Discussion: Technicalities vs Enjoyment–Which Matters More to You?

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you probably know I used to post discussions every Sunday. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a Sunday discussion, but never fear, I have returned to my old habits! And with a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

So, I recently read The Kiss of Deception (I just posted my review yesterday if you want to know my thoughts on it!). There were a handful of things I didn’t like about it–the plot lagged in some places, the romance was a bit instalove-y, etc. But you know what? I loved the book. As soon as I finished it, I got my hands on the sequel and I’m already 50 pages into it.

That book got me thinking. While I didn’t enjoy some technicalities of the book, the story itself gripped me and I enjoyed it more than I’ve enjoyed books that I’ve given higher ratings. It’s not going to go on my favorite book shelf, but I liked it enough to immediately get the sequel. I’d recommend it to other people, too!

I guess when it comes to rating books, I favor technicalities over enjoyment. When I’m rating a book, I take enjoyment into account, but it doesn’t mean everything to me. For example, The Kiss of Deception would have gotten 5 stars if I rated it solely on enjoyment, but I only gave it 4 stars because I had some issues with the writing itself.

But I know some people might do it the opposite way. Maybe they overlook the technical things and just rate the book based on enjoyment. I can see how people would prefer to do it either way, and I would trust a blogger’s opinions no matter which way they choose to rate their books.

For me, I’d say 75% of the rating comes from technicality, and 25% comes from my enjoyment levels. I’m more likely to bump up a review after the fact based on my enjoyment level. For example, I originally wanted to give The Girl From Everywhere 3.5 stars, but after a few days I realized I really liked parts of the book, so I bumped it up to 4 stars.

Technicality plays a bigger part in the actual rating of the book, but enjoyment is what decides if a book goes on my favorites shelf.

Here are a few books that I really enjoyed, but didn’t get 5 stars because of technicality issues (I still recommend them!)

  • Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  • This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

What about you? Does Enjoyment or Technicalities Matter more to you when rating books? Let me know in the comments below!

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12 thoughts on “Discussion: Technicalities vs Enjoyment–Which Matters More to You?

  1. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    This is a great discussion! 🙂 Overall, I think I’d take enjoyment over technicalities while rating a book. Even if there were some flaws, I am most likely to rate a book 4 stars because despite the flaws, I enjoyed it / it made me smile / got me on the edge of my seat. However, I’m more difficult when it comes to 5 stars ratings 🙂

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  2. Tracy (@Cornerfolds) says:

    I’m a little torn on this because honestly, if the technicalities are so off that I notice them, I’m probably going to enjoy the book less anyway. I’m not sure the two are really distinguishable in my head, if that makes sense. If I get to the end of the book and it wasn’t totally perfect, I’m going to consider why it wasn’t perfect and it was probably the characters, the plot, or the writing. I will say that even if I get to the end and it blows me away, I still mention technical issues I had with it in my review. Great post!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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  3. Lisa @ The Book Ghoul says:

    Technicality is a huge thing for me, probably 75% like you said, but also depending on the technicality, I might be more or less forgiving. Certain technicalities bother me less than others. If I have technical issues with something, it will never get a 5-star rating from me (but I guess I’m just harsh like that.) 4-star for me, like Marie said, would mean that I enjoyed it despite its flaws, or that it had only a few flaws. 😀

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  4. Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess says:

    This is an amazing discussion! For me, I rate each book differently. It depends mainly in the reason I’m reading it. When it’s a contemporary I usually read it for the enjoyment, so will pay more attention to that when it comes to rating. I tend to be harsher with fantasy books, because I have read a lot of them and I pay a lot of attention to technicalities because I think they affect my enjoyment, If the world building or the magic system aren’t good then I won’t enjoy the book.

    Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess

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  5. BookHarpy says:

    Definitely technicalities for me. I rarely rate a book 5 stars, because, beyond enjoyment, the book just has to flow and make senses. Instalove is nice and dandy in some situations but for the most part it seems unrealistic and forced.I may love the potential and characters but if there is something off in the plot, execution, character personality that seems out of character, etc then I don’t feel right giving it 5 stars.

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  6. Tasya says:

    I think I’m more of technicality-based person. Like when I reading The Raven Cycle, as much as I enjoyed it, I don’t really understand what’s going on. I need to understand and feel the characters, not only enjoying the story to give a book 5 stars. So I guess it’s technicality for me.

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  7. Mara says:

    I usually rate books based on enjoyment on my blog, although sometimes I hate a book because of a specific writing style, scene, etc., so maybe technicalities are somewhat kicked into my ratings as well. Then again, I still point out the technicalities I didn’t like in a book when I review them, so even though I gave a book a higher rating than others who’ve read it, my readers will still be aware of the things that may or may not affect their feelings about it while reading it themselves. 🙂

    Very interesting discussion, Alex!

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  8. Molly's Book Nook says:

    I think I consider enjoyment more, unless the technicalities are just too distracting. That’s hard to explain…. but I think it just comes down to personal preference. What might irritate me doesn’t irritate another person. Overall, though, if I’m entertained, I’m pleased. haha

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

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  9. Aralyn says:

    I’m still trying to figure it out (>~<) Like, I recently gave 5 stars to a book that had some small technical flaws and I may be about to do it to an upcoming one because I really enjoyed them. But previously, I focused a lot on technicalities. I think I'm trying to be a little less stingy with high ratings…
    Love the post!

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