#LetsDiscuss2023 #3 – Reviewing our Ratings – #DiscussionSunday

The question this time is all my own, after my last #ThrowbackThursday pick:

Do you ever look at your old reviews and want to change your opinion and/or star ratings for them?

Discussion Sunday 2023


These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and/or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way… let the controversy begin!

What made me think about this topic?

As noted above, when I wrote my last #ThrowbackThursday post, I passingly noted that if I had read and reviewed that book today, I might not have given it a full 5/5 star rating.

My Thoughts…

I should preface this with saying that this might just be me, possibly because I don’t re-read books. It is also possible that this is something that someone who regularly re-reads novels might never come up against. Mind you, it is equally as possible that re-reading might make this whole reevaluating our ratings of the novels we review even more relevant.

One way or another, I can imagine that most of us have recalled books we read in the past which we might have felt differently about if we had read today. We also may have reviewed them differently than we originally did, especially as we gain more experience in reviewing books.

If you think about it, it makes sense that the more we read, the more we expand our literary universes. We therefore are different people than we were in the past. So, it makes some sense that if we are different people, then perhaps our reviews are evolving as well. It only follows that if both we and our reviews evolve, then how we rate books is also changing. This is partly because our tastes change as we are exposed to more writers, and more styles both better and worse than those we read before.

That includes how often we read books in certain genres. Sometimes we find that a certain genre gets to be boring for us – same old tropes, rehashed story lines, and the like. We also can discover genres that are new to us, or ones we gave up on which we suddenly start liking again. Other times, we get even more involved in a particular genre, and search out more of those to read. When that happens, we might tend to compare what we’ve read in the past to the books we’re reading now. These are all good reasons to look at our old reviews and wonder if we were truly honest with how much we liked or disliked a book in our previous assessments. Maybe we didn’t give them a fair chance back when we reviewed them, or perhaps we were overly kind. Both are totally valid, to my mind.

I’ve also seen how differently everyone seems to give out their stars to books they review. I personally started rating books with quarter and three-quarter stars recently. I’m actually starting to believe that “out of 5” might not be good enough, and that I should move over to a 10 star ratings, so I can get rid of the quarters, and at most maybe have only halves! I don’t know if that will work for everyone, or even if it will work for me. I also have to take into consideration how we put ratings up on sites like Goodreads and Amazon and even NetGalley and Edelweiss.

Look, all I’m saying is that maybe we should look at our older reviews now and again, just to make sure we were truly accurate in our ratings and reviews.

Something to think about, right?

So… what about you? Have you ever wanted to change your ratings on some of your older reviews?

Has time, reading, and reviewing more books made you reevaluate how you felt about books you thought you loved (or hated) in the past?

This post is my 3rd entry in the 2023 Discussion Challenge & Giveaway, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!


17 thoughts on “#LetsDiscuss2023 #3 – Reviewing our Ratings – #DiscussionSunday

  1. I keep my old review the same because they reflect what my thoughts are right after reading the book. I have re-read books that I never reviewed the first time I read them so I has to recall back to what I remember about the book and if it different from re-reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No, not really. I’ll explain. Recently I read a romance novel. Not my usual genre at all, but it was exactly what I wanted to read at that exact time. It was satisfying and enjoyable. I gave it 5 stars. If I were to read a similar story a year from now, I might not be so generous. However, it is my belief that the rating you give when the book is fresh in your mind after having just read it is likely the best measure of your true feelings about the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t rate books but occasionally find that I like one much better than I liked it when I first read it. One example of this is Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future–I stand by what I said about it, but it lives in my memory much more than I thought it would. Another example is Gideon the Ninth, which I like better after reading the next two in the series.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I change my opinions about books all the time! Sometimes, I didn’t like a book, but maybe it wasn’t a good fit for me at that particular moment in my life. And I might appreciate it more later on. Or, I might look back and realize I rated a book high at the time, but now the reread doesn’t hold the same magic. I think it’s just a natural part of being human. We change and so does our reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, goodness – Yes! My reading and reviewing are constantly evolving. The more I read the more I am exposed to writers and their styles which increase my overall experience.

    Add in mood reading, own choice reading, reading for review requests, beta reading, judging panel reading and I find that even the way I read, adjusts to different situations.

    Then there are outside influences – what was tolerated once needs more thought now when writing about some subjects and ways of reviewing them.

    While ratings…they are treated so importantly in places like Amazon and Goodreads…BUT what do they really mean? A 5 star system restricts us so much and it isn’t helped when the ratings mean different things on different sites, so it all begins to become meaningless when we squash them like square pegs into round holes just to ‘fit’. And let’s not even get on to reviews and ratings that are given and written, from a millions different reasons, that appear to boost and support the writer rather than giving an impartial view.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had never heard of the 2023 Discussion Challenge, and now I’m tempted to join! I’ll have to work on an entry post. Also, oh gosh I look back at some of my earlier reviews and I do feel like I would want to rewrite them if I ever reread the book. Some of them, not so much because my thoughts are the same, but others I’d change for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There were two reviews (The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose and The Dark Flood Rises by Dame Margaret Drabble) that I have done where I wish that I were nicer but too late because once said; it is done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I did this a lot as a new reviewer until I had it more firmly established in my own mind what the stars represented to me. I used to anguish more over star ratings than I do now because I guess I recognize a 5, 4, 3, 2 star read when I see it! I don’t think it presents a problem to change your star rating…except logistically changing it in all the places. I only go with halves but it’s anguishing to decide whether to round it up or down for GR! Im curious, what tips it to .75 for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When a book is really, Really good, but doesn’t make me cry or laugh, I don’t feel it deserves 5 stars from me, but I think 4.5 is too low, so that’s when I give it the .75 rating. When it is ALMOST there, but for me, missing just that little push!

      Liked by 1 person

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