5 Things That Affects My Ratings

Posted August 18, 2016 by Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog in Discussions / 66 Comments

I am not sure about you but I think there are several factors that go into what I rate a book. In general I think it should be more straight forward than that – how much did you like it the book – but we all know that there is usually some other things that factor in. This is what factors into my ratings:

Enjoyment  and Impact of the Book


Clearly how much I liked the book after reading it plays the biggest part. I mean did it make me feel – whether it be happy, sad, angry, swoony, etc, did it have me wanting to keep reading it, did I get lost in its world. In general how happy was I that I picked up that book. Also, did this book make an impact on me, will it stay way with me.



I feel like this is another HUGE factor in my ratings. There are certain books I go into with super high expectations based on my love for the author or hype around it and depending on whether it delivers or not can really make a difference in the rating. The best is when you expect nothing and a book knocks it out of the park.

My Mood


Sometimes I am so just not into reading or a certain genre that I think it rubs off on my ratings sometimes. The converse can be said where I am just so into reading and ready to gobble up all the books I might be on a book high and ratings reflect that.

Books I Have Recently Read

I try not to compare books to each other but it happens. If I have been in a slump and I read a good book it may become a 5 star read because well I had read such and utter crap before it that it shines even brighter. Maybe a great book was read near a perfect book so it didn’t quite reach 5 or 4.5 stars at the time.

Outside Influence


I hate that this happens but admit it – sometimes I get caught up in what others think of a book. Whether overwhelmingly positive (leaving me think I must like this or what did I miss?) or overwhelmingly negative (but it wasn’t really that bad was it??), I think I might be swayed a certain way. I am not proud of this or even that I realize it happened until time has passed. I really try to not let this one affect my ratings too much or at all.


What influences your ratings? Is it anything besides just how much you enjoyed the book?

Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

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66 responses to “5 Things That Affects My Ratings

  1. Enjoyment is the biggest factor for me too. And sometimes I also think how I relate to a character can affect my rating. If I connect well with a character and understand their POV, I’m more likely to give the book a high rating.
    I used to do the last one a lot, which is why I stopped reading reviews from random people on Goodreads. I only read reviews from my blog friends.
    Rating is freaking hard though! I always struggle with it especially when half stars are involved.
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  2. Interesting post. The quality of the writing is a huge deal for me. I also like books that force me to think about something in a new way. Mostly, my ratings are about enjoyment, though. If I had a lot of fun reading a book, I’ll rate it high, even if I had some problems with it.
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  3. Yes, to all of these!! I admit that other people opinions on a book are a major factor for me, and I wish that wasn’t the case. I remember the days when I could pick up a random book and just read for enjoyment without looking to see if it got 5 stars from all of my friends first. Goodreads has really changed things for me, good and bad.
    I’m a terribly moody reader and that can be a problem sometimes. Not to mention the hype monster – I rarely pick up a hyped book and end up loving it.
    Love this!
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  4. I agree! I try not to read other reviews while I’m reading a book or before I write my review, but it is hard not to let others opinions influence my own. I do always write my review before a book club meeting, so that my friends don’t influence my rating/review.

    Another factor for me if whether the book will stay with me. 5 star books can be ones that I know I won’t be able to stop thinking about. And also I consider how much I want to tell others about the book – or how much I have already discussed the book with others while I was reading it. I only give out 4 or 5 stars if I think others (or everyone) should read the book.
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  5. I fully agree with mood and expectation affecting how I rate a book. I often try my best to go in with low expectations, but it’s almost impossible to do that when reading a series. I’m trying to think of any book in a series were the first wasn’t my favourite and the literal only exception is Harry Potter. But mood has a big effect too. Sometimes I don’t feel like reading something literary and so I get bored right away and don’t finish it. This is such an accurate list, honestly.
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  6. I dislike having to give a rating for each book. I always to try to at least report the negative even if it did not impact my enjoyment of a book. Sometimes I realize there were a lot more negative things then I initially thought when I sit down to write the review, because I enjoyed a book so much, and now I need to lower my rating. I try to wait to read really negative reviews until after I have read the book myself. So yea, I let other people influence my rating. You are not alone.
    Great topic!
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  7. I love this post and they definitely apply to me as well. I didn’t really think I was affected by expectations until I read AJ Fikry a few years ago. I enjoyed it and read it in a sitting but I wasn’t blown away and that made what probably would’ve been a 3.5 to 4 star book more like barely a 3 because I was expect so much from it!
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  8. I pretty much agree with all of them. ALL! I think my mood plays a big factor as well as enjoyment. There are books that I consider to be great stories but I didn’t fully enjoy the book. It was just good or an okay read. Those I tend to rate 3 or 3.5 stars. Unfortunately, outside influence sometimes makes me question my rating and my review so I understand you.
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  9. A lot of what you mention in this post is true for myself as well. The main thing for me though is my enjoyment of the book as a whole. While other reviews may influence my decision to read a book, they don’t really influence my rating and enjoyment of the book. My mood is another thing too.

    Great post!!
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  10. awa

    I agree! I try to avoid other reviews on books I am reading, because I to can get influenced. “Oh, yeah that was a bit irritating and that IS a valid point”! Lol My favorite books are all over the place. So vastly different from each other – I do think enjoyment play the biggest part.

