I've only been posting reviews of books for let's say 10 months or so but my rating system has changed a lot in those months. I will fully admit that when I look back on my old rating system I cringe a little because it was unnecessarily harsh, and I know for certain that I would rate those books higher now compared to what I rated them months ago. Part of me wishes I could go back and fix all of the reviews and ratings but I don't have the time for that so... hopefully I can catch and change some of those issues with rereads (yes, this is just an excuse for me to do rereads. Sorry?).
~The Old System~
1 Star: Didn't finish the book, absolutely hated it. I was dragging myself through every single page and I just couldn't stand it anymore (this is back when I didn't mark books as DNF)
2 Stars: I finished the book and I liked elements of it, but either really hated other elements or just couldn't stand the subject matter of the book. I will fully admit that some books probably got lumped in here just because they were genres that I didn't like, and so I now try and separate my feelings towards the genre from my feelings towards the book.
3 Stars: The book was pretty good. I wasn't head over heals in love with it, but I enjoyed it and would definitely read the following books if it was part of a series. This actually used to be my average rating for books, I rarely gave out anything higher than a 3, and was proud of it. I'm honestly not sure why, and I unfairly docked a lot of books for this.
4 Stars: This book was over-the-top amazing, I loved it with all of my heart and soul. I would totally buy it, I would read anything the author put out, etc.
5 Stars: This book destroyed my world. I almost never gave 5 star ratings. Ever.
~The New System~
1 Star: I actually don't give out 1 star ratings that often. The only book I gave a 1 star review to was back in November of 2017 and I haven't given one out since then. Most of the books that would be 1 stars I just mark as DNF and move on.
2 Stars: This book was decent, it had elements in the story or plot that I really liked or had a good premise, but just didn't execute it in a great way. Maybe the characters were super unlikeable, or it was just not exciting enough for me to get through easily. I would maybe recommend this book to people, but most likely not.
3 Stars: This book was pretty good, and I would consider reading any sequels that came out in the future. I was more into the story and execution compared to a 2 star book, but there were still some elements, like a love triangle or circular plot, that held it back from that 4 star rating. I definitely enjoyed it though, and would probably recommend it to other people.
4 Stars: This book was awesome. I went through it quite quickly, and would 100% read the sequels when they come out. I would probably even buy this book too, and would definitely recommend it to others. There was maybe just one tiny thing that I had a quibble with that made me not rate it 5 stars, or maybe I just didn't have that "feeling."
5 Stars: I loved this book with all of my heart. I flew through the book, and was left wanting more. I would 100% buy the book, read the sequels, and recommend it to other people. I will reread this book over and over again, and never get bored of it.
I actually changed my rating system when I started posting reviews to NetGalley, since I realized that my rating system was much harsher than theirs was, and it was also much harsher than the Goodreads rating system. For the sake of compatibility I changed mine, and it's made life much easier for me now. It takes me a lot longer to decide on a rating for books now (I have to do a little soul-searching, and sometimes I decide after I write a review what the rating will be), but in the end I feel like I'm making more accurate recommendations and reviews.
So if you were ever wondering about the sudden increase in 4 & 5 star reviews... this is the reason why!