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Off Topic (Non-Kleypas Chat) > What is a 5 Star book to you?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

For me to think a book is a 5 star is that I got to love it and not be able to put it down and I am constantly reliving parts of the book in my head.

Some books manage to just grab me and I can sit there and read it until I have finished and go wow afterwards.


Mollie *scoutrmom* (scoutrmom) | 170 comments I rely partly upon that feeling, but later I try to back off and double-check emotion with intellect. Was there quality in the plot? Exposition? Characterizations? Worldbuilding/setting? For me, it has to pass the middle-school English class test as well as the emotional one. I need to be able to see the skill of the author's hand behind the emotions.

I try to limit the five-star award to less than five percent of my ratings, to keep it truly meaningful.


message 3: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments I'm stingy with my 5 star ratings...because like you Mollie, it needs to be meaningful. A 5 star has to move me, touch me, and really be unforgettable. 5 star ratings are reserved for those books where scenes, quotes, or characters linger in my mind-- forever really...which makes me go back and pick up the book and reread either the part playing in my head or the whole thing over and over.


message 4: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Count me in the group of the stingy! Like Mollie, my 5-star reads need to have emotional components and a well crafted story. :)

Before October started I had only given one 5-star this year, but in the last 3 weeks I've read 3. I think that's why I've been so impatient with so-so books lately...once you read so many good books in a row, I start expecting all to be as good!


message 5: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 871 comments I think most of my 5 Stars have made me cry or get teary at least...they are usually the books that stick in my head and I can't get them out of it!

Examples would be:


Passion  by Lisa Valdez & Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone as well as Again The Magic by Lisa Kleypas


message 6: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 338 comments I thought I was very discriminating in my 5 ratings until I looked at them and there were 3 pages of them on Goodreads. So, I guess I'm really easy to please.


message 7: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 871 comments I was shocked when I looked, I have 22 5 star books on my shelf... didn;t think I ahd that many!


here's a link to my 5 start shelf if anyone wants to see.

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...


message 8: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments Heidi -- crying is a really good indicator to me as well that this may be a 5 star book...I think an author has to really get me hooked into a book and wrapped up in it to get me to shed tears. However as someone else mentioned before..I'm sorry not positive who so i won't name names...different books will affect me at different times depending on what is going on with me in my life at the time of reading.


message 9: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 338 comments So many of my 5s I've rated while I bawled my eyes out. I didn't even think of that.


message 10: by Julianna (last edited Oct 26, 2010 05:15PM) (new)

Julianna (authorjuliannad) | 380 comments I'm pretty discriminating when giving out 5-star ratings, and the reasons I give them are very similar to ones already mentioned. It has to be a book that I had a hard time putting down, was always excited to pick up again, and would eagerly re-read in the future. It keeps me thinking and possibly talking about it long after turning the last page. It moves me in an emotional way. It is always well-written (as in the composition, structure and grammar are sound) and the plot can't have any noticeable holes or anything that would significantly detract from my enjoyment, although occasionally an author can make me overlook minor flaws. Funny this should come up, because I've recently been lamenting the fact that I've only given out maybe 4 or 5 5-star rating to romances this year. Those truly amazing books that deserve them seem to be few and far between.


Mollie *scoutrmom* (scoutrmom) | 170 comments Carolyn F. wrote: "So many of my 5s I've rated while I bawled my eyes out. I didn't even think of that."

I tend to downrate tearjerkers, I think the author needs to make the point without resorting to bathos. I still love to read them, but I don't respect them as much.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks for the responses, its good to see how everyone rates their books!

I looked back over all my ratings and seem to have given every book a 5 star and then I started to get more critical and only gave 5 star to books that really touched me.


Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie* (httpsrakesandrascalswordpresscom) | 2140 comments I usually give a 5 star rating to books that, in some way, give me that WOW factor when I've finished reading them. It's difficult to describe exactly what the WOW factor is. It might be a book that stirs my emotions or it could be one that has lots of humour. It must also be a book that makes me connect with the characters and really care about them.


message 14: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 871 comments There has only be ONE book that made me cry...actually 3 times... that I didn't give a 5 star rating too and that was Patience Patience  by Lisa Valdez ...I think I gave it 2 stars and that was a BIG stretch!


message 15: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Carolyn F. wrote: "So many of my 5s I've rated while I bawled my eyes out. I didn't even think of that."

LOL, that's one of my criterion for 5-stars! If it makes me cry in public, I'm more likely to give it a 5-star rating.


message 16: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Mollie *scoutrmom* wrote: "Carolyn F. wrote: "So many of my 5s I've rated while I bawled my eyes out. I didn't even think of that."

I tend to downrate tearjerkers, I think the author needs to make the point without resort..."


I'm not sure I understand you, Mollie. Do you mean that you downrate books that touch you so much that they make you cry? Or do you mean that you don't like to feel manipulated by authors that put in sad scenes just to make the reader sad?

I definitely understand the second point. Sometimes in romance there's the obligatory 'my Mummy never loved me!' scene and those always make me roll my eyes.


Mollie *scoutrmom* (scoutrmom) | 170 comments D.G. wrote: "I'm not sure I understand you, Mollie. Do you mean that you downrate books that touch you so much that they make you cry? Or do you mean that you don't like to feel manipulated by authors that put in sad scenes just to make the reader sad?"

I guess we all have our own definitions. To me, a "tearjerker" only applies to those where I feel manipulated by the author.

Most of the quality books that touch me deeply have the advantage that if the author intends for me to cry, they have enough skill and are subtle enough that I do not feel manipulated. I do not downrate those.

Hope that clarifies it!


message 18: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments I'm really interested to better understand what you mean too Mollie...can you give some examples?

Have you read My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

If so, would you classify that as a manipulation by the author? I was sort of felt angry and manipulated at the end...whereas, there are books where I cry and its just a matter of a natural and gradual buildup within the book.

Can you provide an example of each? I'm really curious.


message 19: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Agree! Hearing a violin in a scene actually takes me out of the mood.


message 20: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments I'm probably an easier grader than most people. I love reading, so my number one criteria is a book that I enjoyed reading and I felt was time well-spent. Not all my 5 star-rated books are perfect. It's about the emotional response to the book.

This is what I wrote for my five star rating criteria:

Five stars: I found this book exceptional in some manner. It blew me away. The writing was spectacular and moving. Reading this book completely stole me away from the real world, and I loved it. This is a book that I would add to my keeper shelf and reread, probably many times. The characters really spoke to me, stuck with me, and had me feeling for them. I totally got the message of the story, and it was delivered in a manner that I found moving and skilled. It's a story I won't soon forget, and will spend hours thinking about. There was something so refreshing and singular about this story or the writing in the story. To me, earning five stars doesn't necessarily mean that a writer is always technically perfect. I am not a grammar teacher, and I am not being hired to deconstruct a story for critical and literary analysis. So, I don't apply those standards. When I say someone is an exceptional writer, I do generally feel that their writing meets my criteria for excellence: clarity, beauty, the strength to reveal a world or images of their story in a very lifelike, vivid, gorgeous way in my mind, and thoroughly enjoyable to read. Exceptional writers do not bore me. And boredom is the kiss of death for me. A book that I found boring will never get five stars (probably no more than three from me). A book that gets five stars will make me add a writer to my favorite authors list, more times than not.


message 21: by Judy (new)

Judy Danielle, I think I'm alot like you in which books I rate as 5 stars. I read purely for enjoyment-so my 5 star ratings are very subjective. A book gets 5 stars if I loved it and it was enjoyable to read.

