Ratings Icons and Their Meanings

Hannah’s Rating System

Hi there. You may have noticed recently that we have done away with the star rating system. I find it utterly pointless after so long because my ratings now do not, in fact, fit in as well with my ratings from the beginning. I’m much more likely to give a book a 3 star rating these days, and opinions on the meaning of a 3 star rating differ from person to person anyway. It all started to become very confusing and I just had to do away with it. I also find a star rating takes away from a review. While having these at the top, often people will check the rating and decide not to bother with the review. Now, you might argue that my new idea isn’t much better with this in mind, however, I disagree. Now with the rating system being located at the bottom, it becomes more of a conclusion than a part of a review and I like to hope that this post will explain what each of my ratings actually mean. There can be no interpreting them wrong because they are my own ratings.

I have wanted to use this system for a while now and when I found these gorgeous chrome images I knew it was time to make the switch. Sadly, myself and Naithin didn’t entirely see eye to eye on the change and we each had our own pretty solid idea of what we wanted to do, whilst agreeing that a change was needed. So we’re using both. This is a personal blog with two different people contributing so we really see no reason why we can’t use our own methods. I like a blog to be about personality and this is just another way we have tried to incorporate that into this little space on the web.

Following I shall list my new rating system with the descriptions that match up to them the best. (Hopefully soon I’ll get around to adding one for “It’s okay”)

Hannah’s Rating Examples

Too freaking awesome for words. New favourite.

Loved it. Definitely want my copies in good condition as books with these ratings would be in pride of place and I would re-read and force on others as well.

Really liked it. May read again, definitely recommend to others, but still had a few flaws.

Liked it. May not read it again, but an enjoyable read.

Nothing more, nothing less. Not an awful read, but not gripping enough for me.

Meh. While the book had good points and I can see others liking it, it just didn't grab me.

Couldn't finish the book I enjoyed it that little. Chances are you won't see this icon but it's there incase it's ever needed.


Naithin’s Rating System

When Hannah suggested we do away with the star rating system, I agreed and thought that was a brilliant idea for many of the same reasons she did.

A 3-star rating to one person might mean that the book was liked, another might see that as merely being ‘OK’ and some few might even count it a terrible rating!

Our agreement on the matter seemed to terminate at that point. Luckily, it found a rejoin point at, ‘Let’s agree to do our own and give our reviews a touch of personal flavour!’, so there we have it, I now have a flavour. Yesss!

Anyhow, what I’ve done is heavily inspired by Gamespot’s Review system. If you take a look here for example, you can see over on the right-hand side a series of buttons which are kind of like achievements. For the game. But like… Achievements the game itself has earned.

Frankly I think this is a brilliant idea, and I think I’ve even seen it crop up on a few book blogs as well to either supplement or replace more standard rating systems. I’ve gone with the latter option and removed star ratings from reviews I post here on the blog.1

I have actually posted: [Review] Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson using this new system already.

At the top of the review, where the star rating used to sit, you’ll see an Emblems line, immediately below which you may see an array of little… well, emblems, that denote some of the best characteristics of the book.

Naithin’s Rating Examples

Here are some of the Emblems a book may be awarded:

(Mouse Over for Details)

I want to point out that these emblems are not merely awarded for possessing the relevant attribute. They’re awarded for excellence in that attribute.

For example, it is not sufficient to merely have a sad (or joyful) moment to earn the ‘Shed a Tear‘ emblem. It has to make my eyes leak! At least a little! Mistborn didn’t make this happen for me, but Sanderson’s much later written The Way of Kings did and so if I were to review that again under this system, it would be awarded this emblem.

Similarly, being funny isn’t enough to win the ‘Laughed out Loud‘ emblem. The emblem name makes its criteria fairly well known though. Or with the, ‘Oh, Snap’ emblem it doesn’t count if the twist or reveal makes no sense or had nothing at all to foreshadow it. Likewise it loses the whole ‘Oh, Snap‘ element if it is foreshadowed so heavily they may as well have just come out and told you much earlier.



  1. I suppose if you really wanted to know what I would give something in a star rating, then you can cheat and look on either Goodreads or Amazon. If you do, just bear in mind what they say their stars are worth! 

Bout of Books: Challenge #2

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Today’s challenge is hosted by Nyx Book Reviews.

The Book Confessions challenge consists of two parts. I know some of you have a lot of stories and love to tell them, but others need some more motivation. Therefore you can choose one of the two options. If you feel like doing them both, I won’t stop you!

As my “shocking, embarrassing, or funny” book related stories are neither interesting, nor really worth mentioning as I would be neither scared, scarred, red faced, nor particularly laughing over the memory, I’ll go with the “this or that” option.

Physical book or eBook? Physical book
Paperback or Hardcover? Paperback
Reality or Make-believe? Make-believe
Adult or Young-Adult? Adult
Dog ears or Bookmarks? Bookmarks
Breaking the spine or Barely open the book? Barely open the book
Tea or Coffee? Coffee
Reading in bed or On the couch? On the couch
Series or Standalone? Series
Original or TV Adaptation? Original
Defy motion sickness or Audiobooks? Wait what?
Author crushes or Who-was-that-guy-again? Author crushes
Interview or Guest post? Guest post