The only reason I rate a book 1 star is if I cannot bear to finish it.
I might cringe right from the start of a book, but I still give it a chance to wow me until the 20% mark or so, sometimes less if I cringe really, really badly. Past this mark, if I still feel cheated, this is a guaranteed 1 star.
This is different to the book that “isn’t for me”, which I wouldn’t rate, because it would be unfair to the author.
The 1 star book for me, is the one where the characters are stereotypical, flat, immature and unrealistic. The plot would be a re-write of storylines used in other books (and done poorly at that) or so boring that nothing happens. The writing style can be decent, but it wouldn’t matter at this point.
I rarely give a book 2 or 3 stars though, probably because I tend to be a creature of extremes: either I like something, or I don’t. In a way, it would be easier for me if we had the choice between 2 ratings only: like or dislike. End of.
Some people manage to read a book until the end, and yet still deem that book 1 star. I do not understand this. If this was so awful, how did they manage to plough on? Surely they would have found some redeeming qualities in the story to be able to do it, unless they have a masochist streak? Or do they secretly like the satisfaction of criticizing a story in detail? Some 1 star reviews are written with so much wit and are so polished that it wouldn’t surprise me.
And we come to an unequivocal truth: those reviews are more fun to read than the glowing ones…Come on, don’t deny it. You too love reading them. 😉
But let’s be honest.
1 star ratings are as biased as 5 star ratings. What one reader will hate (me for example, characters I cannot connect with is a deal breaker, over a weak plot) will be another’s delight. Some readers love the cliché heroes and heroines…
I might never understand that, but I guess it’s our differences that make the world go round.
Why do you give 1 star to books? And do you read those till the end?