it's ok to give 2 stars | a ramble

by - 1:55 PM


Recently, I finished a book that left me with a bit of an existential rating crisis. The book itself comes from a genre a rarely dabble in and has been sitting on my shelves for quite some time. While I did fly through the story quickly, I was stuck on deciding how I wanted to rate the story.

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After browsing through Goodreads trying to come up with some comparisons that could help me narrow down my options, I realized an interesting habit of mine. Being quite wary of confrontations, I tended to slap on a three-star rating to many books that I found to be just okay reads and I rarely gave anything a one or two-star rating. There was some skewed understanding in my mind that chalked a lower rating as somehow damaging the image of the book for others.

While there are exceptions to that understanding - I didn't think my dislike of this existential novel warranted that type of damage. After some (probably useless) debate, I came to the realization that I had fallen prey to a construed sense of what the rating system is and the pressure of using that system on a social platform. If I did not use Goodreads to track my reading progress, I could very well not have the same conflict writing a two-star next to this novel's title in my journal.

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So the triumphant conclusion for a conflicting hour of my life - it's ok to give 2 stars. Completely mind-boggling I know but I genuinely had a mental crisis over this. According to my personal scale, a two-star means I didn't enjoy the story and it is an accurate representation of how I felt. That does not make this novel less substantial in worth. This could be the perfect book for someone who loves that particular genre and make another person smile until their cheeks hurt because it touches their heart.

For me, that novel did not hit those spots but that is perfectly ok. At the end of it all, that is the beauty of the written word. A unique combination of spaces and letters form to create individual stories that impact each reader differently. That is what draws us into reading - that personal connection we receive from the stories we come across.

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Honestly, I'm probably just in shock because this is my first two-star book this year, but I hope I managed to put some of my thoughts into a combination of spaces and letters that get my point across. I'm also curious - when you start a book, how does your mind approach rating? Do you start with five stars and go down or the other way around?

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