(May 2020) For many years it has been accepted, and expected, a numerical star value will be given whenever reviewing a product, book in this case. However, with the distortions mentioned below, these have become increasingly emotive and tend to override the actual content (positive and negative) of the written review. The decision has therefore been taken not to include a numerical rating in future book reviews published within this website and associated blog but to allow the review to stand on its own merits.
Despite the policy outlined above, book retailers and book social media sites usually require a numerical star rating be included with a review. The only alternative to not doing so, is not to publish a review. That would be unfair to both author and reader. Consequently, when publishing a review in any of those sites, the following policy, as explained, will be applied:
Partly due to the varied values and definitions attached to ratings by different organisations and companies, and partly due to misuse, there tends to be confusion about what a review rating really means. The issue is not helped by the fact many independent authors, unrealistically, expect and often give, a higher rating than merited. Some readers are also concerned they may cause offence by giving the rating they truly believe appropriate. Consequently, the rating system has become a little distorted in places. This website is not prepared to exacerbate the situation.
Of course, it is understood friends, relatives, fans, etc., wish to help and support those they care about however, ultimately, it helps no one (author or reader) to distort the truth. The ramifications can be far reaching and may in fact do more harm than good.
In this website and associated blog the following interpretations are applied:
1* – (I hate it; Did not like it; etc.): Poor content and/or quality.
2* – (I don’t like it; It was OK; etc.): Not brilliant but not totally disastrous.
3* – (It’s okay; Liked it; etc.): The majority of books realistically fall within this rating.
4* – (I like it; Really liked it; etc.): Very good but has some minor drawback.
5* – (I love it; It was amazing; etc.): Excellent, little if anything at fault.
Note: The definitions shown in parenthesis are not the writer’s but those some sites apply.
Some may consider the above approach a little harsh nevertheless, as already made clear, this website is not prepared to distort the system further. Ratings here, and wherever reviews are published (social media, etc.) will be applied accordingly.
Further guidance and explanation, for those who may be interested, is available in the topic Assessing Book Review Ratings.