The 1/2 Star Rating

Welcome to the first discussion post of the year! As I said in my End of The Year Post, I want to promote discussion here on the blog, so today we will be talking about rating books with half stars.

Who uses half stars to rate books? Up until now, I have set a personal rule for myself to not use them. I have made it so that books are either worthy of a solid 4 stars or 5 stars, etc. And I have not strayed from this because I wanted my rating system to be simple and straightforward.

However, I have read a few books recently that have been difficult to rate under this framework. Some books are not worthy of a solid point rating. It isn’t quite 3 stars but it definitely isn’t 4 stars. Or a book I enjoyed is better than 4 stars but not quite worthy of 5 stars.

Has it become unfair to not have half-point scores? To go straight from a in-the-middle 3 to a I-really-liked-this 4 can be quite the jump for some books. And when a book is not quite a I-will-love-this-forever 5, but neither is it just a I-really-liked-this 4, what do you do? Give the book a higher score than it deserves? Or not give it enough credit?

My self-imposed rule is becoming a problem. Should I incorporate half-star points into my reviews?

What’s your take on this topic? Do you use half-star ratings? Or do you use a different scoring system altogether?

*With all that said, I want to stress that rating books is completely SUBJECTIVE. So what may be a 3 star book for me, may be a 5 star this-is-the-best-book-I’ve-ever-read book for you. No hard feelings, ok?

12 thoughts on “The 1/2 Star Rating

    1. Yes, agreed. Some books are in between. and I think I will be using 1/2 star ratings in the future. I’ve been thinking about book ratings a lot lately, and I have a different discussion topic about ratings that I will hopefully be posting in the next week or two. I hope to get your input on it! Thanks for being a part of the conversation, Jamie.


    1. I agree, it does feel more flexible, and I like that. I was starting to feel like my rating system wasn’t working anymore the way it was. Incorporating 1/2 stars sounds like a good decision. And it looks like everyone is leaning towards 1/2 star ratings, as well. Thanks for commenting, Amy!


  1. I like when a reviewer has 1/2 stars. I don’t personally do stars (there’s really no specific reason behind that, other than I just haven’t), but I agree with jamielynn. Amazon should definitely implement the 1/2 star. And Goodreads. 🙂


  2. I really like the 1/2 star rating. (Wish GR would use it.) As you say, sometimes a book isn’t quite worthy of a solid 3, 4 or so on rating yet I feel like it deserves more than “just a 3 star” rating ergo, I give it that .5 extra. Or sometimes I REALLY liked the book but something minor bothered me so I don’t feel it should be given a solid five stars.

    Great discussion, Cassie. Like you, I’d like to be more consistent with “discussion-like” posts, but inspiration is often lacking. 😉


    1. Thanks for your input, Rissi!

      Yes, it is definitely hard to find inspiration for discussion posts. I have a few ideas, but I still need to flesh them out a bit more before I go forward with them.


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