Let’s Talk Bookish: Changing Book Ratings/Reviews

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is Changing Book Ratings/Reviews.

Do you ever change your rating/review for a book? When or why would you consider doing so?

I do change my rating for books, but under only two scenarios. I always rate a book as soon as I finish reading it based on my immediate opinion of the story, but reassess that rating when I come back to write a review for it, usually within 2-3 days. It’s quite normal for me to change the rating once the plot has sunk in better and I’ve had some time to consider the character arcs and world-building. However, the change is rarely more than 0.5 stars up or down (usually down because I tend to round up on the initial rating).

The other time I may change my rating of a book is on a re-read, especially if I’m picking it up several years later. I’m a major mood reader, so there are times when I might have assessed a book too harshly simply because I wasn’t in the right headspace for it. In the case of classics in particular, they’re the kind of book that get better with time and age. I first read many of them back in middle school and while I did like them then, when I re-read them now, I have a whole different perspective of the stories, not least because my understanding has matured a lot since then. There is also a lot of excitement surrounding very highly anticipated releases, and once the hype wears off a few months later and you look back and reconsider, your opinion of the book may be very different. This has happened to me a few times, because I’m unconsciously inclined towards a higher rating for those books that make me overlook some of the subtleties. However, I never modify my rating of a book without rereading it if it has been more than a month since I first read it.

It’s quite rare for me to change my review of a book, since I usually put a lot of thought into it the first time around. To date, I’ve only revised my review of one book, We Hunt the Flame, after a reread because I had a feeling that I wasn’t really in the right mood for the book which affected my initial rating and review, so I wanted to look at it from a more objective perspective.

Do you think people should be allowed to change their ratings/reviews? Is it important to make it known what the previous rating/review was if you’re changing it?

Yes, absolutely. Mood reading aside, every reader grows with each book they read and their reading tastes and the way they analyze things also changes over time. It’s completely natural to look back on a book you hated and have a very different opinion of it in hindsight, or vice versa.

I do think it’s important to make the previous rating or review known, not only in the interest of honest reviews, but it’s also really helpful to readers to see the reason behind the change and possibly help with their own reading (or re-reading) experience of the book.

Do you change your ratings or reviews of books? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Changing Book Ratings/Reviews

  1. Marta the Monogamist Reader February 18, 2022 / 1:59 am

    This is a great discussion post. I rarely change the rating of my reviews. I changed my rating only once, The Nevernight Chronicles, from DNFed to 5 stars, because I recognised I wasn’t in the right mood the first time I read it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. vee_bookish February 18, 2022 / 5:25 am

    I often change my rating a few days later when I’ve had time to properly process the book! I also write a new review with a new rating for re-reads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 20, 2022 / 7:06 pm

      Thanks for reading! That’s really interesting that you write a new review each time you change the rating! It’s so nice to see the different thoughts and approaches everyone has to this topic.


  3. frayedbooks February 18, 2022 / 11:07 am

    I love seeing everyones thoughts for todays discussion! I agree that if I reread, I might change my review depending on if I read it many years ago. I’m such a mood reader so ratings are totally based upon my mood! Occasionally I’ll change it when I’m writing my review (like you said, I’ll rate it when finished but then go back in a few days to write a full review) and after letting myself think about it, I may change it slightly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jaya Avendel February 18, 2022 / 4:25 pm

    I love the first reason why you change a rating. Sometimes it takes a little while to sift through the elements of a story and there is no better way to figure out what worked and what did not than by writing a review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 20, 2022 / 7:03 pm

      Agreed, writing a review really makes me think more in depth about the story and consider if the original rating was a fair one or not. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rayo February 19, 2022 / 5:09 am

    It’s great seeing different perspective on this topic. I rarely change book ratings but if I feel my first rating was unfair, I would probably change it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 20, 2022 / 7:00 pm

      Yes, it’s certainly a topic that each reader would have a different perspective on! Thanks for reading!


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