Can we please get rid of the stars? No, not those stars

no starsI haven’t written a blog post in a minute. I had other shit to do. Sike. I didn’t have anything to do. I was just uninspired. But then I had one of those “JC, get your shit together” talks with myself so here I am.

A convo with a fellow avid reader this weekend got me thinking that maybe I should explain why I don’t leave reviews on Amazon and hardly leave them on Goodreads. After all, I am an author and I’m constantly out on the Internet streets begging for reviews. Plus, my friend really laid into me for not wanting to give this book 5-stars when I really liked it. After the whole “heffa, get out of my face” argument was over, I switched from Jose Cuervo to Earl Grey tea and considered all the things I should have said during our heated convo.

I remember when I was thinking of names for my editing company and the first thing that popped into mind was 5-star Editing. It sounded good because everyone wants a 5-star rated book, right? The problem was that I hate the star rating system and every variation of it so I couldn’t name any business associated with the Jackie Chanel brand after something I loathe.

Basically, the star rating system (and yes, I took this from Wikipedia) is used for ranking things such as films, TV shows, restaurants, and hotels and now books. Everyone uses them but there is no concrete rule that governs this star ranking system. And how the hell do you have a ranking system and everyone’s opinion differs on what 1-star and what 5-star really are?

For instance, a 5-star book to me would mean that it’s flawless. It has a well-written and conceived plot. It has realistic characters that I can relate to. It’s grammatically perfect. I mean what I say. To garner a 5-star rating from me, the book better be on a Beyonce type of FLAWLESS. I have so many rules that I could list for a 5-star book that that would take me until Friday to post this Monday Blogs post.

But that’s just me.

Now, other readers and reviewers have different expectations of what 5-star means to them. And while I generally respect everyone’s opinion, THIS IS NOT OKAY. If a hundred different reviewers have different 5-star standards, how the hell do you know if you actually have a 5-star book?

The truth is, we don’t know and will never know because reviews of books and the star ranking system is opinion based. And everyone has an opinion. Even if there were universal rules that govern the star rating system, it still does not work. People pay for 5-star reviews and people with malicious intent leave 1-star reviews just to hurt the business or author.
The five star ranking system is the reason I don’t leave reviews on Amazon anymore. If they would take it away and depend on actual reviews, then I’d consider leaving reviews on books again. Reviews, especially with books and film, are what matter because it gives the reviewer the chance to explain their thoughts on the work, not just a vague ass star ranking. We don’t need both and actually, we don’t need the stars at all.

If you’re interested, here’s how I rate books and movies. My system is self-explanatory and doesn’t need no stinkin’ stars to let you know how I felt about a book for film.

  • Goddamn, that was good!
  • I liked it but…
  • It was okay.
  • Not a fan but someone else might like it
  • I read this because my BFF (or Mommy) begged me to and now we are not friends anymore/aren’t speaking

I don’t rate businesses because my one experience there shouldn’t influence anyone else’s decision to patronize a business unless, of course, they were blatantly rude or racist to me then everyone in the world would know how I felt about that place because we all would be on the six o’clock news.

Side note: YouTube was smart enough to do away with the star rating. We should all be like YouTube

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