The Discussing Hufflepuff #4: Is a 5-star Rating Equal to a Favourite?

What is this? A Discussing Hufflepuff? Yes indeed, your eyes are not deceiving you! I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do one this month either, but as I was trying to organise my Goodreads shelves (with the emphasis on trying) I suddenly got an idea for a Discussing Hufflepuff post.

See, when I rate a book 5 stars, that doesn’t automatically mean I consider it a favourite. Hell, some of my 4-star books are among my favourites as well. So in my case, a 5-star rating isn’t equal to a favourite.

And I was wondering… Am I the only one?

When I look at my 5-ratings on Goodreads, there are actually quite a few books on there that are not on my favourites shelve (not counting manga. There are so many volumes that I never put manga on any other shelves beside ‘manga’. Maybe I could put volume 1 on my favourite shelve…). There are also quite a few 4-star books on my favourite shelves. So now you might be wondering, how do I decide when a book is a favourite of mine?

It’s quite simple (in my mind) when it comes to 5-star books: it could be an amazing book, without any flaws, and thus worthy of 5-stars, but if it doesn’t give me a certain feeling (I can’t really describe this feeling, but it’s a feeling I get when thinking of my favourite books), it doesn’t really blow me away, the characters don’t stick with me nor does the story, it’s not a favourite. Basically, it’s all based on feeling.

But how about 4-star ratings? Can a flawed book be a favourite? 

Maybe other bookworms only consider 5-star books favourites, but I certainly don’t! I accept that a book isn’t always perfectly written, that it has plot holes and what not, but if the story and the characters make me fall in love with them… Well, it’s a favourite.

To make all of this a little less vague (like siriusly I can’t blame you if you’re not following me here), here are some examples of 5-star books that are not favourites and 4-star books that are.

The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan – ★★★★★

I love Uncle Rick and his books and will defend his writing at all times, but The Kane Chronicles just didn’t blow me away. While I liked Carter and Sadie (especially Sadie), they’re not in my heart. The plot felt the same in every book (I guess you could say that the plot in a lot of his books are similar, but it was just too similar and it felt like I was reading the same book every time) and it just didn’t blow me away. Still, I couldn’t see a reason why to give it less than 5 stars! My complains were small (to me).

The first four books of The Mortal Instruments series – ★★★★

You may or may not know that this is one of my favourite series, but until the fifth book I didn’t give away five stars! City of Glass is the book that made me fall in love with the series though, so at that point I started considering the series a favourite, even though I gave the books 4 stars. See, the main reason I gave the first three books four stars is because they were a bit too predictable and not much happened in the fourth one (though I still loved it. Mango), but that didn’t mean I didn’t love the story, the characters and the world!

So here’s my question to you fellow bookworms: is a 5-star rating equal to a favourite?


32 thoughts on “The Discussing Hufflepuff #4: Is a 5-star Rating Equal to a Favourite?

  1. I have 4 star books as favorites as well. That book might just have that one character that I connected with really well or a world that was amazing and so on that give it a special place.

  2. Hmm, I’ve never really thought about it. When i write reviews, I add if the book is a favourite or not, but I didn’t notice that sometimes I mark 4 stars as favourites too. I guess 4 star books can also be favourites because although the book might, in the technical sense, have flaws, in my perspective, it’s amazing. Great discussion!

  3. You’re not the only one! There are so many books that i’ve rated 5 stars but most of them aren’t in my favorite shelf. Favorite books are the ones that you don’t want to part with even after you finished reading them and you will never get tired of re-reading them. Great Post! :D

  4. Really interesting blog! I think I tend to base it on emotion too- but then I base my ratings on emotions. So even if a book is not perfect, I’ll give it a 5* if I really love it. Conversely, even if a book is technically perfect, but doesn’t quite hit the spot emotionally, I won’t give it 5*. So I guess it’s no coincidence that when I look at my goodreads account, most of the 5* books are my favourites.
    (Sorry for the waffling, just a really interesting discussion point!)

  5. This is really interesting : D I don’t really use star ratings on anything other than Goodreads so I haven’t put that much thought into it. I guess, when I sit down and think about it, I rate the books on how much emotion I felt while reading it. Sometimes, a book that isn’t really perfect or that isn’t what I would normally read completely blows my mind so I rate it five stars. Other times, a book is still amazing, but it just isnt as amazing, you know? That’s when I drop it down to four.

  6. Interesting post :) For me, 5 stars means “I am going to buy this book so I can re-read it again in the future.” Usually that means it has to be both very well-written and also personally enjoyable to me. It depends on the book…my ratings are really subjective lol.

  7. For me, a five star book is always a favourite. I need that feeling that you mentioned for it to get the magical five stars. I’m also a very harsh reviewer, so 5 stars is really rare for me. But, like you, I do consider a lot of 4 star books favourites. I can overlook their flaws if they’re amazing books :-)
    Great post!

  8. I agree with you completely! There are many books I can think of that were possibly not 5 star reads but are some of my favourites (of course I tend to automatically give a book 5 stars when I love it, which I should stop doing because it’s misleading!)
    But I love this discussion post. A book does not need to be rated 5 stars to be considered a favourite, not at all!

    • Yay I’m happy you love it! :D I was worried that it might be a bit vague haha. Yeah I used to automatically give 5 stars too, but I kind of forced myself to stop doing that (I say ‘kind of’ because I still catch myself doing it sometimes haha)

  9. For me it really depends. Sometimes I love a book so much but it has some huge flaws so I have to give it four stars. But sometimes I forget about my critical-reviewer side and just give it five stars. And sometimes a book is critically amazing, but as I look back, I really didn’t enjoy it that much. So it really just ranges. This is an awesome topic, thanks so much for bringing it up!

  10. What an interesting topic to discuss! I’m generally quite a harsh reviewer, so 5 stars are not that common for me — I can’t bring myself to go further than 4.5! :P So when I rate a book 5 stars, it means that I must’ve really, really, REALLY loved that book and it’s definitely a new favourite. But that doesn’t mean that my 4-star books are any less loved! In fact, most of my favourite books have been rated 4 (or 4.5) stars by me. They might have their little flaws, but they touched my heart; and that’s what makes a book a favourite, right? <3

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