Y’all know I’m a bookaholic, a bibliophile, a word nerd…you get the gist. I’ve been using Goodreads to track my reading and books I want to read for a couple of years now. I started keeping a list of books I read after checking the same book out from the library…three times. Apparently I thought it would be good and then it was utterly forgettable until I got about ten pages in! Brains are funny. But Goodreads helps with that, because I can keep a Want to Read list and they’ll let me know when there’s a giveaway for a book I want. Plus when I rate books on my Kindle, it posts to Goodreads and Amazon. I try to review every book I read, and Goodreads is a great platform for sharing book reviews. No, they aren’t paying me to write this. But if they want to, I’m totally open to it! Your people can call my people, Goodreads (that’s me. I’m my people.).
Goodreads uses the typical 5 star system. But that’s pretty relative. So how do I decide if a book is two stars or five stars? Here’s my overly thought out answer.
- A one star book is so terribly wrong for me I could barely finish it. I don’t want to think about it again, I just want it to be over. Now, I rarely give books this rating. First of all, I don’t believe there are any bad books out there (except for the ones promoting hate and whatnot; I am NOT condoning hate speech); I think books are like friends or romantic partners. Just because it isn’t right for me doesn’t mean it won’t be right for someone else. I also won’t rate a book I didn’t finish reading. Thus, I rarely rate a book one star because if it is that wrong for me, hopefully I quit reading it before I got in too deep. This would get an F on a traditional school grading scale.
- Two stars means it wasn’t horrible, but it still wasn’t for me. Maybe I didn’t mesh with the writing, or the characters. Maybe it was great, but then something really problematic happens that ruins everything. This would earn a D on a report card.
- Three stars is average. It didn’t blow me away, I likely won’t remember the plot in a month. But it was vaguely interesting, and it kept me reading it fairly often instead of looking longingly at another book in my TBR (to be read) pile. This would get a C on a report card.
- Four stars means that I really enjoyed it. The characters, setting, and plot were really interesting and I didn’t even think about another book while reading it. It was well developed all around, and I enjoyed reading it. I’d recommend it to a friend. But if I weren’t willing to re-read it myself, it doesn’t hit the full 5 stars. These books are B’s on a report card.
- This is the pinnacle! The best of the best. The book has a distinctive voice (or voices, for multiple first person narrators). The plot is fascinating, the setting is gorgeous, the characters are flawed, but relatable. In other words, I want to live in this world with these people and befriend all of them. If the setting is really well described, I may stalk the location on Zillow and Google Images and imagine living there. This is the A+ list.
That’s basically it. Would you like some examples? I thought so.
Five Star Authors
These are authors who reliably create such wonderful books that I recommend them to all of my friends and read anything they write without even reading the description first. When I get a request for an author recommendation, these are the names I’m going to list (in no particular order).
- Mary Kay Andrews
- Joshilyn Jackson
- Abbi Waxman
- Spencer Quinn
- Liane Moriarty
- Jenny Colgan
- Barbara O’Neal
- Cecelia Ahern
- Sarah Addison Allen
- Sophie Kinsella
- Marisa de los Santos
- Angie Thomas
- Kristin Hannah
- Fredrik Backman
- Jenny Han
- Colleen Oakley
- Jodi Picoult (with a warning that she writes on serious topics and all of her books make me cry. Every. Last. One. But I’ve only read a handful!)
What am I Reading Next?
Follow me on Goodreads to find out what I’m currently reading and what’s on my Want to Read shelf. That’s also a central location to find my book reviews (other than here by searching for the book review tag). You can also follow me on Instagram for book reviews and more of the content you see here.