13 comments:

  1. I agree totally on the 1 and 5 star reviews of books the readers have not read. There should be a system on Goodreads to stop you rating a book not yet published.

    On the DNF side of things, as soon as I get bored by a book or I'm not enjoying it or not engaged by it I stop. I have too many books I want to read to continue with something I don't enjoy. Sometimes it can be after 50 pages sometimes earlier, it just depends. Like you said, that comes down to personal choice.

    Where we differ a bit is I will rate and review everything I read, whether I finish it or not. But in my review I explain exactly why I stopped ie was it just not my thing, too gothic, too slow, too descriptive, hated the characters etc. I now try to be as constructive as I can to give feedback to anyone reading my review who doesn't know whether to read it or not, and to be a bit fairer to the author. So my 2 star review might say 'decent story but the book had too much romance for me personally' which might encourage some paranormal romance lovers to think 'hey that sounds like my thing!' I like to think that fair and honest 1 and 2 star reviews need not always be a bad thing for an author! My plan is to give detail about the book-writing style, plot devices, plot pace, world building, storytelling, action, romance etc to help others decide if it sounds like their kind of thing or not. That is the plan anyway!

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    1. I don't mind it being published so much with advanced copies going out. But maybe within a couple weeks is more realistic.
      I get dnf-ing a book at any time but without giving a reason yet claiming it as "read" and 1 star seems harsh to me. I will rate a book, even unfinished, so long as I feel I gave it a fair chance and have reason to rate it. Things such as grammar being so atrocious I couldn't continue, etc. But like you said, stating WHY is a big thing with that. What you are saying is great!

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  2. I didn't realize people were rating without reading, that is stupid! I agree with you on giving a book a shot - I normally go with the same as you before I stop!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I see it all the time on goodreads. Just because they like or hate an author.

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  3. I'm totally against rating a book that hasn't been read that's completly absurb and itdoesn't help the author even if it's giving a 5stars because readers will loose all their trust in the rating so it doesn't make sense.
    Classify an author as one you will never read because his or her behaviour in real life bother you that i accept and understand but it doesn't justify rating a book negatively

    As forreading book out of our confort zone... that's different. i can buy a book to try a new genre or a new author for me and i can review it said it didn't work in my case but i will justify and... i will do so onloy when i finish teh book. also those are book i take, pick or borrow. if i receive a request for a genre not one i have a lot knowledge of or once that i don'tfeel i will like i prefer to decline that to start with preconception

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    1. I have no problem saying you won;t read a title. Create a list for that, but like you said, don't rate it. The shelf title says enough to those who want to know. Comfort zones if you give the book an honest chance I applaud, regardless of the outcome, but I know someone who flat out states he/she hates a particular genre yet keeps reading them and every single one (over 50 titles) are dnf reviews with a 1 star rating. That is where I get frustrated more so. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  4. It is strange how people rate without finishing it. Or even before the book comes out. It is not fair to authors or fans. I can understanding comparing books in the series but not giving them the same rating unless you think they deserve it.

    People should be honest, but sometimes they aren't - which i think is more prevalent in online communities. It is easier to do things like rate unfairly.

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    1. I have learned each book in a series can be very different. Book 1 can be great, and the next be horrible. Or all the books good until the last. Or the first not so good, but the series improves.
      Thanks for sharing here!

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  5. Ugh I totally get this! It's really infuriating to see people on Goodreads rate books that they haven't even read yet! Like "I'm rating this 5 stars because I can't wait to read the sequel". Like seriously?! How do you even know that it will meet your expectations? IMO, it's really stupid.

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    1. I agree. I have read a lot of sequels that do not live up to prior books of the series!

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  6. I agree totally. If I mark a book as dnf, I don't give it a rating because I don't think it's fair to the author. I typically don't write reviews either unless I've promised to read for review or I really have something to say about a book. I don't understand rating and commenting on books that haven't been read.

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    1. I will sometime write a dnf review if I read a large portion enough to make a sound decision. I just get frustrated at the "I read 2 pages and didn't like it" How can you say a book is bad after that under most circumstances? Really bad grammar or spelling is the only reason I would quit that early and rate. And even them I try to skim read a bit further first.

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