When I first joined GR at the beginning of the year, I joined every challenge known to man. Although I did find a few hidden "treasures" I also read some "clunkers" (1 or 2 stars for me.) A few months ago I decided not to stick with books if I didn't like them- too many books, too little time. If I DNF a book then I don't rate the book. I've noticed my rating average has been increasing and I'm reading books I truly enjoy-and giving more 5 star ratings.


message 22: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 871 comments Judy, I no longer do the challenges, I read for fun and read what I wanna read and want to take my time about doing it. I didn't do many challenges, only a couple, but didn't care for it. I also have only done a few group reads....a couple the books royally sucked. One I didn't even finish it was so stupid! Anyway, I know this was kinda a thread crapping post(didn't really stick to topic) but wanted to add my 2 cents on you comment above.


message 23: by D.G. (last edited Oct 28, 2010 10:36AM) (new)

D.G. Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "A book that I found boring will never get five stars "

+1.

Judy wrote: "I joined every challenge known to man. Although I did find a few hidden "treasures" I also read some "clunkers" (1 or 2 stars for me.)"

That's why I try to do only challenges where I can fit books from my TBR. I like challenges because it allows me to mix up my reading...I read almost every genre but I need to vary them a bit. If I read too much serious stuff, I get depressed...if I read too much romance, I get snarky. :) For some reason, reading different stuff allows me to enjoy everything better and challenges allow me to mix up stuff a bit randomly.


Mollie *scoutrmom* (scoutrmom) | 170 comments Bekah, I did read your remark, but as my uncle passed away I'll postpone an answer. I've not read any Jodi P.


message 25: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Glover | 576 comments I totally get the manipulation bit. I was reading one of The Royal Brotherhood books (1) and I cried for whatshisname(i am AWFUL at remembering names!!!). ANd not because I felt manipulated . . .I felt attached to him, and hurt with him when he thought he'd lost her when she left his estate.

I've gone back through my listas and realized that I gave a lot of 5-star reviews beacuse I "really, really like" a book. I've removed them and begun rating books a bit differently.

For me, a 5-star has to move me even after I've read it over and over again. Acheron, for example. I was touched by that book in a way that's almost undescribable. Basing my 5-stars on how that book affected me has greatly reduced any 5-stars I might have.


message 26: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Glover | 576 comments A few of my 5-Stars
Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #15) by Sherrilyn Kenyon Kiss of the Highlander (Highlander, #4) by Karen Marie Moning Born in Shame (Born In trilogy #3) by Nora Roberts


message 27: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 187 comments For me, if the book has an exciting plot, great characters, and for children's book, beautiful pictures that go with the mood of the story, then I would easily give a book 5 stars for those reasons alone. But if the book doesn't make any sense to me or if it's too offending, then I usually give the book 2 or 1 star, but I haven't gave a book a 1 star rating yet, but I did give one book a 2 star rating.


message 28: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Ronyell, I rarely give out 1 star ratings. A book really has to hit me the wrong way to get a 1 star rating. I have more 2 star ratings.


message 29: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments a 1 star rating for me is a book that royally pisses me off,that I can't finish, I find completely ridiculous, and I want to throw across the room.


message 30: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Glover | 576 comments Bekah wrote: "a 1 star rating for me is a book that royally pisses me off,that I can't finish, I find completely ridiculous, and I want to throw across the room."

If I can't, or don't finish, then it's a 1-star but if it evokes enough emotion in me that I want to chunk it across the room . . .I figure it at least deserves 2 stars. The writer did cause me to feel some sort of emotion . . .


message 31: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments I agree with that Mandy...and I rate accordingly,(My Sister's Keeper) but I mean if I want to hurl it because it's a waste of my money and they were lazy on the editing..then its 1 star from me.


message 32: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 871 comments Bekah wrote: "a 1 star rating for me is a book that royally pisses me off,that I can't finish, I find completely ridiculous, and I want to throw across the room."

you just described The Feather The Feather by Red Garnier ...thats excatly how I felt reading this book! I didn't even finish it!


message 33: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 187 comments Bekah wrote: "a 1 star rating for me is a book that royally pisses me off,that I can't finish, I find completely ridiculous, and I want to throw across the room."

