Tuesday, September 10, 2013 07:00

Fairytale news | The hard life of a reader (3)


'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

Today, I have another edition of typical things we might come across in our lives as readers. Naamloostumblr_inline_mn86vujcM21qz4rgpFor me, rating a book is perhaps the most difficult thing when it comes to reviewing. It's sometimes so hard to define the difference between a 4 star book, 4.5 or 5. That's why I decided to get rid of some .5 stars. Another thing is: everyone uses a different standard. My 3-star books mean that I liked them and I recommend them, but they aren’t the best. Some other bloggers out there rate bad books with 3-stars. This can be very confusing. Oh, and I'm going to say it right now: I need ratings in reviews. That's the first thing I look for and I find it weird when I can't find one. I want to be able to see in one glance what someone thinks about the book. You don't need something fancy, but I need it.



Naamloostumblr_mor77c6lbc1squ2xdo2_500Sometimes it’s almost as if authors forget about us. ‘I’m going to write a book and publish it now. The sequel will come out in 10 years.’ Waiting on a wanted book is probably the hardest thing we readers have to do, especially when it’s part of a series.When I was reading Siege and Storm (Leigh Bardugo), I was dreading the moment to finish it, because it means I have to wait until June 5th before I get more. My review will be up soon, by the way, it was AWESOME. One of the things I hate is when I forget important details. Some books are meant to be re-read, some weren't good enough to read again. I have a good memory, but remembering everything from a book I read so long ago when I read so many books in the main time? That's why I adore books who summarize the important parts by subtle reminders.Naamloostumblr_inline_mn3kpr98sv1qz4rgpThere is a trend going on. There are so many books turned into movies that I can’t keep track of them. It makes me happy (it’s great to see your beloved characters on screen) and anxious at the same time (what if they screw up the story line by adding or deleting scenes? What if the actors doesn’t portray the character you have in your head?) One of the movies that frighten me is The book thief. I think it’s clear by now how much I love this book, but I’m not sure if it will translate to the movie. This book is so beautiful because of the writing-style.. The trailer looks promising so far and I like the casting. Fingers crossed..

I’ve seen movies I liked more than the books (to name some: LOTR and The hobbit), so it can turn out to be a great piece of work. I also hate it when people talk about ‘the awesome movie they discovered’ when they don’t even know it was a book. It almost gives me the feeling of “I was cool before they turned it into a movie.” Get your facts straight!

What about you? Is rating easy for you? Are you patient enough? And what are your thoughts about those book movies?
author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

44 comments:

  1. I agree about rating, Melanie! I have explained how I rate books on my blogs, and a 3 is OK for me - not good enough to make me swoon, but still good enough that I think others will enjoy it :) And I don't use half stars at all... I understand the appeal, but five different ratings are more than enough for me when I write my review.

    I usually am not excited when a book I enjoyed is made into a movie. I prefer to have the characters the way I imagined them based on their description and how I feel about them :)

    Great post, Melanie!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I think I like the difference between 4, 4.5 and 5. I'm happy you found a rating that works for you!

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  2. Yes! I'm looking for the ratings as the first thing as well. It really discourages me to read a review if there is no rating. And I rate my books straight from a gut feeling so it's not really hard for me. Great post!

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  3. Ratings- I suck at them too, which is why I usually make my final rating after I have reviewed the book
    Waiting- Sequels should come out as soon as I finish the predecessor. *nods*
    Books to Movies- I must say, I love laughing at the failed adaptations. I am a lovely human being, I know.

    Awesome post once again, hon! <33

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    1. Sometimes I watch movie adaptations to laugh to. That's the only way I got through some Twilight movies :p

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  4. Ratings are absolutely a must. A person could just gush and gush in a review, and you can't realize that they felt that the book wasn't good enough, and then you're going to get a misconception. hate that.

    And The Book Thief! i'm not going to worry about it anymore. That trailer had moved me close to tears a dozen of times.

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    1. I agree. There were several times where I thought they didn't like the book, but they ended up giving it 4 stars. Without that rating, I'd probably wouldn't read the book.

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  5. I can so totally relate to all of this. It's probably why our previous rating system (which wasn't really a rating system at all because we only listed down the pros and cons and overall thoughts) on Ink Skies didn't work out very well.

    I'm on board with you about waiting for Ruin and Rising! Siege and Storm ended so magnificently; I can't believe Leigh is making us wait THIS long! *sobs*

    Oh, don't even get me started about how disappointed I've been with the YA films recently. Percy Jackson, The Host (though that one wasn't THAT bad, IMO), Beautiful Creatures, etc. I'm so mad at what Hollywood's doing. Thankfully, though, Divergent is coming along nicely. Let's hope it stays that way!

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    1. Haha, yes, the wait is long. Let's stick together! I haven't read Beautiful creatures, but I actually liked the movie :p

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  6. Yes, I love ratings, too! I know they can vary from blogger to blogger, but it's always the first thing I look for. I like knowing how the review felt about the book to begin with.

    I'm with you on three-star reviews, too. Books that I give 3 stars to are books I liked. They aren't stand outs, necessarily, but I enjoyed them.

