By: Celine | April 25, 2014 | (40) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.


One lonely star: the most dreaded rating throughout the blogosphere. For authors it means someone hated the book they wrote, for bloggers it means they had to suffer through something they really hated. One star ratings aren’t fun to give out: some people just don’t give them out altogether. There have been many posts on one star ratings and how they are “hurtful” and shouldn’t be given out. Aside from the point I’m going to make later on, I’d just like to say that this is a free country and so everyone can give out one star ratings, just as everyone can decide not to do that. Today I’d like to focus on another angle when it comes to the dreaded one star: the importance of the one star rating.

Before I begin, I would like to say that everyone can do with the one star rating whatever they want. If you don’t like to give them out and so leave those books unrated, that’s fine by me. If you don’t feature negative reviews on your blog because you want it to be a positive space, that’s awesome. Everyone should do what works best for them and I’m genuinely happy for you if you managed to find out what that is.

For me, the one star rating is indispensable. I don’t like to give them out, because it means I read a really horrible book, but I most certainly whip out the lonely star if I want to. And, to be honest, when I’m really really angry about something it feels pretty good to rant away in an extremely long and detailed review. But that aside, because that doesn’t really have to do with the rating itself. The one star rating, for me, is a way of organizing. I keep track of all the books I read and I always rate them. If I see I’ve been giving that one author just one star ratings, I’m less inclined to pick up their books in the future. Good for me, so I don’t have to suffer through another. Probably good for the author as well, because it means one (possible) one star rating less.

But what it’s really about is buying books. Unfortunately, I don’t have unlimited money (how nice that would be, though). I’m sixteen years old. I don’t have a job. I’m saving money for college and my driver’s permit. That means I can’t buy as many books as I’d like to. (Though, when I’m completely honest, I’d like to buy every single book ever published. And then store them in my own library. How awesome that would be.) Which means that the books I do buy, I want to count. All the physical books on my shelf I want to be four stars and above. I want my money to go to authors I really like, whose books I really like. I do not want to waste money on books I absolutely loathe. And this is were the one star rating comes in handy. I don’t always read the reviews (as I’ve explained previously here), but if I see a lot of my friends giving that book one star, you can bet I won’t waste my money on it. Because usually, my friends are right, and when they dislike a book I’m very likely to do so too.

What’s your opinion on one star ratings? Do you think they’re important?

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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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40 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (30): One Star Ratings

  1. Yes one star ratings have its place, they are reserved for those books that I found offensive or couldn’t stand. In my whole reviewing career I’ve only given a handful of books that 1 star rating, and when I look at them I can see why. Lovely review Celine!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…How negative and positive reviews affect your readingMy Profile

  2. I agree, Celine. There are a few reviewers who I trust, and if I see a one star rating from those reviewers, I’m immediately hesitant to purchase the book. I also give out one star ratings, but only if I really disliked a book and want to throw it off a cliff. Writing rants is a great way to get some steam out. I actually read a lot of one star reviews because I honestly think they’re helpful and will give me some insight on a book. 🙂
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Alienated by Melissa LandersMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yes, I definitely think one star reviews are helpful! I also read a lot of them because of that and also because they’re fun to read
      They definitely heklp me, though!

  3. I agree with you 100% as a blogger and an author. When I finally publish my book I know there’ll be negative reviews. That’s part of it! Everyone has their own opinion and not everyone will love your book equally. Will it hurt to see it? Yeah probably but I’m going to try to focus on the positive. Plus the negative reviews can sometimes be helpful. As a blogger I have the freedom of sharing my opinion and if a book deserves 1 star in my eyes, so be it. I don’t like it at all, but we can’t love every single book.
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Bookish Babble: Bee’s LGBT+ Top 5!My Profile

    • Celine says:

      I wish all authors thought like you! Yes, one star reviews are part of it, and it’s just impossible for everyone to love a book 🙂 Negative reviews can definitely be helpful. I like to write too (though nothing serious) and I know I always keep the things in mind that often get pointed out in negative reviews.

