Loony’s Musings: the different types of five-star ratings

I think I’m pretty lenient with my ratings. I’ve given out quite a few five-stars this year. But I definitely don’t like all those books the same amount, so I started to think that there are different types of five-star ratings. 

And I’m about to tell you some of those. You might have more! Let me know in comments 🙂




Examples include:

on the fence anna and the french kiss fangirl

These are rated five stars because of their awesome writing, but also because of their swoonability, which is extremely high. They may not be books that will change my life, but they are oh so adorable.


Examples include:

the divide ruby rosemount the fire within

If I’d started these books now, I probably wouldn’t be too impressed. But as a young’un, these books have left their mark on me, and will always have some of my fondest childhood memories attached to them.


Examples include:

splintered bird crystal chan

These are both rated four stars because even though Splintered is a retelling, the imagination of it is beyond believe. Bird is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read.



Examples include:

it's kind of a funny story wintergirls

Both of these two books are ones that tore me apart – I may not have cried, but they’re really important and change how I view issues. They change how I look at the world. This is one of my favourite types of five stars.


Examples include:

will grayson, will grayson fangirl

This one needs a bit of explaining. I think the “defensive” five star rating is when you love love love an author, and you don’t really fall in love with a particular book of theirs. For any other author, Will Grayson, Will Grayson would be a 3, probably. Buuuuuut it’s John Green, so I’m defensive of my favourite author – “yes, of course it’s awesome!” Fangirl would still have been four or four and a half stars, but since it’s Rainbow Rowell I bumped it up. Am I the only one who does this? Let me know in comments!

And finally….


Examples include:

allllll harry potter books tfios

I’ve read both the Harry Potter series and The Fault in Our Stars multiple times (HP about 8 or 9 times, TFIOS 5 I think). There’s no way to express in words how much these books mean to us, so we start using gibberish like ASDFLKJSGLKSDLK. These are, of course, the best type of five-star rating.

Do you have any other types of ratings to add? 


31 thoughts on “Loony’s Musings: the different types of five-star ratings

  1. Great post! And all of those books either are (when I’ve read them) or sound (they are on my kindle already) great! I only write five star reviews, but every five star book has something that makes it truly unique, that’s maybe also why it deserves those five stars. I love book talk!

    • That’s so interesting that you only write the five star reviews! I wouldn’t have enough material for the blog if I did that. But I agree with you – every five star book has something that is completely different or comparatively better than a lot of other books 🙂

  2. This is actually a really big problem of mine, all the types of five star ratings! For me, I normally give a book five stars if it just really moved me or was written really nicely. I try to stay away from defensive five stars, but sometimes that gets really hard…

  3. Oh my gosh this post was so frabjous I am practically speechless!! :O I agree with EVERYTHING you say! Are you like a secret genius or something?! I am DEFINITELY bookmarking this to look back on in the future! 🙂
    AMAZING post, I absolutely adore you Loony’s Musings Wednesdays!

  4. I *completely* understand defensive five-star ratings! I’m so much more likely to give an author’s book a higher star rating if I’ve previously read and fallen in love with one of their other books, even if the novel in question isn’t as amazing.

    But seriously I would be on board with a Harry Potter religion. ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY POTTER.

    • RIGHT? I probably shouldn’t do it, but I can’t help it! I feel like I MUST give them high ratings, because…because…because they’re awesome!

      We should do the Harry Potter religion. I mean, Star Wars has Jedis…(7% of an Australian census said they were a Jedi Knight as their religion, so there you go)

  5. OMG. YES. I am so guilty of the defensive star ratings. I just, pfft, who cares about the details? I’m a loyal puppy when it comes to my favourite authors and my favourite series. There are so definitely different kinds of ratings, I really wish we rated like 1 out of 10 stars sometimes. Hehe. I’m having a hard time giving books 5-stars, because I was REALLY impressed with Throne of Glass and sequels…and then Splintered/Unhinged. *sigh* Nothing seems to be living up to that for me! >_<

    • I am sooo guilty of it (in a way I think The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling is one of these, as well). But yes, I like being loyal – authors are people too! 10 stars I think would be better. I like The Social Potatoes’ way of giving a rating for different things and then averaging it out (but too much maths for me). I really must read the Throne of Glass sequels – apparently Crown of Midnight is better? AND OMG CAN’T WAIT FOR ENSNARED.

  6. I love this post! There are definitely different reasons for why we give particular books a five star rating. I do sometimes give out those ‘defensive’ five stars, just because I just can’t help but do so – especially if they were already really good. I just bought ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ at PTA so I’m excited to read it! Extra points for including Harry Potter and TFioS in that last category – I couldn’t agree more! 🙂

  7. I love this post too! I think I’m a really easy rater as well. Sometimes I have ‘enjoyment’ 5 stars where even if there are flaws, I’ll give it a 5 on Goodreads just because I had so much fun with it! But then again, I usually give it another rating just so that I’m being honest. 😀

  8. I used to have different kinds of five stars but now I just think of it as a book that has wowed me and really worked its way into my mind and has a grasp over it that won’t be forgotten in a while. This could be the reason why I haven’t really had many five star reads this year though .-.

    I do have a couple of defensive ratings though. Where I do like the author so I round up instead of down and am somewhat more lenient? 😛 yeah 😛

    Fantastic discussion post, Emily!!! 🙂

    • That makes sense – kind of combines the categories that way. If I was doing that, I’m sure I wouldn’t have very many five stars, but I guess that’s the point – you reserve it for only the most amazing books. Maybe I’m just too lenient! 😛

  9. Haha, wow! This is a really good post, and you just confirmed to me that many other people also have “different kind of five stars”. I don’t give 5 stars willingly just to any book, but like you, sometimes this book is 5 stars for being so awesome, and the other is 5 stars because it made me philosophize about certain things for days on end, and this other one is 5 stars because it’s just so damn entertaining. Yeah, very subjective~ And I definitely agree to giving the HP series 5 gazillion stars 😀 it deserve that and so much more!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

    • Thanks, Faye! I’m glad I’m not the only one 🙂 There are so many more types of “five stars” I could have put up there – I feel like every time it’s for a different reason! SO subjective. But yes, five billion points to HP (let’s just transfer them to Ravenclaw because it’s obviously the best house).

  10. Bahahaha! I do give five stars to different types of reads, usually: ALL THE FEELS, amazing concepts, easy-to-love writing and of course the books that deserve a religion! The others, not so much. I wasn’t a big reader as a child, so I don’t have any childhood favorites. 😦 When a book teaches me something important, I would appreciate that and mention it in my review, but I don’t bump up my rating for those. 😛 The defensive five stars.. hm… nah, I don’t think I do that, HAHA! But I understand why you do. 😛 Awesome post, Emily!

    • ALL THE FEELS is one I definitely missed – although I kind of touched on it, I guess. Shame about not having childhood books 😦 those are some of my favourites! Haha, I think it’s split halfway on the defensive five stars – some do, some don’t. 😛

  11. Harry Potter definitely deserves that category. It just does. So does TFIOS. I loved Splintered and Fangirl, so, so, so much! Just curious, what did you dislike about Fangirl?

  12. Hahah I love your defensive 5 star rating, that’s hilarious! The super cute one, and the one that teaches you something and uniqueness is definitely on my 5 star scale as well. I’m so glad you are promoting It’s Kind of A Funny Story, it sounds so different and I bought it recently.

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