Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm.
This week’s topic:
Top 5 reasons why I rate a book 5 stars
I rate many books 5 stars because I enjoyed reading them. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well the story is told or written. I read to be entertained and if the story does that, then there’s a high possibility that I’ll give it a high rating, maybe even 5 stars.
That’s what happened with Tea Dragon graphic novels by Katie O’Neill (illus.). I enjoyed these books so much when I read them that my immediate reaction upon finishing them was to rate them 5 stars. I was entertained by what I read and loved it so much that I started rereading them after finishing. I know I’ll read them again sometime this year too.
Superb writing. Writing that makes me swoon. Writing that makes me envious. Writing that transports me. Writing that makes me ecstatic. Writing that makes me pause every other sentence simply to admire the prose.
I fell in love with the prose in this book from the first page. As soon as I started reading The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus, I knew I’d found another favorite novel. It’s the writing I admired the most and paid the most attention to as I read. The story was great too; after all, it’s the movie that led me to the book, but it’s the prose in this book that deeply connected with me making me want more from these authors.
The kind that makes me chuckle at how cheeky the author is with her twists and turns and subtle foreshadowing that I don’t realize until much later, like when I reread the book.
Caroline Kepnes keeps a tight hold on the reader in her thriller You. It’s hard to break from the story once you start reading. You’re hooked all the way through. The character’s voice is strong, distinct, and appeals to the reader, although you often wish it didn’t. The story, and the protagonist, tricks you into wanting more and urging the story on to see what will happen next. I was amazed that I would so enjoy a book written in the second-person, but Kepnes uses that device to great effect that it propelled me to keep reading and made me sympathize with the horrible protagonist when I didn’t want to do. You is a great story that’s well worth reading (and, apparently, watching; many viewers enjoy the TV adaptation).
Characters I know I will remember long after completing the book. Characters who stand out from the first page.
I had to feature a Harry Potter book for this one because the series is filled with great characters who’ve stuck with readers long after the story is done. Apart from the amazing magical world, it’s the characters who keep the interest in the series so strong because they seem real and unique to readers. I show here Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix because although Umbridge is horrible and I hate her, she’s one of my favorite villains in the series. I think she’s worse than Lord Voldemort in being a bad person, but she’s one of the most interesting and well crafted characters in the series.
I don’t have a fifth reason. I rate everything I read based on the reasons above and in the order they are listed. Enjoyment, of course, is the most important factor. In certain circumstances, I consider the art, so maybe that can be the fifth reason. Even if the book doesn’t have illustrations, if it has a great cover, I might give it half a star for that. Presentation is a big factor for me. Or, the fifth reason could be reconsideration because sometimes I reconsider my ratings and change them to something higher or lower… I don’t know. I just don’t have a fifth reason.
I’m showing a Monstress comic book by Marjorie Liu, illus. by Sana Takeda, because it’s one of many comics I’ve read that hit all the reasons above AND also has beautiful, stunning illustrations. I’ve read three volumes of this comic so far and have given each volume 5 stars. I love them. I enjoy reading them despite how dark and violent they are; I like the writing, the storytelling keeps me interested, and I love the main characters, Maika and Kippa.
Here by Richard McGuire is here because it’s unique and sometimes that makes me give a book 5 stars: when a book presents something in a new way or has an interesting structure or presentation. Actually, I don’t immediately give the book 5 stars for this, but I often give a whole star just for it being unique, which Here is. Here is a graphic novel about the passage of time, which it presents by focusing on one room and showing how that space has changed over time. I initially gave the book 3 stars because I didn’t like the illustrations but after writing my review and really considering what the book accomplished, I gave it 5 stars.