Monday, March 16, 2015

Emotional Ratings

Let's get this out of the way: I've been guilty of emotional rating TONS of times. I try my utmost hardest to be a fair reviewer, but sometimes there is that one book that you can't help but feel passionately about, whether it be positive or negative passion.

What exactly is emotional rating? Well, according to Summer's Very Important and Very Accurate Dictionary, it's done by book reviewers when all reason is thrown to the wind and emotion is trusted to assign a book a rating.

There's two scenarios: one, a book that you know has bad writing, bad characterization, etc, but you follow what the book made you feel and bestow upon it a 5-star rating. Or, on the other hand, you know a book has a great plot and the writing is amazing but there's that one character that grinds your gears and makes you so angry that you had to give the book 1 star.

While I do do this (quite a lot, actually) in my defense I usually state in my review the goods and the bads regardless of my feelings about the book overall. With that said, I don't bother with reviews for a lot of the non-review books I read, so I wouldn't trust those if I were you. :3

I know that it's my blog and my reviews and there's really no need to justify my ratings, but I do try to be professional (to an extent) and I *try* to be as fair as possible most of the time, especially when I'm reviewing an ARC. Also, I'm not suggesting that if you're not "fair" then your opinions are invalid, I'm merely throwing around some food for thought.  

As I think about this topic more I realize that emotional rating isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes as a book reviewer I get tired of analyzing every little thing in a book and I just want to read to calm my brain. There's nothing wrong with giving a book 1 star just because a character is unlikable (but IMO this is pushing it and if a reviewer is doing that I probably won't trust their opinion.) However, I have no right to say that their style of reviewing is "wrong" as if there is a "correct" way to review.

What do you guys think? Yay or nay for emotional rating?

And, because I feel like I'm way too serious in this discussion post, here's some breaking news if you were interested:



  1. I personally think this is a part of reviewing. Reviews are stating your opinions and feelings on a book so it doesn't matter whether you emotionally rate a book. It just means you're staying true to yourself! Don't worry I am guilty of doing this all the time but sometimes you can't help it

  2. This is such an interesting post Summer. There are so many times when a book itself is mediocre, but it contains elements inside that make you really connect to it personally; which is usually when my ratings become emotionally impacted. Usually, though, I try to prevent my emotions impacting the way I think about a book as much as possible so I can critique the story easier, but sometimes the emotions are just too powerful for even that. ;)

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I think Im probably a bit guilty of this sometimes. Its hard not to rate a book based on emotion. Especially if it made you feel really happy or sad, or if there was a character you really loved or hated! Interesting thoughts! <3 Bee @ Bee Reads Books

  4. I have DEFINITELY rated books based on emotions before! If they invoke such strong reactions and feelings, they'll probably get 5 stars. HOWEVER. I used to rate like this more often in the past, and now I wait and think about books after I'm finished. I try not to be TOO critical, as I feel like that takes the fun out of reviewing for me (unless it's snark, which is always fun). But yeah, I'm very much an emotional reader, so the ones that leave the most impact on me and make me feel ALL THE FEELS will probably become favorites. I have had times in the past, though, where I wish I'd waited to rate them because after I came down from my, we'll call it "book high", I realized I didn't love it as much as I thought (and I don't like changing ratings). I guess now, for me, it depends on the book and how the author wrote it. :)


  5. I love this post, because it's something I think about a lot. I know as a reviewer it's best to be as "objective" as possible about why you didn't like it. But, like you said, sometimes there are all the things like great plot and characters and setting etc, but the book just feels off/ you really don't like it. Should you write a review saying you liked it and give it 4 stars? I don't think that's right, because it isn't "true" Same if the opposite was true.
    Like you I just state if the book made me feel emotionally a certain way - which had nothing to do with stylistic elements or whatever. It's hard though, to differentiate it and not sound biased.

    And I also agree with you that sometimes you just don't want to list every little reason why you did or didn't like the book (w/examples/quotes)! It can be extremely tiring lol. ;)

    -Diamond @ Dee's Reads