Often times when I'm looking for my next read I'll head over to goodreads to check out ratings. It may seem shallow, and as my best friend who is not fond of spoilers would say, a bit like cheating. I don't even bother to read the reviews anymore. I'm truly just there for those little red stars. Only I'm not looking for 5 of them. What I'm looking for is the variety, or, more accurately, how many people thought it was just "okay".
One of my biggest bookish pet peeves are books that fall smack dab in three star territory. Those ones where they were pleasant enough for you to force your way through but aren't going to stick with you in the long run. I hate those books. I rarely give out three stars for anything, either I liked the book (four), I abso-bloomin-lutly loved it (five), I disliked it (two) or WHY DID I EVEN FINISH THIS I HATE EVERYTHING (one). Three stars are for no feelings, and not having feelings for something I've around a week to is unacceptable. Three stars are the reviews you read that spend more time talking about style than substance.
Maybe my time working on Camp or Crap has left me with a skewed perspective but I really enjoy picking apart "bad" things. I don't go out of my way to search out bad books, but when I find them it gives me licence to moan about overused words and cliche plots.
Do you do any research before picking up a book? Do star ratings effect you're reading choices? Let me know!