I’m a reluctant user of star ratings for books. Although I don’t use ratings on this blog, I do for Amazon, Goodreads and NetGalley, as I believe it’s helpful for authors and publishers. My usual ratings are 3 or 4 stars, very occasionally 2 or 5, but never 1 star. This is because if a book I’m reading is, in my opinion, so awful that I don’t wish to continue reading, then I’ll abandon it. As I only give ratings to books that I’ve finished, there is never the opportunity to give a book 1 star. I don’t think it’s fair to rate DNFs, although other readers may think differently. Unfortunately, some people will use the anonymity of the internet to write unnecessarily mean reviews. They are of course entitled to rate books 1 star, with or without a review, but there are some who either forget, or don’t care, that behind every book is an author, a real person. For independent authors in particular, for whom every review counts, 1 star ratings can be harsh and demoralising. I know it’s commonly said that ‘reviews are for readers’, but it would be strange for an author not to read at least some of their reviews and to not care what was said in them.
Do you write 1-star book reviews? Do you rate books you abandoned?