I never came across a book where I didn't finish it. Most of the time, I try to finish the book even though I don't like the direction the book is going, so I would give the book a 2 star rating if I didn't really enjoy it.


message 34: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Glover | 576 comments Bekah wrote: "I agree with that Mandy...and I rate accordingly,(My Sister's Keeper) but I mean if I want to hurl it because it's a waste of my money and they were lazy on the editing..then its 1 sta..."


Oh yeah . . definately one star for laziness.


message 35: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments It really sometimes becomes a matter of just basic pride in your work...I understand that editing might not be an author's strong suit, but you should at least be able to catch the 10 million spelling errors!


message 36: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Glover | 576 comments Totally agree, Bekah. At one time, I was "hooked" on e-books, but more and more I found them to be horribly edited. If I have to try and figure out what the author is trying to say because of a poorly written sentence that wasn't caught in editing, it really takes away the enjoyment of the read. I don't want to figure it out . . .I want you to show me!!

And, while we're on poor editing . . .I've begun noticing that some TV shows are using "at" at the end of a sentence in their dialogue!!! I tell my children all the time not to end a sentence that way!! They think I'm crazy and it's no wonder.

Anyway . . .off of that soap box for now! :)


message 37: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Glover | 576 comments Oh and another 5-star for me . . .I have read this book at least a million times. Really, I have! :)

The Bride (Lairds' Fiancees, #1) by Julie Garwood


message 38: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments Yes,they definitely exist more in ebooks. I wonder why that is.

So far this one was the worst I had ever read...I don't think there were very many pages that did not have a spelling error:

Behind Blue Eyes by Pat Cromwell


message 39: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Glover | 576 comments Was that an ebook? I've noticed that some of the smaller ebook publishers have a lot of issues with poor editing and poor writing. Samhain, Ellora's Cave, the new harlequin one?, they're a lot better about it. I tend to not purchase from teh smaller ones . . .my 7 year old can write better than some of the trash they publish.


message 40: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments Yes, the story had a lot of potential which made it all the more frustrating!


message 41: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Bekah wrote: "a 1 star rating for me is a book that royally pisses me off,that I can't finish, I find completely ridiculous, and I want to throw across the room."

This is my same criteria on 1-star books except when I don't finish them...those usually I don't rate but I write a few lines saying why I didn't finish it.


message 42: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 338 comments Me too DG, I don't usually rate books I didn't finish but I will write the reason I couldn't finish it.


message 43: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments thats probably what i should do...and just create shelf called didn't finish just so i can easily identify them when i run across them again.


message 44: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 338 comments That's what I have - shelf for the books I couldn't finish. Some of them I do note that I think if I read it at a later date, I may like it and be able to finish it. But some of them were just so bad I couldn't make myself pick it up again.


message 45: by D.G. (new)

D.G. I have a exclusive dnf shelf. That way I can put a book in there that it's not read or to read. But that's for books I have no intention of ever finishing.

This conversation of bad books reminded me of the worst book I've ever read. The book was so bad, it was funny...I just went back to read some of my summaries (I summarized it in another site) and I still can't believe it! Gosh it was soo bad!!


message 46: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments oh, well you have to tell me what it was!!


message 47: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Hands down, the worst book I've ever read:
Rabbit Heart by Colleen Hitchcock


message 48: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 338 comments D.G. wrote: "Hands down, the worst book I've ever read:
Rabbit Heart by Colleen Hitchcock"


That's my absolute all time favorite DG!!!! Just kidding, never heard of it.


message 49: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments lol-Carolyn!

Doesn't it make you wonder how crap gets published when there are really great authors out there busting their tails trying to get their stuff out???


message 50: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Carolyn F. wrote: "D.G. wrote: "Hands down, the worst book I've ever read:
Rabbit Heart by Colleen Hitchcock"

That's my absolute all time favorite DG!!!! Just kidding, never heard of it."


LOL, Carolyn! I think I should share the love of this book with you...I was re-reading the summaries I wrote and I almost PIMP.


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