How do you feel about 5-star reviews? How often do you give them? Do you trust other bloggers when they give a book 5 stars?
Thoughts on 5 star reviews: If your book doesn’t make me fall off my unicorn, you’re probably not getting 5 stars from me. #Stingy
— Julie S. (@juliecookies) April 18, 2014
As you can see from my tweet, I’m very stingy when it comes to assigning a book 5 stars. I really have to be blown away for a book to rise above the 4 star (which is an excellent book in my opinion) rating. So if you see me giving a book 5 stars, you really know it affected me significantly.
As for reviewers assigning 5 stars to books – I think it depends on the reviewer. If they are like me and I know they rarely give a book 5 stars, then I’ll pay attention. But I swear there are so many review blogs out there where most of the books I see them review are rated 5 stars.That starts to lose meaning and I don’t trust the books to really deserve that kind of praise.
The more I review, the more stingy I have become with giving out a 5 star review. I try to be objective, but it is very difficult. Sometimes a book’s beautiful prose will get 5 stars from me even if I do not like the ending or the character or what have you. Other times, I have fallen for a book boyfriend so hard, the book gets 5 stars, but the writing really wasn’t all up to par. Currently, I am re reading a book I loved when I first read it 10 years ago. My book club decided to read it and as I am re reading it now, I am noticing things about this book that I did not notice before. 10 years ago, this book riveted my attention. I was madly in love with the main character and even broke up with my boyfriend because of it! (Well, that and my ex at the time was not future boyfriend material, but the book helped me see that.) Now, I am reading it and I am still enjoying it, but I do not know if I 5 star enjoy it as I once did. I see some critical issues with the main characters and their love relationship and the writing is a little clunky, although its still unique enough for me to overlook the awkward phrasing and dialogue. I will perhaps review the book when I am done reading it, but I am not sure it was be 5 stars. I also have a tendency to give books 5 stars based on what they are. As in, if it is a continuation of a series I love and the book didn’t really suck, I tend to rate it higher because I love the series. I do not necessarily rate a book on its standalone merit. Some reviewers might fault me for this, but for me, I take a look at the book as a whole and then judge it for what it is. I can’t judge a book in a series on stand alone merit only because that is not what it is. Books in a series might not rate so high on their own, but they were not meant to stand alone. Make sense?I agree with Julie in that if a review is always gushing over 5 star books, then I do not tend to take their opinion as serious, unless they are gushing over books that I love, in which case, hey, I would probably love their next gush-fest.