Let’s Talk Bookish – What Makes a Book a 5 Star Read?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.


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?

Penultimate day of July, welcome everyone! This week’s topic is a classic, as everyone will have a different view on what is a max rating for them. Can’t wait to see what everyone else says, but for now, here are my own thoughts:

Obviously here at DTRH we have our Drink Me Potions rating, and Andge has so kindly set up a page just to explain all that in great detail. There Andge explains a 5 Drink Me Potions rating as: a masterpiece, something she would read and re-read, and definitely recommend to everyone.

For me, in general I think this aligns with what I also consider my max rating. Although re-readability may not always be feasible for the thriller/mystery genre, since suspense and novelty is a huge part of it. Both of us here at DTRH definitely do try to keep our 5 star rating prestigious. Of course we award it to any book we find to be that level, but in general also do try to keep 5 stars to a minimum. After all, not everything can be our favourite. I feel like this tends to leave many good books at a 4.5 star rating as well – but here at DTRH, anything 4.5 or 5 is a definite recommend from us!

I myself do not have a checklist. Whether something is 4.5 or 5 star really is just a feeling. Now some might consider that a bit nebulous, but I mean ratings are subjective are they not? I almost want to say that 5 star books just have that little bit something extra, something sparkly that sets them apart from the other 4.5 stars. That usually pushes it over the edge for me. Or in other cases, books that are almost 5 star except for one tiny little thing that I didn’t like – that usually leaves it at 4.5 stars. I would say in general good plot, good characters and character development, as well as good pacing/emotional value will often add up to the big 5.

5 star books aren’t always perfect. Perfection is also subjective. But in my mind if I give a book 5 stars it’s not necessarily that it was written very well or that it had certain elements (though it most often does). It usually means that I myself personally enjoyed it to the maximum level that I can enjoy a book. It probably took me on an emotional journey, I probably got super attached to the characters, I probably got lost in the fantasy world, all these things add up to give me a super magical experience reading – the thing we all chase after when we read books, no?

As I may have mentioned before, my two favourite books are Memoirs of a Geisha and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I would say the big reason these two are my favourites was the true sadness and anguish that it was able to evoke in me whenever the protagonist faced unfavourable or unequitable conditions. The emotional journey that I was taken on of someone’s life was truly something so magical and these are ones that I will definitely re-read one day.

What are your all-time favourite books? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish – What Makes a Book a 5 Star Read?”

  1. I really loved this topic and I love seeing what makes a 5 star read for someone. I agree a 5 star read is usually a feeling for me – if I’m left at the end of the book going, “WOW that was an amazing read” and really hit me in the feels, thats 5 star worthy. I love how 5 star is different for everyone because we all perceive and react to books differently – its amazing!

    I do agree Evelyn Hugo is a 5 star book, that last line still gets me right in the feels. Daisy Jones is a 5 star read for me, as was Addie LaRue!

    Liked by 1 person

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