This post is as a result of reading Tina Friesen’s post about 4 and 5 star reviews
I regularly get books free in exchange for a review. I give stars based on what I thought of the book, not whether I got it for free or not. I put time and effort into reading the book, and I spend time writing what I hope is a useful and decent review, based truthfully on what I thought about the book.
Most books get 4 stars – very few get 5. Some even get 3 or below. This is not because I want to offend the writer or the publishers who gave me the book – I believe I give an honest review. Often the lower number of stars means more effort put into writing the review to explain (justify?) why the book got that rating. I try and make the distinction between the book, and my reaction to it. Therefore, for example, I dont say “This book is disgusting” rather “I found this book is disgusting, because I didnt like how the writer described this scene or the words they used”. I’ve recently read a book written by a woman, with a rape scene in it. I didnt enjoy it, dont condone rape, but understand why the writer put it in there (to demonstrate how some women in the 15th Century got treated as chattel and that there was little in the line of chilvery when it comes to Knights). My review points out that the book contains scenes that some will find disturbing or maybe even a “trigger” scene. Other readers may or may not be affected by the scenes or words used and I can only report how I reacted to it.
I will then leave it up to the readers to judge whether the rating is justified to them too.