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    1. Yes, that's the best 3-star rating in my eyes.

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  7. Aw, love this. <3 thank you for sharing sweetie :) I have a hard time with rating sometimes. I used to rate all books I read 5 stars a while back, or just more stars than what I felt. So some books I've had to go back and change :p still, I did enjoy most of them :)

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    1. You're welcome. I have so much fun making these posts :D

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  8. I agree with all of these, especially the movies. I really hate when they leave some scenes out of the movie. And waiting for a sequel for an entire year is like punishment, though I do understand authors can't write every second of their lives and etc.

    You're spot-on with ratings. I usually like to have an idea of a person's opinion while reading their review. I mean, if it's about a favorite book of mine, I want to know whether it's a positive or negative. I can take people not liking the same books as me, but that doesn't mean I have to read their reviews and etc... which is why ratings are important.

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    1. Haha, yes, I understand why we have to wait, but boy.. it's hard.

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  9. Love this post, Mel! Recently I've been worried about the future for YA adaptations to film. It seems that none have really done well in theaters yet (maybe Warm Bodies), so we might be seeing the end of YA books to movies if something doesn't do well soon, like Ender's Game or the Maze Runner.

    I totally agree with you about ratings. We don't give .5 stars because it's really easy to toss them out there. It's painful to have to say, "well, this deserved a 2, not a 3" but it makes the rating more accurate, I think. For us, 3 stars generally mean it's okay but not for us though. 2 stars mean that we disliked it and there was probably only 1 thing we liked about the book, if that.

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    1. I hope some movies can prove that books can work on the screen.

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  10. haha this is a great post Mel!! And oh my God! The first thing I check for in a review is the rating too!!! Like HOW good do you like this book? Reading a review isn't gonna clarify weather it's a 4 or a 3! And ugh.. authors who just leave us hanging! Super annoying!!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  11. Most of the time I can rate a book well enough because I follow the same rule you do: 3 stars means I liked it still, but it didn't wow me. 4 stars, I really liked it (kind of loved it actually), 2 stars it was simply ok. But 5 star ratings are few and far between for me because I'm so stingy with reviews!
    There are still certain books that I have massive difficulty rating - in fact, I've had a couple of those lately. The worst are the books where I hate them in the beginning and end up liking them in the end.
    I also check the rating first when reading a review! Actually, the rating usually tells whether or not I'll bother to read the whole review.

    I am NOT patient, haha! I hate that too...most recent examples are Unravel Me (Ignite Me not out til Jan '14) and Kinslayer (book 3 doesn't even have a title!). Waiting sucks!

    I really like the book to movie trend, because I feel like YA books are becoming more powerful and growing in popularity. But like you, sometimes I'm nervous that they won't get it right, if it's a book I loved.

    Great post, Mel! <33

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    1. I don't give many 5-stars ratings, I even introduced the 5+ for those special books. Haha, yes, those books that suck but have a BANG at the ending.

      It's great that those books get more publicity yes :)

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  12. I find rating books hard so I decided to stop doing so and just doing my extended review in audio format..YAY! I loved Siege and Storm as well!

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  13. Rating books is so difficult that I don't do it anymore, at least not on my blog. I still rate them on goodreads, but I don't think too hard about it. Before I stopped doing it, though, I didn't do the half stars. It's too hard to figure that out, like you said.
    Waiting is just dreadful. My only solace is that there are other, beautiful books out there that I can sometimes forget the dread of waiting.
    I am also really worried about The Book Thief movie. But I try not to think to much about book to movies. Sometimes they are done well, but even then they can't be perfect. For example, I recently read then watched Perks of Being A Wallflower. The screenplay was written by the author and he also directed the movie, so it was as faithful as possible. But it still wasn't as good. It's not impossible.

    Great post, Mel!

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    1. Those other beautiful books are the only way to keep my sanity :p

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  14. Yay, Loki gif :D And the Notebook :'c
    The waiting thing doesn't bother me too much unless I just finish a book and want the sequel immediately. I do feel the same about rating, though. It's really hard sometimes.

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  15. IMO, without ratings, people wouldn't easily grasp on how well you liked the book. Of course, you can rave about it or you can trash it but without the straightforward rating, people would have a lot of interpretation of your reviews and there's a possibility that they might get lost in trying to understand your final say of the book. Regarding the 0.5 stars, I was once not a fan of using it but today, it's the other way around. 0.5 stars are somewhat a leeway for me (I'm not sure if that even makes sense).

    As for the waiting, yes, I totally understand you. I love3x JK Rowling and I hated her at the same time. It took her so long to finish the Harry Potter series. After GOF was published, the last 3 books were published with an interval of 2 years. GRRRRR! I thought I was gonna die of waiting. *sighs*

    Books to movies- Oh gosh, Mel! I also love the movie versions of LOTR and The Hobbit more than the books. All the LOTR movies and The Hobbit occupies my top 5 favorite list of books-to-movie adaptations. I just couldn't love the prose of LOTR and the Hobbit. It was too archaic for my taste. And I agree with your points. While I love seeing my favorite books being made into a movie, I also hated it when the makers or the actors, or the director screw the book up. Harry Potter is my all time favorite book but I couldn't say the same thing for the movies except for the last 2 films which were excellently made, And there's Percy Jackson, I love the whole series but I didn't watch the second movie because I was so disappointed with the first one. *sighs*

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    1. Haha, yes, the long Harry Potter wait!

