Despite being a scale of 1-5, star rating don’t always mean the same things to different people. It is a subjective scale, and we all have our own reasons behind what we rate and why. The variation can sometimes be quite dramatic.
Goodreads provides a guid for the stars, but tbh I don’t really agree with all of it. My lower ratings in particular vary a fair bit.
Goodreads say: Did not like it
My rating means: I hated it. Absolutely hated it and cannot find any redeeming qualities. Surprisingly I’ve never given this rating out. Most likely because any books I would give this rating to I DNF, and I don’t like to give a star rating to DNF books as I can’t fully judge them, not having read the entire thing.
Goodreads says: It was okay
My rating means: This book was not likeable. There may be one or two redeeming qualities but overall I did not enjoy. Sometimes they may even be a “meh” book that left no impression on me (though these are more likely to be 2.5stars)
Goodreads says: Like it
My rating means: This book was good! I enjoyed it overall. There is nothing in particular that stands out, there might have been a few things that bored me or irritated me, but it was fun and/or good read.
Goodread says: Really liked it
My rating means: This book was great! I had a tonne of fun reading it and really enjoyed so many different aspects. I recommend these books!
Goodreads says: It was amazing
My rating means: ERMAGHERD THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT!! I have so many feels and want to fangirl over almost everything about it. There might be one or two flaws but I LOVED IT SO MUCH I DON’T CARE
Personally, I like half stars. There are often books that sit in the middle of two ratings based on my feelings and I like the option to give them their own category. Plus there is a huge difference between 4.5 star and 5 star books for me. 4.5 star books are amazing and excellent, but 5 star books are the one that just completely blow me away and leave me with massive book hangovers.