8th Blogiversary + Giveaway: How We Rate Books

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Can you believe it’s been 8 years since Under the Covers started? It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I received a message in my Goodreads mailbox from Francesca and Annie asking if I wanted to start a blog. I even have that message saved! Saying hell yeah was one of my best decisions as although running a blog is a lot of hard work and long hours…it’s also a lot of fun.

So, we invite you to join in our blogiversary party this week to celebrate 8 years of Under the Covers. We have some fantastic videos lined up and some big giveaways as a thank you for supporting and following us. Here’s to many more fantastic years!


Today we discuss how we rate books! When you’re reading our reviews, you have noticed that a 3 star read from Francesca is not quite the same as a 3 star read from me (Suzanne). We are annoyingly inconsistent that way! However, despite the differences between our ratings, we are very consistent with our individual systems. So, today we explain exactly what each rating means to us!

Note: Soooo….watching back the video I don’t explain myself too well regarding my sci fi romance obsession and how I rate the books. Honestly…I think I may sound a little mean. I don’t mean it that way, I love alien sci fi romance and I don’t make any attempt to hide my devotion to the genre. I’m not ashamed and happily promote the books and the authors. However, like any trope whether it’s biker romances, millionaires, sweet small town etc I find it hard to rate it too highly when there’s a market flooded with very similar books. It doesn’t mean that I like them any less, it just means that with my system of rating it’s hard to rate more than 3.5 stars. I love sci fi romances and as I explained in the video, if I rated on subjective enjoyment alone every single one would get 5 stars.  I hope that clears it up a little…if not, I’m always happy to have a discussion! ~ Suzanne


How do you rate books?
Share with us in the comments below!


Under the Covers is graciously giving away



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Kathleen Bylsma

Perfectly reasonable explanation and makes sense to me….I’m a “mood” rater: if the book resonates strongly with my mood, it gets a higher rating…taking into consideration the writing style, cohesiveness etc.


I agree…the mood I’m in while reading does have an effect on my rating

Misty Swafford

This is my rating system. I mostly rate books by how much I enjoyed them and how into them I was. I have designated my 1 stars for books I DNF. When I DNF books I will write my review telling how far I got into it and the reasons why I couldn’t continue on with it. I don’t give out 1 stars very often because over the years I have gotten good at picking books I know I will like. Of course there are still some duds that make their way through but that’s inevitable. I also do half… Read more »


Thank you for the explanation I agreed with Francesca’s rating system


There are books that I absolutely love and that bring out all the emotions out of me, and those I rate either 4.5 or 5 stars. But I usually rate books I enjoy 4 stars. I rarely rate 1 or 2 stars, because I DNF them so I don’t rate them at all. It really depends on my mood. So sometimes when I can’t get into a book, I try to finish it later.

Happy 8th Blogiversary!

Amy R

If a books keeps me engaged and entertained it’s a 4-5 star, if the book moves slowly or I get annoyed it’s 3 stars or less, DNF is 1 star with the I DNF’d written in my review


Happy Anniversary! Keep up the good work!

Sue G.

For the most part I only read books that I know I’m going to love, so my ratings do tend to be a little higher!


Great explanations and thanks for further explaining Suzanne. Most books that I enjoy are a 3. To be rated a 4-5 I have to love them: the story, the characters, the writing, how it makes me feel and connect with the characters. A 2 is a book that is just ok for me and a 1 is a book I did not like at all, struggled to finish, etc.


I’m not afraid to DNF, and all those will get a 2 star rating. As for the rest, I rarely give 5 stars and I never give 1 star.


I ‘ll round stars up or down depending on other factors (editing, originality, prose style, etc).

Melissa Pereira

Thanks for the chance to win.

Sophia Rose

I think being consistent with your own rating scale is reasonable and true of most of us. I enjoyed listening in and confirming what I already guessed about your reviewing. I rate with DNF to Five and use half-stars on the blog. I tend to rarely use half star to two and a half star because if its bugging me then I quit it these days. But, if I liked something about it, but there were mechanical issues or just one element that was bad to me, I might go below a three. Three is so-so and forgettable for me.… Read more »

Mary Preston

Very interesting thank you. I don’t bother with a system.


I’m the worst about writing reviews but I will rate books. I only rate 4&5 stars since I know I’m all about how interesting I find a book. If I enjoy it and think about it when I’m not reading it,, it gets a higher rating. The lower star books? I pretend they never happened – except in a mental note to myself about them.

E. R.

I’m a mood reader, so it really depends if I enjoyed the book or not.

I elaborated a bit more at the YT video.


My 3 star rating is the same as Francesca’s. I rate things on my level of enjoyment too. My rating system lines up with Francesca’s more but there are bits of Suzanne in there too.

Laura Lovejoy- Brunk

5- FLOVED it
4- is my average. Really liked it will read author again
3- it was just ok, nothing special
2- it was horrible
1- DNF

Anita H.

Happy Blogiversary! Your rating systems totally makes sense to me, I totally rate books based on my enjoyment of the book

cheryl c.

I appreciate book reviews. With so many books out there, it is helpful for someone else to have already read a book and given their opinion on it.


I try to give a 5 star to only very special books. If I really like a book, but it’s not one of the best I’ve ever read, then it’s a 4 star. An average book would be a 3 star.


I save 5 star books for books that give me all the feels! 3 and 4 stars are my most commonly used. 1-2 stars are rare because is going to be that low…I typically give up on it before finishing and I don’t rate a book I haven’t finished.

Lover of Romance

This seems so much fun here! Love seeing how various readers rate their books.