10/03/2015

Why Five Stars Mean Different Things for Different Books {The Birdie Musings}


Rating one book five stars and rating another book five stars is not the same thing.

Different books receive ratings for different reasons, even if those ratings are the same. People seem to get hung up on how high or low a rating is, but what they don't take into account is what the rating means to the person who gave it.

To clarify, five-star ratings on this blog don't always mean I thought a book was the most amazing thing I've ever read. Yes, sometimes it does. Sometimes a book will get five stars because I truly think it's the most wonderfully-written thing and I'm excited for the rest of the world to think the same.

But, sometimes that's not it at all.

Every now and again, I'll rate a book five stars not because it was the best thing I've ever read, but because it left me with that weird evangelical zeal that Hazel Grace Lancaster talks about.

The way to tell how good something is, isn't always by judging how it stands in comparison to other things. Or even how well-written it is. Sometimes, it's just about how you feel after you've finished. The bizarre and completely unfounded effect this book seems to have on you. The way it resonates, despite a knowing you have that you've probably read something 'better'.

Books aren't just about writing. They're about feeling. Novels are art, like paintings and poetry and photography, and so many other nuances of human expression.

A book is more than just the sum of its words, it's the effect those words have. The power behind them, no matter how they're written.

This is why rating one book a five, is not the same as rating a different book a five. They both warranted that rating for two entirely different reasons. Incomparable reasons. Sometimes, even inexplicable. It's why reading a review, rather than just looking at its star-rating, is essential. 


Do you read reviews, rather than just glance at stars to determine how good a book is? Do your ratings mean different things for different books?

Allie seems to be having a string of bad luck with endings lately. Books are getting into the habit of abandoning her without resolutions and it makes her soul sigh. She's also not having the best luck with beginnings, but that's in her own books and so is her own fault for writing without coffee in her veins.
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