When I first started writing, I was awed to receive a 5 out of 5 rating on my work. A four wasn't bad either, but a three devastated me. In most cases, three means the book was enjoyable, good, and warranted reading. Isn't that enough? Some how the caliber of the number 3 diminished and now denotes a "so-so" novel.
Through the years, I've discovered that there is little correlation between the numerical rating and the written summary of the reviewer. If we have to continue earning stars, cups, and ribbons, in my opinion, fives should be reserved for potentially award-winning books. However, in some cases, friendships or fear of hurt feelings dictate the rating outcome. As much as I enjoy getting fours and fives, I do believe the rating system has lost credibility. Honestly, as authors, we should be paying more attention to the written word over an assigned number.
As someone who has reviewed for three major sites, I'm always confused by the rating system even though it is prominently displayed. I would much rather rely on a written summary than try to decide why I shouldn't award the other half of the star, ribbon, clover, or angel.
Is it realistic that we don't see many books receive a three rating? I don't think so. Lately, I've read some mediocre ones that make me glad I no longer have to rate them. I don't know of anyone who is brave enough to write a review for Amazon under your given name and not fill in all the stars for fear of damaging the author's ego. I honestly think the rating system should be abolished. Anyone else agree?