  11. I think this is SO accurate- and honest! Because these things DO have an influence, even though we may try super hard for them not to, they totally do! It’s like there’s no real way to detach ourselves from these things- we’re human, after all! You have to wonder if there is any way that “professional” reviewers (for like, Kirkus and stuff like that) are the same as we are, or if they found some kind of hidden secret. My money’s on the former 😉 Love this post!
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  12. I’m sure these are all things that affect everyone. I don’t rate all of the books I read unless I feel like I KNOW what it should be rated – and even then, sometimes I put the rating on Goodreads but not my blog. But yeah, I think different circumstances can affect how you view something. That’s why ratings, like reviews, are subjective.

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  13. Great topic, Grace! Obviously ratings are wildly subjective – I mean, basically every rating a simply one person’s opinion. But I’m with you on the enjoyment/impact factor. I think that’s probably my biggest criteria. Impact, especially. And I think that’s why my 5 star reads are so rare. I save those 5 stars for books that *truly* make an impact on me. Not just every book that I like a lot. It’s funny but I think we are exact opposite on the outside influence thing. I have come to discover that I am *less* likely to love a book that everyone else is raving about. But I’m not sure why that is! This was a great topic – and gave me something to think about.
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  14. I can relate to all of these, pretty much. The one thing that I think affects my ratings more than I really thought about is my mood – I’m such a mood reader and so I know my reading material can be hit or miss given my mood, but I never really realised by how much until I go back and reread certain books. However, after a reread, even if my opinion has changed, for some reason I won’t go back and re-rate the book.

    Great post!
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  15. I definitely compare books to my recent reads. Sometimes if I read a book and LOVE it then read a mediocre one after, it will affect my opinion. But also, if I read a book and hate it, I go into my next read with sort of a negative attitude. Like “this better impress me”, and when it doesn’t WOW me, I am a little harsher on the ratings. Definitely not fair, but hey, that’s why a review is an opinion and people shouldn’t read just one before deciding to read a book hahaha xD We’re all just unreliable moody readers lol
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    • Oh yeah people should not just go with one review as the word on that book. People have so many opinions and other reviewers always hit on things that I wish I would have thought of. We are all definitely a bunch of unreliable moody readers 🙂

  16. Myndi

    I think I tend to rate within genre. When I’m thinking about a book, by default I compare it to others that are similar, otherwise, it would never be fair. This means that, for me, a 5 star book isn’t always equal to another 5 star book, unless they fall into the same category. A 5 star cozy mystery is not equal to a 5 star literary fiction, but they each stand out when compared to their competitors. Not something I do intentionally, just something I’ve noticed lately. 🙂

  17. I must say the enjoyment and impact, and expectations definitely affect my ratings too. Like The Raven Boys / The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I could have given them a 5-star instead of 4, if I didn’t read the books with exceptionally high expectations at first. Haha.
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  18. Yes to all of these, except maybe the last one. I try not to read reviews from others until I’ve finished a book and rated and reviewed it myself. (Unless I’m trying to decide whether or not to read a book, but that’s a totally different story.) I’m a super moody reader. My mood absolutely impacts my ratings. The quality of the writing is less important to me as a reader than the impact of the story, relatability (or likability) of the characters and the feels. Those are truly what drive my rating.

    Great post!
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  19. Love this! I try to rate simply based on my enjoyment of a novel but that is influenced by many of the things you mentioned. I know that my expectations really make a difference as does the books that I was reading leading up to a novel. I try not to let other reviews influence mine but I don’t know that I am always successful. Great post!
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  20. 100% agree on this. I really don’t care if a book is beautifully written or eloquent, I just want to have a good time while reading the story. I have read many beautiful books that bored me while I have read a lot of books that had nothing special but I loved them to freaking pieces. That is my number one impact on ratings.

  21. Lola

    For me ratings for a book are usually a general indication of how much i enjoyed the book, but there are also other influences that influence my ratings. Like if it is a series what i rated others and how this book was compared to those or expectations. And mood is also a big one, if I am in the mood for genre X I probably will read those books higher. And yes books you read before your current read can also influence how much you enjoy your current read. I always feel bad for the book i read after a 5 star. I try not to let outside influences influence my rating, but I am sure it happens sometimes. Great post!
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  22. I’m not sure how I missed this post when you originally posted it, but I agree with you completely. When it comes down to it, reviewing is subjective. Would it be wonderful if we could remove all factors besides the literary quality and our enjoyment of the book? Well, yes, but unfortunately we can’t separate ourselves completely from those other factors.
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  23. Man, it does kind of suck for authors when you think about it how much the ratings they get are affected by things that aren’t even part of the book itself. Like, is it their fault if we were in the wrong mood or had the wrong expectations? Of course not. Yet they still suffer the consequences anyway (or reap the rewards, I suppose).

    I was actually thinking just this week about how the last two books I read I loved, but I kind of wondered if maybe that was because I had low expectations for both of them. And I was wondering it that caused me to enjoy them more and rate them higher. I’m starting to think I should just go into every book with low expectations since maybe I’ll enjoy them all more that way lol.

    I think when in your life you read a book is another factor. Sometimes I wonder, if I had read X book for the first time now instead of a year ago, would I have felt differently about it?

    Ugh, it’s crazy how subjective it all is. This is why rating books is so hard lol.
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  24. I think we all get influenced in some way by what other people’s opinions are when reading a book. Well, unless you (like me) read books after everybody else has forgotten all about them…

  25. Love this post! One thing that clearly affects my rating is how it make me feel, just like you. I’m a pretty feelsy person so it’s important 😛 outside influence and expectation as well, but also genre! I used to rate books from different genre with the same standard. Like… when a fantasy is really really good, I rate it 5 stars but when a contemporary romance is really good, I’m reluctant to give it 5 stars and more often than not, settle with 4. But recently, I try to give rating based on the standard of genre itself 😉
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