What does it really mean when a book is rated 3 stars? Is it still considered a good review?
I struggle with this topic when I cross post my reviews to places like Amazon. Amazon treats 3 stars at just “okay”, while Goodreads treats it as “I liked” the book. Our review rating system treats 3 stars as: “This book was good, enjoyable, worth reading (not one likely to end up in my sell-back-to-Half-Priced-pile).”
I still consider 3 stars a good review, especially if it is something like 3.5 stars. In my mind that is a good solid enjoyable book, but didn’t quite make it to really great status.
One of my book clubs recently had a chat with author Diane Chamberlain, and she mentioned that she specifically likes to read 3 star reviews because she can learn from them. So even authors acknowledge that a 3 star review has value. These reviews can possibly be the most constructive with listing what specifically did not work for the reader, and what the reader did enjoy.
I always think of a 3 star book as a good book. I tend to give most books 3 stars. Whenever I am deciding if I want to read a book I do look at 3 star reviews. First, the way I decide if I would want to read a book is based on the actual book blurb itself. Second, I consider the source of the recommendation. Was it included in a list of books I really liked? Is it a computer generated “hey, since you read that you might like this?” or did someone who really knows me recommend it? And THEN I look at reviews. People tend to be too free with their 5 star reviews in my opinion. I understand fangirling and all that, but unless you have reviewed some 3 star and also 1 and 2 star books, I really don’t take much interest in your 5 star rave. I think what Julie said is very accurate. A 3 star review can be very good in honestly reviewing a book and listing what worked for that particular reader and what did not. To me a 3 star review is basically a good book. It is a book I may decide to read again one day and therefore, do not plan to sell back. What about you? What does a 3 star review mean to you?