Apr 2, 2018

Let's Discuss: The Half Star Rating

I saw on another discussion post the topic of half stars and the merits of using them or not. As you all know, I use them semi-frequently too!

The Half Star Rating

We all know Goodreads and Amazon deplore the half star rating. Even without it, I still can't stand their rating system! That a 1 star is I HATED IT! A 2 star is I DIDN'T LIKE IT...which okay, isn't too bad, but the I HATE IT? That bugs me. Yes, we won't like every book we read, but to say HATE? Hate is such a strong word! That's why my 1 star rating is considered IT WASN'T FOR ME. Other people might like it, they might even LOVE it. To say I hated it, is just too much.

But anyway, moving on. I prefer using the half star rating rather than rounding up or down. Rounding is just so...so, blah. Of course, I have to do such things on Goodreads and Amazon when adding my reviews. Sometimes the half star is warranted, usually because it falls between me REALLY liking a book and just liking it! And usually, there's more to it, that it's nearly perfect or nearly a 4 star read but with a few hangups, a half star becomes necessary! Heck, you all know that I occasionally dish out a .75 or even a .95 add on to my whole number...because sometimes a read is EVEN BETTER than a .5 add on!

It does make for complex ratings I'll give you that. But then, I mean how much trouble could it be for Amazon and Goodreads to add on the half star ratings? We already see that books get an awkward overall rating, how does that factor in? Will it really be harder to factor in half stars? I mean truly, I don't know the answer to that because I am so not a techie who would have to configure whatever algorithm to have the overall rating change based on readers' ratings. It's weird.

Needless to say that I am a fan of the half star rating. I am not afraid to use it! Though being forced to round up or down on other review sites does tend to get annoying, but oh well!

What about you guys? Do you use half star ratings? Why or why not?


  1. There are definitely some books I hate! XD But yes, I definitely use half stars. I always use them on my blog and specify them on Goodreads. I hate that they aren't available to use there!

  2. I'm with you - I use the half star rating a lot and I hate that I can't use it on goodreads or amazon. Especially since that's where I keep my reviews before I move them to the blog - so I have to be really careful to note in my review on Goodreads that I actually mean 3.5 not 4 or 3 - so that I don't forget when I move the review to the blog. So annoying!

  3. I feel like I read somewhere once the explanation for why they don't offer half stars, but now I can't remember what it was. Honestly I don't mind not having half-stars on GR and Am. I use them on my blog, and I just round up for those sites to keep it consistent and put it in my review what my actual rating is :-)

  4. I use half star ratings all the time. I usually round up when I post on Goodreads and Amazon thanks to the Hate---Love scheme. Bookstr (this site like Goodreads that never took off) had half star ratings and I really appreciated that. I mean, they use half stars all the time to rate movies so why not books?

  5. I absolutely despise rounding my stars. It just never seems fair! I remember a book I read, was better than a four star, but not quite enough for a five star rating. So, I gave it 4.5 stars. Seems simple enough. But then it came time to rate it on Goodreads and Amazon, and I had such a hard time! The book was better than a four star rating, but I coun't give it a rating it didn't deserve. I'm all for half stars! lol

    Great post! :)

  6. I do not use 1/2 star rating. I really do not know why I just never did. I like your 1 star rating.

  7. I love the half star rating! Some books are really, really good, yet...they're just not quite 5 star reads, so 4.5 it is! Sometimes 3 seems too harsh but that .5 adds a little exta oomphf!

  8. Oh, I completely agree with you! I definitely use half stars, and I think almost everyone wishes they were able to do half stars on Goodreads and Amazon.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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