Book Review

The Dreaded 3 Star Review



Discussion post today, and I’m tackling the three-star head on!

I know that writers aren’t fond of the three-star rating, and well, I mean, it makes sense.

But, why do we as reviewers issue them?

I do completely understand when an author would like an explanation of why a three-star if we seem to have positive things to say.

So! I’m here to explain why I give a three-star, and why I may not always have something constructive to say to support the review. [And I hope if you have something to say to this all that you’ll comment with your opinions and insight as well!]

Let’s get to it!

Why do I give three-star reviews if I have given a positive review?

It’s usually pretty simple in all actuality!

It means the book didn’t razzle-dazzle me, but it also means that this book wasn’t bad it was enjoyable, but it didn’t full-on capture my heart and to do that, well, a book will be 4-5 stars.

But, here’s the kicker, I love Mary Higgins Clark novels, they’re not amazing, they’re fun and enjoyable, 3-3.5 star reads but I love them still, I reread them all the time, and there’s nothing wrong with a three-star book. And because usually there’s nothing wrong with it, I don’t have much to go for in regards to constructive criticism.

If there is something I find problematic, I try to explain it, but, sometimes a book was just nothing new and exciting for me personally.

It can be a bit draining to also constantly write out really constructive reviews on books that are rated three-stars. It’s because a lot of those books may have something in common so it’s just constantly repeating yourself and in the end, it’s much easier as a reviewer to just…


I’m writing this because I’m curious to see why others rate them three-star reviews, and I hope that some authors read this and hopefully they get some understanding, the three-stars aren’t a slight on them or their books, it’s usually just saying it was a good solid read for me.


What about you all?


By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

6 replies on “The Dreaded 3 Star Review”

I definitely agree with you. 3 stars doesn’t mean “bad” for me either – it means “it was OK.” It’s when books start getting in the 1 or 2 stars that I didn’t enjoy them.
It’s not that I’m stingy with my 4 stars, but I need to have had trouble putting the book down, or be haunted by the story, or love something about it.
But, anyway, great post! I appreciate you shedding some light on the fact that 3 stars isn’t bad!

Liked by 1 person

Agreed, 3 stars for me means it was an OK read, I enjoyed it but it didn’t blow my socks off and I wasn’t glued to the pages, and at the end of the day it was perhaps not all that memorable but it was by no means a bad read.

Liked by 1 person

3 stars don’t mean bad for me either! Often it’s down to it to being an ok read but I wasn’t totally gripped by the world or characters, there are a lot of books I’ve rated 3 stars that I would reread again (contemporaries usually fall between 3-4 stars typically for me) BUT ha the kicker for me is you’ll need to cross check which shelf I shelved that book under. As I don’t really use the star system anymore, I still give them stars because it’s Goodreads. BUT I have 5 shelves: not my cuppa, a weak brew, a good cuppa, a strong brew and just my cuppa. I’ve rated books 3 stars but some have been in a good cuppa, other in a strong brew and rarely but I’m sure it’s happened some are in a weak brew.

Those shelves are directly related to my feelings about the book basically, some books are amazing and I adore them but they may sit in a strong brew for me personally because the story/message wasn’t aimed at me and that’s ok! It’s still a strong brew but it just wasn’t my cuppa and usually those types of books are either 4/5 stars. I went a wee bit of topic there but I love this post Haley!

Liked by 1 person

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