Recently I’ve been noticing that some bloggers are putting heat ratings, age recommendations, or other content warnings on their reviews. It got me to wondering: How useful are those ratings/warnings to readers? And do they make sense for a blog like mine that covers several genres and spans the gamut from children’s to adult books? Or am I better off simply incorporating that information into the review itself?
So far, I’ve been indicating the genre of a book (including whether it’s adult, YA, or middle-grade) below the review, along with the publication information. I’ll also often mention the target audience in the review. However, when it comes to heat, I don’t usually talk about how explicit an adult book is, unless it’s unusually explicit or surprisingly unracy. I suppose that’s because so many adult books, especially romances and thrillers, contain explicit or suggestive scenes that it has become commonplace. I’m not even sure I should add heat ratings as a standard thing – it’s one more subjective rating, and one more thing for me to keep track of when I read.
What do you think? As a blogger, do you give content warning or heat ratings for the books you review? Why or why not? And if you do, are you a genre-hopper like me, or do you mostly review a single genre, like romance or YA? And as a reader, do you find that kind of information helpful in deciding which books to read?