Friday, April 22, 2016

Weres Wanna Know: How Often Do You Give a Book 5 Stars?

Weres Wanna Know is a new discussion feature where we share a topic that's been on our minds and invite you to share your thoughts as well.

We all probably have that one friend on Goodreads who seems to give everything 5 stars. The one that when you see her post a 4 star review, you snark to yourself, "wow, she really hated that one." I know I have at least one of those. (I also have one friend who seems to hate everything, but that's a whole other post.) I recently felt the need to defend a 4 star rating, which was already well-explained in the review, to one of those "everything is awesome" people, so today I want to talk about 5 star reads. 

How do feel when you finish a 5 star book? How often do you get that feeling?

So far this year, I've given 5 stars to 2 of 27 books I've read. (I'm a little behind on my reading goal.) Last year it was 17 out of 161 and in 2014, 34 out of 228. So that's about 12% of the books of I've read over the last 2+ years. And that number includes some 4 1/2 star reviews since Goodreads doesn't let you click on half stars.

Most of the time I know how I'm going to rate a book as soon as I finish reading it. I just feel like "that's a 4" (or a 3 or whatever) even before I've thought through what I did or didn't like about it. I did try to recalibrate myself a bit when I felt like I was defaulting to 4 stars too much, so I give more 3's and 3 1/2's than I did two years ago. But I've always known how a 5 feels. It's like having your mind blown, being rendered speechless, and not wanting to change a single thing. It's those times when you want to hug the book. I think if I have anything negative to say about it, that's not a 5 star book.

So, for example, a slow start with an amazing second half might be a 4 1/2. Maybe I'm stingy with the 5 star ratings. I've read eight of last week's RT award winners and I only gave two of them 5 stars. But I look at it like getting 100% on a test. It can happen, but it's rare. And that's what makes it special.

What's your 5 star feeling? How often do you get it? Let's discuss!

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