Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, that is hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books and Dani @Literary Lion. It’s a chance to discuss certain topics, share opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.
Posts are written on Fridays, and you can suggest topics using the form that you will find on Rukky’s Contact page.
WHAT MAKES A BOOK A 5 STAR READ?
SUGGESTED BY M.T. WILSON @ THE LAST BOOK ON THE LEFT
Prompts: How do you decide whether a book should get 5 stars? Do you try to keep 5 stars rating prestigious, or do you give them generously? Do you have a checklist of things a book must accomplish to be 5 stars? Are 5 star books perfect, or just very good? What are some of your favourite 5 star reads? What made them stand out?
So the TL:DR is that it’s a mixture of gut instinct and feeling as though no other rating would do the book justice.
How do you decide whether a book should get 5 stars? Do you try to keep 5 stars rating prestigious, or do you give them generously?
It’s a very instinctual feeling and based on how I feel on closing the book. There are so many different elements that have to gel together in order achieve that rating for me. The biggest deciding factor is if I think the book will stay with me for a long time, will remember it for years to come. I do often review ratings and lower them if the book hasn’t had the lasting impact that I expected it to.
Back in my formative reading years there was no internet, no Goodreads or Amazon and no way to rate or review books. Despite being a voracious reader as I child, teen and young adult, I slipped out the reading habit when my children were little. It wasn’t until I got a kindle for Christmas 2015 that I began to read regularly again. Initially I was quite generous with my 5 stars, sprinkling them around like confetti. However, over the last few years of actively reviewing books, I feel as though I’ve grown and matured as a reader, so am now much more discerning in how many stars I award.
Do you have a checklist of things a book must accomplish to be 5 stars? Are 5 star books perfect, or just very good?
Whilst I don’t have a specific checklist, I do have certain requirements or standards that a book must achieve in order to gain 5 stars. They are all massively subjective because I am reviewing purely from an enjoyment perspective, not a literary one. So the big deciders for me are emotion and connection. I have to feel something as I read, and I don’t mean bored! Making me cry definitely has a book halfway to the top spot, because if you have moved me to tears then I am totally invested in your book and characters. Talking of characters they are the other main decider, they need to move beyond mere words on paper and become living, breathing people. I have to feel a connection to them, want to get know them in real life, be desperate to bump into them out on the street, even though they don’t actually exist.
I don’t believe any book is perfect because there will always be something, no matter how tiny, that you would have changed or added or improved on. It can even be something as trivial as a character name or a particular word that is used. At the end of the day the author needs to sell books, so there are times when they have to write to the market, and some of those elements are not for me. Or the author might have chosen to steer in a direction that was different from the one I was hoping for. The sheer fact that the author still persuades me to adore the book despite that is a sign of great storytelling and again pushes the book towards those elusive 5 stars.
What are some of your favourite 5 star reads? What made them stand out?
Chances are you won’t have heard of these books, they’re by Indie Authors that aren’t generally found on Netgalley. What made them stand out? The fact that not only can I still remember the characters but that I can still feel the emotions those characters and the story evoked. If I think too hard about some of them I even get quite teary eyed and emotional.
In no particular order –
- Clockwork Stalker by Cari Silverwood – a historical PNR romance
- My Torin by K. Webster – a contemporary romance
- Wishing Well by Lily White – a dark psychological romance
- The Warrior Chronicles Series by KF Breene – epic fantasy
- Cruel Idols by Sorcha Black – dark romance
- The Messenger Chronicles Series by Pippa DaCosta – fantasy/science fiction fusion
- The Kingmaker Saga by London Miller – romantic suspense
- Bass-Ackwards by Eris Adderly – contemporary romance
- The Ribbon Duet by Pepper Winters – women’s fiction
- Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas – dark romance
So what makes something a five star read for you?