Posted in Discussions, Posts

What Makes A Five Star Book?

If you saw my Top Ten Tuesday last week, you’ll know that I was having a think about five star books. I really struggled to find a decent ten for that list. Others of you, though, struggled to keep it down to just ten, wishing you could list twenty. So why is that, do you think?

I’m just cynical (and you’re just nice)

Honestly, this could absolutely be it. I know  I often read over-hyped books, and come out of it wondering what great thing I just missed. Illuminae guys? How did you like that? I also tend to pick out the absolute smallest flaws in books, making me put the rating down to four stars.

“Susan doesn’t have any self esteem issues, it’s not realistic.”

“Victoria, she’s a robot, what do you expect?”


And other various over-dramatic things I have said. On the other hand, though, maybe you guys are just too nice. Maybe Susan’s lack of character development really is a huge problem, but you’re willing to overlook it for the hot male protagonist. How can we ever know, though? They’re both our opinions, so who am I to say you’re wrong?

I haven’t found the books I really love yet

This is also entirely plausible. I try a lot of different genres, based on what’s been recommended to me, or what other bloggers are raving about, or often just on the pretty Scribblecover and interesting-sounding blurb. I don’t have a set favourite genre; whatever I feel like, I’ll try. So maybe, because of my jumping-around-ness, I just haven’t found that one type of book that I’m almost always guaranteed to love. 

I don’t know if this theory is entirely true, though. Because if you look at my 5-star list, it varies from The Fault In Our Stars, which is a soppy, YA romance, to Gone Girl, which is a psychological thriller. So if I’m looking for this mysterious common factor between books I love, someone please tell me what links those two together!

I don’t know what a five star book really isWrong Gif

I think there’s a something that makes a book go from four stars to five. If you ask me to define that something, though, I can’t tell you what it is. Maybe it’s the need to re-read it as soon as you’ve finished it. Maybe it’s that it sticks in your head long after you’ve finished it. Maybe it’s the feeling that you must sacrifice all sleep to read this book instead. Maybe it’s a combination of all, or another something that you can’t really pinpoint until you’re feeling it. 

So if I don’t know what it is that makes a five star book, how can I rate a book? How can I rate any book any amount of stars if I don’t know what I’m looking for? I think I just have to make it up as I go along; although that method seems to be leaving me with not many five star books at all…

You don’t know what a five star book really is

Sharpay gif
Me to you guys

Not that your opinion is wrong, of course, just that our opinions are different. Maybe a five star book has to make you cry; but as someone who doesn’t cry much, and almost never cries from happiness, that would be a ridiculous standard for me. Or maybe there has to be a happily ever after. If that’s in, TFIOS certainly wouldn’t be making it onto your list… 

Or maybe, you can’t pinpoint it either. Maybe it’s something different for every single person. With some books, I’m pretty sure there’s a big secret I’m missing out on. Everyone seems to love them, except me. Then again, there’s books I love that everyone else seems to hate. I adore bad guys, but apparently that’s not normal… Who’s to say which one of us is crazy, though?

My point is… Well, I don’t know if I had a point, or if it was just good to get all my thoughts written out. I guess my point is I have no idea what makes a five-star book. But I don’t think anyone really knows. If you ever crack the case though, be sure to let me know!



I was a book blogger for a while, and I now blog about every little thing in life I can think of. Bear with me while I try all these new posts out... I'm a New Zealand teen who gets angry about the world (but not angry enough for tumblr). I like to capture the world through photos and words, and read in all the moments in nz-squadbetween. I have an overwhelming desire to see every corner of the world I possibly can, and hug the people I love in all those corners. I can't do make up to save myself, and you're more likely to find me buying matching stationary than matching clothes. My nerd hobbies include a new found love of the Avengers, reading YA, watching Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, and every vlogger I can find, and being the last person on the music bandwagons. I have big plans for the rest of my life, including university, teaching, travelling, and having an army of puppies. I plan to blog every second of it!

7 thoughts on “What Makes A Five Star Book?

  1. I’ve literally just posted a discussion on this exact topic a couple of days ago! Here it is.

    There is definitely a something that makes a book go from four stars to five. For me, it’s a combination of all the factors I listed on my own post: it has to be enjoyable, well-written, unique, has a likeable/interesting protagonist, as well as make me feel. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you, I don’t have a favourite genre of book either, I just read what looks & sounds good. I think that’s what stops my five star rating, I rarely give them too. I think it’s because I spend too much time jumping from genre to genre that sometimes things just blur together. I feel like I have to really, really like the book to give it 5 stars.

    Liked by 1 person

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