      As a blogger, I completely agree with you as well 🙂 We can give a book one star if we want to, although it does suck to do so :\

      • Yeah well don’t get me wrong, I’m still scared shitless that everyone will hate it. xD Every time I think about it, I want to delete everything and just stop and crawl away in a corner. xD I’m terrified nobody will like it.
        Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Bookish Babble: Bee’s LGBT+ Top 5!My Profile

        • Celine says:

          Ah, I can understand that! After all, a book sort of is your baby. Don’t delete it, though! I’m sure it doesn’t suck, haha. And although there will always be people who’ll hate it, there will also always be people who’ll love it 😀

          I’m glad you don’t see negative reviews as an attack or something, though! Too many authors seem to be lashing out at reviewers these days :\

  4. Jasprit says:

    I agree with what you have to say Celine. One star books can be very useful, particularly in helping you decide whether you want to purchase a book or not. I do rate books one star sometimes, but luckily it’s been a while since I last did. Thanks for sharing this great discussion with us!
    Jasprit recently posted…Review: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh MafiMy Profile

  5. I agree, Celine. Though I haven’t given many, if any, 1 star ratings, it’s really for a quite different reason. I’m a chronic DNF’er. I have so little free time, and there are SO many books that I want to read, that if I hit the 25% mark, or sometimes the 50%, and I’m just really hating the book, I DNF it. When I DNF a book, I don’t rate it on Goodreads just because I don’t feel that I can accurately rate a book that I haven’t completed. And I never post my DNF reviews on my blog. But again, that’s just my own personal opinion, and I know many others do post DNF reviews on their blog, and that is totally their own opinion and I completely respect it. I think the lowest I’ve given for a book I completed was a 2 star. I rarely review those on my blog as well. I tend to just review it on Goodreads and send the author/publisher that link instead of advertising the negative review. Again, everyone has their own personal beliefs regarding all of this, and I don’t judge anyone for any of it. It IS a free county, and I think you should feel completly comfortable and “in the right” any time you want to throw out that 1 star. Do it with confidence, girl! 🙂 Blogging, reading and reviewing is for fun, in my opinion. We don’t get paid for it. So do whatever you want, whenever you want, and JUST HAVE FUN! 🙂
    Lisa @ Lost in Literature recently posted…Review: Fall Into Forever by Beth HylandMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      I can definitely see your point here! I’m actually not much of a DNF’er, because I like to finish what I’ve started, haha. However, as my free time seems to dwindle I’ve begun DNF’ing more. If I really don’t like something, I just put it aside. However, I DO rate them, because I personally feel that if something is too painful to finish I can definitely rate them. I can also completely see where you’re coming from, though! I can imagine why you don’t like to read and review DNF reads.

      I also publish negative and DNF reviews on the blog (in fact, I’ve got one coming up soon), but only if I’ve read “enough” of the book to say something useful about it. However, I know quite some people who don’t like to publish negative reviews and I think taht’s also a wonderful way to blog. I actually admire them, because I just need to rant too badly to give up negative reviews 😉 But that’s the beauty of it: we can all do what we want, as long as it works out for us! All the different styles are awesome, because book blogging would be very boring otherwise. And yep, I completely agree with you: JUST HAVE FUN!

  6. Yes, 1-star ratings are very important. I think it gives the authors a chance to grow, especially if the rating is warranted, and with due explanation on why it didn’t work for the reader. I have finished books that got a 1-star rating in the past, and recently, I had to DNF the book and gave it a 1-star rating. And I don’t think 1-star is really negative, at least it got a star, right?
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Review 163 : Written in Red by Anne BishopMy Profile

  7. I think the one stars are hugely important! I think they really say a lot about a book that you might not have been able to. The one star is a huge dislike, and people know and understand that, and I know that I pay huge attention to the dnf’s and one stars of my favourite bloggers because I want to see what they don’t like, and what I should possibly think twice about. I wouldn’t ever get rid of the one star, in fact, I have a 0.5 rating that I’ve never had to use, but I have it, just in case. All ratings are important I think 🙂
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Who Wore It Better #8My Profile

    • Celine says:

      I’m completely with you on that. One star ratings definitely make me look twice, because wow, this person REALLY didn’t like this book! And yeah, I also have a not-yet-used 0.5 😛

