Do Other People’s Rating and Reviews Affect Our Own? // Discussion

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ratings, and what constitutes a 4 or 3 star rating. It was especially apparent after I finished the Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider.

I liked the book, it was pretty good, I was going to give it a 4 star rating. Then I looked at what other people had to say on Goodreads, and there were a lot of low star ratings. After reading why those people rated the book low, I began to agree with them. And that’s when I stopped to actually think.

If I never read the Goodreads reviews, this book would have been given a 4 stars by me, but after reading those reviews, I gave it a 3.5. Is that fair?

I think that it might be.

Let me explain. A lot of the Outlander books by Diana Gaboldon have low ratings too, but after giving Outlander a 5 stars and going to check the low ratings and reviews, nothing that the reviews said would make me change my mind about my 5 star rating.

People ranted at how much they disliked the book and I ignored them and still went with a 5 star rating.

With the Beginning of Everything however, the bad reviews made me wonder if maybe I should lower my rating…

I guess it depends on how strongly the book made you feel.

With the Beginning of Everything I was struggling between 3 and 4 stars, so the other reviews made up my mind because they pointed out the flaws in the books that I remember thinking while reading, but forgot after finishing.

Outlander on the other hand was an absolute 5 stars in my head, and nothing anyone said could change my mind.


What about you? Do other people’s reviews or ratings ever change your mind about how you rate a book? Though I’m not exactly proud about this, I think it’s very much true in the book reviewing world at times.

Let’s discuss it!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.S. I proofread this post! -from Calliope’s annoying friend Jem

P.P.S. Haha, my friend’s initials are J.E.M, like Jem Carstairs, I always find that funny

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16 thoughts on “Do Other People’s Rating and Reviews Affect Our Own? // Discussion

  1. Amanda's Book Review Nook says:

    I have found many times I read others reviews, and it causes me to hesitate to read the book, and I’ll put it on the back burner then when there is nothing better to read, I’ll read the one others said they didn’t like. I have found this to be a mistake more often than not. I usually end up loving the book and wishing I hadn’t waited.
    BTW, I am so impressed with your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • calliopethebookgoddess says:

      Oh really? I feel like I’m the opposite, reviews generally make me want to read the book, if only to see what was so bad about them. But yes, whenever I push a book away and then read it and love it I question why in the world I waited so long!? Aw, thanks! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ayunda says:

    Sometimes they change my rating too! Especially the very reasonable reviews that are in Goodreads. They really make you rethink even your favourite books.
    But I do agree that if that book really has a huge effect on you, no kind of rating will change your thoughts. Or, if you find a 5-star book, just don’t read other people’s low rating reviews about it 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. anovelglimpse says:

    I’m more likely to rate a book higher than others, I think. I have hard time choosing between 4 stars and 5 stars. 3s or below are easier for me. Sometimes, I’ll check myself and my reasoning against other reviewers. Usually it’s when I can’t put my feelings into words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • calliopethebookgoddess says:

      I see yeah, I’m part of that 90% lol. I feel like it’s not changing my opinion, but rather helping me cement them, but I’m very indecisive, which you may not be I guess. But maybe that’s where this comes up, how indecisive people are… maybe that’s why I can be swayed so easily…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bookmark Chronicles says:

        Oh I see. No I don’t tend to be indecisive and to be honest I usually don’t read reviews until after I’ve read the book and can talk about it. By then my opinion has already been made. Unless someone points out something huge that I somehow missed, I think that’s the only way that I would start to think differently

        Liked by 1 person

  4. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    I change my mind all the time- when I first rate a book it can go up and down really erratically while I make up my mind and try to give it the best rating. Initially, I can feel bad about giving a book a low rating (unless I absolutely hated it), so sometimes I can be tempted to give something I didn’t really enjoy a higher rating. I usually find when I’ve thought it over and written a review I’m fairer about it. Usually, if it’s a terrible book, I see if I can award it any stars (or in my case bananas) based on anything good it did. And when it’s good, but not 5* (I can always tell when it’s getting 5*) then I dock points based on what held me back from giving it full marks. Obviously, when a book falls somewhere in the middle, it’s the hardest to rate. Every book is different, so my ratings aren’t always based on the same factors, but I always measure it by the same measure (me!). Great discussion post- sorry for rambling away, it just got me thinking 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • calliopethebookgoddess says:

      Sure, yes exactly, there are so many factors that go into the rating of a book and if it’s not an automatic yes! 5 stars! Or a no, 2 stars, it’s hard to judge when a book is in the middle. It always feels bad though when you lower a review after another one reminds you of some things you forgot you didn’t like after all. No of course, ramble away! I love hearing your thoughts! ;P

      Liked by 1 person

      • theorangutanlibrarian says:

        Yeah, it always makes me feel worse when I thought a book was decent (3-4*) and then I want to award a very similar book a lower rating and there’s really no reason why- it makes me wonder if I was too generous before or if I’m being to harsh with the new book. Thanks very much! It’s cos it’s such a great topic for discussion 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. driftinglexi says:

    I sometimes read other reviews but not always. If I’m torn between rating a book a 3 or 4 for example I’ll read them as they make you look deeper into the book and make you think of things that hadn’t occurred to you before which can spark off your own train of thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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