I consider a number of factors when it comes to rating a book that I’ve read. I think about the characters and their development, the progression of the plot, the author’s success (or lack thereof) in discussing or challenging certain themes, and much more. Over the past couple of years, I’ve tried to be more critical in my reading and to not hand out 5-star ratings to every book that merely keeps me entertained. However, I sometimes get an inkling when I read the synopsis of and reviews on a book that I am going to thoroughly enjoy it and thus give it 5 stars. This does not happen often but I always find it interesting how my gut instantly knows that I’ll love a book before I have even opened it. Here are a few books that I feel I will be giving 5-star ratings!
I have owned Night Film for about three years and each year since, when the colder weather comes around, I’ve had the urge to pick this book up because of the dark, spooky story it tells. This novel follows investigative journalist Scott McGrath as he delves into the mystery surrounding the death of Ashley Cordova, the daughter of famed cult-horror film director, Stanislas Cordova. I have recently wanted to try and read more horror, starting with The Shining by Stephen King. Whilst it wasn’t the creepy read I was looking for, it certainly kept me interested in reading more from the genre. Night Film sounds like the scary fix I need at the moment! I have a feeling that the novel will have a shocking plot twist and be incredibly gripping. I’m also interested in how it incorporates various media to tell the story alongside the traditional prose, such as online articles and transcripts. There is also an app made especially for Night Film to use whilst reading it in order to enhance the experience! I just know that I am going to be completely immersed in this novel and that it will be a 5-star read!
I rarely read any books from the historical fiction genre but am always fascinated by those set during World War II. I learnt a lot about WWII in school and university, and each new piece of information did not cease to shock me in the slightest. I think the main reason I am so interested in WWII is owing to the various primary sources available to us today and seeing a fictionalisation of any part of this era’s horrific history always grabs my attention. The Nightingale is one of many WWII fictionalisations that I have been contemplating reading for a while. However, what places this novel at the top of the list is the two main characters. The story follows two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, as they struggle to survive during WWII in France, each having their own means of doing so. Whilst Vianne wants to ensure that her family makes it through the war intact, Isabelle rebelliously joins the Resistance to fight for her country. Having two sisters myself, I love reading about this special relationship, especially when it is placed under strain. I’m certain that The Nightingale is going to be an emotional story and I know that I will be giving it a 5-star rating owing to its historical setting and emotional aspects.
Last on my list is Uprooted by Naomi Novik, a story about a village that seeks protection against the corrupted Wood from a powerful wizard, the Dragon. However, in exchange for his help, the Dragon chooses a young woman to leave the village and join him in his tower for ten years. Agnieszka fears for her friend, Kasia, as she is suspected to be the Dragon’s next pick in the upcoming choosing. Little does she know that when the Dragon arrives, it will not be Kasia that he chooses. Uprooted is inspired by Eastern European folklore, an aspect of literature that I have rarely read about. I read (and absolutely adored) The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, a novel influenced by Russian folklore, earlier this year. This novel feels quite similar to Uprooted from a cultural perspective, which already tells me that I am going to love Novik’s book. Folklore and fairy tales always make for enjoyable reads for me and that makes me positive that I will give Uprooted a 5-star rating!
There is no doubt that the perfect book does not and will not exist. However, it is possible that you can fall so in love with a book that all of the minor issues can be overlooked. A 5-star rating does not only represent the content of the story but also how that story makes me feel, which is always incredibly important to me. When I read the synopses of these books and heard what others thought of them, I immediately got a sense that I would love fall in love with their stories and give them 5-star ratings. Hopefully, my intuition is right, but if not then I will make sure to let you know!
WHAT BOOKS DO YOU THINK YOU WILL GIVE A 5-STAR RATING? COMMENT DOWN BELOW AND LET’S CHAT ABOUT IT! 🙂