Books I Struggled to Rate

Sometimes, as soon as I finish a book, I instantaneously know how many stars I’m going to award it. Other times, to choose one from only five numbers becomes a hugely challenging task. My main difficulty, so far, has been deciding whether some books were 3 or 4-star reads. There was also an instance when I was unsure whether a book deserved a 2 or a 3-star rating.  However, I’ve never had indecisions involving possible 5-star reads – those are just faultless books in my eyes, easy!

Since starting this blog, the following books were the ones that I remember struggling to rate the most.


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

In All the Light We Cannot See, readers are introduced to the stories of Marie-Laure and Werner, whose lives are deeply affected by the events of the Second World War. The overall story is quite inspiring, and I really appreciated the ending. However, I didn’t immediately connect with the characters, mainly because of the structure of the book, which felt too fragmented. I was unsure whether to rate it with 3 or 4 stars. I ended up going for a 4-star rating and now feel like it was the right choice.


The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis 

The first book by Janet Ellis has quite a fascinating main character. Anne Jacob is somewhat resentful of her family and, when she falls in love with the butcher’s boy, that bitterness becomes even more noticeable. I was liking this novel a lot at first. But the ending was a bit disappointing and the writing style was not consistent throughout the novel. I awarded it 3 stars. Nonetheless, I still remember Anne quite well and it was really close to be a 4-star book.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This children’s book is so famous that I don’t think I need to tell you what it is about. I had heard so many good things about it that I was quite disappointed when I didn’t like it as much as everyone else seems to. It’s an imaginative book, but both the characters and the plot are not particularly attention-grabbing or fascinating. I rated it with 3 stars, because of the message that, I think, was trying to be conveyed. I’m still not sure if the point of the book was really to question whether we are more creative as children and if people can keep the innocence of childhood after growing up. Nevertheless, that was what I understood from the ending. Such possible meaning was what prevented me from giving it only 2 stars.


Contos Escolhidos by Fernando Pessoa

It is always difficult to rate short story collections, and I found this one by Fernando Pessoa particularly so. The majority of the stories featured in this anthology are beautifully written and raise thought-provoking points. However, they were not as enthralling as I was expecting to. After finishing each of the stories, I was never eager to read another straight away, usually for no explainable reason. I rated it with 4 stars, but I debated for a while whether it should be a 3-star read.


Have you read any books lately that you really struggled to rate? Tell me in the comments!


3 thoughts on “Books I Struggled to Rate

  1. Ayunda says:

    I absolutely agree, some books (in particular short story collections and poetry collections!) are difficult to rate. I really enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See as well, but I do agree that it did feel a little too fragmented.

    Liked by 1 person

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