  8. I understand what you mean in terms of buying books. It’s the same with reviewing books in general. You have people that you trust and if they don’t like a book, then you might not either so it’s best to not buy the book. But like you said, some people don’t want to read too many reviews of a book they want to read first, so they might look at the star rating first and one or two stars usually says a lot. I think if you do stars and don’t mind saying a book is “one star” to you, then go for it.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…How Dear Review (Custom Quilt)My Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yes, a rating can say a lot and can be very useful, especially if someone doesn’t feel like reading the review. I know they’ve been helpful to me in the past! And yes, if you feel comfortable giving out a one star rating, then go for it. After all, it’s a free country 😉

  9. I don’t give a lot of 1-star ratings. Usually, I stick them on DNFs. (And I know some people leave DNFs unrated, but I like everything to have a star. >.< YEP. I'm a bit OCD like that.) So just recently I went from never giving 1-stars (unless I DNF) to actually giving two 1-star ratings to books I just utterly loathed. And I totally agree with you! Star-rating is about what works for YOU personally. And (in my personal opinion) I don't think authors should read their reviews anyway.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Riot by Sarah Mussi (also riot in skull)My Profile

    • Celine says:

      I don’t usually give out a lot of one star ratings either, because I’ve gotten good at picking up books I’d like. I mostly give them to ARCs… In fact, next week is going to be a ranty week when it comes to me on the blog, haha. Everything I’m posting is one star… Oops.

      And I’m completely with you when it comes to rating everything! I HATE to leave anything unrated. In my whole life, I’ve left ONE book unrated because I really didn’t know how I felt about it. Otherwise, though, I rate everything I read!

  10. Zoe N. says:

    This is a really interesting discussion topic Celine! While I personally loathe giving out one-star reviews, I definitely feel they’re necessary. If we gave 5 stars to every single book we read, then there really wouldn’t be a need for a book reviewing community, and that, personally, would be really sad for me. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Zoe N. recently posted…Love Letters to the DeadMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yeah, and it would be pretty boring if everyone liked every book the same 😛 I’m personally not opposed to one star ratings, but I don’t like having to give them out. I can definitely see why you wouldn’t like giving out one star ratings!

  11. I totally agree, one star ratings are super important to me and I actually feel like I really need them because one star really pops out at me like “omg this person really didn’t like this book maybe I should rethink my decision to buy it” or something like that. It’s really helpful for possible consumers, although it may be bad in the eyes of the author. If everyone gave out higher ratings for books they really didn’t like then it makes me think that while there was a poor technical aspect the emotional value was well done and that could still sway me into buying it which would just be sucha waste. Haha fantastic post, Celine! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…How to Meet Boys by Catherine ClarkMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      YES. One star ratings just really give that strong sense of ‘wow, this person REALLY didn’t like this’! And yeah, one star means to me that you really wouldn’t want to read this book, because frankly, it’s just terrible. Higher ratings may mean that there’s still something to like about it.

      Thank you <33

  12. I have been lucky in my reading life as I have only ever given out a 1 star rating once. I believe people have the right to rate a book whatever they want. I have a huge amount of books on my to-read list, and like you have limited funds, so I am very, very picky about what I read, which is why I end up with mostly 4 and 5 star ratings when I review. I love ratings, and just because someone rates a book low doesn’t mean I won’t read it. If there is a book I really want to read I won’t even look at how someone else has rated it because I don’t want it to influence me, but if I’m unsure about a book I’ll look at the ratings from book bloggers who I know have the same taste as me.
    Rochelle Sharpe recently posted…Cover Reveal: Heir Of Fire by Sarah J. Maas.My Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yep, same goes for me! Every book on my shelves, save for one, is a 4 or 5 star book! And if there’s a book I REALLY want to read, no rating’s going to stop me 😉 Haha!

  13. I give out a lot of one star reviews. I don’t enjoy writing them but I feel if I have spent my time and/or money on a book, I should be honest about it. Most of my one stars are DNF books and I always explain in the review why I didn’t like it. I try to be polite and constructive and it’s rare for me to have an all out rant about a book! Some people who read my one star reviews go on to read the book themselves so it’s not all bad for the author. ie If I really didn’t like a book because it was a slow, dark, brooding, gothic book that put me to sleep, fans of that kind of thing might think ‘hmmm, sounds like something I might like’. So a one star review doesn’t always need to be a bad thing if a reviewer explains their response fully.
    chucklesthescot recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #33My Profile

    • Celine says:

      Oh, you’re absolutely right. I believe one star ratings might actually sell more than two star reviews. I have to admit, I once picked up a book solely because I wanted to see if it was really as bad as everyone was saying. (It was.) And yes, different things work for different people. Something I hate might be something somebody else loves. That’s what makes life so interesting!

