Unfortunately, not many things are perfect. (Except me, obviously. I’m like Marry Poppins minus the “practically” because we all know I’m perfect in exactly every way.) With not a lot of perfection bopping around, this is a REAL problem for people with a) high standards, or b) perfectionists. And when you’ve read a lot of books and feel like you’ve possibly “heard it all before”…it’s super hard to find a 5-star book.
WHICH IS KIND OF DEPRESSING, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT.
I’m a bookworm! I adore books! I like to stroke them and arrange them and take photos of them and sniff them and rename them Frank and Halva.
So if I don’t regularly read excellent books then I feel like a moody bookworm and the doubts start. Can I call myself an avid book fan if my average book rating is 3.5-stars? Does this make me a rotten fruit salad if I squint and criticise and analyse books more than I stand on top of a hippopotamus shouting their golden goodness?
And…the big question…
IF I DO FIND A BOOK I LOVE A LOT, BUT IT’S NOT PERFECT, SHOULD I GIVE IT THE COVETED 5-STAR RATING?
Agh. Difficulties. They’re such killers.
I have a list of reasons I’ll give a book 5-stars, and, well, not all of them are LOGICAL. But I’m a hybrid between a feels-reader and a logic-reader. My brain analyses every detail and catalogues things I don’t like. BUT THEN MY FEELS GET IN THE WAY.
REASONS I GIVE A BOOK 5-STARS:
- I love it. Just plain and purely. I love the characters, the writing, the food mentioned, the uniqueness, the “shock factor”, and how it wraps up.
- It had issues, buuut…I still had a good time reading it. Like, the plot was slow BUT I was snorting out loud with giggles so, heck yes, it needs 5-stars.
- I’m biased with love towards the author. (By this point, if a cover says Maggie Stiefvater, it just gets 5-stars. I like The Raven Boys more than Shiver, but Shiver still gets 5-stars. I NEED MORE STARS OBVIOUSLY.)
- I’m endlessly impressed. Like if the plot twist just smacks me in the face with WOAH WHAT or it’s super creative.
- If I actually truly love and connect to the characters. Because this doesn’t happen often, folks. I’m a cynical Vulcan 6 days of the week.
There are very few books I’ve given 5-stars to and thought, “This is absolutely incredibly astronomically PERFECT”. There’s always a little something the makes me go meh. But that’s because reading is super subjective. What I don’t like, someone else loves. So this is 100% on me and not on the book!
I will give out 5-stars. Even if the book isn’t, in my extremely analysing opinion, perfect.
Due to having an incredibly detailed spreadsheet of aaaaall the books I read, I’ve worked out that in every 30 books I read, I’ll give one 5-star. Sometimes more! Sometimes less!
I do feel torn though. On one hand, life is too short not to give out 5-stars and just flail. But on the other hand, 5-stars is a precious rating! It only stays precious if it’s not overused. SO WHAT IS A BOOKWORM TO DO?