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?

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Review: The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

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Genre: Fantasy
Category: Middle Grade
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Summary (2020)

The Kane Chronicles is about two siblings, Carter and Sadie Kane. After their Dad blows up an important Egyptian artefact, their lives change completely: apparently they’re descendants of ancient pharaos and on top of that they’re magicians. They have to figure out how to save their dad, who has been kidnapped by the evil god Set, stop Set from rising to power and save the world. Set is the least of their problems though…

I did my best writing a summary that doesn’t reveal too much. It’s mostly a summary for The Red Pyramid, but hey, I can’t really summarize the other two without giving too much away!

Review (2020)

The Kane Chronicles aren’t as well known as Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but it should be. Do I prefer Percy over The Kane Chronicles? Yes, but we’ll get to that later.

If you love Rick Riordan’s writing style, than you will love The Kane Chronicles. It’s not as funny as Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus, but I did laugh out loud quite a few times, smiled or snorted. There were some puns so lame that they were brilliant. There were baboons who loved to play basketball. There was witty banter between several characters. Also Sadie Kane who is one of my new favourite heroines. And can we appreciate the Dalek mention in The Serpent’s Shadow? Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

The best thing about these books though, is that before it’s about magic, gods, monsters, demons, saving the world, romance… It’s about siblings. There just aren’t enough books that focus on the relationship between siblings and that’s a shame. The relationship between Carter and Sadie grows so beautifully and in the end they state that their sibling is the closest person to them. Not their love interest, no, their sibling. Can I get a hell yeah?

Besides Sadie and Carter, there are so many amazing characters. As I stated before, Sadie is my new favourite heroine. She’s tough, but she isn’t afraid to cry. She’s sassy and witty and she’s human and she’s loving and I just love Sadie okay? The only thing I didn’t like about her was that she was involved in a love triangle. Now, it wasn’t such a bad love triangle, but I just felt it was a bit unnecessary and I saw how it was going to end coming (though I was only joking. Did you know that whenever I joke about a plot twist, that plot twist actually comes true? Like I WAS JOKING). Also, I still don’t really understand how the ending of that love triangle works but oh well.

Unlike Percy Jackson, The Kane Chronicles are written as if they were recorded by Carter and Sadie on a recorder. Riordan wrote these down and in the beginning of the books he gives a warning and in his author’s note he says that either they did their research right or everything they say is true, which to him is really scary. This made it more real and I loved this little thing. The two siblings sometimes interrupt each other while telling the story, which is also amusing.

I don’t know much about Egyptian mythology, but I loved how Riordan intertwined the myths into this story and into our modern world. I also loved how Carter and Sadie became really good friends with some gods, almost like family. It’s a nice change from the Olympians in Percy’s world. By the way, loved the minor references to Percy Jackson. It just made me smile.

Besides the love triangle, the only problem I had with the books is that they felt a bit repetitive. It was like all three books had the same basic story line. Though it was still enjoyable I felt like they were more predictable than the other two series. Just like with Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus, I flew through these books though and I absolutely adore them.

You should read these books if you like:

💛 Percy Jackson and/or The Heroes of Olympus
💛 Egyptian mythology
💛 Sibling relationships
💛 Found family
💛 Dry humor
💛 Puns so bad they’re funny

Have you read The Kane Chronicles yet? Are you planning to? What did you think?

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