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Monday, January 12, 2015

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Do You Change Your Rating System Often?

I'm pretty sure someone asked this already, or someone is bound to ask this one day, but as the fabulous reviewers who spread the good, bad, and ugly (yes, those rants are hilarious and amusing yet it's the ugly, okay?) about books, do you change your rating style often?

I've probably changed my rating system a million times, hoping that the next one is better. Of course, that's obviously not the case. Oh, and it's confession time! Plus, behind the blog with Sophia (Sophia does not know how Ella rates books, and she's not going to ask because it's not relevant info for her to know, so it's not behind the blog with Sophia AND Ella). Hooray!

Version 1
Back in the golden days of being a newbie - we've all been there - I rated books by instinct. Boy, was THAT a bad idea for me to do, because secretly, I'm a softie to books. I'm a softie to the debut authors and the books who are first in a series and when I'm a softie, some books get a bit of a better rating than what they should have deserved. Not off the charts better. If it's honestly bad, I'm not going to say, "Hey! This is a FABULOUS book! You should TOTALLY read it."

Then again, in the oldie days, I thought every book was wondrous. You know, oldie as in "Before Blogging." I sometimes want to hide under a table because those reviews mortify me. Um... the ones when I first started blogging.

Very much like my mother embarrassing me by telling people my baby stories. Honestly, who cares how adorable baby Sophia looked when she first started walking? (Okay, baby me was full of trouble. I was the Puck of the family!) But no one really cares how cute and adorable little Sophia sings - I certainly don't care. I just think I sound very high-pitched if you thrust a microphone in my face. *squeak, squeak. "Hi! I'm Sophia!"*

Not that I actually reviewed before blogging. I honestly just decided to dive into reviewing back in 2012 and hoped for the best and not the worst. It's books! Surely I'll enjoy it? I promise I do.

Version 2
In early 2013, I kind of noticed that softie bit of me. I also saw on some other blog that rated things like characters and plot and world building – I thought it was a pretty good idea and figured it would do some elimination of extremely softie Sophia (I'm still a softie sometimes).

It certainly did some elimination... and made me a bit more observant than what some people would like. In other words, the members of my high school book club, to which I'm known as Negative Sophia because I find something bad about every book. No book is perfect. Every book has a flaw, no matter how tiny, and while it may not matter to one person, it matters to another. Otherwise, we're happy little robots. Ella and I would be the same – we would think the same, we would look the same, we would eat the same...

This is getting overly creepy now. But I promise we're not the same people.

Methinks observant is not necessarily a bad thing unless you accidentally see something you would rather not see. Like PDA, for instance.

Version 3 – AKA, the Current One
Apparently on Thanksgiving 2014, I officially decided that Version 2 wasn't working well for me anymore, and it was time for some tweaks. Version 2, while great, was a very vague version – Grammar and Spelling was the only thing that was specific (I changed that twice and now it's perfect. For now). Characters included Romance (if any) and development; Plot/Storyline included World Building and how unique the book was; Pacing included writing style and how well the words flowed, along with whether or not the book felt like it was dragging; Overall Opinion included everything else I completely forgot (like the format). Oh, and the average of the prior books? Yeah... that gave Allegiant a bitty boost that I did not particularly like.

It was around that time I considered changing it. Since it was just one thing, I decided not to and see how well it played out in the future.

But then again... Divergent and Insurgent were before Version 2 came out. I'm beginning to wonder what I really would have rated Insurgent. Perhaps a 4.5 would have been a better deal and more accurate compared to a full 5?

In reality, this is just a work in progress. It might always be a work in progress, because while Version 3 may work now for me, it may change and be tweaked next year. Or if I'm really lucky, Version 3 may be permanent.

So my question to you lovely reviewers out there is this: Do you change your rating system often? Have you found the perfect one – I envy you greatly and you should totally give the rest of us advice – or are you like me and your rating system is a constant work in progress? And if you really don't care, precisely how many times have you changed your rating system since you started reviewing? 10? 20? 1? 3? 0 (Like I said earlier, I envy you greatly if that's the case. Your IQ must be off the charts. I only hope you don't become a serial killer one day.)?!

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Sophia

Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.