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Would You Give a Four-Star Review Even Though It’s a Great Book

Four-star reviews make Kevin Cooper happy whether he’s giving or receiving them. Are you debating between giving a book five or four stars? Kevin has some leeway built into his system. Read on to find out how other authors respond to receiving a four-star review.

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four-star review


Series Two

The Four–Star Review

I love four-star reviews. For me receiving a four-star review is every bit as rewarding as receiving a five-star review… and some. Why the ‘and some’? Because, in some cases, four-star reviews are more rewarding.

A four-star review gives me a sense of sincerity. It tells me the reader loved my work and would still highly recommend it to others even though for them it didn’t quite tick ALL the boxes.  Realistically, one cannot expect one’s book to tick all the boxes for everyone.

Some authors think they are God’s gift to readers and expect nothing less than a five-star review. They are really nice while you are writing five-star reviews for them, but once you stray away from that… well, I’ll say no more on that end except that anyone who becomes offended by receiving a four-star review is arrogant beyond measure (to put it politely) and doesn’t truly deserve one’s dedication to their work. Personally, I wouldn’t even look at another of their works, never mind buy it, and spend my precious time (which can never be given back) reading it and writing a review for it.  I would rather be devoting my time to an author who is more worthy of it.

This is pretty much how I approach writing a four-star review…

Leave a Margin for Errors

Firstly, for all types of reviews, I always leave a margin for errors for the sake of human error, even for my five-star reviews. However, the wider that margin grows, the lower my star rating goes. The four-star review margin is quite narrow… meaning there’s not much more in it from the five-star.  How I judge it is by how the work affects me. ..

I loved the work, would probably read it again, I most certainly would have no problem with highly recommending it, but there was just something that niggled me a bit. This could be anything from a slow start getting into the work, something not quite adding up somewhere hence, getting a bit lost for a while, one or two more errors than what you feel comfortable with, or simply the feeling that it could have been a bit better overall. In most of my four-star reviews, I tend to say something to the effect of, ‘…had it not been for…. This would have been a five-star review for me.’

Join me soon for my third episode of On Reviews where I will discuss the three-star review.

four-star review
Books & Music by Kevin Cooper

Kevin Cooper Biography

four-star review

Kevin Cooper is an author & songwriter. He studied in both England and in the US. Since returning to England, Kevin authored several works and recorded/released a few of his songs. He is working on several projects which include a fantasy, and working towards his first full music album.

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14 replies »

  1. I sometimes add that “had it not been for…” when I write a 4-star review. A 4-star is certainly nothing to sneeze at and I think most good books end up with a variety of 4 and 5 with the occasional 3, 2 or even 1 tossed in.
    I would recommend any 4-star book I rate, often even 3 star books. Sometimes I know the book will appeal to others while there was something off in it for me.


  2. A great share, Marsha. I give a lot of 4 star ratings, so I see nothing wrong with them. There is usually just one to a few minor things that keep me from giving a book a four or five star rating.


  3. Thanks, Cynthia. They are not in-depth explanations but they are the foundations I work from when it comes to reviews.


  4. very true and constructive post kevin, it is not four stars that hurt authors, it is when someone rubbishes their toil! so if the critique says constructive words and gives four stars authors should not mind. I am miles away from perfection (in my own eyes, forget about others) so I have no enmity with four stars 🙂

    I will be keeping an eye for these posts.





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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