      LOTR and The hobbit are both on top of my list for books-to-movie. And the last HP movies are definitely the best in the series.

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  16. I love these, Mel! I am all about ratings too. I kept my .5 in because sometimes I need the distinctions. My three stars are books that were okay - I didn't mind reading them, but I probably could have done without them, or I seriously liked some parts and not others. Ratings are hard, but I look for them too. When I read reviews and they're positive its hard to tell if a reviewer would re-read something or not or if it was really worth the read or buying unless they rate it.

    I am terrible at waiting, although some books I could wait years between and I wouldn't forget what happened (like Shadow and Bone). Sometimes I wait until a series is completely out before I read it.

    Ah, movies. I have a hate/love relationship with those. When Brave Heart came out, which I still haven't seen, I had a definite bad opinion of it because I had read the book several times and I couldn't believe they were casting Mel Gibson in the role for this great unselfish leader that I had read about. Mel had only done those crazy cop movies and I just couldn't see him portraying that character. There are movies that have turned out okay, but most of them based on books aren't even close to what they should be and I think some of that has to do with the fact that all the actors and directors and such don't already have this great love for the book and its characters when they make the movies, but us readers too and so it can create a disconnect and things can be portrayed as they shouldn't be. LOTR isn't that way. The cast and such LOVE those characters and the books and feel like they are all part of something great in filming it. It comes across.

    Great topics, again. :)

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    1. I agree about Shadow and bone. I had no trouble reading Siege and storm after some waiting. And yes, I try to start series with more books, but some are just too tempting!

      That's a perfect way of describing it. I think you are right!

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  17. I'm going to go with: no, HELL NO and inner panic attack sounds about right ;)
    Ratings are hard for me, but I just go with what feels right, though I probably didn't like all my 3 and 4 stars equally. Oh well :)
    And OMG, THE WAIT! IT WILL FOR SURE KILL ME AT ONE POINT! I'm still putting off reading A Dance With Dragons because I know the next book won't come out for about 20 years or so... I really dislike it when a book ends on a cliffhanger and it'll be a whole freaking YEAR before you get the sequel. UGH! But I also secretly love those books... And I'm a big fan of the subtle reminders as well because I tend to forget stuff...
    The Book Thief movie is a scary thing!

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    1. Cliffhangers are worse, especially when you have to wait a long time :(

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  18. I agree! I mean, my rating system uses .5 starts technically, although I haven't been using them because it's so much easier not to bridge the gap between ratings anymore. I think many reviewers follow the goodreads scale, but sometimes it does get befuddling when you read the actual reviews and it doesn't seem to fit! So yeah major confusion :( And about the waiting thing....TORTURE!! And when the books come, and they're not what you expected-- even worse :c I actually don't mind a lot of the movie adaptations, but I don't find any of them particularly great either. Except maybe for Perks, THG, and HP :)) The Book Thief though, I sincerely hope they don't mess up!

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    1. Oh yes, it's even worse when you've been waiting for a long time for a crappy book :(

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  19. Oh yes, the waiting game is the worst! I've been literally waiting since forever for the sequel of Angelfall. And movie adaptations are almost always disappoint (Twilight, The Host, World War Z, Lonely Bones, etc.)

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    1. Twilight.. the movies are even worse than the books.

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  20. I've been wanting to do a little discussion post with my feelings on ratings. I agree with you that I find it difficult to rate a book and I look for ratings when I visit other blogs because it gives me a baseline, but you have to understand how that person uses ratings. Also, waiting for books sucks and I do tend to forget things. It was actually great - I just started reading Kinslayer and Jay Kristoff put a little "who's who" in the beginning. It was a nice refresher. Books to movies can be VERY frustrating because they can destroy a book but more commonly they are just a nice way to see a book come to life for me (even if the books are typically better). The Book Thief trailer did look promising. I have high hopes for this one! Great post, Mel!

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    1. I can't wait to read your discussion post :)!

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  21. I really like seeing a rating as well, just to give me some context before I start reading the review. I know that I don't always feel the same thing about 3 star books and I've definitely gotten harsher. It used to be that books were very likely to get 4-stars but now they're more likely to get 3 just because they can't leave up to the other books I've read.

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  22. I love these posts of yours Mel! And I agree with all your points again this week: yes I NEED ratings too, I feel lost reading a review without them, unless the review is clearly horrible or amazing lol. But deciding what to rate a book is always an inner debate with me: did I like this one better than that other 3-star? the same? a little less? Gah! o.O

    YES waiting for sequels can be traumatic and painful when the wait is too long and YES turning books into movies is a double edged sword. On the one hand,sometimes they get it right and it's awesome (like LotR & Hobbit) but then other times they all but murder the source material *sobs*

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