  14. Rinn says:

    Yes, I think they’re important because you’ve got to have some sort of rating to show that you REALLY didn’t enjoy something. Most of the time I enjoy the books I read in at least one way, but occasionally there are some that just have absolutely no redeeming features. I’m not going to give a book like that two stars.

    I haven’t written a negative review for my blog, mostly because I haven’t reviewed any one star books properly. The few that I have reviewed have been really short reviews that I’ve only posted on Goodreads (one consisted entirely of GIFs…)
    Rinn recently posted…Review: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan RhodesMy Profile

  15. I certainly don’t want to go into a book and find out that it is going to be a one star read, but if it is, I don’t sugarcoat it. I think one stars are important, at least to show that you are a critical reader. Just having positive reviews misses out on part of the true reading experience — not every book is going to be a winner for you, and that is okay!
    Anne @ Lovely Literature recently posted…Stay-in-Bed Sampler: Office transformations part deuxMy Profile

  16. They are definitely important, not just to us (to keep track of) but also for our readers and followers. One star reviews lets us know what kind of trends and patterns don’t work for us, and for the people who follow you and heed your advice, one star reviews also warns them what to expect of a book. We owe that much to our following at least! Not every book will please us, and one stars also let us know that we are maturing somewhat, because we can weed out the books that work and that don’t, whatever our reasons are.
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…Recaps, Rants, Raves: The 100, Episode 6 – “I Am Semi-Impressed”My Profile

  17. I agree 1star ratings are completely necessary. They don’t happen to me often because I will sometimes just DNF it if I really don’t like it that much. But on the odd times when I do continue then I want to say why I did and why it still didn’t work for me. Heck yes save yourself and other people money!
    Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: In the Shadows by Kiersten White & Jim Di BartoloMy Profile

  18. I tend to not give 1 stars just because I DNF if I’m hating it that much. I don’t have the time or energy to keep reading if I can’t get into it. But, if I were to continue to read I’d have no problem giving one out. I appreciate every honest review I read.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Review of Rebel by Amy TinteraMy Profile

  19. I agree with you 100%, Celine. It is super important for a reader to know that a book has a 1 star rating, so that they won’t waste their time and money. And for me, personally, I just love reading reviews which give out loads of info about the book, both the good and bad… the blogger writing about the bad stuff in a book also makes the book review more interesting to read 🙂
    Awesome post!!! 🙂 😉
    Nerdy Bookworm recently posted…Lazy Bum PackagesMy Profile

  20. Irish says:

    Rating has a huge impact for me if I will read the book or not. Usually, if the average rating of a book is above 4 then it means I will buy and read it. If it’s 3 – I’m considering and if it’s lower than 2 – never mind. I also rate books with 1 or 2 especially if I find it annoying and waste of money. I don’t have unlimited money either and I have bills to pay. All books that I will buy must worth it otherwise, I will feel bad.
    Irish recently posted…The Read-a-thon : April 2014My Profile

  21. Glass says:

    Celine, I am much older than you, but I have to agree with you about owning physical copies of books you really like. I don’t like to waste my money on something I hated.
    Glass recently posted…Falling Under (Falling, #3) by Jasinda WilderMy Profile

  22. Luckily I have never had to dole out a one star rating. I’ve actually never read a book that i loathed so completely that I’ve given it one star. And I’m quite interested to see if that EVER happens. I kind of don’t want it to because my one star would mean that there was absolutely nothing redeemable about the novel and it was actually painful for me to complete. I mean, if I think I’m going to hate a book that much, I’ll probably DNF it. I find it hard enough to get through 2 – 2.5 star reads. And plus, like you want good books on your shelves, I want to spend my time reading good books, too.
    I don’t think there is anything wrong with one star ratings. Everyone is free to their opinion, and they are free to share it, as well. If anything, I’d be interested to see what was so abhorrent about the book, haha!
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

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