Discussion Time: What Makes a Five Star Read?

Discussion Time: What Makes a Five Star Read? | A Bookworm's Guide to Life

Discussion Time: What Makes a Five Star Read? | A Bookworm's guide to Life

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the fact that a lot of books I read are five-star books. But what exactly makes a book worthy of a five-star rating? I thought long and hard about it and I’ve come up with a few things.

The book has flawed and realistic main and supporting characters.

I obviously don’t care about that one waiter in that one scene’s backstory, but the main characters (and supporting) have to be realistic.

Notice how I didn’t say likeable? It doesn’t matter if they’re likeable. Not everyone is likeable, but everyone is flawed.

I can’t read a book if all the MCs are perfect Mary-Sues and completely unflawed. In fiction, the characters still have to be believable.

The MCs have developed character arcs.

This one applies more to series and longer books. If I’m taking time to read a series of five books, then the characters should change, at least a little bit, throughout the story. People in real life are always changing and learning from new experiences. It should be the same for fictional characters.

It has a well thought out plot.

Though the plot isn’t always the most important thing, it should be captivating to some extent – especially if the characters are underdeveloped.

I tend to prefer plot-oriented books rather than character ones so that makes the plot all the more important for me.

Grammar and spelling.

First of all, I’m a massive hypocrite since this blog is ridden with grammar mistakes (but, oh well).

Second of all, I know it’s kind of silly but it does look bad if an otherwise good book has spelling mistakes. It screams unprofessional. I tend to find them more in self-published books, but I have seen some in books that took the traditional publishing route.

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It’s easy to read.

Okay. This one’s pretty self explanatory. You can brush this off as a lazy teen talking, but I’m not going to read a book if I can’t understand a word that’s been written.

Like when I tried to read Little Women. A third of the way into the book, I thought to myself ‘I have no idea what’s happening’. And this is why a lot of teens (including me) don’t read the classics. The language is just too flowery and most of them were written one or two centuries ago when everyone spoke like that. But this is 2017 – no one talks like that anymore.

I’m hooked from the first few pages.

I can tell from the first page if a book is worth my time or not. Loads of books have been left unread because the beginning doesn’t capture my interest at all. The best books have unusual opening paragraphs.

It has to be enjoyable.

You’re not going to give a book five stars if you don’t like it, am I right?

What do you guys think makes a five-star read? Comment down below or tweet me @abookwormsguide!

Author: Tomi

Tomi is a book lover and the blogger behind A Bookworm’s Guide to Life which is a space for avid readers, creatives and all-round cool kids.

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  1. I agree with your points, and I’ll add one more: a satisfying ending. Doesn’t have to be a happy ending, just a satisfying one. I think there’s a quote about this, but basically the climax of a good story should be logical and inevitable, yet surprising to the reader. It should seem like the most natural conclusion – in hindsight it seems like it couldn’t have been any other way – and yet they should not have been able to see it coming. What I don’t want is to get to the end of a book and go, “wait, that’s it?” 🙂 Thanks for a great post!

    1. Wow, you’re right. And I think that’s a thing that authors (me also) struggle with. Writing a satisfying ending that still surprises the reader. Thanks for commenting Eva!

  2. I’m very picky about the books I rate five stars – they have to be my favorite books of all time – but characterization, plot, and pacing are definitely a part of that. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

    1. Thanks for commenting Zoe! You’re too kind. I used to just give five stars out all the time but after writing this post, I’m rethinking my criteria for a “five star read”

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